• Title

  • Academic Division Director of Operations and Finance

    Posted: 10/09/2022

    Academic Division Director of Operations and Finance


    Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) seeks applicants for two Academic Division Director of Operations and Finance positions, one for the Division of Fine Arts and one for the Division of Architecture and Design. The Director serves as the primary administrator for the Division of Fine Arts or Architecture and Design and manages the corresponding Division’s operating budget, equipment budget, technology, and space allocations, ensuring the principles of equal access to resources and opportunities. 


    The Academic Division Director of Operations and Finance is responsible for coordinating with the central administrative and financial offices that work closely with the Division, including Facilities, Enrollment Management, HR, Finance, Information Technology Services, Academic Budgets and Resources and Academic Administration and for building and fostering positive relationships with institutional stakeholders across the RISD community, demonstrating respect and inclusivity. The Director contributes to strategic, financial and operational planning and executive decision-making processes, and represents the Division to the College on matters related to finance and administration. The Director is responsible for the development, implementation, and coordination of administrative policies, procedures, and systems in the Division, and will work in partnership with the dean to envision and implement strategic initiatives relative to budget, facilities and operational matters.


    We seek applications from equity-minded individuals with high levels of administrative experience to provide leadership, operational management, and guidance to support staff in a complex, academic divisional setting. Successful candidates will thrive in an inclusive academic environment with a wide range of creative practices and specialized departments and programs, all dedicated to the highest levels of art and design education. 





    • Provide leadership and direction in the divisional office by creating and implementing procedures which promote and sustain effective and efficient operations, ensure collegial partnerships, and deliver the highest level of service. Monitor compliance with contracts, policies and procedures for the Division and its Departments and make recommendations as appropriate.
    • Provide executive, administrative, and analytical support to the Dean; provide advice and input on strategic planning, priority setting, and resource allocation.
    • Working closely with the Director, Institutional Data & Research Services, oversee data collection and analysis for reporting to internal and external constituencies to support accreditation and academic program review, and for long and short-term resource planning and decision making.
    • Working with the offices of Enrollment, Admissions, and Registrar, use student data to project resource needs and inform budget planning.
    • Represent the Division and its Departments on college issues related to administration and administrative policies and procedures.


    • Synthesize and analyze financial information and trends, develop and maintain a multi-year financial planning model for divisional funds (encompassing all funding sources), and provide alternatives to inform effective decision-making and planning.
    • Working closely with the Director, Academic Budgets and Planning, oversee operating budgets, equipment budgets, and other divisional resources. Collaborate with the Director, Academic Budgets & Planning, during the budget development process, and manage and prioritize requests for changes to departmental resource allocations.
    • Oversee funds management to ensure available funds are used as planned, including budget vs. actual reviews, allocation of funds to departments in accordance with the policies of the Dean, and allocation of funds appropriately to meet long-term planning goals.
    • Ensure compliance with restrictions on gift, endowed and grant funds. Implement financial planning and accurate budgeting for external funding partnerships working closely with representatives from IA and Sponsored Projects/Research.

    Facilities and IT

    • Responsible for the overall planning, programming and policy development for the use of divisional facilities, equipment, and spaces, in close collaboration with RISD Facilities working closely with the Dean. Services as well as department heads, technicians and the Registrar’s Office, ensuring equitable access.
    • Oversee and ensure equipment maintenance and replacement schedules/planning, with the Academic Budgets and Planning office and in consultation with the Dean. Coordinate safety protocols and standards centrally with the office of EH&S.
    • Develop and oversee the Division’s IT and departmental plans, with consultation with the Dean, input from IT and shop coordinators, and integrate the divisional investments with college-wide strategic projects and priorities.


    • Graduate degree or equivalent combination of education and experience in a higher education institution.
    • Minimum of five years relevant experience.
    • Commitment to prioritizing inclusivity, diversity and equity in executing key responsibilities.
    • Effective project management, analytical and critical thinking skills.
    • Demonstrated ability to forecast and evaluate the administrative impact of short and long-term strategic goals, ensuring budget availability for new and existing programs.
    • Demonstrated experience with enterprise resource planning (ERP) and reporting systems, including strong experience with Microsoft office products (excel and word), and database management and analysis.
    • Must have excellent written and verbal communication, presentation skills, as well as advanced interpersonal skills.
    • Proven experience and ability to work effectively, collegially, and collaboratively with faculty and administrators across the spectrum of a higher education institution.
    • Willingness and ability to pursue professional development.





    Work Schedule:

    35 hours/week; 12 months/year


    Employment Status:

    Full-time; Exempt





    Documents Needed to Apply:

    Resume (required)

    Cover Letter (required)


    Salary Grade Structure


    Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please upload all required documents.


    The successful candidate will be required to meet our pre-employment background screening requirements.


    RISD recognizes diversity and inclusivity as fundamental to its learning community and integral to an art and design education. We welcome candidates whose experience has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and excellence. RISD is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetics, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.
    Click here to apply.

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