This is wonderful opportunity for a strategic thinker and visionary financial leader to join a close knit and supportive community as the next Vice President of Finance and Administration (VPFA). The VPFA provides equitable, inclusive, and ethical leadership for fiscal strategy, forecasting, and stewardship to enact and advance the mission, vision, values, and priorities of Bemidji State University (BSU) and Northwest Technical College (NTC).
The unique alignment of the two-year technical college with a four-year comprehensive state university makes for a nearly one-of-a-kind opportunity for innovation that enhances access and affordability while creating new pathways to educational goals, credentials, and degrees for students. BSU and NTC's location in Bemidji, a growing regional center, and among Minnesota's three largest Native Nations creates possibilities for the aligned institutions to serve as an innovation hub for educational advancement and economic development throughout Northern Minnesota.
The VPFA reports directly to the President, acts as Senior Financial Officer, serves as part of the Executive Leadership Team and the Cabinet, and represents BSU and NTC in various roles and on committees of Minnesota State. The ideal candidate is an exceptional communicator who delivers a hands-on approach to leadership, operations, and problem solving. The VPFA holds supervisory responsibilities for a team of educational leaders who ensure stability, compliance, and integrity in the areas of Facilities Management, Information Technology Services (IT), Risk Management, Public Safety and Security, Procurement and Logistics, Parking, Facilities Planning and Construction, Business Office, Payroll, Scholarships, Bookstores, and University Investments.
Serve as a member of the President's Executive Leadership Team, Cabinets for BSU and NTC, and the President's Leadership Council.
Provide thought leadership related to the scope of responsibility in planning and decision-making for the University and College.
Promote a culture of excellence, inclusion, innovation, accountability, and transparency by engaging key stakeholders identifying opportunities to achieve excellence and to ensure alignment of financial and operational strategies with the BSU and NTC mission, vision, values, and strategic priorities.
Demonstrate self-awareness of one's own cultural beliefs, perspectives, and privileges as a part of one's orientation toward leadership.
Acknowledge the specific and particular realities of Indigenous, Black and persons of color, LGBTQ individuals, people from low-income families, and other minoritized communities within Northern Minnesota while also connecting communities to local and regional experiences in order to foster a greater sense of belonging among employees and students.
Promote practices that are environmentally sustainable and consistent with practices advanced by American Indian stewards of the region's land and water.
Advance efforts toward BSU's institutional goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and increasing campus-community resilience, as pledged under Second Nature's Climate Commitment.
Maintain currency in emergent fiscal, facility, technology, and risk-management practices informed by data and research through active engagement in relevant professional associations.
Ensure communication regarding University and College decisions to the various units within the division and across BSU and NTC.
Represent the BSU and NTC at system-wide meetings and other external entities.
Partner with the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness to compile, analyze, and interpret relevant data for strategic and data-informed decision-making as related to the scope of responsibility.
Educate the BSU, NTC, and stakeholders about fiscal, facility, technological, and risk management practices.
2. Senior Financial Officer
Provide strategic guidance and oversight in the development, monitoring, evaluation, and communication of the budget plans for BSU and NTC informed by mission, vision, and values; the strategic plan; and campus budgets.
Convene and facilitate the work of the Budget Advisory Committee (BAC) consisting of selected Cabinet administrators, representatives from bargaining units spanning both campuses, and student representatives from both campuses.
Drawing on data, trends, and input from the BAC, develop budgetary recommendations for the President and other senior leaders.
Establish baselines and fiscal targets to ensure that institutional budgets are equitable and reflect priorities articulated within the strategic plan.
Provide leadership in preparing and monitoring budgets to ensure compliance with laws, policies, procedures, and state statutes in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.
Prepare or direct the preparation of financial/budgetary statements; forecasts; and analyses, reports, and ad hoc reporting.
Study and report on budgetary matters and policies including cost accounting to ensure the fulfillment of the short, intermediate, and long range plans.
Provides leadership to the Procurement and Logistic department.
Provides leadership and direction that ensures that positive outcomes for internal and external audits.
Communicate with students, staff, leadership, community stakeholders, and System Office staff on all matters related to finance and budget.
Lead conversations on addressing our budget inequalities and how we can better use our budget (particularly our recruiting and retention funds) to achieve our stated goals.
3. Facilities and Space Management
Provide strategic guidance and oversight in the development, monitoring, evaluation, and communication of all plans for all buildings, grounds, and related operations as informed by institutional mission, vision, and values; the strategic plan; and the master facility plan.
Advance institutional priorities of student success; diversity, equity, and inclusion including accessibility; and environmental sustainability in all facilities related work.
Prepare Requests for Proposals and hire and work closely with architects and construction/management firms.
Communicate effectively with staff, students, leadership, community stakeholders, and Minnesota State System Office about space planning, building, and facilities management.
4. Information Technology Services (IT)
Provide leadership and management of IT administrative and academic computing services including telecommunication and other enterprise technology, network systems, and technical support operations.
Support leadership in the preparation of a strategic plan for IT Services.
Communicate with students, staff, faculty, leadership, and community stakeholders on technology needs, budgets including technology fees.
5. Safety and Security Service
Lead and manage the Safety and Security Services including reporting of OSHA, hazardous waste, gas emissions, and parking.
Advance student learning and success, equity and inclusion, and health and wellbeing through the work of Safety and Security Services.
Lead, manage and Implement Emergency Plans including the Continuity Plan.
Assess the qualifications of candidates and hire employees to perform job duties to achieve unit objectives.
Assign employees to job duties, provide training and direct employees in the execution of job responsibilities to meet unit objectives and annual work plans.
Evaluate employee performance, reward and/or discipline employees and promote, suspend, discharge, or change status according to performance.
Mediate and adjust grievances of employees in accordance with bargaining unit language.
Direct the writing of employee position descriptions and approve the establishment of assigned work duties.
Administer applicable labor contract and/or plans fairly and equitably.
Perform all supervisory duties in accordance with established equal opportunity/affirmative action, non-harassment and employee safety policies and procedures.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, ANDABILITIES
Strategic thinker who can lead collaborative, long term planning in partnership with institutional leadership (e.g., financial planning, facilities master planning, IT master planning, strategic enrollment planning).
Professional who values and understands post-secondary education at all levels (technical, associate, bachelor, masters) and immerses themselves in understanding the unique and converging environments of Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College.
Leader who understands the Finance & Administration division is a resource to support the academic and student service mission of the institution and develops a team within the division of strategic oriented and solution-oriented leaders.
Relationship builder who forwards the mission and vision of the institution through appreciation for and valued interactions with students, faculty, and staff at BSU and NTC, leadership at the Minnesota state system, the local Bemidji community, and the Indigenous and underrepresented communities within Northern Minnesota.
Fiscal leader who has a long-term vision, values transparency and collaboration, is growth oriented and remains focused on institutional core values when making decisions.
Campus communicator who can deliver complex financial and administrative information in understandable formats to a wide range of audiences (e.g., students, faculty, staff, donors, state/city officials). Individual should value and practice proactive, consistent, and open sharing of information.
Lead the institution in long term financial planning that is aligned with the strategic planning process and results in a model that is sustainable and aligned with long term institutional goals and values.
Initiate ideas for alternative revenue streams/funding sources and solutions that assist individual units and the institution with meeting their mission and goals. Bring together institutional leaders from both campuses to collaboratively assess ideas and ensure data is provided to make strategic decisions.
Develop, implement, and lead a budget planning process that is wholistic, transparent, and genuinely values input from all institutional constituents (faculty, students, staff, administration). Budget process should strategically consider all revenue streams available (general fund, student fees, etc.) and incorporate the unique budget needs of two campuses.
Strategically budget resources in alignment with institutional goals and lead ongoing review of budgets as institutional plans evolve.
Develop/maintain accounting processes that equitably allocate shared costs and resources between campuses, divisions and departments (e.g., cost of shared staff between campuses, indirect cost allocation). Ensure dedicated resources (e.g., student fees) are allocated and used for their approved purpose and openly reported to campus constituents.
Develop and employ tools and reports needed for institutional leaders/budget managers to track resources and perform fiscal modeling (e.g., budget to actual reports, position tracking reports, program cost analysis). Ensure data are delivered in formats that are easily accessible and easy to interpret.
Re-evaluate business processes within the division, focusing on end-user satisfaction while maintaining compliance and fiscal accountability.
Educate campus community on the fiscal makeup of the institution (e.g., how state support is allocated, how enrollment impacts finances, how resources are allocated between BSU and NTC). Be proactive and transparent in sharing fiscal challenges and opportunities for the institution.
FACILITIES and SPACEMANAGEMENTRESPONSIBILITIES:
Lead BSU and NTC in updating long term facility master plans for both campuses that allocate physical resources to meet the institution's strategic plans. Incorporate resulting resource needs into the financial planning process.
Advance institutional priorities of student success; diversity, equity, and inclusion including accessibility; and environmental sustainability in all facility related planning and work.
Ensure proactive communication with leadership, students, faculty, staff, and community/state officials on schedules for building and grounds maintenance and planned building improvement projects.
Lead the BSU and NTC campuses in implementation of the new administrative software system.
Lead the institution in development of a long-term Information Technology master plan that is aligned with the mission and vision of the institution. Incorporate resulting resource needs into the financial planning process.
Minimum qualifications for this position include:
Bachelor's or Master's degree in a related field to business administration, finance, or accounting.
Minimum of five (5) years of progressive administrative and leadership experience in managing a complex fiscal operation.
Relevant experience in budgeting and financial management
Demonstrated ability to work with diverse constituents and promote a just, equitable, and inclusive workplace environment
Experience with and/or transferable skills in facilities planning, management, and maintenance
Professional experience implementing and administering contracts
Evidence of continuing professional education, affiliations, and/or certifications relevant to the position
Experience related to issues of sustainability and environmental safety
Evidence of supervisory skill including fostering continuing professional development among employees
Evidence of effective communication skills including positive, effective interpersonal communication—speaking, listening, reading, and writing
Preferred qualifications include:
Experience in four-year and/or two-year higher education in budgeting and financial management
Experience with safety, security, and emergency response planning
Professional level experience in securing external funding and capital bonding
Experience with financial aid
Experience with and/or evidence of successful collaborations with multiple stakeholders
Demonstrated success in institutional leadership
For best consideration, please apply by December 2nd.
Applications will be reviewed as they are received and should include a cover letter and curriculum vita. Ideally cover letters should not exceed two pages. All applications are treated confidentially.
Inquiries, referrals, and nominations are treated confidentially:
In the north woods, on the shores of Lake Bemidji, nestled within limitless natural beauty and surrounded by Minnesota's three largest Indigenous nations, are Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College. Located in Bemidji, Minnesota, these institutions provide a unique opportunity to support both a four-year, regional public university and a two-year technical college. Bemidji State University has been ranked as one of the top 30 public institutions in the Midwest region by U.S. News & World Report for each of the past four years. BSU offers its diverse body of around 4,000 students a comprehensive spectrum of opportunities with more than 100 undergraduate degrees and emphasis areas in more than 50 areas of study, 14 pre-professional programs, 10 graduate programs, and 10 certificates.
As Bemidji State embarks upon its second century of service, our vision is simple: we educate people to lead inspired lives. To achieve this, BSU prioritizes a campus culture in which diversity is embraced and all people are safe, welcome, and validated. BSU also proactively engages with Indigenous communities in northern Minnesota and nationwide in pursuit of its goal to become a destination university. Northwest Technical College is one of only three pure technical colleges remaining in Minnesota, helping around 1,000 students each year align their education with their employment goals. NTC offers nearly 40 certificates, diplomas, and degrees in 20 programs across six career paths. For more than 50 years, NTC has prepared students for fulfilling careers in well-paying, in-demand fields. The college's accessible, affordable, hands-on programs also help the region's employers meet their ever-growing need for a highly skilled workforce. With an open-enrollment policy and affordable tuition, NTC meets students where they are with a convenient mix of on-campus, online, and hybrid courses.
Through a shared services alignment, NTC students can take advantage of services, support, activities, and opportunities at BSU that expand and enhance their college experience — such as full access to BSU's library and the ability to live in BSU's on-campus resident housing. BSU and NTC employees are represented by eight bargaining units, including individual faculty unions representing each institution. These unions represent and advocate on behalf of around 650 employees, fostering an effective and collaborative shared governance environment. BSU and NTC are members of the Minnesota State system of 30 colleges and seven universities, encompassing a total of 54 campuses in 47 Minnesota communities. The third-largest system of higher education in the nation, Minnesota State annually serves more than 340,000 students.
Land Acknowledgment Statement
We acknowledge that Bemidji State University is located on land and water that is the current and ancestral homeland of the Ojibwe and Dakota. We acknowledge the painful history of genocide, forced assimilation, and efforts to alienate the Indigenous inhabitants from their territory here. We honor and respect the many diverse Indigenous peoples still connected to this land, retained tribal sovereignty, treaty rights, and cultural resilience. Indigenous people are spiritual and physical caretakers of this land to which we all belong. Bemidji State University respects these sacred lands, stands with the community members from these Nations, and will fight injustice in all its forms.
Living in the Area
Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College are located amid the lakes and forests of northern Minnesota. Bemidji State occupies a wooded campus along the western shore of Lake Bemidji, while Northwest Technical College lies just three miles east, near Bemidji's robust industrial district. When settling the Bemidji area in 1750, the Ojibwe people named the lake Bemidjigamaag, a word that translates to English as
Bemidji State University is the place to be...bold, real, innovative, creative, global, aware, successful, and so much more! Through our signature themes, BSU and its nearly 5,000 students are committed to environmental stewardship, community service, and global understanding. You'll see that commitment in what we teach and in what we do. Located on the western shore of Lake Bemidji, our north woods campus environment reminds us daily of the need to be in tune with our world. Similarly, the American Indian culture of our region beckons us to begin our global journey by understanding our past as we prepare for the future. See for yourself by visiting us soon.