Associate Dean of Finance & Strategic Planning

University of Southern California (USC)


Posted: 15-Oct-23

Location: Los Angeles, California

Salary: Open



Internal Number: REQ20141249

The Gould School of Law is searching for a dynamic leader to be the Associate Dean of Finance & Strategic Planning.  Reporting to the Dean of the school, this leader will manage budget office staff and will act as a strategic partner for the law school Dean.   

Founded in 1896, the Gould School of Law has a distinguished past built on the principles of equity and excellence, and the courage to break new ground. USC first introduced legal education in Southern California. Today, the law school continues to make history through its philosophy of innovation and through its people. USC Gould cultivates analytical ability, ethical values, and a spirit of collegiality that prepare students for meaningful careers benefiting society. It was one of the first law schools to engage students in clinical programs and remains a leader in experiential education.

The Associate Dean of Finance & Strategic Planning assumes overall responsibility for the school’s financial, general accounting, contracts, grants, accounts payable and receivable, purchasing and funding operations. Position is responsible for establishing and updating the school’s financial policies and standards, as well as training personnel on those policies and procedures. 

In addition to managing all budgeting and financial transactions for the school, the successful candidate will present cost savings proposals to the Dean, will lead quarterly meetings with key stakeholders to provide them with financial updates, will assess our current assets to ensure they continue to meet our needs and will be a partner in creating business objectives and strategies in support of the long-term goals of our school.

The successful candidate will provide financial consulting and strategic support to the Dean and leadership team, including preparing board presentations, financial presentations, analysis and other projects, must be capable of exercising discretion to make key budgetary decisions based on knowledge of the Dean’s priorities, must have greater visibility and influence to assist key stakeholders to make financial decisions, and must participate in discussion and debate regarding the most pressing questions facing the school.

Job Summary:

Lead all strategic planning, annual budget, monthly reporting and forecasting functions. Consult with and guide senior management on financial issues, evaluate business/operational proposals, and make recommendations for optimizing the financial impact of business initiatives, including but not limited to the following:

  • Conduct business case analysis for new academic programs and make recommendations to the Dean

  • Produce clear, concise presentations for quarterly and annual budget meetings

  • Provide insightful financial advice and analysis to the Dean and all direct reports 

  • Drive initiatives to improve the flow of financial data, promote data integrity, and implement software solutions for budgeting/planning and compensation

  • Communicate effectively with department heads concerning financial objectives and trends

  • Plan, develop, organize, implement, direct and evaluate the organization’s fiscal function and performance; proactively identify and recommend cost efficiency and productivity initiatives 

  • Develop automated processes to report and analyze revenues and costs, and prepare monthly and quarterly analysis

  • Works as a positive, change oriented, transformational leader in alignment with the organizational values, and leadership culture

  • Works collaboratively to improve financial and accounting systems and processes to improve key outcomes and efficiency

  • On a timely basis, deliver ad hoc financial reports to the Dean

Desired Qualifications:

  • Experience with capital construction projects is a plus

  • Prior full “P&L” (e.g., profit and loss) responsibility for a business unit of similar size as the Gould School of Law

  • Strong technical skills. Excellent financial modeling, Excel, and PowerPoint skills 

  • Demonstrated success with revenue modeling

  • Expert in consolidating large and varied sets of financial data into concise business summaries 

  • Strong analytical and reconciliation skills around detailed financial data 

  • Ability to partner with leadership around strategic objectives 

  • Possess a strategic approach, sound business judgment, and an entrepreneurial mindset

  • Experience in financial management reporting, forecasting, and planning

  • Demonstrated success anticipating trends and recommending mitigating actions to reduce financial or administrative risks

  • Champions process improvement and technical change efforts

  • Partners with the university administration both in routine (i.e., annual budget) and project-specific (i.e. administrative systems change) situations

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills across all levels of an organization, and especially with University executives and senior management 

  • Exceptional organizational skills, with a strong focus on the team

  • Must enjoy a fast-moving environment

Preferred Experience and Education:

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Accounting, Finance, Business Administration or related field is preferred 

  • CPA/ MBA preferred 

  • 7+ years of experience working in accounting/finance positions, with financial analysis experience at a manager or above level for at least 5 years, preferably in higher education

  • Excellent reporting, modeling and analysis capability in Excel

ATTENTION:   Applicants must upload a cover letter and a resume to be considered for this position.

The annual base salary range for this position is $204,184.02 – $225,000. When extending an offer of employment, the University of Southern California considers factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the candidate’s work experience, education/training, key skills, internal peer equity, federal, state, and local laws, contractual stipulations, grant funding, as well as external market and organizational considerations.

Learn more about our benefits and perks here:

Equity, diversity, inclusion, opportunity and access are of central importance to the Gould School of Law (Gould).  Gould holds a unique position in society, and within the university, as every aspect of these principles are influenced by and can be protected through legal rules and institutions.  At Gould, we are proudly committed to maintaining a community in which each person respects the rights of others to live, work, and learn in peace and dignity, to be proud of who and what they are, and to have equal opportunity to realize their full potential as individuals and members of society.

Minimum Education: Master’s degree, Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum educationMinimum Experience: 7 yearsMinimum Field of Expertise: Degree in Business Administration, Accounting, or related field. Management experience in a large, multi-faceted school, corporate or hospital environment. Thorough knowledge of management principles, budgeting, finance, accounting and applicable laws/regulations.

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About University of Southern California (USC)
USC is the leading private research university in Los Angeles—a global center for arts, technology and international business. With more than 47,500 students, we are located primarily in Los Angeles but also in various US and global satellite locations.

As the largest private employer in Los Angeles, responsible for $8 billion annually in economic activity in the region, we offer the opportunity to work in a dynamic and diverse environment, in careers that span a broad spectrum of talents and skills across a variety of academic and professional schools and administrative units. As a USC employee and member of the Trojan Family—the faculty, staff, students, and alumni who make USC a great place to work—you will enjoy excellent benefits, including a variety of well-being programs designed to help individuals achieve work-life balance.
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