The Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”) of Southwestern Law School is responsible for overseeing all financial activities related to Southwestern Law School’s (the “School”) operations and its endowment and serves as a key member of the senior leadership team. The CFO is the primary financial leader and advisor to the Dean and the Board of Trustees, and as such, the CFO provides critical insight and analysis to support strategic planning, goal-setting, and key policy and administrative decision-making. The CFO interfaces and regularly presents to the School’s leadership and the Board of Trustees.
The CFO is a critical member of the leadership team and, as such, will oversee the analysis, assessment, and development of recommendations and solutions for resource allocation, budgeting, and best practices across the financial function. Additionally, the CFO is responsible for the development of financial strategy, and metrics tied to that strategy as well as the ongoing development and monitoring of critical internal control systems. The CFO reports to the President and Dean and will work to monitor and advise on investments and new initiatives.
- Leads all financial management, budgeting, and forecasting for the School’s operations, including hands-on and detailed assessment, development and integration of systems, and thorough accounting and financial reporting.
- Oversees and manages the annual operating budgeting process as well as quarterly forecast reporting and analyses.
- Acts as primary staff member to the Finance and Audit Committees of the Board, prepares and presents financial results and critical analyses to Committees and Full Board at quarterly meetings.
- Oversees financial relationship with the third party property management company for Student Housing facility.
- Oversees the Accounting Office, including hiring, supervising, motivating, and evaluating full-time and part-time employees. Supervising staff includes work allocation, training, enforcement of law school and departmental policies, procedures, and controls, and problem resolution.
- Leads all critical financial compliance processes including – (i) the annual financial audit, (ii) the annual federal awards audit, (iii) annual reporting and covenant compliance analyses required by Bond Trustee, and (iv) financial reviews required by bond rating agencies.
- Manages preparation and oversees filings of the School’s annual Form 990 tax returns.
- Oversees financial activities related to the School’s 403B Defined Contribution Retirement Plan.
- Serves as primary liaison with bankers, auditors, tax attorneys, investment advisors, and government agencies.
- Administers the corporate credit card program to ensure that activities and financial reporting are in compliance with the School’s policies.
- Develops tools and systems to provide critical financial and operational information to the Dean and the Board of Trustees.
- Responsible for the ongoing development, implementation, and monitoring of critical internal control systems and financial procedures designed to preserve School assets and report accurate financial results.
- Works with the financial aid office in preparing and submitting critical financial information required for federal funding.
- Manages the office’s non-personnel budget and provides fiscal direction for the department.
- Stays current with accreditation standards and actively helps to ensure the law school’s compliance with those standards.
- Leads the Accounting Department as an effective mentor and supervisor of department staff and creates a positive and cooperative work environment.
Minimum Job Requirements
- Bachelor's degree; at least 10 years of management experience in a similar or related finance and administration role.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Required
- Extensive knowledge of regulatory financial compliance and analyses and forecasting and comprehensive understanding of student records management principles, regulations, policies, and procedures.
- A self-motivated team player who can effectively partner with the senior administration, Board of Trustees, and across the Southwestern community in identifying key needs, opportunities, and strategy.
- High level of judgment, discretion, integrity, and confidentiality.
- Demonstrated success in developing, managing, cultivating, and leveraging major relationships and partnerships.
- Excellent communication skills with demonstrated ability to convey critical information clearly and effectively with diverse constituencies, skilled with adjusting presentation and language to various audiences.
- High level of business acumen and judgment, with proven track record for making practical, realistic, data-driven, and timely decisions, diagnosing and problem-solving complex problems in a sophisticated and transparent manner.
- Excellent critical thinking and listening skills.
- Skill in examining and re-engineering operations and procedures, formulating policy, and developing and implementing new strategies and procedures.
- Effective and collaborative team player.
- Demonstrated expertise in effective mentoring and supervising of department employees; with a focus on a cooperative work environment.