Position Criteria

Vice President for Financial Affairs and Administration

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) invites nominations, applications, or expressions of interest for the position of Vice President for Financial Affairs and Administration.


Since becoming an autonomous campus of The University of Alabama System in 1969, The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) has earned international renown for its innovative academic programs in a range of disciplines, groundbreaking research and scholarship, and leading-edge patient care.

The University comprises 10 schools (Business, Dentistry, Education, Engineering, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, Optometry and Public Health) and a College of Arts and Sciences, and has seen record enrollment for five consecutive years, reaching 18,568 in fall 2013. The student body is 26% African-American, 60% female and represents more than 100 countries around the world, making up a campus that is consistently named among the most diverse nationally in The Princeton Review.

Academic programs at all levels—undergraduate through post-doctoral—are nationally recognized for their exceptional research and service learning opportunities. Undergraduate programs and the Honors College offer the type of hands-on, closely mentored research experiences found primarily at the graduate level in most universities, such as Alabama’s only undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering, a program in the neurosciences conducted jointly with the School of Medicine, and new majors in Biomedical Sciences, Public Health and Informatics. U.S. News & World Report 2015 “Best Graduate Schools” lists 12 UAB programs in the top 25—four of those in the top 10, including the healthcare management program at 5th nationally—and The Scientist “Best Places to Work as a Postdoc” ranks UAB first among all public universities.

UAB’s robust research enterprise, with more than $454 million in external funding (FY 2012), is ranked 31st in federal funding (15th among public universities) and 23rd in funding from NIH (11th among public universities). This research encompasses a wide range of disciplines and emerging new fields, and spans the continents in scope: Developing revolutionary treatments for the most devastating human diseases, from cancer to AIDS to Parkinson’s; using satellite remote sensing to reveal lost settlements in Egypt and the former Roman Empire (as featured on BBC and Discovery Channel); pioneering new materials for everything from stronger military gear to bio-coatings for cardiac stents to safer public transportation; combating cybercrime perpetrated from computers around the globe in a one-of-a-kind cyber forensics center, collaborating with the FBI, Homeland Security and industry partners such as Facebook and Google;  and making significant advances in climatology, marine biology and medicine in the far reaches of Antarctica.

Driven by an intensely collaborative and entrepreneurial character, UAB is the economic engine of the region and recently added economic development as a fifth “pillar” of its mission (with Education, Research, Patient Care and Service). With a statewide economic impact exceeding $5 billion annually, UAB is Alabama’s largest single employer with more than 23,000 employees (including over 2,000 faculty members), and supports more than 61,000 jobs state-wide—one of every 33 Alabama jobs.

Much of this substantial economic impact is derived from technology transfer. UAB Research Foundation has generated some $64 million in revenues and spun off more than 58 start-up companies (most of those in the past decade), and Innovation Depot—in which UAB is a founding partner—is the largest business incubator in the Southeast, with 95 tenant companies and a $1 billion economic impact over the past four years. UAB also has a longtime and fruitful partnership with Birmingham’s Southern Research Institute, particularly in drug discovery, and has more recently cultivated strong collaborations with HudsonAlpha, a genomics-oriented research institute based in Huntsville.

In technology transfer and other economic development efforts, UAB has worked hand in hand with a number of state and local organizations such as Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA). The University was closely involved in drafting BBA’s Blueprint Birmingham, a plan for regional economic growth, and continues collaborating on a number of other economic development efforts.

As a leading academic medical center, UAB also translates its research into the highest quality medical care for the state and region, treating more than a million patients annually (including over $100 million annually in charity care). UAB Health System consists of UAB Hospital, the I.M.Pei-designed Kirklin Clinic and Kirklin Clinic at Acton Road, UAB Highlands, the Callahan Eye Foundation Hospital, Spain Rehabilitation Center (a component of UAB Hospital), Valley Foundation, Ophthalmology Foundation, VIVA Health (a 90,000 member health plan), as well as affiliates UAB Medical West and Baptist Health (Montgomery Alabama), the Hazelrig Salter Radiation Center and the UAB Woman and Infants Center.   

The flagship UAB Hospital is the largest in Alabama and 3rd largest public hospital in the U.S. (with 1,157 beds), houses the state's only level 1 adult trauma center, and is the only Alabama hospital to be listed in every annual issue of U.S. News & World Report “America’s Best Hospitals” (24 straight years). UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only NCI-designated center in Alabama and in a six-state region, and recently took a quantum leap with the renovation of the Wallace Tumor Institute, which now houses a state-of-the-art Advanced Imaging Facility and the most powerful cyclotron at any U.S. academic medical center.

UAB also promotes the cultural and artistic vitality of its community and state. The Alys Stephens Center is Birmingham’s home for the performing arts, hosting the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, internationally renowned musicians, and performances by UAB’s departments of music and theatre. The Stephens Center had total attendance of more than 104,000 in 2013—while also taking the arts into the community through its ArtPlay and ArtReach educational programs—and is the anchor of UAB’s burgeoning Cultural Arts Corridor, which was recently expanded with the opening of the  state-of the-art, $12.5M Abroms-Engel Institute for Visual Arts.

UAB’s decades-long partnership with its community and state has led to the economic, cultural and social renaissance of Birmingham—the state’s largest metro area with a population of 1.1M—as the city has grown from a primarily steel-based economy to a thriving nexus of R&D, medicine, banking and other service industries.

That partnership and growth continues as UAB develops its most comprehensive Strategic Plan ever, collaborating campus-wide and with the business community and key organizations, civic leaders, elected officials and other stakeholders. The Plan focuses on top strategic priorities, builds on “areas of excellence,” and promotes innovation, entrepreneurship and collaboration as signatures in all the University’s efforts.

While investing internally in those strategic objectives, UAB is also garnering overwhelming support locally and nationally through its largest philanthropic campaign ever, the $1 billion Campaign for UAB: Give Something, Change Everything. As of March 2014—only five months after the public phase began—nearly 71,000 donors had given $473.4 million to this campaign that will dramatically advance UAB’s mission and transform the future of Birmingham and Alabama.


The Vice President for Financial Affairs and Administration reports to the President and will be a full-time, twelve-month administrative position overseeing all administrative responsibilities for the University’s financial and administrative functions. Responsibilities will include:
  • Serves as a member of the President’s Cabinet for all major decisions affecting the University. Provides information and counsel to the President and other executive officers on fiscal and administrative matters related to University-wide planning, policies and procedures.
  • Negotiates with an array of external organizations and builds relations with banks, underwriters and other sources of financing. Provides management for the development of bonded debt financing and credit agency rating of debt as necessary.
  • Represents the University in interaction with internal operating units, as well as outside civic, regulatory and accrediting agencies. Serves as chief business and finance spokesperson to other University personnel, Board of Trustees, local government and community, state agencies and other educational and non-educational institutions.
  • Supervises senior officers and directors in the development of objectives, new programs, goals, forecasts, plans and budgets and ensures same are appropriately followed and administered.
  • Ensures University policies are uniformly disseminated and properly interpreted and administered. Develops, secures approval of and establishes operating policies consistent with President’s broad policies and objectives, and ensures execution of same.
  • Responsible for direct supervision of senior officers and certain department directors and office support personnel.
  • Responsible for the long and short-term planning and execution of UAB’s master plan, real estate and business development planning and large-scale capital construction program.
  • Responsible for the planning and implementation of administrative computing systems that support the finance and human resource operations of the University.
  • Serves as a board member and/or officer for various related foundations and organizations, including the UAB Educational Foundation, Southern Research Institute and the UAB Research Foundation. Has overall financial oversight responsibilities of the UAB Educational Foundation.
  • Serves as the President’s liaison to the Athletics Department in regard to matters of budget, facilities and financial management.
  • Responsible for university-related risk management activities and serves on the various committees governing these activities for the University and the University of Alabama System.
  • Responsible for the University’s contract review process which ensures that the terms and conditions of non-grant agreements are consistent with Alabama law, the University’s financial policies and restrictions and the mission of the University. Executes contracts and agreements on behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama.
  • Responsible for general campus safety through direct supervision of the UAB Police Department and the UAB Emergency Management Office, ensuring a safe and secure environment on campus.
  • Maintains awareness of political activities, current and proposed legislation, changing economic and demographic environment and overall business climate affecting the University and relates this insight to the changing needs of the University consistent with its mission.
  • Serves on a variety of standing and ad-hoc committees in support of UAB programs and activities.


Vice President Financial Affairs and Administration

Reports to:    
  • UAB President
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Senior Facilities Officer
  • Chief of Police/Asst. Vice President
  • Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Associate Vice President Business Services
  • Program Manager – UAB Benevolent Fund
  • Exec Director, Emergency Management
  • Director, Insurance and Risk Finance
  • Director, Local Governmental Relations
  • Director, Business Systems Analysis & Special Projects
  • The UAB Educational Foundation (through the AVP Business Services)
  • Indirect Reports – Direct Report to the President
  • Athletic Director – University Athletics
  • Director, University Compliance
Board Membership:    
  • Southern Research Institute
  • The UAB Educational Foundation
  • The UAB Research Foundation
  • UAB Health System (Audit)
  • VIVA Health
  • PLTF Committee (Professional Liability Trust Fund)
  • CGL Committee (Comprehensive General Liability Trust Fund)


The Vice President for Financial Affairs and Administration should hold a Master’s degree in Business Administration, Finance, Accounting or other business related field. In addition, ten years’ high level administrative and financial management experience is preferred. In addition to these criteria, the Vice President will:
  • Possess extensive management experience at a major enterprise and have demonstrated ability to effectively lead the financial affairs and administration of a complex organization.
  • Display managerial experience in a comparable healthcare and/or University environment.
  • Demonstrate strong leadership skills and a proven record of budgeting, financial oversight, and strategic planning.
  • Interface effectively with Senior Leaders throughout the University and the greater community while appropriately representing the financial and administrative responsibilities of the institution.
  • Exhibit a strong commitment to the enhancement of diversity within the organization.
  • Understand the importance of cross divisional collaboration and foster the development of partnerships designed to increase the effectiveness of the institution.
  • Skillfully lead and advance financial management, facilities operation and construction, campus planning, human resource management, business auxiliaries, campus risk management and security.


The desired candidate will be a dynamic leader and team player. Self-assured and strong in his/her convictions, this individual must be committed and passionate about UAB’s mission and the role he/she can serve in furthering that mission. Within the organization, this individual must exhibit exceptional management skills, including the ability to engage and inspire the team. Additionally, the ideal candidate will:
  • Be a decisive, forward-thinking individual who brings a high level of good judgment, common sense, wisdom, and insight and who can serve as a partner to the members of the senior leadership team.
  • Be assertive and focused on driving results that align with the organization’s mission and objectives.
  • Exhibit superb verbal, written and interpersonal skills and have outstanding persuasion and presentation skills; be an articulate communicator and good listener with an open and honest personal style who is equally effective in formal and informal settings.
  • Use diplomacy and sensitivity in working with a variety of personalities. Relate effectively to individuals throughout all levels of the organization and its external stakeholders.
  • Possess a high energy level and an ability to manage multiple, simultaneous projects, with the adaptability to move equally between long-term strategic issues to short-term tactical implementation.
  • Value teamwork and collaboration over individual performance and personal success; be a consensus builder who promotes a philosophy of inclusiveness, encourages participation and facilitates the sharing of knowledge.
  • Be a thorough and detail-oriented professional with the insight to anticipate issues and to create new and innovative solutions.
  • Demonstrate the highest level of personal ethics and professional integrity to engender total confidence in his or her business and moral conduct.
  • Possess high emotional intelligence, a good sense of humor and a high level of confidence.
  • A long-term commitment to UAB, relishing the opportunity to be a visible part of this inclusive and culturally rich community.


The Search Committee invites nominations, applications (a letter of interest, comprehensive curriculum vitae, and the names and contact information of five or more references) or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting UAB (electronic submissions preferred). Confidential review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. It is preferred, however, that nominations and applications be submitted prior to May 30, 2014.

Laurie C. Wilder, Executive Vice President
Katie Bain, Vice President
Jacob Anderson, Associate
Parker Executive Search
5 Concourse Parkway Suite 2900
Atlanta, GA 30328
Phone: (770) 804-1996 X 111; Fax: (770) 804-1917
UAB is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and family-friendly environment in which all faculty and staff can excel and achieve work/life balance irrespective of ethnicity, gender, faith, gender identity and expression as well as sexual orientation. UAB also encourages applications from individuals with disabilities and veterans. A pre-employment background investigation is performed on candidates selected for employment.
For further information, see http://www.uab.edu