Chief Financial Officer

Chief Financial Officer

Posted: February 5, 2024
Position Code: 1111

The Opportunity

The Vice President & Chief Financial Officer (CFO) will have responsibility for all aspects of financial management for a growing and expanding private large masters comprehensive university and for developing, improving and maintaining all of the financial systems and business procedures of the organization. The CFO will be expected to create and maintain systems and processes for managing all sources and uses of funds for Merrimack College.

The CFO will serve as a primary financial advisor and leader at Merrimack, in regards to creating an entrepreneurial environment for revenue growth and expenditures. The CFO will participate in managing organizational transformation and enhancing a high-demand, results-driven finance culture that positions leaders across the organization for success.

This role serves as the organization’s senior financial position and will provide leadership, management  and supervision of eight employees across accounting, accounts payable/receivable, and purchasing.  The CFO will advise senior management across the College in all matters pertaining to financial sustainability and strategy.


Critical to the success of the CFO are the following responsibilities:

Hire, manage and develop accounting and finance staff and provide cross-departmental collaboration to ensure that financial systems and solutions support the College’s ambitions.

Serve as the college chief investment manager, overseeing the endowment, restricted and temporarily restricted accounts, donor funds and their performance.

Work with the VP of Research on grants management and compliance and all related financial activities.

Establish and maintain sound financial policies, procedures, systems and controls for the organization to ensure that long term sustainability and multi-year financial planning remain at the forefront of the College’s fiscal strategy.

Manage and oversee all treasury functions, including but not limited to, investments, bonds, capital funds, operating cash, credit cards and other negotiable instruments.

Review, analyze and attest to the accuracy of monthly income statements, balance sheet, cash flow projection and variance reports.

Provide leadership and oversight of year-end audits, and financial statements  to ensure clean financial audits with an unqualified opinion.  

Provide leadership and oversight of the College’s compliance function assuring that the organization and each of its schools has the support to remain compliant with all authorizer, state and federal requirements.

Work closely with the President and the Vice President for Financial Planning + Analysis on budget development, long-term financial projections, pro forma planning, cost benefit analysis, program/unit performance.

Working closely with the Vice President, Financial Planning and Analysis, the EVP/Chancelor and the Vice President for Enrollment Management to oversee the annual budget process for the College.

Work closely with institutional leadership on projects, programs and initiatives for which there is a financial component.  Such projects may include private-partnership projects, and third party vendor partnerships. 

Provide the President and trustees with strategies and analysis on debt and cash management including supporting new ways of funding capital projects through public and private partnerships.

Work with accrediting agencies, government and rating agencies on metrics and reporting of the college’s financial position.

Deliver timely reports, including dashboards, to the President, EVP/Chancellor, Executive Leadership Team and Board of Trustees as needed.

The position will serve on the president’s executive council.


Candidate Profile

The CFO of Merrimack College will have the following professional and personal skills, qualities, and characteristics:


Financial Expertise & Fiscal Strategy

  • Extensive executive level experience in the  financial management of higher educational  institutions with a deep understanding of the financial compliance and regulatory environment that higher education institutions operate within. 
  • Bachelor’s Degree is required, CPA preferred. MBA or similar masters degree (MPA, MS, M.Acct) can be in lieu of the years expected for executive level experience.
  • Demonstrate a keen adherence to financial oversight while remaining results-focused, adept at translating Merrimack’s overarching vision and strategy into a concise financial blueprint with measurable milestones.
  • Bring a strong business acumen, with a sophisticated understanding of and ability to analyze and manage a complex and evolving fiscal organizational framework.
  • Maintain a strong commitment to enhancing financial systems at Merrimack, with the ability to assess complex scenarios and present information in a compelling fashion to a variety of audiences, thereby facilitating the organization’s development.
  • Have a strong understanding of, and the ability to develop financial systems on an ERP platform which can accurately capture transactions and data in a timely manner. 
  • Take a data-driven approach to decision making, while demonstrating a willingness to take calculated risks.
  • Apply a robust analytical toolkit to offer guidance, coaching and direction to the President and Chancellor as they seek solutions for complex budgetary needs.  
  • Possess the ability to “deep dive” into the details while staying focused on the holistic financial health and sustainability of the organization. 

Effective Communicator and Change Manager 

  • Be a clear communicator, capable of sharing direct and easy-to-understand tools and approaches to help improve financial processes and share information organization-wide that drives business transformation and organizational performance.
  • Have strong communications skills with a keen ability to convey, both verbally and in writing, complex financial opportunities and risks, particularly in the midst of organizational growth.
  • Display strategic thinking abilities and focus on processes; with demonstrated experience successfully using best-in-class financial methods in rapid or complex situations.
  • Review and redesign existing process flows to ensure adequacy of controls and accuracy of data flowing into the College’s ERP system.
  • Be skilled at solving problems using nuanced, informed, and lasting solutions. A leader who excels at putting new plans into action effectively and generating buy-in from necessary stakeholders.
  • Effortlessly nurture trust and teamwork among team members while adeptly handling change with flexibility and composure.
  • Have a track record of motivating and inspiring others to take action. 

Collaborative Relationship Builder with a Commitment to Inclusive Excellence 

  • Have a collaborative, open, and inquisitive style that encourages innovation and thoughtful experimentation.
  • Display a high level of cultural awareness and sensitivity, ensuring interactions and decision-making consider the diverse perspectives and backgrounds of employees and stakeholders.
  • Build and nurture strong relationships with internal teams, partners, and stakeholders to facilitate proactive communication and collaboration across all financial functions.
  • Be an influential leader with the ability to elevate the performance of the team – individually and collectively.
  • Demonstrate a deep commitment to fostering an inclusive and diverse work environment where all individuals feel valued, heard, and respected. 

Passion for the College’s Catholic & Augustinian Mission

  • Be able to develop a powerful sense of shared purpose in others and motivate them to engage the opportunities and challenges ahead to support the organization’s development.  
  • Be an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics, and values — someone who can be trusted without reservation.
  • Be cognizant and committed to the college’s Catholic and Augustinian mission, values, traditions and history. 


The only Catholic, Augustinian institution of higher education in New England, Merrimack College is a private, independent, and coeducational college nestled in the Boston suburbs of Andover and North Andover, Massachusetts and is an institution with great upward momentum. In the 2022 U.S. News & World Report rankings, Merrimack ranked 3 for Most Innovative Schools making improvements in curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology, or facilities. U.S. News also ranked the College at 34 in the Regional Universities North category and 41 for Best Value Schools.

Founded in 1947 by the Archbishop of Boston and the Order of St. Augustine, Merrimack strives to cultivate global citizens who are prepared to lead in today’s diverse and changing environment. Merrimack offers graduate programs and nearly 100 undergraduate programs in liberal arts, science and engineering, business, health sciences, and education and social policy.

The College has over 4,100 undergraduate and 1,500 graduate students from 40 states and 38 countries who form an engaged community of thinkers, learners, and achievers integrated into an academic culture of excellence. In the last five years, undergraduate enrollment has increased approximately 10 percent and graduate enrollment has increased 55 percent, and Merrimack has hired more than 80 new faculty in that same time as the college invests sponsored research capacity.

At Merrimack, dedication to the Catholic Augustinian values of hospitality, community, and the pursuit of truth allows students to feel at home. They explore the world and gain experiences through strong cooperative education programs, study abroad, internships, and career services programs. Of the class of 2018, 96 percent reported being employed, in graduate school, or completing a year of service nine months post-graduation. Approximately 74 percent of these students participated in co-ops or internships while attending Merrimack and 29 percent of these internships and co-ops led to full-time job offers. At Merrimack, 70 percent of students reside in college housing and enjoy more than 60 student clubs and activities. Merrimack offers a 24-hour fitness facility, and more than 65 percent of the students participate in club sports, intramurals, and/or varsity athletics. Merrimack College intercollegiate athletic teams are in the NCAA Division 1 Northeast Conference.

The over 220-acre campus has some 40 buildings that are clustered around tree-lined walking paths, open spaces, and courtyards. The College recently opened a 14,000 square-foot Nursing facility, a 50,000 square-foot academic building and home of the Girard School of Business, the 16,000 square-foot Arcidi Center, repurposed space for the new School of Health Sciences, renovated engineering space in a recently acquired property adjacent to the campus, and a renovated Academic Success Center. Merrimack has also expanded food services and opened a new Athletic District that includes a stadium, track, and multi-sport field. The College recently announced plans for a new Innovation Center, funding for which will be part of the current campaign.

In addition, the College’s gross revenue is budgeted at approximately $309.9 million with a financial aid expenditure budget of $122.6 million and an operating expenditure budget of $185.3 million. The endowment currently sits at approximately $81.25 million. Tuition and fees contribute approximately 60.5 percent of the budget revenues. The College is averaging approximately $10 million a year in fundraising and just ended a very successful four-year, $63.5 million (on a goal of $50 million) fundraising campaign called Together for Good: A Campaign for Merrimack. The College is planning to launch a new comprehensive fundraising campaign by 2024.

Mission Statement:

Merrimack College is a Catholic Augustinian institution of higher education committed to building a culturally and racially diverse community. Our mission is to enlighten minds, engage hearts and empower lives, and is inspired by our Catholic faith and the Augustinian tradition of seeking truth through inquiry and dialogue.

Merrimack College seeks candidates who understand, respect, and can contribute to Merrimack’s Augustinian mission and values and advance our work in the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We strongly encourage applications from members of underrepresented groups. All candidates should describe in their application previous experience related to equity, diversity, and inclusion, as well as how they will engage in fostering a culture that supports our Augustinian mission, our Catholic faith, and our values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.


The Augustinians established the College as a direct response to the needs and aspirations of local servicemen returning home from World War II. The College grew significantly in the 1950s and 1960s and continued primarily as a commuter school throughout the 1970s and 1980s. The academic excellence that had always been a priority of the Augustinian educational tradition inspired the first college-wide curriculum revision in the early 1980s and the growth of a student life division responsible for co-curricular programs. In the mid-1990s, Merrimack focused strategically on becoming a residential college, and by the end of the decade, residential students accounted for more than 75 percent of the population. Further revisions to the curriculum in the early 2000s reflected Merrimack’s strategic intention to emulate aspirant institutions. There has been significant growth in programs and student population in the past decade, under President Hopey’s leadership, including a larger emphasis on student experience, new majors, graduate education, online learning, professional programs, alumni relations, fundraising, and a rapidly growing sponsored research enterprise. Methodically, the College has increased its rankings, its fundraising, its faculty, and its footprint to support the College’s aggressive ambitions.


Merrimack College’s strategic plan, Agenda for the Future, provides a road map for the next chapter in Merrimack College’s history. The plan embraces our Augustinian Catholic mission while recognizing the challenges the College faces. It is bold, ambitious, and aspirational and is designed to be successful, inclusive, and transformative.

The Agenda for the Future is framed by three overarching strategic directions: Growth, Mission, and Impact. In turn, each strategic direction has three strategic initiatives and includes multiple five-year aspirational outcomes.

Application Materials Should Include:

  • Cover letter stating motivation and interest in the position, citing experience relevant to the qualifications and including experience with, and commitment to, our Catholic Augustinian mission, our values, and our desire to be a more diverse, equitable and inclusive institution of higher learning
  • Resume

This position is subject to the successful completion of a criminal background check.

Vaccinations and Work Location

This is an on-campus position as employees are essential in order to provide a fully on-campus, residential college experience for our students and the community.

The COVID-19 vaccine and booster for which an individual may be eligible are highly recommended for students, faculty and staff. Merrimack College does not require proof of COVID vaccination for enrollment, employment or to be a guest on our campus. 

Merrimack College is an Equal Opportunity Employer.