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Current Openings

Vice President for Finance and Business/Chief Financial Officer

August 23, 2017


Earlham College, a distinguished liberal arts college in Richmond, Indiana, seeks applications and nominations for the position of Vice President of Finance and Business/Chief Financial Officer. The College seeks a superb financial administrator who embraces working collegially and transparently with the College community. The new VP must be an experienced leader who is strategic, creative, patient, and resilient. The Vice President’s portfolio will include finance, facilities, human resources, investments, technology, events, summer programs, food service, post office and public safety. The Vice President will join a new, forward-thinking, energetic president and a revitalized senior team. S/he must be an outstanding communicator who appreciates the liberal arts and Quaker values and is comfortable working in a strong-shared governance environment. The new vice president, in partnership with the president, the Board of Trustees, other senior colleagues and the Earlham community, will help lead the College in establishing long-term financial equilibrium.

Earlham College was founded in 1847 and is the second oldest Quaker College in the world. Earlham educates students to live and work effectively together with others; to value lifelong learning; to appreciate cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity; and to become engaged global citizens. Respect for persons, integrity, a commitment to peace and justice, simplicity, and community decision-making shape Earlham’s community. Earlham has more than 40 undergraduate majors and minors and a MAT program.

Earlham has an operating budget of $50M, an endowment of $420M, 1.2 million gross square feet of space, 800 acres of land and long-term debt of only $84M. In the last five years, the College has invested $80 million in new and renovated facilities. The College’s FY 2018 tuition and fees will be $45,750, and room and board will be $9,920. Net tuition and fees are far lower than the published price given a high tuition discount rate.

Over the last several years, net tuition revenue has remained relatively constant and enrollment has declined while expenses have been increasing at about 3% a year. This has resulted in operating deficits which have been financed through additional endowment draws and debt. Despite the operating deficits, Earlham has an A stable bond rating from Standard & Poor’s.

Primary Duties & Responsibilities

The vice president for finance and business/chief financial officer serves as the chief steward of the financial, physical and human resources of the College.  Reporting directly to the president, the vice president staffs the Property and Finance, and Audit and Investment committees of the Board and works closely with the president’s cabinet.  The VP also works—via shared governance—with the on-campus Budget and Welfare Committees and with all campus constituencies.

The vice president is responsible for providing the leadership, vision and analytical framework necessary to develop and oversee prudent fiscal strategies that assure the implementation of the board-approved financial plan. The vice president will need to do the following to move the College’s agenda forward:

  • Work with College leadership and board to create and execute a plan to achieve financial sustainability
  • Develop a transparent, inclusive, multi-year, non-incremental budgeting process
  • Clearly and effectively communicate financial information in a way that inspires trust
  • Embrace collaborative decision-making
  • Be creative in facilitating the growth of revenues
  • Provide leadership to the business affairs division

The vice president is expected to engage in a collegial and transparent way with all areas of the College to strengthen the overall effectiveness of the College’s financial operations, to facilitate the growth of revenue, to strategically use all available financial resources from both restricted and unrestricted funds, and to improve the dissemination and use of financial information by all budget heads.

Experience & Qualifications

The successful candidate will be an outstanding communicator, a good listener, with strong and effective interpersonal skills that engender trust and cultivate collaboration. S/he will be an exceptional financial and administrative leader with superior analytical and management skills as well as being a creative strategic thinker and an expert modeler and scenario builder. S/he will understand the higher education landscape and the challenges that higher education is currently facing, including an understanding of the sustainability issues. The successful candidate will be comfortable growing out of the current deficit rather than retrenching and will be comfortable presenting alternatives to the community and working collaboratively to make decisions. S/he will want to attend campus events and be involved in the Earlham community. The new VP will inspire trust, have unquestioned integrity and a sense of humor.

The new vice president will be well versed in higher education finance and knowledgeable about the critical areas in the portfolio. S/he will have at least ten years of progressively increasing experience managing a large staff with diverse responsibilities. The new VP will have worked in organizations that have multiple revenue streams and will be adept in projecting revenues and assessing the risks associated with them. A bachelor’s degree is required and a master’s or other advanced degree is preferred.  Experience in higher education, non-profits and mission-driven organizations is highly desirable. For additional information about the College, please go here. For additional information about the position, please go to the prospectus.

Application Instructions

Nominations and applications are invited for this position. Review of applications will begin immediately and candidate material received by October 12, 2017, will be assured full consideration although recruitment will continue until an appointment is announced. Applications (including a cover letter, resume, and the names and contact information of four references) must be uploaded to: This search is supported by Haley Associates Higher Education Executive Search and Consulting and by Lapovsky Consulting. Confidential inquiries and questions concerning this search may be directed to Lucie Lapovsky at or 917-690-1958 or Katherine Haley at or 603-748-4399.

Earlham College is an Equal Opportunity Employer that seeks applications from candidates who contribute to diversity in terms of race, ethnicity, age, religious affiliation, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, and veteran status, among other distinctions and contributions. As a College with a Quaker identity, Earlham also is eager to solicit applications from members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Earlham utilizes E-Verify to confirm employment eligibility for all newly hired employees within the United States.

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