The Director of Financial Systems reports to the Associate Vice President of Administrative Systems and leads the Financial, Research Administration and Facilities Management Systems unit of Northwestern Information Technology in: 1) managing the organization's Financial systems ensuring sustainability, interoperability and reliability of these systems in the context of the overall University's systems, and specifically the administrative systems and directions; 2) working in partnership with Finance, Research Administration and Facilities Management leaders in the central function, schools and departments to understand their needs and translate them into effective technology solutions; 3) leading functional and technical resources to complete an agreed to strategy, portfolio of projects and support for other initiatives; 4) collaborating with the Northwestern Information Technology management team, Administrative Systems management team and other technology leaders to plan and deliver effective IT services; and 5) performing management functions, including budgeting, procurement, contract negotiations, and personnel evaluations and actions.
- Leadership and Supervision. Leads and motivates the members of the Financial, Research Administration and Facilities Management Systems unit of Northwestern Information Technology in providing services to Northwestern University faculty, staff, and students for IT services:
- Builds and develops a customer-focused team that encompasses the functions of: Functional Management (analysis, requirements gathering, functional design and testing), Technical Management (analysis, technical design, testing and implementation) and Security Administration (role development and implementation).
- Stresses that effective customer service and IT service management are the cornerstones of a professional work environment and ensures this is internalized by staff and student employees.
- Leads the campus in looking for opportunities to work together supporting or adapting new technologies and approaches to proactively support users of information technology.
- Oversees systems managers/supervisors in recruiting, onboarding, training, evaluating, and managing, and developing assigned staff and student employees.
- Serves in a leadership capacity within the Administrative Systems Directors management team ensuring alignment to strategic direction, enterprise architecture and specific initiatives.
- When necessary, advises subordinate supervisors on appropriate procedures for managing within University policies.
- Planning and Collaboration. Works in partnership with Finance, Research Administration and Facilities Management leaders, Administrative Systems leaders and technology leaders in schools and departments to coordinate service delivery between the central IT units and the distributed IT units (collectively known as the IT@NU community):
- Leads the planning effort for the Financial, Research Administration and Facilities Management systems in partnership with the Northwestern IT leadership team and the administrative systems leaders.
- Works with the University community to determine the capabilities, options, and applicability of existing technologies and services within IT, along with possible extensions in support of the University's mission.
- Collaborates with University colleagues to provide IT services that advance the strategic goals of the University.
- Consults with University schools and departments on appropriate new services that will further the University's strategic goals and initiatives, and recommends achievable goals and resource requirements.
- Identifies, analyzes, and supports shared service initiatives with other University IT leaders.
- Extensive advisory contact with University administrators and technical staff to refine joint visions of how services may be delivered electronically.
- Extensive contact with user services and technical staff within the IT division and with the IT staff of other divisions of the University.
- Customer Service. Provides excellent customer service, including proactively offering services to enable members of the University community to more effectively manage their Finance functions:
- Effectively measures user satisfaction with IT services, and works within the IT@NU community to improve services and satisfaction over time.
- Advises University schools and departments about Finance technology and the appropriate deployment of services offered by Finance Systems.
- Ensures a high level of system availability and reliability for all Finance, Research Administration and Facilities Management Systems owned by the function. Partners with other IT organizations to ensure this support is maintained by other teams.
- Represents Finance Systems at customer meetings, internal IT meetings, and meetings with senior administrators.
- Participates in national groups (e.g., EduCause) to share Finance, Research Administration and Facilities Management Systems experiences, learn best practices from others, and influence policy formulation.
- Project Leadership. Collaborates with the Northwestern Information Technology management team and staff members to plan and deliver effective services:
- Defines project scopes, goals, and resource requirements that are complete, persuasive, and justified, and presents such analyses via several delivery methods to both technical and non-technical audiences.
- Selects project teams and delegates responsibilities to achieve the goals of a project, while also contributing to professional development of team members.
- Delivers project results on time and within assigned budgets.
- Significant contact with Finance process owners/leaders as a project leader or major team resource during transition of services.
- Significant and detailed technical contacts with vendors, suppliers, and other service providers.
- Miscellaneous. Performs various management functions related to Finance, Research Administration and Facilities Management Systems, including budgeting, procurement, contract negotiations, and personnel evaluations and actions:
- Operates Finance, Research Administration and Facilities Management Systems efficiently to provide excellent service for the IT function.
- Helps develop the Finance, Research Administration and Facilities Management Systems budget, and operates Finance, Research Administration and Facilities Management Systems in a fiscally responsible manner.
- Performs other duties as required and directed.
- Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree; OR appropriate combination of education and experience.
- Minimum fifteen years’ experience in IT with a track record of high performance and increasing responsibility.
- At least ten years of leadership experience with direct responsibility for a reasonbly sized team supporting information technology.
- At least ten years of relevant experience in two or more areas of computing and financial accounting (i.e., IT strategy and planning, application development, project management, financial activities, production support, customer communications, or customer training).
- Excellent staff management skills, including:
- Experience in selection and hiring of customer-focused staff members;
- Clear programs of staff development through training and mentoring;
- Clear expression of expectations, goals, and timelines, with appropriate delegation, monitoring of progress.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including public speaking and the ability to clearly present technology solutions and services to non-technical staff and administrators.
- Excellent organizational skills, management of own time, and respect for the time of others.
- Proven ability to think both strategically (e.g., long-term needs) as well as tactically (e.g., current needs/schedule trade-offs).
- Demonstrated ability to envision campus-wide approaches to IT services and to develop and implement effective plans for service delivery.
- Excellent planning and scheduling skills, with the ability to be flexible in the face of sometimes uncontrollable changes.
- Proven ability to effectively control and/or participate in multiple projects of varying priorities in a fast-paced environment in a consistently professional manner.
- Proven ability to manage, motivate, and evaluate professional IT staff.
- Ability to establish and maintain respectful and effective relationships with management, co-workers, and customers.
- Ability to work effectively with a range of responsible parties throughout the University, either as a project leader or as a team member, to advance projects to timely and successful completion.
- Demonstrated ability to analyze problems from multiple points of view, to lead consensus building within groups with differing views, and to translate consensus into planned action.
- Demonstrated familiarity with desktop computing environments and Internet utility software.
- Ability to act on own initiative to further organizational and University goals.
- Past experience in a university or a highly-decentralized corporate environment, with career emphasis on planning and implementation of large, multi-divisional product launches and subsequent support.
- Demonstrated experience in Financial Accounting, Research Grant Processing or Facilities Management functionality.
As per Northwestern University policy, this position requires a criminal background check. Successful applicants will need to submit to a criminal background check prior to employment.
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes including veterans and individuals with disabilities.