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Columbia University Vice Dean, Finance & Administration in New York, New York

  • Requisition no: 525783

  • Work Type: Full Time

  • Location: Campus|Medical Center

  • School/Department: null

  • Categories: Human Resources,Information Technology,Finance/Accounting,Compliance,General Administration

  • Job Type: Officer of Administration

  • Bargaining Unit:

  • Regular/Temporary: Regular

  • End Date if Temporary:

  • Hours Per Week: 35

  • Salary Range:

Position Summary

The Vice Dean for Finance and Administration reports to and serves as an advisor to the Dean and the Dean’s Leadership Team on all aspects of School strategy, direction, investment, and risk. The School’s chief business officer, the Vice Dean is responsible for leading and managing the financial and operational components of the School and for representing the School to the financial and operational leadership of CUIMC and the University proper. Serving as partner and counselor first and foremost, the Vice Dean plays a broad, multi-faceted role in ensuring the success of the School, the development and stewarding of its resources, and the maintenance of its position within and beyond Columbia.



Serving as a senior advisor to the Dean, Dean’s Leadership Team peers, academic department Chairs, and School-wide Centers Directors, the Vice Dean plays a key role in program planning and development, assisting them in developing business plans and meeting the School's ambitious research and education goals. The Vice Dean assists the Dean in developing, communicating, executing, and sustaining programmatic and business initiatives, such as the School’s corporate partnership building.

As the School’s chief business officer, the Vice Dean is centrally involved in the School’s strategic plan and in efforts to achieve its most important goals. Working with the Dean and colleagues across the School’s senior leadership team, the Vice Dean establishes and reviews strategic priorities and helps to craft them into a comprehensive strategic plan, ensuring that action and resources are properly aligned to allow for those goals to be met, and then motivates the staff to achieve them.

The Vice Dean also monitors the execution of the School’s strategy, drawing on staff expertise to develop projections based on current trends and future expectations and looking for signals inside and outside the organization that could indicate opportunities to develop new programs and resources or indicate threats to the School’s continued success. With input from the Dean and other senior colleagues, the Vice Dean defines the metrics for evaluating success against the School’s strategic goals. Finally, the Vice Dean prepares the Dean for and supports her in representing the School’s performance to CUIMC, Columbia, and external stakeholders.

An exciting emerging focus for the Vice Dean is the growth of the School’s research programs. The School’s Vice Dean for Research Strategy and Innovation has a mandate to accelerate inter-disciplinary research, improve research proposal success, broaden the School’s funding base beyond the federal sources that have historically supported its research, and increase innovation and entrepreneurship. These two Vice Deans will work together closely in developing a robust vision for the research of the School, with the Vice Dean for Finance and Administration contributing broadly while leading on the development of a sustainable business plan, resource model, and reporting dashboard.


The Vice Dean is responsible for business and financial strategy development; financial and administrative functions including financial and business planning, budgeting, forecasting, and reporting; facilities and space planning and management; financial and administrative information systems and School-specific information technology; internal controls and compliance; and human resources administration, leading these activities and supervising these functions in service to the School and the Dean.

The Vice Dean position currently has seven direct reports:

  • Associate Dean for Strategic Financial Planning and Operations

  • Associate Dean for Faculty and Human Resource Management (reports to Vice Dean for Finance and Administration for human-resources programs and actions involving administrative staff and supports the Vice Dean for Faculty)

  • Chief Information Officer and Associate Dean for Information Technology and Data Security

  • Associate Dean for Internal Controls and Compliance

  • Director for Operations Management

  • Administrative Coordinator (50% of time)

The Vice Dean will continue to identify and implement improvements and innovations to the School’s operations; lead the shift to a successful hybrid operational model; increase service levels to faculty and staff employees as well as to students; drive efficiencies in areas such as business processes and systems, resource development and utilization; and ensure strong reporting and analysis. Much of this work entails leading the administrative personnel in the departments and centers as well as collaborating with the leaders of central business services organized by CUIMC.


Along with the Associate Dean for Internal Controls and Compliance, the Vice Dean partners with the CFO and COO of the School’s largest externally-funded program, ICAP, with the CUIMC Controller, and with the University’s Internal Audit function to manage internal controls and compliance strategies, plans, and implementation issues within ICAP both locally and internationally.

The School’s Associate Dean for Sponsored Projects reports to the Vice Dean for Research Strategy and Innovation with a dotted-line reporting relationship to the Vice Dean of Finance and Administration to manage the financial dimensions of research and to support compliance. In addition, the administrators of the School's six academic Departments and three school-wide Centers have a dotted line to the Vice Dean. The entire direct report financial and administrative staff numbers 16.

Drawing on the expertise of CUIMC’s Office of General Counsel, the Vice Dean provides front-line leadership on legal matters that emerge in the course of the School’s operation. The wide array of such matters includes personnel actions, relationships with external partners, international contracts, and faculty recruitment and retention.

Reporting and external relationships

An important dimension of the Vice Dean’s support for the Dean and the School entails assessing the political environment of the Medical Center and the University and advising the Dean as to how this may affect strategy. In advocating for resources, developing strategy, coordinating budgets, enhancing collaboration, drawing on centrally delivered services, and reporting on outcomes, the Vice Dean maintains a close working relationship with the CUIMC Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Human Resources Officer, and Vice President for Sponsored Projects of CUIMC.

Minimum Qualifications

• Master's degree, plus 10 years of related leadership and management experience in financial and administrative roles in large, complex, decentralized mission-driven organizations (required)

• Successful experience as a strategic leader and business partner to a strong leader and leadership team (required)

The Mailman School and Columbia University seek an experienced administrative leader with a proven track record of success in executive positions within complex, multi-constituent, mission-driven organizations. The Vice Dean must be wise, seasoned, judicious, and principled, must be able to make sound decisions about resources, direction, investments, and risks within a strategic view of the School’s opportunities and challenges, and must be able to work collaboratively with school and academic leadership, along with a diverse group of faculty, staff and students and with colleagues who may be close at hand or may be widely distributed across the enterprise. Above all other functional competencies, the Vice Dean will bring expertise in budgeting, financial management and reporting, and strategic financial planning, and the ability to align financial strategy and goals with mission.

The Vice Dean will be an effective developer of people who can manage a large and complex portfolio of projects and issues and rapidly assess situations with multiple outcomes and consequences. S/he will be a flexible problem-solver with the ability to create or influence win-win outcomes.

The Vice Dean must be able to anticipate challenges, seek and interpret relevant data, and make recommendations and decisions based on such data, and must be able to learn continuously in this arena and to share knowledge and insight generously with colleagues. S/he should be entrepreneurial leader who can form alignment around the pursuit of important goals or the response to substantial challenges; in this regard, the Vice Dean will apply strong organizational, leadership, and management skills in order to be an effective agent of change in ways that enhance the School’s reputation, expand or conserve its resources, and advance its programs. In all, the Vice Dean should act on the basis of a deep interest in and commitment to the mission of the School.

The Vice Dean should be a trusted counselor to the Dean and to the School’s senior leadership and a trusted partner to the financial and operational leadership of CUIMC and the rest of the University. S/he should be committed to working with the Dean to build a workplace culture that is capable of executing change to meet business objectives.

The Vice Dean will demonstrate a sustained commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in all aspects of his/her leadership and management activities, decisions, and recommendations. S/he will strategize with the Dean and senior leadership colleagues to shape schoolwide DEI strategies and investments, and shift the School’s policies, practices and approaches as needed to build the fully-inclusive, anti-racist, diverse, multi-cultural institution we are committed to becoming.

The Vice Dean will have strong communication skills (verbal, written, and listening), and the ability to communicate difficult and complex matters effectively to a range of audiences and skill levels. S/he will also have strong interpersonal skills and will be an effective negotiator able to find ways to balance interests within the School’s mission areas and strategic priorities. The Vice Dean will be a team-builder, a consensus-builder, a counselor, a mediator, and a facilitator.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master's degree in Business Administration, plus 15 years related experience preferred

  • Experience in academic health science or in health service organizations of similar scale and complexity preferred

  • Familiarity with internal audit and compliance programs and processes preferred

  • Knowledge of information systems and experience with grants and contracts management preferred

Other Requirements

  • Type other requirements and/or special indicators if CUIMC

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.

Subject to business needs, we may support flexible and hybrid work arrangements. Options will be discussed during the interview process.