Senior Associate Vice President for Finance

Universities of Wisconsin   Madison, WI   Full-time     Finance
Posted on July 9, 2024
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The Universities of Wisconsin are a premier system of public higher education. We educate approximately 162,000 students each year and employ about 35,000 faculty and staff statewide.

With 13 universities across the state, the Universities of Wisconsin are a tremendous academic, cultural, and economic resource for Wisconsin, the nation, and the world.

The Division of Finance & Administration is responsible for the conduct of all financial affairs and the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the University of Wisconsin System institutions. The major financial functions include UW System financial planning, financial control, administrative and Board of Regents’ policy review, trust funds investing, and financial and non-financial data reporting. The division also advises the Board of Regents, the President of the UW System, and UW universities in formulating, interpreting, and implementing policies related to sound business operations, oversight, and strategic planning. It provides leadership for systemwide projects to ensure highly functioning services consistent with best practices.


Within the Universities of Wisconsin Administration (UWSA), the Senior AVP for Finance reports to the Vice President for Finance & Administration and is a senior leadership position responsible for overseeing systemwide financial operations and planning. The Senior AVP plays a pivotal role in shaping the UW’s financial future and ensuring its long-term sustainability by taking the lead in developing financial policies, working with UW universities in the development and monitoring of their budgets, overseeing financial operations and reporting, and ensuring compliance with financial regulations. This position serves on the President’s cabinet, advises the Vice President for Finance & Administration and President of the Universities of Wisconsin, and provides leadership for systemwide projects.

The Senior AVP for Finance oversees the following major functions: budget and planning, the Controller’s Office and related financial controls, financial reporting, procurement – strategic sourcing, and travel management services.


Responsibilities include the following key activities:

  • Provide executive leadership, support, and advocacy to the Office of Finance and UW universities, focused on:
    • Financial sustainability, including maintaining the universities’ strong financial indices and addressing structural deficits in a timely manner;
    • Compliance with financial regulations;
    • Policies and processes that promote sound financial management and efficiency; and
    • Achieving the mission of UW universities with a student-focused approach.
  • In consultation with UW leadership, develop and communicate annual and biennial budget processes that:
    • Align allocation decisions with strategic goals and priorities;
    • Collect, analyze, and report revenue expectations and resource requirements – one-time & ongoing and short-term & long-term;
    • Assist UW universities in designing financial models and preparing revenue, expense, and balance projections;
    • Review and prepare tuition and fee proposals for Board approval;
    • Participate in annual and biennial budget briefings with Regents; and
    • Monitor budget to actual performance.
  • Provide System-wide leadership over general accounting, financial operations, financial reporting, and analysis.
  • Oversee the development of timely financial statements, tax reporting, and other financial management reports that enhance decision-making within the Universities of Wisconsin.
  • Ensure compliance with UW and State procurement regulations and develop processes that optimize our purchasing power by evaluating potential areas where the size and scope of the Universities of Wisconsin can be leveraged.
  • Oversee the travel and expenses reimbursement policies and travel-related processes that promote efficiency, compliance, and stewardship of UW resources.
  • Work collaboratively with colleagues from across UWSA and the Universities of Wisconsin as a whole and serve as a member of the Vice President for Finance & Administration’s leadership team, participating in planning activities, decision-making, and communication.
  • Respond to Regent and other inquiries for UW financial information.
  • Working with and responding to internal and external auditors regarding UW financial operations.
  • For UWSA as its own business unit, ensure appropriate management of general accounting functions (e.g., accounts payable, accounts receivable), ensure accurate and timely financial reports, and advise leadership on UWSA’s financial position.
  • Represent the Universities of Wisconsin at Board of Regents meetings and in local, statewide, and national organizations/events, as well as serve on committees/workgroups as appropriate.
  • Recruit, train, and supervise professional staff necessary to carry out finance-related responsibilities and strategic initiatives.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the UW President and Vice President for Finance & Administration.


To be considered for this position, a candidate must have: 

  • A Bachelor’s degree.
  • Seven (7) years of increasingly responsible contributions to financial management in a complex environment.
  • Expertise in financial planning, analysis, and modeling, and experience leading financial planning process changes from concept through to implementation.
  • Strong and demonstrated understanding of financial operations, information, and reporting.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively across an organization at all levels.
  • Advanced written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills to effectively address complex subject matters, such as financial and budget information, in an easy-to understand and transparent manner.


Well qualified applicants will also have a substantial amount of experience in a combination of the following:

  • An advanced college degree in business, finance, public policy or a related discipline.
  • Ten (10) years of increasingly responsible contributions to financial management in a complex environment.
  • Familiarity with the budget and legislative process within state government and/or higher education.
  • Advanced leadership ability and strong management skills to lead teams of professionals.
  • Successful track record of engaging stakeholders in planning & decision-making and developing and implementing creative financial strategies to ensure financial sustainability.


Inclusive Excellence is a source of strength, creativity, and innovation for Universities of Wisconsin. We value the contributions of each person and respect the profound ways their identity, culture, background, experience, status, abilities, and opinion enrich the Universities of Wisconsin community.  We commit ourselves to the pursuit of excellence in teaching and learning, research, scholarship, creative activity, community service, and diversity as inextricably linked goals.

Universities of Wisconsin fulfills its public mission by creating a welcoming and inclusive community for people from every background – people who serve the State of Wisconsin and the public good.


Universities of Wisconsin is required to conduct a criminal background and sexual harassment check for the selected finalist prior to employment. 

Please note that successful applicants are responsible for ensuring their eligibility to work in the United States (i.e., a citizen or national of the United States, a lawful permanent resident, a foreign national authorized to work in the United States without the need of employer sponsorship) on or before the effective date of appointment.


Telecommuting or hybrid work options may be available, with a minimum in-office expectation of 3 to 5 days a week.  Preference will be given to candidates that reside within the state of Wisconsin.  The office is located at 780 Regent Street, Suite 254, Madison, Wisconsin 53715.  Telecommuting agreements are subject to change at any time.  


This is a full-time, salaried (exempt) limited appointment. Well-qualified candidates can expect a starting annual salary within the range of $190,000 - $221,000 annually commensurate with the candidate’s education, related experience, and qualifications.

Universities of Wisconsin employees receive an excellent benefits package. To learn more about the benefits package, review the Faculty, Academic Staff & Limited Appointees. Please see this link for total compensation information: UW System Health & Retirement Contributions Estimator.   

To ensure full consideration, please submit application materials as soon as possible. Applicant screening will begin immediately and be ongoing through 11:59 pm, Monday, July 29, 2024. However, applications may be accepted until the position has been filled.

  1. Go to the UWSA Applicant Portalto submit your materials online and select the appropriate applicant portal, either External Applicants or Internal Applicants  and click on the position title that you want to apply for.
  2. To receive full consideration, interested applicants are required to apply online and provide:
    1. Resume (PDF Format)
    2. Cover letter addressing your experience and education as it applies to all minimum and preferred qualifications (PDF Format)

Failing to submit the required application documents may disqualify your application.

  1. Submit your application


If you need to request an accommodation because of a disability, you can find information about how to make a request by contacting Lori Fuller, Senior HR Manager/Executive Search Liaison,

The Universities of Wisconsin will not reveal the identities of applicants who request confidentiality in writing, except that the identity of the successful candidate will be released. See Wis. Stat. §. 19.36(7).

Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to, including but not limited to, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, pregnancy, disability, or status as a protected veteran, and other bases as defined by federal regulations and UW System policies.  We promote excellent through diversity and encourage all qualified individuals to apply.

Questions may be addressed to: Lori Fuller, Senior HR Manager/Executive Search Liaison,