Prince George’s Community College invites inquiries, nominations, and applications for the position of controller. The controller will provide leadership for the management of financial-services operations at the college.
Founded in 1958, Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) provides higher education to Prince George County and the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. The college is based in Largo, Maryland, with an enrollment of nearly 30,000 students. PGCC offers over 100 fields of study through its academic, workforce-development, continuing-education, and personal-enrichment programs. It was the first educational institution in the county to integrate, and today serves more African-American students than any other post-secondary institution in the state of Maryland.
Role of the Controller for Prince George’s Community College
Reporting to the vice president of administrative and financial services, the controller provides leadership and management of financial-services operations including the bursar’s office and general ledger accounting functions, specifically: accounts receivable, cash management, general ledger postings, bank reconciliations, and financial-aid transactions to include federal, state, institutional, and external scholarships and grants. The controller will establish and maintain written accounting policies, procedures, and forms necessary for compliance with generally accepted accounting principles, Governmental Accounting Standard Board (GASB) standards, county, state, and federal requirements, and internal-control requirements. They will supervise and evaluate all staff under their direct supervision and ensure that they are provided with training to successfully execute their responsibilities. The controller will also coordinate with the information technology division on the following: establishing controls that will safeguard college assets and ensure the reliability of financial reporting, including Datatel financial system operations, security, updates, and new versions; preparing financial reports for the Maryland Higher Education Commission and Maryland Association of Community Colleges and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data Systems (IPEDS); and coordinating with auditors on all financial and/or compliance audits for the college and the foundation.
Additional specific responsibilities of the controller include:
- Review financial reports for consistency, accuracy, accountability, and timeliness.
- Oversee the timely closing of month-end and year-end financial-account activities.
- Train and cross-train for essential positions, developing and maintaining adequate back-up personnel.
- Oversee college-collection processes, including managing various college staff responsible for cash collection and accounting activities.
- Conduct all accounts-receivable dispute-resolution discussions and meetings with vendors, employers, parents, and students.
- Oversee timely and accurate deposit of all college funds.
- Direct the timely mailing of appropriate billing, according to college schedules.
- Plan, develop, and monitor annual budgets for Financial Affairs and the bursar’s office (approximately $900,000), including providing budget input for audit costs.
- Conduct special studies, investigations, or other services as directed by the vice president of financial and administrative services.
- Oversee staff training for the Colleague financial management system.
- Conduct quarterly informational meetings for all accounts-receivable and cash-management staff at all college campuses and centers.
- Oversee development activities related to the class schedule to ensure correct information regarding college billing, FACTS payment, etc.
- Participate in the college’s Student Grievance Committee.
History of the Position
The current controller, Dwight Washington, will be retiring from the position after serving at PGCC for three years. His background in financial management included experience in both higher education and business. The administration would like to hire his replacement prior to his actual retirement date so that some formal transition can occur before his departure.
Opportunities and Challenges of the Role
The new controller must understand best practices in financial management for higher education. In addition to strong technical skills, the new controller must be able to build, mentor, retain, and support a strong team within the office. It will be critical to engage staff members in the strategy and direction of the organization.
Additional opportunities, priorities, and challenges for the controller, as articulated by stakeholders, are as follows:
- The college is financially strong, with a steady enrollment.
- The new controller will have the opportunity to evaluate current technology and consider adoption of new resources in this area to streamline complex processes.
- The new controller will be required to stay current in knowledge of federal audit requirements and tax obligations for non-profits and higher education.
- The campus is supportive and respectful of the role of the controller.
- The new controller will find an institution that recognizes and welcomes creativity, collaboration, and innovation in processes and solutions.
- The new controller will need to earn the trust and confidence of campus leadership and direct reports.
- The new controller should be a visible and engaged member of the campus community.
- New streams of revenue have been identified, but they will need to grow and support the overall budget of the campus.
- The new controller will find that annual reports and audits are completed and in compliance with required reporting.
- The new controller will work to identify current needs in order to continually improve existing processes and better serve the campus.
QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS
The successful candidate will have a master’s degree in accounting, finance, or business administration; a CPA is preferred. Three years of experience in higher-education administration or three years of experience auditing higher-education institutions, and a minimum of three years of management experience in general ledger accounting operations, is required. Successful candidates will also possess proven managerial ability, with specific training in supervisory/management skills and responsibilities; knowledge and expertise in accounting and financial management operations through participation in professional organizations; knowledge and expertise in Datatel Colleague and ERP system functions; the ability to maintain positive working relationships with the college community and external financial reporting agencies; the ability to perform detailed work independently, as well as in a team environment; proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite; comprehensive knowledge of generally accepted accounting principles; experience with an integrated financial data system; and a demonstrated ability to communicate and interact effectively at all levels of the organization.
The successful candidate will ideally possess the following qualities and attributes, in no particular order of importance:
• an understanding of the challenges and opportunities related to the financial strategies of a publicly funded community college
• impeccable integrity and high ethical standards
• an innovative, strategic, and entrepreneurial approach to problem-solving and partnership
• expertise in current financial methodology and regulations
• demonstrated ability to use data in guiding business strategy and outcomes
• the ability and willingness to delegate effectively and hold direct reports accountable
• skilled and transparent decision-making
• customer focus and dedication to providing optimum service
• outstanding interpersonal, organizational, and communication skills
• a record of superior communication skills, relationship-building, and collaboration with internal stakeholder groups
• strong leadership, vision, and managerial skills
• flexible adaptation to changing circumstances and commitment to regular assessment and process-improvement
• support for staff development and the ability to create a strong team environment
• the ability to think strategically and work as a hands-on member of the team when necessary
• a strong understanding of best practices in higher-education finance
OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AFFAIRS
The goal of this office is to provide the best-possible finance and accounting services, and to support the achievement of the college’s mission by processing, recording, and reporting financial information and data on a consistent basis that is accurate, relevant, timely, objective, and reliable. It also strives to implement and maintain a control environment that complies with all relevant policies and procedures.
Financial Affairs includes the following areas:
- Accounting, which processes, records, and reports transactions related to revenues, expenses, assets, liabilities, and grants
- Bursar’s office, which provides student-accounts services, billings, and receivables
- Payroll, which processes, records, and reports the payroll
- Financial Systems Support, which administers and supports the general ledger, payroll, payables, receivables, budget, projects accounting, and procurement systems
DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE AND FINANCIAL SERVICES
“Administrative and Financial Services envisions success by delivering continual enhancement of the quality of the college experience through improving operations and financial processes that implement innovative and efficient services to support the evolving needs of our students, faculty, staff and community.”
Leadership of the division
Ms. Terri K. Bacote-Charles
Vice President of Administrative and Financial Services
Terri Bacote-Charles earned her MA degree in public policy from Duke University’s Institute of Policy Sciences and Public Affairs, now known as the Sanford School of Public Policy, in Durham, North Carolina. She also completed training at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the University of Texas Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs in Austin, Texas. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Ms. Bacote-Charles serves as the vice president of administrative and financial services at Prince George’s Community College, where she functions as the college’s chief financial officer for an operating budget of more than $100 million. Bacote-Charles also provides the college with leadership and oversight in the areas of human resources and organizational development, facilities planning and management, college police, auxiliary services, and events management.
Before joining the staff at Prince George’s Community College, Ms. Bacote-Charles served as the director of the Prince George’s County Government Office of Management and Budget, following time as its deputy director. She managed an annual budget of $3.7 billion in operating expenses and a six-year capital budget program of $4.7 billion.
Earlier leadership positions held by Ms. Bacote-Charles include senior budget analyst and director of budget and management services with Prince George’s County Public Schools; principal analyst for the Baltimore County Office of the County Auditor, Fiscal and Policy Analysis; and capital budget manager and senior policy analyst for legislative services in the Maryland General Assembly’s Office of Policy Analysis.
In addition to significant oversight for budget development, implementation, auditing, and monitoring, Ms. Bacote-Charles brings to her leadership roles extensive experience in human resources, employee relations, healthcare, organizational benefits, and collective bargaining.
Prince George’s Community College opened its doors in 1958 with 185 students. For the first ten years, it offered classes at Suitland High School for those interested in earning a college degree or advancing their career.
Today PGCC offers more than 200 academic and career-training programs. It awards Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, and Associate of Arts in Teaching degrees, and allows students to transfer to a four-year college or university. New buildings with cutting-edge technology dot the 150-acre PGCC campus in Largo. Five off-campus learning sites make classes more accessible to students across the county. The college serves all who seek a degree, want to boost a career, or are looking to learn new skills. Nearly 40,000 students enroll each year.
PGCC aligns its programs and resources with student and community needs. It prepares students to be competent and skilled members of the workforce who also contribute their time and talents to the community in meaningful ways.
“Prince George’s Community College is the region’s premier center for innovations in learning, community engagement, and strategic partnerships that inspire educational, career, and personal success.”
“Prince George’s Community College provides affordable, high-quality learning experiences that support personal, professional, and educational development for diverse populations contributing to the economic equity and cultural vibrancy of our community.”
“Strategic goals are intended to focus the institution in a manner that will facilitate its ability to leverage strengths and resources that best serve its mission for the period defined by this strategic plan.
“Prince George’s Community College will focus on:
- Student Success: Creating and sustaining optimal conditions for students to design and achieve academic, career, and personal goals.
- Regional Impact: Driving strategic partnerships to identify and respond to the region’s present and future priorities.
- Organizational Excellence: Creating and sustaining agile, effective, and efficient institutional synergies.”
Largo is an unincorporated area in Prince George’s County, Maryland. It was named after the Largo Plantation, which is believed to be named after Largo Bay in Scotland. At the 2010 census, the population was 10,709. It is located just east of the Capital Beltway (I-95/495), and is home to Largo High School as well as PGCC. Since 2004, Largo Town Center has served as the eastern end of the Blue Line of the Washington Metro.
Six Flags America amusement park is to the east in Woodmore, and FedExField, the stadium for the Washington Football Team, is across the Capital Beltway in Summerfield. Watkins Regional Park in Kettering, just to the east of Largo, has an old-fashioned carousel, miniature train ride, miniature golf, the Old Maryland Farm, a large playground, and animals on display. Largo is not a post-office designation, but is at the northern end of the Greater Upper Marlboro ZIP code area.
Falecia D. Williams
Falecia D. Williams is the ninth president of Prince George’s Community College. A proven leader, she values learning as much as leading and understands the power of inspiring others to invest in their own positive outcomes. She has a BA in psychology from Rollins College, Florida, a MA in education, teaching, and learning from Stetson University, Florida, and a EdD in curriculum and instruction from University of Central Florida. She also holds professional certifications from Stanford University and from Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management, and completed an Aspen Presidential Fellowship at the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program.
Williams previously served for nearly 22 years at Valencia College in Orlando, Florida, holding a series of progressively responsible positions, including president of the Downtown and West campuses. In this role she was responsible for providing academic, administrative, and fiscal leadership to support the vision, mission, and values of Valencia College, and her data-driven results demonstrate her ability to achieve lasting outcomes through effective leadership and partnership building.
A few of her highlights include: the design, development, and launch of a new educational ecosystem model for a joint campus in partnership with the University of Central Florida; the implementation of a comprehensive $1.5 million Title III Pathways project to revamp student services and increase faculty engagement in coaching students for success; the launch and management of a summer bridge program that resulted in a 97-percent course success rate and an 87-percent retention rate compared to 80-percent course success rate and 76-percent retention when students engaged in traditional enrollment; and fundraising efforts totaling more than $30 million over five years.
During her tenure at Valencia College, she also served as interim provost for West Campus, assistant vice president for Workforce Development, dean for Workforce Development, and professor. President Williams has received an extensive collection of honors and awards that include:
- Orlando Business Journal, “Top Five Leaders for Economic Development”
- Orlando Magazine, “Top 15 People to Watch”
- Orlando Magazine, “50 Most Powerful”
- Central Florida YMCA Achievers Education Advocate of the Year
- Leadership Award, American Association of Women in Community Colleges
Learn more about the President here.
View the campus/cabinet organizational chart here.
Academic Programs and Faculty
Prince George’s Community College offers four degree and career programs:
- Associate of Arts (AA)
- Associate of Science (AS)
- Associate of Arts in Teaching (AAT)
- Associate of Applied Science (AAS)
- Health, Wellness, and Hospitality
- Humanities, English, and Social Sciences
- Professional Studies and Community Education
- Sciences, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
- paid holidays
- annual leave: upon hire ten days per year, after three years 16 days, and after 15 years 21 days
- personal leave: one day accrued after one year of service
- sick leave: 12 days
- long-term disability
- voluntary short-term disability
- health, dental, and vision insurance
- flexible spending account
- group term life insurance and AD&D insurance
- supplemental life insurance
- Maryland Teachers and State Employees pension
- Maryland State Retirement and Pension System Optional Retirement Plan (ORP)
- tax shelter and annuity
- employee tuition waiver and reimbursement programs
- Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)
- legal resources
Click here to view more information
Application and Nomination
Review of applications will begin October 29, 2021 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 may be emailed to Laura Puckett-Boler at email@example.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.
Visit the Prince George’s Community College website at https://www.pgcc.edu
Prince George’s Community College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons to the end that no person, on the grounds of sex, age, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, or status as a qualified individual with a disability, qualified disabled veteran, or Vietnam-era veteran, shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity of this institution. Under this policy, this institution will not discriminate against any person on the grounds of sex, race, age, color, religion, veteran’s status, disability, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, or national origin in its admission policies and practices or any other policies or practices of the institution relating to the treatment of students and other individuals, including employment, the provision of services, financial aid, and other benefits, and including the use of any building, structure, room space, materials, equipment, facility, or any other property. One who believes oneself or any specific class of individual to be subject to prohibited discrimination may, by oneself or through a representative, file a written complaint with the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Education or with the college president, or both.