Director, Finance, Budget and Procurement

University of Chicago

University of Chicago

Accounting & Finance, Operations
Chicago, IL, USA
Posted on Tuesday, November 7, 2023


UCPE Financial Administration

About the Department

Our mission is to create pathways for people who see education as fundamental to the pursuit of professional growth. We develop innovative learning approaches that meet student and company needs while upholding the University of Chicago’s distinct brand of academic excellence. Our core philosophy—the Chicago Approach—values intellectual curiosity, encourages risk-taking, and rewards those ambitious to take their ideas from good to great.

Job Summary

The Director, Finance, Budget and Procurement will lead and manage the operating budget, financial planning and analysis, and procurement for UChicago Professional Education, its respective revenue and non-revenue generating departments, and other University-wide programs the unit supports.

The Director serves as a subject matter expert to UCPE and its supporting units and is the primary liaison to the University Budget Office, Procurement and Payment Services, and Financial Services unit employees.


  • Serves as a source of staff support for the programs and sub-units, performs complex evaluations, and resolves difficult problems in these areas.
  • Provides financial input based on the development of data collection, metrics, reports, and other analytical applications.
  • Understands available data sources and uses that information for creating clear and concise presentations to leadership.
  • Leads initiatives to optimize resource utilization to achieve unit strategic objectives and manage all aspects of the unit’s financial operations, including accounting, financial analysis and reporting, budgeting, accounts receivable, accounts payable, procurement, and financial controls.
  • Creates financial management models for establishing financial analytics and forecasts. Responsible for regular, internal financial reporting to unit and University leadership.
  • Develops financial projections, including long-range planning models and corresponding methods for tracking critical operating metrics.
  • Organizes and oversees budgeting systems and procedures for researching, compiling, monitoring, and analyzing the unit’s monthly budget-to-actual status.
  • In collaboration with unit leadership, sets budgetary priorities.
  • Oversees the development of fiscal policies, financial plans, procedures, and controls for the unit.
  • Reviews, evaluates, and advises the unit on multi-year program financial plans, program objectives, level of program activities, resource requirements, and program effectiveness.
  • Develops strategies proactively to address issues or problems with financial results and ensure balanced operations; provide financial reports with supporting data and analyses of specific issues.
  • Identifies and explains variances and suggests revenue enhancements and cost containment measures. Employs methodology for ongoing reporting, analysis, and updates of budget variances.
  • Provides financial input based on the development of data collection, metrics, reports, and other analytical applications.
  • Conducts quantitative and qualitative analyses to monitor and manage for expense optimization by identifying market drivers, enhancing strategies, or improving revenue generation.
  • Oversee the analysis of new revenue sources and provide recommendations to unit leadership.
  • Manages and interprets reports and data to recommend revenue, budget, or similar unit financial strategies.
  • Develops long- and short-term plans to achieve financial goals, business strategies/objectives, and financial forecasts/models for the unit and all degree and non-degree programs and unit initiatives.
  • Analyzes and models academic program financial data, including historical vs. current enrollment data, program costs, and other academic program variables, to determine program break-even benchmarks and profitability goals.
  • Oversees and leads annual budgeting and planning process; administers and reviews all financial plans and budgets; monitors progress and changes; and keeps unit leadership team abreast of financial performance and position.
  • Serves as subject matter expert in interpreting and applying University budgeting policies and procedures in the unit’s budgetary formulation, analysis, review, and control processes; and in identifying current and future resource-planning and allocation issues.
  • Based on a comprehensive understanding of the unit’s current and forecasted position, reviews and partners with leadership to finalize proposed budgets, ensuring compliance with established budget parameters.
  • Reviews, analyzes, recommends, and implements processes and procedures to improve the annual budget process.
  • Ensures the development and administration of the annual budget and financial performance from systems and procedural/process standpoints.
  • Oversees monitoring of all procurement activities, including vendor contracts and approval of purchasing and expenditure activities.
  • Ensures the successful management of contract administration, resolution of post-award issues, execution of amendments, monitoring of supplier performance, and receipt or deployment of contract deliverables.
  • Oversees the management of the employee credit card program, out-of-pocket expense reimbursements, electronic check payments, purchase requisitions, and invoicing.
  • Supervises Finance staff, establishes performance goals and allocates necessary resources.
  • Ensures the onboarding of all new staff, including training on financial policies and procedures.
  • Facilitates and maintains a close working relationship with central accounting, budget, and procurement departments to ensure up-to-date communications and updates on University financial processes, procedures, and services, and to determine the most effective means of providing these services to UCPE.
  • Creates and maintains a Financial Operations manual for staff with relevant University policies and procedures; communicates relevant updates or changes; and delivers unit or department-wide training on pertinent fiscal materials as necessary.
  • In collaboration with human resources staff, guides unit leadership and departmental directors in interpreting and implementing human resources policies, procedures, and programs.
  • Spearheads training to divisional academic and administrative employees on the University’s implementation of a new accounting system.
  • Serves as an experienced liaison interacting with financial administrators within operational units on financial, budget or accounting matters to prepare, advise and recommend.
  • Conducts quantitative and qualitative analyses to monitor and manage for expense optimization by identifying market drivers, enhance strategies, or improve revenue generation.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 7+ years of work experience in a related job discipline.



Preferred Qualifications


  • MBA or advanced degree in finance, accounting, business administration, public policy, not-for-profit administration, or a related field.


  • 7+ years of progressively responsible work experience in financial management, financial services, accounting, academic budgetary roles, or related disciplines.
  • Mid- to senior-level skills in financial and data analysis, modeling, forecasting, and formulating long-term strategic plans.
  • Experience directly supervising staff.
  • Background in a university setting or other not-for-profit enterprise.


  • CPA certification is a plus.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:

  • Financial computing and database software applications.
  • Knowledge of various financial principles, practices, and applications, including budgeting, financial planning, and financial reporting.
  • Knowledge of GAAP accounting principles and restricted fund accounting.
  • Familiarity with the University of Chicago's financial systems and structure is a plus.
  • Skilled at analysis, spreadsheet modeling, and forecasting.
  • Design, implement, and sustain a workable budget model.
  • Experience with accounting and budget systems.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).

Preferred Competencies

  • Work closely with senior University officials and discrete and trustworthy with financial records and conversations.
  • Excellent leadership, influence, and negotiation skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a fast-paced environment with non-negotiable deadlines and comfortable operating independently and within a certain level of ambiguity.
  • Manage interpersonal relationships, develop positive working relationships, and communicate clearly and tactfully.

Application Documents

  • Resume/CV (required)
  • Cover Letter (required)
  • Professional References Contact Information (3)(required)

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family

Financial Management

Role Impact

Individual Contributor

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, military or veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

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