Director, Finance and Accounting
The University of Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

This job has expired.


RINL Polsky Administration

About the Department

The Polsky Center brings the power of ideas in the laboratory, classroom, and community to the world. Through education, resources, and programs, the Polsky Center commercializes discoveries, partners with companies, and attracts venture capital. The Polsky Center runs a top-ranked business accelerator, the Edward L. Kaplan, '71, New Venture Challenge; operates a 34,000 square-foot, multi-disciplinary co-working space called the Polsky Exchange; manages the George Shultz Innovation Fund that invests in early-stage ventures; and offers a state-of-the-art Fabrication Lab for prototyping new products. Finally, the Polsky Center houses the University of Chicago's technology transfer unit, which manages all University-based intellectual property originating from faculty research and discoveries that can be licensed to industry partners and investors. The Polsky Center is an operating unit within the Office of the Executive Vice President for Science, Innovation, National Laboratories, and Global Initiatives. The office collaborates with University leaders, deans, and members of the faculty to shape the strategic scientific and technological direction of the University, and supports its implementation through and across the Polsky Center, the UChicago Global Initiatives and its centers, and Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. The unifying thread of programming focuses on enabling partnerships, collaboration, and working across divisions and institutions to translate scholarly pursuits, scientific discoveries, and technological developments into impact.

Job Summary

Reporting to the Executive Director of Operations and Chief of Staff and working closely with a the Assistant Vice President for Finance and Chief of Staff for National Laboratories, the Director, Finance and Accounting oversees finance, accounting, budget and internal audit responsibilities for the Polsky Center. The Director works closely with senior management to deliver high-quality information and perspective regarding financial performance, long range financial planning, and potential risk. In addition, this role is key for the improvement of compliance, risk mitigation, and enhanced internal financial controls. She or he will work closely with staff from the Operations and Science and Technology units at the Polsky Center to ensure all financial data captured on intellectual property, license agreements, facilities usage and startup ventures is accurate and complete. The Director supervises two financial analysts.

The job manages multiple related teams of managers and professional staff responsible for the financial management of operating and capital budgets for divisions and/or University-wide administrative units. Executes financial goals and business plans and contributes to the development of functional strategy. Directs financial forecasting and modeling for all major service programs and initiatives. Directs quarterly and year-end reporting for the operating budget.


  • Leads the development and analysis of monthly, quarterly, and annual financial planning cycles including budget, forecast, and long-range strategic plans.
  • Prepares and presents timely, accurate, and relevant financial statements, activity reports, forecasts, and other reports as required by regulatory agencies.
  • Develops and delivers timely, value-add financial analysis, key performance indicators and dashboards.
  • Communicates financial results, operational overview, and strategic recommendations to senior management in a concise, clear, and timely manner.
  • Oversees all financial aspects of internal and external audit engagements by closely partnering with auditors, senior management, and other stakeholders at the University.
  • Implements, improves, and oversees operational efficiency, strengthen unit-wide internal controls, and enhances the utilization of ERP systems.
  • Ensures timely compliance with federal, state, and local governmental and international requirements.
  • Oversees unit-wide compliance and adherence to University and Unit policies related to procurement, fund and gift management, program execution and budget stewardship.
  • Implements efficient and effective strategic and operational long-range plans by leveraging business-driven inputs and performance metrics.
  • Provides financial and operational consulting services to the senior leadership team on key strategic initiatives to help the Units stay focused on achieving their strategic goals.
  • Collaborates with the Polsky Center teams to appropriately document financial aspects of patent applications and patent prosecution, license and interinstitutional agreements, and science venture equity and investments.
  • Works closely with Polsky Center team and partners, including the Office of Civic Engagement, to appropriately document financial aspects of community engagement programs and services as well as facilities charges and space use.
  • Develops strong partnerships with a broad range of key internal stakeholders, including the Budget Office, Financial Services, and Office of Legal Counsel, and external stakeholders, including partners and collaborators in higher education, industry, and government.
  • Leads and develops a high performing team in a hybrid work environment.
  • Manages financial staff through subordinates, usually other managers and professional staff. Establishes performance goals, allocates resources and assesses policies for the related departments managed.
  • Executes functional business plans and contributes to the development of financial goals, strategies, plans, and policies for the unit.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications

Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.
Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 7+ years of work experience in a related job discipline.


Preferred Qualifications

  • BSc/BA in accounting, finance or relevant field.
  • MSc/MA/MBA.

  • Fifteen or more years of progressive experience leading the end-to-end development of budgets, strategic business plans, revenue/expense forecasts, and monthly results analysis in industry (Fortune 500, private equity, government), Big 4 or large consulting firm.
  • Experience in higher education is a plus if coupled with a strong background in industry experience and/or business consulting.
  • Proven record of increased responsibility in internal and external audit, financial planning and analysis, controllership, international accounting, global treasury, change and project management, and operations transformation and optimization roles.
  • Minimum of 10 years demonstrated supervisory, team building, and team development experience.
  • Prior experience with legal entity compliance, IFRS GAAP, technology transfer, patent and IP management.
  • Proven track record of superior financial and strategic analysis and operational savviness.

  • CPA or other relevant certification.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:
  • Microsoft Excel power user with experience using multiple financial/accounting systems.
  • In-depth knowledge of finance and accounting principles, laws, and best practices.

Preferred Competencies
  • Influential leader with robust critical thinking, strategic mindset, and ability to transform abstract concepts into actionable solutions.
  • Outstanding manager who can effectively develop and motivate a team to consistently deliver superior results.
  • Excellent communicator with exceptional writing and presentation skills.
  • Prioritize tasks, work on multiple assignments.
  • Thrive in a fast-paced, ambiguous environment and exhibit the highest personal and professional standards of integrity.
  • Consistently display initiative, motivation, discipline, and ability to work effectively and autonomously.
  • Cultivate finance environment that challenges tradition and inspires innovation.
  • Relentlessly pursue financial excellence and optimization.
  • Plan, prioritize and oversee multiple projects, and meet deadlines for deliverables.
  • Proactive and follow through with attention to detail.

Application Documents
  • Resume/CV (required)
  • Cover Letter (required)

When applying, the document(s) MUSTbe uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family

Financial Management

Role Impact

People Manager

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Requires Compliance with University Covid-19 Vaccination Requirement


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

Employees must comply with the University's COVID-19 vaccination requirements. More information about the requirements can be found on the University of Chicago Vaccination GoForward.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

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