Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration

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Job description

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), one of the world’s leading art and design colleges, seeks an experienced, strategic leader to be their next Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration (SVPF&A). The new SVPF&A will join RISD at a time of tremendous opportunity. RISD’s new president, Crystal Williams, is building a new leadership team to bring fresh ideas, perspectives, strategies and solutions, and a renewed commitment to assure that RISD’s students—talented young artists, designers, learners, and innovators—are well prepared for their futures. Core to President Williams’ commitments is social equity and inclusion (SEI) and the integration of these principals in all institutional outcomes.

The Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration serves as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer and works closely with senior leadership and the Board of Trustees on financial planning, budget modeling, and major resource allocation matters across all areas of the school. They oversee an annual operating budget in excess of $170 million and the institution’s administrative operations which include: information technology, facilities, risk management, human resources, auxiliary services, and public safety.

For this critical position, RISD is seeking a strategic leader who has the vision to anticipate, and respond to the challenges and opportunities in higher education in general, and art and design education in particular. The new SVPF&A will understand the importance of integrating SEI goals throughout all reporting units and will have a track record of evincing positive SEI outcomes. In this way, the new SVPF&A will be a values-aligned leader who is excited by RISD’s holistic commitment and understands how to leverage institutional resources, practices, and policies in service of this key strategic priority. They will be a systems thinker who can assess current policies and processes to ensure RISD is modelling best practices and find innovative uses of resources and technology to strengthen essential college administrative functions, and advance strategies for campus maintenance, improvement, and space utilization. They must have the communications and leadership skills to successfully connect with a wide range of highly engaged stakeholders and cultivate relationships based on mutual trust and respect to help shape RISD’s future through strong fiscal stewardship as the College enters the next exciting phase of its history.

As the leader of a large team, the SVPF&A will be a strong and supportive manager, modeling a culture of accountability, openness, high-quality service, and transparency, while establishing processes and structures that best utilize and support the expertise of their strong leadership team. Finally, while student interest in RISD continues to grow, the institution faces significant opportunities and decisions which will impact the current and future health of the organization. In this regard, the new SVPF&A must be a strong collaborator, an educator who can help identify and articulate current challenges and potential solutions to faculty, staff, administrators, and the Board of Trustees. They must have proven experience in advancing SEI goals through leveraging financial and other institutional resources.

The Rhode Island School of Design has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in conducting this important search and to help identify outstanding candidates. All inquiries, applications, and nominations for this opportunity will be held in strict confidence and should be directed to the search firm as indicated at the end of this document.

How to apply

RISD is assisted in this recruitment by the executive search firm Isaacson, Miller. All inquiries and nominations should be directed to the search firm. Please send a CV or resume and a letter of interest in strict confidence to the following: Dan Rodas, Partner, Gail Gregory, Managing Associate Isaacson, Miller http://www.imsearch.com/8899

Inquiries, nominations, and referrals are also welcome, and will be handled in confidence.

Rhode Island School of Design is an equal employment institution.

RISD is looking for equity-minded applicants who represent the full diversity of the globe and who demonstrate a sensitivity to and understanding of the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds present in their community. When you join the team at RISD, you can expect to be part of an inclusive, innovative, and equity-focused
community that approaches higher education as a matter of social justice that requires broad collaboration among faculty, staff, students, and community partners. In deciding whether to apply for a position at RISD, you are strongly encouraged to consider whether your values align with our Mission + Values, our SEI Accountability Commitments, and our Strategic Plan.

Founded in 1877, Rhode Island School of Design (or “RIZ-dee” for the acronym RISD) is one of the oldest and best-known colleges of art and design in the U.S. Each year approximately 2,300 students from around the world pursue a creative, studio-based education at RISD, which offers rigorous bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in 19 architecture, design, fine arts and art education majors. The college is located in Providence, Rhode Island, which offers its own vibrant art scene and is conveniently located between two other major cultural centers: Boston and New York.