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The University of Minnesota Foundation
Search for Associate Vice President of Finance/Controller

The Organization

The University of Minnesota Foundation (UMF/The Foundation) is a key partner with the University in building and sustaining excellence among students and faculty, and fueling discovery in important areas on all University of Minnesota campuses. The Foundation is a separate nonprofit organization with the sole purpose of supporting the University and has been designated by the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents as the central development office for the University. Through collaboration with University leaders and development officers from all campuses, colleges and programs, UMF staff ensure that fundraising activities are consistent with the University’s highest priorities and the donor’s philanthropic intentions.

These statements, developed by representatives from across the University’s development community at all organizational levels, guide and inspire UMF staff:

Vision: A future transformed by philanthropy, one dream and one legacy at a time.

Mission: To connect passion with possibility, inspire generosity and support greatness at the University of Minnesota.

Values:  We place donors at the heart of everything we do and every decision we make.
We act with integrity, and are accountable to each other, our donors and the University.
We build trust through open, transparent communication.
We lead with bold initiatives that deliver powerful results.
We share a belief in our mission, value our colleagues and express joy in our work.

The University of Minnesota is driven to meet the world’s biggest challenges head-on, and the talented staff at UMF are essential to this effort. UMF offers employees a chance to make a difference by connecting generous donors with a range of research, education, and outreach initiatives and offers a thriving intellectual community that attracts curious and committed colleagues who are passionate about their work.

Over the last eight years, the University has secured more than $3.3B in gifts, grants and commitments from over 225,150 donors toward the $4B Driven Campaign goal. The campaign is currently ahead of schedule and will rank among the top five campaigns of public universities nationwide when completed in 2021.

For more information about University of Minnesota Foundation and the Driven campaign please visit:

Position Summary

The Associate Vice President of Finance/Controller (AVP) will provide accounting leadership and serve as a strategic partner to the Vice President & CFO and Foundation Leadership. S/he will be responsible for leadership and oversight of all accounting and financial reporting and for leading, coaching and developing the accounting team. The AVP will be responsible for ensuring effective systems and procedures are in place to support efficient operations and strong controls, as well as developing technical expertise and ensuring compliance with all relevant accounting, audit and tax regulations. The AVP will provide leadership on special projects related to strategic priorities and continuous improvement. S/he will represent the Foundation in accounting operations within the University and to key constituents, including University Finance Officers, Board of Trustees and the Foundation Finance and Audit Committees. The AVP position is part of a succession plan for UMF, and is in the direct line of succession/promotion consideration forthe Vice President & CFO position.

Reports to:

Vice President & Chief Financial OfficerKathleen Pickard

Direct Reports:

Assistant Controller
Lead Accountant
Special Projects
Fund Accountant

Total Team:


Other Key Relationships:

President & Chief Executive Officer
Foundation Leadership Team
Director, Financial Planning & Analysis
University Finance Officers
University Development Officers
UMF Board of Trustees
Foundation Finance and Audit Committees

Position Location:

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Key Responsibilities

Strategic Leadership

  • Provide strategic leadership in the development and implementation of sound accounting policies and performance measurement systems for the Foundation.
  • Assess key operating strategies from an accounting and overall business standpoint, and advise the CFO and senior leadership on developing the most effective action plans.
  • Provide direction for strategic objectives within accounting.
  • Assist the CFO with the development of fiscally sound operating, accounting, and finance plans and practices, in collaboration with others, to advance the Foundation’s mission.


  • Provide leadership for accounting department leading staff in the delivery of services and ensuring strong and effective accounting functions of the Foundation.
  • Oversee fund administration, cash management, distributions to the University, accounts payable, scholarship and fellowship match program administration, monthly investment income allocation and deferred gift administration.
  • Deliver accurate and timely key internal and external financial reports.
  • Drive performance through effective analysis to identify key drivers of success.
  • Develop strategies and plans for key UMF projects and initiatives.
  • Manage financial support services for effective facilitation of stewardship reporting.
  • Work with the Donor Relations department to meet Foundation strategic reporting goals.
  • Facilitate accurate and timely delivery of all special information requests from donors.

Relationship Leadership

  • Maintain effective relationships with financial and development executives of the University and affiliated organizations.
  • Support and interface with Foundation affiliates, University of Minnesota Investment Advisors (UMFIA) and University of Minnesota Real Estate Advisors (UMFREA), to provide effective client services.
  • Maintain effective relationships with banks and trust custodians.


  • Ensure Foundation compliance with complex nonprofit and IRS regulations, endowment trust law, GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles), FAS (Financial Accounting Standards) and all related audit requirements.
  • Manage the annual audit process and facilitate the UMF Audit Committee meetings.
  • Facilitate related University disclosure requirements.
  • Ensure accurate and timely preparation of all required tax filings including 990’s, 990-T’s, 1099’s, trust returns and K-1’s, gift annuity filings and Secretary of State and Attorney General reports.
  • Ensure endowment funds are managed in accordance with the provisions of UPMIFA (Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act).

Enterprise Risk Management

  • Lead the Foundation Enterprise Risk Management Process to ensure safeguarding of assets, appropriate risk management and operational effectiveness.
  • Ensure processes and procedures are well documented, communicated and implemented.
  • Coordinate and facilitate all internal control audits and ensure that recommendations are appropriately addressed.

Information Systems

  • Partner with Information Systems staff to plan, design, test, implement and maintain effective accounting and fund administration software.
  • Ensure data integrity for all financial systems.
  • Manage timely and accurate data exchange with the University’s financial systems.

People Leadership

  • Actively participate in recruitment, selection, training, coaching and ongoing evaluation of accounting staff.
  • Ensure adequate cross-training is implemented and maintained for all critical functions.
  • Identify staff training and development opportunities and coach, mentor and support individual staff members in their professional development.

Leadership Competencies

As a leader at UMF the AVP is expected to demonstrate the following leadership competencies:

Functional Expertise: Demonstrates highly developed subject matter knowledge and thought leadership in his/her domain. Stays abreast of trends in the field and appropriately disseminates knowledge throughout the organization.

Fosters Collaboration: Creates an environment that supports collaboration by facilitating communication and coordination across all parts of the organization. Builds an intentional and cohesive culture that aligns functional agendas and unites the team.

Builds Talent:Develops and maintains high-performing teams and coaches other leaders to develop their own leadership capabilities. Ensures all leaders and team members challenge and support each other while respecting others’ unique roles and contributions.

Strategic Acumen: Understands the environment, identifies trends and drives the organization to create comprehensive, competitive and breakthrough strategies. Prioritizes strategically, leading the organization to pursue and capitalize on the best opportunities.

Disciplined Execution: Coordinates the establishment of plans to achieve objectives, adapting and adjusting near term plans to proactively anticipate what is next. Ensures adequate capabilities are present and effectively allocates and deploys resources, time and people.

Ideal Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will be a strategic financial leader with a strong accounting background. S/he will be a systems-thinker with strong business and financial acumen and the ability to translate ideas into operational objectives.

The ideal candidate will possess a passion for the power of philanthropy and mission-driven organizations to transform communities and the world. S/he will be intellectually curious, versatile and savvy with the ability to understand and maneuver within complex/matrixed organizational structures. A strong customer service orientation and commitment to Continuous Improvement are critical.

The ideal candidate will have experience balancing big picture strategic leadership and driving day-to-day operations. S/he will be a true business partner and possess a track record of developing and implementing financial strategies that support the achievement of long-term organization objectives.

Proven team leadership capability, including assessing and developing talent is critical. S/he will be a collaborative leader by nature and possess well developed interpersonal skills as well as the ability to create and foster a culture of trust and collaborative decision making.

This leader will be decisive and approachable with a demonstrated ability to build successful relationships across all levels of an organization. The ability to build and maintain collaborative relationships with key partners and naturally demonstrate an executive presence that both conveys confidence and engenders trust are also critical to success.

Proven ability to manage conflicting priorities and requests and exercise authority to ensure that goals are met coupled with the ability to take initiative and function independently and as part of a team is critical. Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including effective presentation skills and extensive experience with technology are desired.

A minimum of twelve years of foundational expertise in accounting, audit, tax and financial reporting is required, along with a minimum of five years previous management experience of professional financial and/or accounting staff. Expertise in financial planning and analysis is preferred. A broad finance and public accounting background and successful track record of progressive strategic leadership with a combination of corporate and/or large nonprofit experience is ideal. Experiences within Higher Education and working with a governing board and audit committee are helpful.

A Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Business Administration, Finance, or related field is required. CPA/CMA, MBA or other advanced degree is highly desirable. A strong work ethic, clear demonstration of honesty and integrity, and the highest ethical standards are assumed.


The University of Minnesota offers a comprehensive benefits package. For more information visit:

University of Minnesota Foundation
200 Oak Street SE, Suite 500
Minneapolis, MN 55455-2010


The University recognizes and values the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the employment experience of its employees and in supporting the academic mission. The University is committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds.

The University of Minnesota provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. To learn more about diversity at the University, visit:

Background Check

Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work here. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment.

AboutThe University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (UMTC), is among the largest public research universities in the country, offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional students a multitude of opportunities for study and research. Located at the heart of one of the nation’s most vibrant, diverse metropolitan communities, students on the campuses in Minneapolis and St. Paul benefit from extensive partnerships with world-renowned health centers, international corporations, government agencies, and arts, nonprofit and public service organizations.

Libby Carrier Doran

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