Role of the Position

Reporting to the chancellor, the chief financial officer (CFO) is responsible for the management of the college’s financial affairs including budgeting and accounting, analyzing funding, and evaluating the business operations systems for the college. Other major responsibilities include oversight of budget development, annual audits, preparation and presentation of the annual college budget, strategic financial planning, and fiscal and accounting services while adhering to all financial mandates required by federal, state, and local government entities. The CFO will constructively and proactively foster a culture of customer service to students and other departments throughout the institution; serve as chair of the Finance Council within the framework of the college system governance structure and as assistant treasurer to the Ozark Technical Community College (OTC) Board of Trustees; and maintain the internal equity, sector equity and capital funding formulas used in the annual calculation of state appropriations distribution to community colleges. The CFO oversees the college’s annual budget of nearly $95 million and supervises 26 full-time staff.

The Position

Additional position responsibilities include:

  • Oversee all financial, accounting, budgeting, compensation, employment taxes and reporting, audit, and equipment inventory functions throughout all OTC systems.
  • Coordinate financial accounting, disbursement, and reporting for college funds.
  • Oversee the preparation of reports and financial documents as required by local, state, and federal agencies.
  • Provide financial, statistical, and analytical data, including projections and cost estimates for financial planning.
  • Evaluate the finance office personnel and offer recommendations concerning their retention and advancement.
  • Coordinate the preparation of monthly financial statements for the college.
  • Develop procedures for compliance with federal, state, and local grant programs and all required reporting. Monitor and update these processes as needed.
  • Coordinate and administer college short-term and long-term funding.
  • Assist the external audit firm in the coordination and preparation of audit work papers.
  • Oversee official preparation of data for end-of-the-year reporting and annual budget closeout. Coordinate the preparation of the annual college budget.
  • Serve as the liaison between MDHE, MO State Office of Budget & Administration, the MCCA Presidents and Chancellors Council, and chief business officers concerning appropriation distribution.
  • Exhibit exemplary attendance and punctuality.
  • Comply with college policies and procedures.
  • Participate in continuous professional development activities.
  • Serve as an active member of community and national higher education organizations as a representative of OTC.
  • Work to maintain cordial relationships with OTC neighbors, community leaders, and external entities.
  • Oversee employee retirement benefits, both PSRS/PEERS and individual 403b plans.
  • Provide proper and adequate internal controls in the finance/business office and update as necessary.
  • Perform other duties as assigned, including attending college functions, serving on committees, and attending community events.

Qualifications and Characteristics

A bachelor’s degree in accounting, business administration or a related field and at least seven years of relevant experience in business management is required. A master’s degree, a nationally recognized certification such as CPA, CMA, or CGFM, and experience in a management role supervising daily operations in a higher education environment are preferred. The ideal candidate will possess a demonstrated ability to work and communicate effectively with all constituencies of a diverse university community; an understanding of automated management information systems; a sound knowledge of relevant federal, state, and local government regulations and policies; and experience with Colleague.

The successful candidate will ideally possess the following qualities and attributes, in no particular order of importance:

  • Be an individual of impeccable integrity and high ethical standards.
  • Knowledge of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and knowledge of Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) guidelines.
  • Highly innovative, strategic, and entrepreneurial approach to problem-solving and partnership.
  • Ability to lead by influence.
  • Expertise in current financial methodology and regulations.
  • Demonstrated ability to use data to guide business strategy and outcomes.
  • Ability and willingness to delegate effectively and to hold direct reports accountable.
  • Skilled decision-maker with transparency in decision-making and management.
  • Excellent oral, written, and presentation skills.
  • Outstanding interpersonal, organizational, and communication skills.
  • Have a record of superior communication skills and successful relationship building and collaboration with internal stakeholder groups.
  • Be flexible to adapt to changing circumstances and committed to regular assessment and process improvement.
  • An understanding of the challenges and opportunities related to the financial strategies of a publicly funded college.
  • Support staff development and a strong team environment.
  • Advocate an open and transparent management approach.
  • The ability to think strategically and work as a hands-on member of the team when necessary.
  • Be confident, innovative, and high-energy.
  • Have a strong understanding of best practices in higher education finance.

History of the Position

Sharon Day served as CFO from 2021-2022. Day previously served OTC as associate vice chancellor for finance for many years. As associate vice chancellor, she oversaw fiscal management of grant awards, the OTC Foundation, the college’s investment portfolio, and developmental strategic planning.

Marla Moody served as the college’s chief financial officer from 2004-2021. Moody joined Ozarks Technical Community College in 1997 as controller and in 2002, she moved into the position of dean of finance. In 2004, Moody was appointed vice chancellor for finance.

Opportunities and Challenges of the Role

The first strategic initiative in the college’s strategic plan addresses improving experiences at every point in the institution to increase opportunities for students to attain their educational goals. OTC’s Student Success Redesign is proactively addressing barriers to student success across the institution, with an initial focus on student affairs. Following a successful pilot, Student Success was officially adopted and began implementation in fall 2020. Student Success centers opened in Technical Education and at all campuses and centers. Navigators and Student Success specialists proactively served 2,100 students. Students in the program successfully completed their courses at a higher rate than the college average, and there was a 4 percent increase in the number of students who completed with a grade of C or better. Critically, retention also increased with 77 percent of Student Success students being retained from fall 2020 to spring 2021, compared to only 71 percent of other OTC students. Success in year one laid the groundwork for continued growth in the 2021-2022 academic year, with implementation campus-wide slated for 2023.

The Student Success redesign will be implemented across all functional areas of the institution with a focus on changing the way offices interact with students. The finance office will be tasked with assessing its processes and implementing programs that reach out to students rather than waiting for them to contact the office. The student body has grown significantly and systems need to adapt accordingly. All offices are tasked with reinventing processes to better serve students.

Missouri does not have a state-wide community college system and therefore many decisions are made locally or through agreements with the other community colleges through the Missouri Community College Association. OTC has traditionally taken a strong leadership role and it will be important for the CFO to work closely with the other CFOs in the system.

OTC has a long-term commitment to financial responsibility. Although they have been successful in increasing their allocation in recent years, the college is the lowest-funded institution in the state. Despite the funding challenges, the college maintains a significant fund balance and has rolled over funds from year to year during each year of Chancellor Higdon’s tenure. OTC is funding multiple major capital projects over the next five years without taking on any additional debt.

The previous long-term CFO had a very hands-on approach to the role. As a result, many systems and processes were built around her level of engagement at every level of the organization. As the college grows and evolves, the next CFO will need to transition to an organizational culture and structure that places more responsibility on their direct reports while also implementing processes that more effectively serve students.

Measures of Success

At an appropriate interval after joining OTC, the following items will define success for the new chief financial officer:

  • The CFO has earned the trust and confidence of the chancellor and the cabinet.
  • Student success is central to all decisions within the department.
  • A welcoming tone has been established that invites collaboration and encourages members of the department to participate in the financial management and strategic direction of the college.
  • A vision for the department has been articulated and embraced by stakeholders across the college.
  • A strong collaborative relationship with all aspects of the campus community, including faculty, students, and trustees, has been established.
  • The new CFO is a visible and engaged member of the OTC community.

Institution & Location

OVERVIEW OF FINANCE

The Finance Department is responsible for accounts payable, accounts receivable, fixed assets, and general accounting for the college. We also manage tuition costs, fees, payments, refunds, and appeals for OTC students. The department releases financial data pertinent to college students, faculty, and staff, including the annual Fiscal Budget Summary, which outlines OTC’s revenue sources and expenditures.

The chief financial officer manages the college’s financial affairs, including strategic financial planning, fiscal accounting, grant services, overseeing budget development, annual audits, analyzing funding, and evaluating the college’s business operation systems.

Reporting directly to the chief financial officer:

  • College Director for Finance
  • Associate Chief Financial Officer
  • College Director for Student Financial Services
  • Financial Department Administrative Assistant

INSTITUTIONAL OVERVIEW

More than 200,000 citizens of southwest Missouri have taken advantage of one or more of Ozark Technical Community College System’s educational services. Founded in 1990 in Springfield, the current OTC system encompasses six locations across southwest Missouri including Branson and Richwood Valley. It also has a robust online education center. OTC’s comprehensive mission, focus on job-skill training, and college transfer preparation have made it a vital part of one of the fastest-growing areas in the state of Missouri. OTC looks to a promising and productive future as faculty, staff, and community members work together to provide high-quality and affordable learning opportunities to the region.

Ozarks Technical Community College celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2015 to commemorate a critical step taken by voters on April 3, 1990. At that time, voters approved the establishment of the Junior College District of Central Southwest Missouri.

As a result of the vote in 1990, the board of trustees founded Heart of the Ozarks Community Technical College in Springfield as the region’s first open-admission, two-year community college with a focus on technical education. Students could earn a one-year certificate, a two-year associate of applied science degree (AAS), or an associate of arts degree (AA).

In September 1991, with 1,198 credit-seeking college students, OTC opened its doors. It located these facilities at Cox Medical Center North, which formerly housed the Graff Area Vocational Technical Center. The re-named Graff Hall and Lincoln Hall, a former African-American serving high school, became the cornerstone of the newly established community college. The following year, the college continued to grow and expanded its offerings to include general education courses at the North Town Mall in Springfield.

In 1994, the college shortened its name to Ozarks Technical Community College. The institution received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools in 1996.

MISSION, VISION, VALUES, AND STRATEGIC PLAN

Mission

The college’s mission is to provide accessible, high-quality, and affordable learning opportunities that transform lives and strengthen the communities we serve.

Vision

The college’s vision is to serve its communities by expanding opportunities for personal and professional growth through our commitment to excellence and innovation.

Values

Quality
Opportunity
Accessibility
Learning

Inclusion
Innovation
Collaboration
Respect

Integrity
Affordability
Personal Growth
Professional Growth

Strategic Plan

Ozarks Technical Community College understands the importance of strategic planning to meet the continually changing needs of the communities it serves. The college prides itself on forming plans based on broad input from students, faculty, staff, and community members. This process is driven by goals and initiatives that measure institution-wide success.

OTC’s strategic planning is rooted in annual assessment and evaluation. Each year, the Strategic Planning Office conducts a comprehensive scan outlining information on the external environment. It generates a Strategic Planning Progress Report highlighting accomplishments related to the Your Dreams, Our Plan Strategic Plan initiatives. In addition, the office outlines the Strategic Planning Process and supports internal departments with activities related to annual planning.

LEADERSHIP

Hal L. Higdon – Chancellor & President

Dr. Hal Higdon is chancellor of the Ozarks Technical Community College System and president of the OTC Springfield Campus and has served in the CEO capacity for 16 years. In these roles, Dr. Higdon oversees the Institution’s strategic direction and works to strengthen its resources and funding. Before his time at OTC, Dr. Higdon served 13 years in administration with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. He also worked in human resources and workforce training at Alabama’s Faulkner State Community College and spent several years in private business.

Dr. Higdon is heavily involved in various community service organizations. He currently serves as vice president for the Board of Directors of CoxHealth Systems and as Chair of the Burrell Behavioral Health Board. He is a Phi Theta Kappa Advisory Board member and serves on the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He is also part of the Junior League of Springfield’s Community Advisory Council and Springfield’s Downtown Rotary Club.

ANTI-DISCRIMINATION STATEMENT

OTC is committed to providing equal opportunities for all persons and does not discriminate or retaliate based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, age, disability, citizenship, legal immigration status, veteran status, or any other status protected by federal, state and local laws (“protected status”). This extends to admissions, employment, services, and educational programs and activities that the college operates (collectively “programs and activities”).

RELATED LINKS

About OTC

https://www.otc.edu/

About Springfield, MO

https://www.springfieldmo.gov/

Benefits Overview

BENEFITS OVERVIEW

To learn about the full benefits offered at Ozarks Technical Community College, please visit: https://hr.otc.edu/employee-benefits-information/

Application & Nomination

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position and details about the status of this search may be emailed to Mark Hall at mah@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email info@spelmanjohnson.com.