Chief Financial and Administrative Officer

  • Chatham University
  • Pittsburgh, PA, USA
  • May 15, 2024
Full time Business/Financial Affairs/Financial Aid

Job Description



Chief Financial and Administrative Officer

Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA, is launching a national search through AGB Search Firm for a Chief Financial and Administrative Officer (CFAO). Reporting directly to President Rhonda Phillips and serving on the President's Leadership Team, the CFAO will lead finance and related administrative functions supporting the University's strategic, financial, and operational goals.

The CFAO will play a critical role in developing and implementing financial strategy while having the ability to lead and shape five immediate strategic opportunities:

1.      Optimization of new revenue and growth initiatives.

2.      Implementation of a new finance system.

3.      Development of a 5-Year Capital & IT Plan for the University.

4.      Enhancement of processes and organizational structures.

5.      Advancement of initiatives to lower costs and enhance affordability.

The CFAO will manage diverse administrative functional areas, including finance and accounting, budget and financial reporting, human resources, facilities, library and information technology services (LITS), and public safety.

The CFAO will be an experienced and dynamic leader who will partner and collaborate with the president, other senior leaders, trustees, and the entire campus community. The CFAO will inspire confidence and demonstrate creative, action-oriented, and fiscally responsible leadership. They will be asked to engage with transparency, authenticity, and empathy to multiple stakeholders while developing realistic objectives and effectively communicating financial information and plans

The Opportunity and Agenda
The Chief Financial and Administrative Officer (CFAO) is a senior leadership team member and a direct report to the university president. This CFAO will demonstrate sound financial management and leadership, provide strategic vision and direction, promote effective and efficient resource management, and work collaboratively with all stakeholders to enhance the university's short- and long-term fiscal health.

The agenda of the new CFAO includes:

1.      With a relatively new President and leadership team, the University has an opportunity to rethink how it conducts its business across the three locations.

2.      Partner with the President, leadership team, and Board of Trustees to focus efforts and financial resources on growing enrollment and net tuition revenue, enhancing auxiliary revenue sources, and establishing a long-term financial sustainability model.

3.      Present timely, accurate, expert financial analyses and reports and develop realistic long-term financial projections to support the university's mission and the Board of Trustees' engagement in its financial life and health.

4.      Develop a budget and financial reporting process that is structured, timely, transparent, and oriented to the future. Incorporating transparency and accountability into the budget and financial reporting process will build trust within the campus community.

5.      Oversee the implementation of new finance and related information systems and financial reporting to provide enhanced access to timely data, allow end users to assess operational performance, and improve decision-making.

6.      Finalize and implement a 5-Year Capital Infrastructure and Information Technology plan for the university to guide necessary investments and build sustainable funding streams.

7.      Complete and implement a plan to enhance the Office of Public Safety, including staffing, operational, and capital improvements necessary to improve operations and receive accreditation from the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association.

8.      Advance and collaborate on plans that capitalize on the growth and positive impact of athletics and recreation to enhance revenue, enrollment, and the campus experience.

9.      Identify and implement operational efficiencies in managed departments and throughout the University, including exploring shared service or outsourcing models.

10.   Serve as the lead staff member on relevant Board of Trustees Committees and Subcommittees, including Finance and Infrastructure, Audit and Risk, Investment, and Debt and Real Estate.

11.   Participate in the university reaccreditation and other processes required for federal or state funding, compliance, or regulatory review.


Preferred and Required Qualifications

Professional Qualifications and Personal Attributes

  • A bachelor's degree in accounting, business, or a related field is required. A master's degree or CPA is preferred.
  • A minimum of 5 to 10 years of progressive leadership and management in a complex organization is required. Higher education experience is preferred.
  • Background, knowledge, and experience to establish a clear financial vision for Chatham and the tenacity and commitment to develop and motivate others to achieve desired outcomes within the finance, human resources, operational teams, and with other shared governance stakeholders.
  • Outstanding financial acumen with success in data-informed decision-making and improving budgeting and financial management within a complex organization.
  • Experience working with endowments, accessing grants, and managing other forms of investment and partnerships to benefit students, faculty, and staff.
  • Success in building healthy and collaborative working relationships with colleagues, including trustees, senior administrators, direct reports, faculty, staff, students, and the broader community.
  • A commitment to helping advance a sense of inclusion and belonging in teams and the wider community.
  • An open and effective communicator who listens carefully, responds thoughtfully, speaks, and writes clearly.
  • Ability to maintain and advocate the highest level of compliance, integrity, and sound judgment.
  • Proven skill in developing, leading, and mentoring a team of talented and dedicated professionals.
  • A person who manages in an open, transparent, and trustworthy manner with all constituents to ensure a comprehensive understanding of financial, budgetary, and other related university issues.
  • Knowledge of Pittsburgh is desired.


Application Details (to apply use the Apply Now button below.)

Additional Information:
To review the full profile, including introductory information about Chatham and the Pittsburgh area, go to

How to Apply:
This search is being conducted by AGB Search Firm. Applicants should follow the below instructions and apply directly on their site. The direct link to apply, is

The Search Committee will begin reviewing applications in early June and continue until the position is filled. Applicant materials should be received by June 14, 2024, for best consideration.


  • A letter of interest stating how the candidate's experiences and qualifications relate to the characteristics and priorities expressed in the position profile.
  • Resume or curriculum vitae.
  • Five professional references with e-mails, telephone numbers, and a description of the candidate's professional relationship with each reference listed (references will not be contacted without prior written authorization from the applicant).

To submit nominations, or should you have any questions or encounter any difficulties with the application process, please contact

The following professionals from AGB Search are assisting with the search:

Margaret "Peggy" Plympton,, 484-554-4543

Monica Burton,, 917-825-2961

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