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University Launches Search for Vice President, Finance and Administration

The University of Virginia has launched a search for a vice president, finance and administration, to succeed Yoke San Reynolds, vice president and chief financial officer, who retired in June.

The position includes responsibility over financial and administrative services of the University. U.Va. also launched a website in conjunction with the search, and has appointed a 13-person committee to evaluate candidates.

The goal is to narrow what likely will be a considerable pool of applicants to a list of finalists this spring, with the Board of Visitors reviewing a final recommendation at its May meeting.

“Finding the right person to handle one of the University’s most important jobs is a challenge, but also an opportunity,” U.Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan said. “This work plays a key role in helping U.Va. maintain excellence in teaching and patient care. We are fortunate to have a legacy of sound financial management and a solid foundation, with triple-A bond ratings that few others can claim in higher education. Our next vice president, finance and administration, will be counted on to protect these strengths, but also to help us find new efficiencies and growth opportunities, which our times demand.”

Reynolds retired after an 11-year tenure distinguished by an ability to guide the University through severe economic downturns. Her innovations, including the creation of an internal capital bank and treasury function, helped U.Va. continue to grow while controlling costs and protecting liquidity through economic recession.

The vice president, finance and administration, is responsible for establishing and maintaining financial and administrative services for all units and divisions of the University. Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Pat Hogan indicated that the title change reflects the range of duties in the portfolio, which, in addition to financial services, includes risk management, business operations, policy development and oversight, and monitoring the administration and compliance of University-related foundations.

“This remains a job with the primary responsibility of ensuring superior oversight and execution of the University’s financial strategies,” Hogan said. “Without question, however, performing those duties is increasingly complex. The job will require a person with deep experience and a proven ability to creatively manage systems and teams of people in a dynamic environment.”

The vice president, finance and administration, will report to Hogan.

James Hilton, vice president and chief information officer, chairs the search committee. The 13-member group pulls from all corners of the University – administration and faculty, students and staff, Health System and research.

“The work of the vice president, finance and administration, involves and affects every facet of the University in some way, so the committee needs a diverse set of members and expertise so it can conduct the most thorough review of candidates,” he said.

The search committee also includes:  Jim Aylor, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science; Julian Bivins, associate vice president for advancement services; Jeff Blank, assistant vice president for research; Ken Elzinga, economics professor in the College of Arts & Sciences; Larry Fitzgerald, associate vice president for development and finance in the Medical Center; Elyta Koh, associate dean of the School of Nursing; Christina Morell, associate vice president for student affairs; Tim Rose, CEO of the U.Va. Foundation; Colette Sheehy, vice president for management and budget; Margaret Shupnik, professor, Department of Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism in the School of Medicine; Johnny Vroom, president of U.Va.’s Student Council; and Jess Wenger, environmental projects manager.

The executive search firm Brill Neumann is assisting with the search. Based in Boston, the company is nationally known for its success with clients in higher education, business and health care.

The job description states that the ideal candidate will be “an accomplished finance leader with notable executive level experience in the private, public, and/or nonprofit sectors. Ideally, he/she will have some knowledge of the academic environment, including academic medicine.” 

Hilton said the search committee welcomes interest from candidates in the higher education community and beyond.

“We’re simply looking for the best person,” he said. “That could mean someone with deep university experience or someone with expertise from other industries. It’s the combination of qualifications and character and a proven ability to build relationships that matters most.”

For information about the search process, including the full job description and a link to submit nominations and applications, click here.

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