Founded in 1781, Washington & Jefferson (W&J) is an independent, coeducational, residential liberal arts college. In recent years, W&J has undergone a transformation in its academic programs, physical facilities, fundraising, student recruitment, and relationship with the community. Located in the city of Washington, a southwestern Pennsylvania community of approximately 14,000 people, the campus is 30 miles southwest of Pittsburgh. W&J enrolls 1,356 students from 36 states and 29 countries, and its full-time faculty members are strongly committed to teaching undergraduates. The College’s 65-acre campus comprises 58 academic, recreational and residential buildings, and 93 percent of students reside on campus.
Responsibilities of the Position
Reporting to the President, the Vice President for Business and Finance (VPBF) serves as the Chief Financial Officer for the College and is responsible for financial operations, information technologies (IT), and facilities. The Vice President provides strategic financial leadership; oversees the College’s financial operations; leads policy review and development in areas of fiscal management and business operations; and ensures a broadly participatory process for the development of the College’s $57.5 million annual budget. In addition, the VPBF serves as campus liaison with consultants for the College’s $143 million endowment; coordinates matters requiring outside legal services; oversees lease/use of College facilities; represents the College in campus construction and renovation projects; and provides leadership with business representatives concerning new contractual services and products.
Additional duties and responsibilities include:
- Keeps President informed concerning financial affairs of the College and other pertinent matters.
- Oversees the audit process.
- Leads policy review and development in areas of fiscal management and business operations.
- Represents the Division of Business and Finance at Board of Trustees meetings.
- Coordinates and reviews all College financial reports, financial projections, and fiscal audits.
- Oversees Business Office functions, including billing, student receivables, and collections, cashier functions, short-term cash management, insurance, personnel services, fringe benefits, and payroll.
- Reviews and signs all business and finance reports and surveys for government agencies and other governmental units.
- Negotiates acquisition of real estate by the College through to legal settlement.
Characteristics of the Successful Candidate
A master’s degree in business, finance, or related field is preferred and progressive responsibility in a senior financial leadership role is required. Senior financial leadership in higher education is preferred. The ideal candidate will possess a track record of successful strategic and fiscal planning; experience with compliance and fiscal control responsibilities and financial systems applications; a demonstrated entrepreneurial spirit, reflected in successful business development and revenue-enhancing initiatives; and a documented history of realistic, accurate, transparent budget development and management, modeling and planning, financial analysis, capital construction projects, debt management and restructuring, and investment management. An open, collaborative, and engaging management style that promotes partnerships and builds strong relationships both across the campus and throughout the surrounding communities will be critical for success in this role.
The successful candidate will ideally possess the following qualities and attributes, in no particular order of importance:
- Have a record of superior communication skills and successful relationship building, and collaboration with internal stakeholder groups.
- Bring strong leadership, visionary, and managerial skills to the position.
- Be flexible to adapt to changing circumstances and committed to regular assessment, data collection, and process improvement.
- A willingness to encourage input from diverse constituencies and make timely decisions.
- An understanding of the challenges and opportunities related to the financial strategies of a tuition-driven private college.
- A leadership style that is rooted in transparency, honesty, and mutual respect.
- Possess a spirit of optimism and an enthusiasm for leading change.
- Be an individual of impeccable integrity and high ethical standards.
- 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.
- Have strong understanding of best practices in higher education finance.
- Demonstrate an unwavering commitment to diversity and the ability to develop inclusive communities at W&J.
- Possess a good sense of humor.
History of the Position
Dennis McMaster served as Vice President for Business & Finance at Washington & Jefferson College from 2008 until he resigned from the position in summer 2018.
Likely Opportunities, Priorities, and Challenges of the Position
It is a time of great change and excitement for the future at W&J. President John C. Knapp is building a strong, visionary leadership team in which the new Vice President for Business & Finance will play a critical role. The College has recently hired a new Vice President for Enrollment who will join the cabinet later this fall. In addition, the President has created a new cabinet-level role for a Vice President for Marketing and Communications.
The College is currently engaged in two major initiatives to transform the institution. Last spring, President Knapp initiated a collaborative strategic planning process that will continue through the 2018–2019 academic year. During the same time frame, the College is working with the Art & Science Group to help the institution position itself in ways that positively affect the decisions of its key constituents—whether to apply, matriculate, and give. The outcomes of the Art & Science assessment and information gathering during the strategic planning process will result in a comprehensive plan for the College to move forward in fall 2019.
The VPBF will be expected to develop a transparent, inclusive process that engages stakeholders and ensures an ability to accurately track the institution’s resources.
While W&J faces many of the same headwinds as other small, private colleges in the Midwest, it is well-positioned to effectively overcome the challenges. The College’s A-rating from Standard & Poor’s provides options for strategically investing in the institution’s future. Its 240-year history as a highly respected college in the region does not guarantee future success, but it does provide a strong base for future growth. Generous alums and Trustees provide important resources for critical projects. Former Trustee John Swanson contributed in 2010 to fund construction of the Swanson Science Center. Trustee and W&J alumnus Richard T. Clark recently provided the leadership gift that led to the renovation of the library, which will be completed this fall. Trustee David Ross not only helped to guide the initiative to build a new recreation center, he committed his own philanthropic support as well. The College is currently considering construction priorities that will directly impact student life on campus, including residence hall renovations and a new student center.
Measures of Success for the Position
At an appropriate interval after joining W&J, the following items will define success for the new Vice President for Business and Finance.
- A welcoming tone has been established by the vice president that invites collaboration and encourages members of the campus community to share in the responsibility for creating a vibrant campus and seamless learning environment.
- A vision for the division has been articulated and embraced by stakeholders across the College, and the students and larger W&J community find it energizing.
- A strong, collaborative relationship with all aspects of the campus community, including faculty, students, and trustees, has been established—a relationship that defines the leadership of W&J.
- The new vice president is a visible and engaged member of the W&J community.
An Overview of the Division
Office of Business and Finance
The Business Office and the Office of Business and Finance are committed to helping students, families, and W&J employees in all financial matters related to the College.
The Business Office serves W&J students, their families, and other offices and departments on campus by answering questions concerning student billing, accepting payments, cashing personal and payroll checks, processing invoices for payment, and providing financial reports and analysis.
Thomas Szejko, Interim CFO/Associate Vice President for Business & Finance
Jeffry Betler, Bursar of the College
Sandra Martinek, Accounting Clerk
Denise McDaniel, Accounting Clerk
Marlene Grenell, Controller of the College
Tammy Miles, Accounting Coordinator
Susan Smith, Accounts Payable Clerk
LeeAnn Spencer, Payroll Coordinator
Vacant, Administrative Assistant to the CFO
Jessica Reams, Staff Accountant
Facility Services provides general maintenance, grounds, and custodial support for the entire Washington & Jefferson College campus. The Office of Facility Services is dedicated to improving the quality of the W&J experience for students, faculty, staff, and visitors.
Facility services at W&J were outsourced to a third-party provider until July 2018, when the operations were brought in-house. The department is led by Jim Miller, Associate Vice President for Facilities and planning, and employs approximately 55 staff and four supervisors.
Information Technology Services
Information Technology Services provides computer and technology assistance and support to students, faculty, and administrative staff. IT staff members can assist with questions regarding the use of technology resources, connecting to the wired and wireless campus networks, and assessing hardware and software problems. Staff members also provide IT consultation services for academic and administrative purposes.
The department is led by Dan Faulk, Chief Information Officer and employs 13 staff members.
Washington & Jefferson College is a private liberal arts and sciences college located 30 miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Its dedicated, experienced professors are passionate about teaching and work closely with the students to ensure that they receive a quality, comprehensive education. The entire College community is focused on student success. To that end, W&J offers an On-Time Graduation Guarantee, opportunities to study all over the world through the Magellan Project, and a committed staff of career counseling experts.
Washington & Jefferson College is one of the most venerable institutions in the United States. Founded in 1781 by a group of pioneering Presbyterian ministers, the College is located in Washington, PA, and provides undergraduates with a top-ranked, four-year, co-ed liberal arts and sciences education. The pre-law and pre-health programs at W&J, in particular, are internationally recognized.
W&J’s storied history begins shortly after the American Revolution, when three log-cabin schools merged to become Washington College in 1781. The college joined with Jefferson College (formerly Canonsburg Academy) in 1865 to form Washington & Jefferson College as it is known today. Although the Civil War temporarily divided the student body, the College persevered and continued its legacy of producing young men well versed in the fields of law, medicine, and religion, among a growing number of areas of study. W&J hit another difficult time during World War II, when enrollment dropped to just 60 students in 1944; but, as the war came to an end enrollment significantly increased, bringing students with renewed drive and new ideas.
W&J admitted women as full-time undergraduate students for the first time in 1970, and the College’s enrollment has since grown to nearly 1,400, including students from 36 states and 29 countries. The College’s history speaks to its strength and initiative, as well as its dedication to academics and diversity, and is a testament to its motto, Juncta Juvant: Together We Thrive.
For a full history of W&J, read the Four Important Moments in the History of Washington & Jefferson College.
About Washington, PA
Washington is a city of approximately 14,000. The College is adjacent to downtown Washington and is an integral part of the local community.
|Climate||Mean annual temperature, 51.7° F; average rainfall, 40.8 inches; average snowfall, 41.0 inches|
|Altitude||1,156 feet above sea level|
|Parks||Washington Park—255 acres of beautiful woodland with facilities for all kinds of sports and swimming and walking trails|
|Playgrounds||Three playgrounds located throughout the city, with supervised summer programs|
|Radio Stations||Two plus Comcast Cable TV—WJPA, WKEG|
|Highway||U.S. 19 and 40; State Routes 18, 844, and 136; and intersection of Interstates 70 and 79|
|Hospital||Washington Hospital with new Cancer and Cardiac Centers|
|Library||Citizens Library and Cultural Center|
|Schools||Two public, Washington High School and Washington Park School, and one parochial, JFK
Washington & Jefferson College—1,356 students
|Churches||45 churches representing 21 denominations|
|Police and Fire||The city is served by full-time police and fire departments|
|Public Transit||Fixed bus routes locally and to downtown Pittsburgh; specialized transit services throughout the county for eligible riders|
|Within 5 miles of||Meadows Casino, Tanger Outlets, Crown Center Mall|
For more information about Washington, PA, visit the Chamber of Commerce website at http://www.washcochamber.com/
The mission of Washington & Jefferson College is to graduate people of uncommon integrity, competence, and maturity who are effective lifelong learners and responsible citizens, and who are prepared to contribute substantially to the world in which they live.
To this end, the College promotes the development of skills, knowledge, personal qualities, and a world view that characterizes a well-educated person. All components of the living and learning environment at W & J are designed and intended to support this mission.
Washington & Jefferson College will be recognized nationally as a highly selective, residential, student-centered liberal arts college with an exceptional record of producing future leaders, whose graduates are prepared for a breadth of life opportunities and professional success. Toward that end, W&J will assert its place as Pittsburgh’s premiere liberal arts institution, a role it has played for more than 230 years. More broadly, it will also be known as a robust community of engaged and intellectually curious faculty, staff, and students.
In the spring of 2018, President John Knapp announced the launch of a highly collaborative process to craft the next strategic plan for Washington & Jefferson College, to ensure the College’s continued success in an era of accelerating change and intensifying competitive pressures.
President Knapp named Professor Mike Leonard to direct the process and appointed an 18-member Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) comprising students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, and trustees. The committee will develop a plan that identifies its shared vision of the College’s future, goals and objectives, and forms of measurement to track its progress.
The plan will be submitted to the Board of Trustees for their approval. The process is expected to take 18 months.
The SPC invites all members of the College community to contribute their thinking. The SPC has formed six subcommittees, and some 90 people have volunteered to serve. These study groups are gathering information that will help shape the plan. Their topics are:
- Determining Optimum Enrollment and Resource Implications
- Building a Campus Culture of Trust, Collaboration, and Inclusion
- Strengthening Student Support and Campus Infrastructure
- Enhancing Our Portfolio of High-Impact, Experiential Learning Opportunities, Both On- and Off-Campus
- Evaluating Opportunities to More Effectively Differentiate Our Academic Program
- Clarifying and Sharpening Our Value Proposition
In the fall of 2018, the subcommittees will hold listening sessions open to all students, faculty, and staff.
The SPC is also drawing on the Middle States Self-Study Report, and keeping in mind the institutional priorities outlined in the report:
- Improve communication among all parties at the College.
- Continue to enhance the diversity of faculty, staff, students, and curriculum.
- Develop a more widely participatory planning and budgeting process.
Other key sources of information for strategic planning include a stakeholder survey conducted in spring 2018, and the forthcoming results of a market study of prospective students conducted by the Art & Science Group.
John C. Knapp, PhD, President
John C. Knapp, Ph.D., is the 13th president of Washington & Jefferson College, one of America’s oldest and most distinguished liberal arts institutions, founded in 1781. He also serves as a professor of religion in the College’s Department of Philosophy.
Dr. Knapp is an internationally known author and speaker with leadership experience spanning the education, nonprofit, and business sectors. Prior to joining W&J in 2017, he was president of Hope College in Holland, MI, where he led the development and implementation of a ten-year strategic plan to enhance academic quality, campus diversity, employee development, and post-graduation outcomes for students.
Previously, he was the founding director of Samford University’s Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership, concurrently serving as university professor and holding an endowed professorship. He directed a wide range of programs and supported teaching and scholarship in the schools of the arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, law, nursing, and pharmacy.
Before joining Samford, Dr. Knapp served as professor and director of the Center for Ethics and Corporate Responsibility at Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business. The center was established under his leadership in 1993 as the independent Southern Institute for Business and Professional Ethics, a leading executive education resource for leaders seeking to strengthen ethics and integrity in organizations. His programs were attended by more than 20,000 executives and managers from hundreds of corporations, governmental agencies, nonprofits, and professional firms.
Dr. Knapp’s philosophy of liberal arts education extends to the value he places on diversity and inclusion. At Hope College, where he achieved annual goals for greater student diversity while also raising the academic profile of incoming classes, he is respected by the college’s students, faculty, and alumni for fostering a culture of inclusion, respect, and support, especially for students and employees from underrepresented groups. While in Atlanta, he founded and led the Diversity Management Network, a five-year, grant-funded consortium involving leaders of more than 40 of the region’s largest employers. His diversity advocacy was recognized in 2013 with the Urban League’s Multicultural Friendship Award in Birmingham, AL.
As a leader among his peers in higher education, Dr. Knapp chairs The Oxford Conclave on Global Higher Education, a retreat for college and university presidents held annually at England’s University of Oxford. He also chairs The New York Times Presidents Council, a representative group of private college presidents who meet with the newspaper’s higher education reporters for background discussions of issues facing institutions and the industry. In addition, he serves on the boards of the American Association of Presidents of Independent Colleges and Universities, Clemson University’s Robert J. Rutland Institute for Ethics, and the Pennsylvania Consortium for the Liberal Arts, among several other higher education associations.
Dr. Knapp’s scholarship includes numerous articles and five books, including the three-volume The Business of Higher Education. His work as a scholar was recognized in 2009, when he was named a Fellow of the Caux Round Table; in 2007, with his induction into the Martin Luther King Jr. International Collegium of Scholars at Morehouse College; in 2001, with the Georgia Governor’s Award in the Humanities; and in 1995, with Columbia Theological Seminary’s Florrie Wilkes Sanders Prize in Theology. In 2013, Hope College awarded him the honorary Doctor of Letters degree.
Earlier in his career, he served for more than a decade as president of an Atlanta-based corporate communication firm. During this time, Atlanta Business Chronicle twice recognized him as the region’s leading crisis management consultant; Business Atlanta (now Georgia Trend) selected him for its list of the “40 Under 40” successful young executives; and Outstanding Atlanta Foundation named him one of the “Ten Outstanding Young People of Atlanta.”
Dr. Knapp earned a doctor of philosophy degree in theology and religious studies at the University of Wales, United Kingdom; a master of arts degree in theological studies at Columbia Theological Seminary; and a bachelor of science degree in urban life with a concentration in communication at Georgia State University. He and his wife, Kelly, have five adult children: Amanda, Tracy, Charlie, Mary, and Ron. They have two grandchildren.
The Academic Program
As one of the nation’s top-ranked liberal arts colleges, Washington & Jefferson College offers a rigorous and rewarding curriculum, characterized by small classes taught by full-time professors. Its student-to-faculty ratio of 11:1 enables its professors to function as mentors who will know a student’s name on the first day of class and cheer loudly when it is called at graduation. W&J’s pre-law and pre-health programs are internationally recognized, its Magellan Project allows students to travel the world exploring their research interests. Learn more about W&J’s academic offerings here:
The Student Body
- Total Enrollment: 1,356
- Full-time Undergrad Students: 1,350
- Part-time Undergrad Students:6
- Male/Female:(2018–19) 692/694
- Minority Students:20%
- Pennsylvania Residents: 73%
- Out-of-State Students: 23%
- International Students:4%
Accepted Student Profile
- Percentage of students graduating in top 10% of high school class: 32%
- Average high school GPA:71
Most Popular Majors for the Class of 2018
- Business Administration
- Communication Arts
- Student/faculty ratio: 11:1
- Percentage of classes with fewer than 20 students:74%
- Number of faculty: 126
- Full-time tenure/tenure track faculty with terminal degrees: 98%
View detailed information about Washington & Jefferson College in the W&J Factbook.
Washington & Jefferson College is proud to offer a variety of benefit plans. Benefits are an important component of the total compensation package offered by Washington & Jefferson College. These include the following:
- Health Care Plans
- Vision and Dental Plans
- Flexible Spending Accounts
- Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance
- Group Life and Voluntary Life Insurance
- Employee Assistance Program
- Retirement Plan
- Educational Benefits
- Long-term Disability
- Other Benefits
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 may be emailed to Mark Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.
Visit the Washington & Jefferson website at www.washjeff.edu
Washington & Jefferson College is an Equal Opportunity Employer