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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Institute of Agriculture
Posted: 2023-11-13 18:34:58
Associate Vice Chancellor for Business & Finance

The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) Associate Vice Chancellor (AVC) for Business and Finance provides leadership, vision, and direction for financial operations reflective of the services and mission of the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, an organization with 2,700 employees and annual expenditures exceeding $250 million. As a direct report to the Institute of Agriculture Senior Vice Chancellor and Senior Vice President and member of the UTIA Executive Committee, primary duties include strategic planning, execution, and oversight of financial operations that aligns with University, Institute, and individual unit goals and budgets. The AVC is responsible for the business operations of the Institute and provides oversight of unit budget directors and departmental financial staff within UTIA.

The University of Tennessee Knoxville is the state’s land-grant flagship university. As such, the AVC is responsible for finance and accounting of all Federal Land Grant programs.  The AVC is also responsible for monitoring the Institute’s accounting and financial operations, auditing and management analysis, budgeting, payroll, purchasing, contracts, public safety, emergency management, and physical plant operations including grounds, maintenance, building services and transportation. This includes staff, research and education centers, 4-H camps, and programs in each of Tennessee’s 95 counties. The development and enhancement of various fee-based programs is also within the scope of this role in order to promote growth and the increased generation of revenue.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Acting as fiduciary for the Institute as well as accountability to external constituencies for the financial status of the Institute.
  • Leading short-term and long-term financial planning efforts, including revenue enhancements, budget reductions, budget allocations/reallocations, and other strategies for maximizing resource utilization.
  • Assessing complex financial and managerial challenges through peer comparisons and benchmarking and recommending strategies to meet or exceed benchmarks.
  • Promoting a workplace environment that values diversity, equity, and inclusion, and is based on teamwork, inclusive decision making and a sense of shared community across the University.
  • Developing procedures for the Institute consistent with university policies as well as state and federal regulations and laws. Setting standards for assessing the effectiveness of fiscal policies and procedures.
  • Identifying new sources of revenue to support existing programs and providing guidance for the creation and funding of new programs that foster the mission of the Institute.
  • Partnering with the UT Foundation and the 4-H Foundation to ensure endowment earnings are properly utilized to meet program needs and/or donor wishes. Providing financial oversight of the Institute’s ~$80 million in endowment funds.
  • Ensuring the availability of critical financial metrics to allow for fiscal planning and data-based decision-making.
  • Coordinating the development and maintenance of healthy, safe, and functional office spaces throughout the Institute, including the more than 100 off-campus facilities across the State of Tennessee.
  • Providing oversight and development of the Institute’s emergency response plan including the coordination of resources to address emergencies, implement continuity of business plans, and safeguard persons and property.
  • Building relationships that ensure the confidence and trust of key stakeholder groups including agricultural associations and industry groups, county government partners, state and local officials, UT system administration, alumni, and UTIA advocates and supporters.

Required Qualifications and Experience

  • Master’s degree in a relevant field and experience typically gained by 8 years of applicable, progressively responsible positions or a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field and experience typically gained by 10 years of applicable, progressively responsible positions.
  • Supervisory and leadership experience in a complex organization.
  • Direct experience in fiscal management including budgeting, accounts payable, accounts receivable, grant and contract management, modeling, and proposal development.
  • Experience leading large-scale project development and implementation in multi-site, distributed organizations.
  • Experience with large enterprise resource planning (ERP) system (e.g., SAP, Oracle, Workday).
  • Commitment to the importance and applicability of diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of the operation including the workplace, constituent services, and vendor contracts.

Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  •  Demonstrated ability to resolve complex, controversial and/or unprecedented issues and challenges.
  • Ability to demonstrate sound judgment by considering values, risks, impact, and implications of actions throughout the university.
  • Ability to lead effectively across units relying on collaboration and influence to guide broad decision-making.
  • Ability to lead and work with cross-functional and diverse teams and to foster teamwork across complex organizations.
  • Demonstrated interpersonal relationship skills including inclusive communication (oral and written), creative problem-solving, and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community.

Preferred Qualifications and Experience

  • Certified Public Accountant.
  • Land-grant fiscal experience, particularly in Colleges of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and/or Veterinary Medicine.
  • Experience in public higher education finance and responsibility centered management (RCM) budget models.
  • Experience in administering USDA capacity funds and competitive funds.

Expected Behaviors and Qualities

The AVC will exhibit qualities of emotional maturity, humility, collegiality, genuineness, self-confidence, common sense, judgment, fairness, discretion, decisiveness, diplomacy, and adaptability.

Our leadership subscribes to UTIA’s Guiding Principles, and these principles are a critical component in our daily operations.

  • We work together toward shared priorities and vision, reflecting an attitude of “Institute first.”
  • We commit to a fresh start, focusing on making the best better.
  • We adhere to a culture of utmost integrity, respect, and trust.
  • We listen
  • We bravely ask the hard questions.
  • We commit to timely, transparent communication and decision-making.
  • We move beyond teamwork and collaboration to help one another thrive in reaching our goals.
  • We ask ourselves, “What am I going to do to make the University of Tennessee better today?”
  • We strive to provide Real. Life. Solutions., equipping our citizens and stakeholders with data-driven information and the skills necessary to meet the challenging needs of diverse communities and our ever-changing world.

For full consideration, please include a cover letter addressing interest in and qualifications for the role, resume/CV, and list of three (3) professional references on or before December 20, 2023. For confidential inquiries or nominations, please contact Brooke Swart, Senior Executive Recruiter for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville at bswart@utk.edu.

Compensation for the position will be competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience. The University offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits and much more. Additionally, Tennessee residents do not pay a state income tax. For more information on the University of Tennessee’s benefits, visit https://hr.tennessee.edu/benefits/


The University of Tennessee is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Section 504/ADA/ADEA institution in the provision of its educational and employment programs and services. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for its employment and admission without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veteran status, and parental status.