Executive Director of Finance – Student Affairs


University of California, Los Angeles

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is a highly selective, public research university located in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, and is the most applied-to university in the nation. Founded in 1919, UCLA is the second oldest of the 10 campuses of the University of California (UC) system and is considered one of the flagship institutions of the UC system. With more than 3,800 courses offered through 109 academic departments, UCLA offers more than 125 undergraduate majors and more than 80 minors, as well as nearly 150 graduate degree programs in a wide range of disciplines. UCLA enrolls over 30,000 undergraduate and 13,000 graduate and professional students from the United States and around the world. The student body is culturally and economically diverse, and international students comprise 25% of the graduate and 12% of the undergraduate population.

UCLA is one of the world’s great research universities, 10th in U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 global rankings and number 14 in London’s Times Higher Education ranking (2016-2017). Thirteen Nobel laureates are affiliated with the university as faculty, researchers, or alumni. Among the current faculty members, 50 have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, 26 to the National Academy of Engineering, 40 to the National Academy of Medicine, and 143 to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Interdisciplinary teaching and research is a particular strength, with initiatives in the arts, stem cells and other biosciences, nanoscience, international studies, and the environment.

UCLA student-athletes compete as the Bruins. As a member of the Pacific-12 Conference, UCLA Athletics is the most decorated program in the nation, including 113 NCAA team championships. UCLA student-athletes have won 261 Olympic medals—133 gold, 66 silver, and 62 bronze. The Bruins have had at least one competitor in every Olympics since 1920 with one exception (1924) and UCLA has won a gold medal in every Olympics since 1932 with the exception of the 1980 boycott.

UCLA Student Affairs

UCLA Student Affairs is student centered, student focused, and student committed—to all UCLA students. This unit serves as the umbrella for a wide range of services and programs, all designed to assist Bruins in finding the absolute best in UCLA’s academic and broader educational offerings. Student Affairs offices across campus are committed to students’ well-being and academic and professional success from the moment a student makes the decision to enroll to graduation and beyond.

Student Affairs actively promotes the development of the True Bruin values: integrity, excellence, accountability, respect, and service. To this end, Student Affairs works to help students expand their involvements, experiences, and perspectives, and to seek opportunities to challenge themselves academically and personally. Student Affairs houses more than 20 departments that can connect students with great activities, provide academic assistance, support physical and emotional wellness, and even give legal advice. These departments include the ADA/504 Compliance Office, Arthur Ashe Student Health & Wellness Center, Bruin Resource Center, Career Center, Center for Accessible Education, Community Programs Office, Counseling and Psychological Services, Dashew Center for International Students & Scholars, Dean of Student Offices, Emergency Preparedness, First Year Experience, Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, Global Citizens Fellowship, Graduate Student Resource Center, Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender Campus Resource Center, Office Technology Center, Parent and Family Program, Recreation, Registrar’s Office, Residential Life, Silk Road to the Future, Student Affairs Information & Research Office, Student Affairs Information Technology, Student Legal Services, Student Loan Services and Collections, and Student Organizations, Leadership & Engagement. UCLA Student Affairs provides these programs and services, making a positive impact on students’ academic performance, the quality of students’ campus experience, and even on post-graduate experiences.


Los Angeles, California

Vision and Mission

UCLA Mission Statement: UCLA’s primary purpose as a public research university is the creation, dissemination, preservation, and application of knowledge for the betterment of the global society.

Student Affairs Mission Statement: Student Affairs supports the academic success of all UCLA students; fosters their intellectual, personal, social, and professional development in preparation for the entirety of their lives; and contributes to enhancing the quality of campus life, the educational environment, and students’ relationship with the broader UCLA family, including alumni. Student Affairs aspirations include supporting the academic enterprise and institutional goals, ensuring student welfare, developing a responsive Student Affairs staff, making the most of technology, and respecting financial and budgetary considerations.

For additional information, please visit: http://www.studentaffairs.ucla.edu/.

Reporting Relationship and Position Concept

Reporting to Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Monroe Gorden, Jr., J.D., the Executive Director of Finance (EDF) serves as chief budget and financial officer for the Student Affairs organization, and provides oversight for fiscal management and budgetary short-range and strategic resource planning for Student Affairs, which is comprised of departments under the Student Affairs Administration, Student Development and Campus Life, the Dean of Students, Information Technology, and Student Health. Additionally, the Executive Director is responsible for the evaluation and supervision of three full-time staff: a Senior Budget Officer and two Budget Officers.

UCLA seeks an experienced, results-oriented EDF to provide financial and operational research and analysis and make recommendations for management decisions by the interim vice chancellor, serve as consultant to Student Affairs department heads and fiscal officers for both budgetary and human resource issues, and coordinate processes, initiatives, and implementations for fiscal and human resources matters affecting all Student Affairs units. The Executive Director will have general oversight of the entire Student Affairs budget and specific oversight for certain units and divisions. The permanent budgetary allocation for all Student Affairs units totals $78 million. The EDF has direct unit responsibility for $13.7 million, with divisional oversight of $24.2 million.

This executive serves as primary liaison with related campus units and groups such as Campus Human Resources (CHR), General Accounting, Academic Planning, and the Campus Budget Information Gateway (C-BIG) team, as well as other groups on campus. Specific activities include developing strategic and operational processes for annual budget planning for both internal budget systems and C-BIG, setting financial policy and direction, analyzing divisional and organizational resources involving multiple fund sources, creating and auditing controls to ensure compliance with UCLA financial accountability, and developing reporting and tracking mechanisms to ensure optimal use of available funds and accuracy of expenditures. This individual is expected to perform duties independently, prioritize assignments, and complete responsibilities with a high degree of autonomy. The Executive Director reports to the Interim Vice Chancellor regarding status or on emerging issues as necessary.

Specific Duties

Under the direction of the Interim Vice Chancellor, the Executive Director is responsible for the fiscal leadership of UCLA Student Affairs. Specific duties include:

Budget and Financial Management

  1. Oversee, in consultation with the Interim Vice Chancellor and the Academic Planning and Budget Office, the management of fiscal resources, including authorizing changes to permanent budgets and reallocation of temporary and permanent funds; establishing organizational and divisional policies, procedures, and protocols to ensure consistency among the units; monitoring compliance; coordinating reporting for the divisions and review for the organization; and facilitating actions and decisions as necessary.
  1. Provide central leadership and consistency in fiscal resource planning and budget process. Perform analysis to identify fiscal resource needs.
  1. Provide direction to the divisional lead analysts and their units regarding budget matters including, but not limited to, reviewing budget plans and staffing actions, and coordinating implementation of various systems or processes. Advise the Interim Vice Chancellor of emerging issues and, when necessary, provide a higher level of oversight for specific units and divisions to ensure that organizational goals are met.
  1. Provide oversight for budget and human resource issues for Student Affairs.
  1. Oversee the management of the Student Affairs central benefits pool, merit, and SFAC processes; analyze available resources to ensure proper allocation of resources to units.
  1. Oversee the management of the Student Affairs central resource revenues and commitments, including multi-year analysis and forecasting. Transfer funds to and from units and ensure funds are allocated appropriately to units for expenditure.
  1. Initiate and develop queries using appropriate source data, including various campus databases in order to analyze information, advise, and make recommendations to management regarding budget and staffing resources.
  1. Develop, upgrade, maintain, and provide training for the EXCEL-based Financial Management Program budget application in order to facilitate comprehensive and transparent departmental budget and financial forecasting.
  1. Evaluate the impact of proposed expenditures on various units’ short- and long-term goals and initiatives. Analyze expenditure trends and provide recommendations to management.
  1. Analyze and verify department-initiated requests to ensure funding availability, appropriate authorization, adequate documentation, justification of exceptions, allowable fund sources, and conformity to university policy and procedures prior to action.
  1. Develop and implement sound financial management practices consistent with generally accepted accounting principles to ensure timely reconciliation of financial transactions and that discrepancies and variances are detected and corrected in a timely manner; costs are properly charged to appropriate fund sources within appropriate fiscal periods; and there is adequate separation of duties.
  1. Review and interpret new and revised financial policies and procedures from both the campus and system-wide administration, and ensure proper implementation.
  1. Communicate regularly with directors and budget personnel regarding financial issues, challenges, and solutions.
  1. Coordinate fiscal closing for the organization and oversee the closing activities for Student Affairs.
  1. Coordinate applications and updates for sales and services activities for units within Student Affairs. When necessary, provide analysis and guidance at the organizational level.

Personnel Administration

  1. Oversee monthly review and reconciliation of the staffing list and adjusted budgets for the organization to ensure allocations are in balance; review out of balance conditions for all Student Affairs units to ensure reconciliations are properly done and assist department personnel if necessary. Coordinate final staffing reconciliation for the organization at closing.
  1. Advise the Interim Vice Chancellor and other Student Affairs leaders on areas of concern or appropriateness for job descriptions, reclassifications, waivers, stipends, and equity requests.
  1. Coordinate the merit and incentive award programs for the organization, providing analysis of resources to enable senior management to implement the programs; as available, distribute allocations and make recommendations for departmental matching; and devise processes to facilitate reporting and reconciliation.
  1. Evaluate and resolve procedural issues to ensure compliance with all federal, state, local, and university rules and regulations, as well as collective bargaining agreements as they relate to staff transactions.
  1. At the organizational level, provide senior-level direction and implementation clarifications to ensure compliant handling of personnel processing in such areas as the Affordable Care Act, FMLA, worker’s compensation, time reporting, service credits, staff departures, staff hiring, and all similar issues as called for in personnel policy and relevant labor agreements.
  1. Coordinate at the organizational and/or divisional level emerging training initiatives e.g. Sexual Harassment, Ethics Briefing, I-9 processing; coordinate compliance audits for the organization.

Training and Oversight

  1. Establish procedures and policies related to financial and human resources administration to ensure units are performing budgetary processes, e.g. ledger reconciliation, staffing reconciliation, and other routine processes properly.
  1. Provide leadership to divisional personnel with departmental responsibility for fiscal and human resources, providing training on relevant issues, assessing the fiscal needs of the unit, and making recommendations for action.
  1. Oversee training for new departmental personnel with responsibility for budget and staffing resources including, but not limited to, budget preparation, use of the Financial Management Program (FMP), and other processes established by the division or organization.
  1. Provide on-going budget training. As needed, provide or deploy resources to offer transitional assistance for budget and human resource functions during periods of turnover in budget or personnel staff. For departments new to FMP, provide analysis of budgets and make recommendations for tracking expenditures and resources to ensure FMP is set up to effectively monitor the department’s resources; provide training to new users in operating FMP and design reports and documentation to provide initial training to new managers to ensure a full understanding of the budget process and the departmental resources.
  1. Identify processes or areas of concern in fiscal and personnel matters and recommend solutions or develop plans to address the deficiencies.
  1. Provide specialized, analytical assistance in evaluating budgetary and personnel issues, developing mechanisms in order to facilitate and expedite data collection and analysis for both expenditures and revenue streams, and recommend training based on the skill and knowledge level of the budget and personnel staff.
  1. Make recommendations to departments for using emerging automated processes, e.g. Cyberpay, to streamline revenue collection and analysis.
  1. Disseminate information to appropriate staff from central providers, e.g. CHR, Accounting, Payroll, Purchasing, to ensure that information is made available as widely as possible to affected staff.
  1. Provide oversight that identifies administrative functions related to budget, personnel, payroll, and purchasing as areas where administrative overhead can be consolidated and the number of full-time employees dedicated to these processes reduced over time. Take the lead role in identifying opportunities and issues related to implementation, devising strategies for phasing in the new infrastructure, developing standardized forms and processes, and implementing the plan.

Chief Administrative Officer

  1. Develop and maintain an accountability matrix for online systems in order to ensure compliance with financial policy and procedures; oversee the audit of Post Audit Notifications (PAN) to ensure compliance with policy.
  1. Implement, review and audit SAS112 Key Financial Control and Monthly Checklist documents; make recommendations for developing processes to ensure compliance with financial controls.
  1. Provide oversight to departments regarding the assignment of preparer and reviewer roles in the Distributed Administrative Computing Security System (DACSS) to ensure an appropriate accountability structure in compliance with financial policy; ensure that the appropriate level of training has occurred prior to providing access; act as backup Departmental Security Administrator (DSA) as necessary for the organization.
  1. Develop and manage controls to ensure that DACSS preparers and reviewers understand their roles relating to the timely approval of invoices in compliance with UCLA Financial Policy.
  1. Serve as mandatory reviewer for online transactions processed by units over which the Executive Director has direct oversight; act as reviewer for problematic units to discern control issues and provide oversight. Review transactions for accuracy, completeness, proper approval, and appropriate documentation.
  1. Coordinate implementation of various online systems including, but not limited to, disseminating information, providing recommendations for moving from a manual to an online environment, and providing or coordinating training.

Campus Budget Information Gateway

  1. Serve as Student Affairs representative on the C-BIG Advisory Group; disseminate information as needed to appropriate Student Affairs staff regarding processes, timelines, etc.
  1. Develop an in-depth knowledge of the C-BIG budgeting system in order to provide direction to Student Affairs units.
  1. Develop processes and methodologies for consistency in preparing budget information for input to the system for the organization including, but not limited to, downloading information from query databases to assist users in understanding data, establishing templates for staffing allocations and seasonality, and providing a framework to be used in translating expenditures from financial system categories to C-BIG categories. Provide training in methodologies to department budget staff.
  1. Oversee development of budget plans for all accounts under direct purview and, using the processes defined, input data to the system.
  1. Review general budget submissions prepared by other divisions for consistency for specific items, e.g. merit and benefits allocations, transfers, Chancellor’s commitments, seasonality variances, etc. Review in detail budget submissions for all units in Student Affairs and work with budget personnel to revise as needed.
  1. Advise the Interim Vice Chancellor regarding budget issues resulting from the submissions at the organizational level. After consultation with the Interim Vice Chancellor, submit the budget to the Chancellor to be used in budget decisions for the Student Affairs organization.
  1. Coordinate mid-year variance reporting for Student Affairs; identify areas of concern, review responses, and assist users in researching and understanding variances and making necessary corrections to reduce variance issues.
  1. Participate in the development of budget requests to be presented by the organization during the annual budget conferences; coordinate submission of the documents.

Other Duties

  1. Investigate budgetary matters for all Student Affairs units as requested by the Interim Vice Chancellor in order to assess budgetary and fiscal conditions to enable management in making appropriate decisions regarding permanent and temporary allocations. This includes, but is not limited to, developing budget plans and analyzing resources in order to advise directors and/or executive management.
  1. On behalf of the Interim Vice Chancellor, monitor serious personnel problems and situations; consult with appropriate entities, e.g. labor relations, in order to advise the Interim Vice Chancellor of appropriate actions.

Candidate Qualifications

The successful candidate will be an energetic, forward thinking, solutions-focused leader with a strong work ethic. This individual will also have the following characteristics, traits, and competencies:

  • This executive will masterfully formulate short- and long-term budget plans in order to establish and achieve strategic goals. Must have the vision and courage to break new ground, while ensuring and advancing the financial health and stability of Student Affairs and the broader campus. The Executive Director will have a proven ability to act as a tactical business partner and advisor to the Interim Vice Chancellor, working in concert with other Student Affairs leaders to develop goals and plans for UCLA Student Affairs.
  • This individual will demonstrate financial leadership; current knowledge of and a commitment to keeping abreast of the latest laws, policies, regulations, and rulings relating to administration and finance matters of the university; and an understanding of contemporary developments in the field of administrative and financial services. Must have a working knowledge of university accounting procedures, policies, and financial systems sufficient to train department professionals and support staff.
  • A clear understanding of basic accounting principles to analyze and prepare financial reports, determine appropriate ledger and accounting entries, recognize exceptions, perform audits, and resolve difficult accounting situations.
  • Demonstrated experience with programming principles, operating systems and databases, and spreadsheet and word processing software packages in order to design, develop, and implement pc-based applications, combined with proven skill in defining mainframe and pc-based needs and uses. Proficiency with various campus query databases sufficient to develop ad hoc queries for use by self and others in order to research and analyze data would be ideal.
  • Established aptitude in analyzing information, problems, situations, practices, and procedures to define the problem or objective; recognize alternatives and their implications; identify relevant concerns or factors; identify patterns, tendencies, and relationships; and formulate logical and objective conclusions.
  • A proven history of organizing material, information, and/or people in a systematic way to optimize efficiency and minimize duplication of effort.
  • Skill in prioritizing assignments for self and others to complete work in a timely manner when there are frequent changes in workload, pressures of deadline, and competing requirements. This includes the ability to organize and coordinate multiple tasks, and establish and re-establish priorities as changing circumstances dictate.
  • The Executive Director will be a motivated self-starter who can creatively manage resources and proactively identify and resolve problems. This leader should be driven to exceed goals and set his/her own standards for achieving high performance. Past success working independently and following through on priorities with minimal supervision or direction is imperative.
  • Requires exceptional interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills to articulate and explain complex financial issues to stakeholders in a clear, non-technical manner. This includes:
    • The demonstrated ability to make one-on-one and group presentations using appropriate grammar and vocabulary to obtain information, provide training, and explain policies and procedures;
    • Skill in independently composing and editing concise, logical, grammatically correct correspondence, proposals, procedures, training materials, and reports to convey information;
    • Capacity to listen and recognize input in relation to tasks.
  • Ability to establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with staff, campus administrators, and external clients of all levels. This executive must be a confident, low-ego individual possessing healthy self-esteem, with the ability to develop and maintain a flexible, positive attitude throughout the organization.
  • Ability to exercise tact in dealing with sensitive, nuanced, and confidential issues and situations.


The successful candidate will hold an advanced degree from an accredited institution, or an equivalent combination of education and relevant experience in the university setting preferred.

How to Apply

Qualified applicants must apply for this position using the UCLA Career Opportunities website. Go to the UCLA HR site and the position is listed under Requisition 26159.

Applications received by August 18, 2017 will be given priority in the review process.

UCLA is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer


Shelli Herman and Associates, Inc. is assisting UCLA with this search. Confidential inquiries may be directed to:

Krista Haley, Associate
Shelli Herman and Associates, Inc.
11693 San Vicente Blvd., Suite #104
Los Angeles, California 90049
Office: (800) 396-0595 ext. 7
E-mail: krista@shellihermansearch.com