Director, Financial Strategy & Planning

Job description

Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner seeks to hire a director, financial strategy & planning. The director will assist the chief financial officer in budgeting & financial planning, communications, data gathering, research projects, working with institutions of higher learning and others, and financial support. Research, evaluate, and recommend modification and improvement to budget policies and financial procedures. Oversight of the strategic higher education budget coordination and financial management for public higher education. Annually examine the state’s investment on higher education and managing processes and routines with the institutions of higher education, the Office of Management & Budget, and the Council on Postsecondary Education. Provide analytical support for special projects to senior management, the Council on Postsecondary Education, Finance & Facilities Subcommittee, and the legislative and executive branches of Rhode Island state government.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities
Support the chief financial officer in the management and oversight of the Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner (OPC) higher education finance responsibilities to the Council on Postsecondary Education.

State Higher Education Finance Strategy

  • Evaluation of current postsecondary investment processes and frameworks for distribution of state and federal resources that are appropriated through the State budget.
  • Short and long-term impact of Rhode Island postsecondary investment, based on the current and future needs of the state.
  • Revise and continuously improve statewide strategies for postsecondary state investment, processes, and analytical tools that assists the state in better understanding the return on investment for postsecondary education and the short-term and long-term financial challenges and opportunities for public higher education.
  • Routinely evaluate the delivery, and administration of each Rhode Island affordability program. Propose and revise strategies for strength and opportunities to improve based on outcomes and understood return on investment for the state.
  • Implement annual reporting processes for each OPC pass-through accounts, working with funded organizations and institutions to ensure all resources are accounted for and are compliant with the Council on Postsecondary Education’s policy as well as their related funding requirements.

Budget & Financial Analysis

  • Assist with the preparation of the variance analysis on financial operating results with annual budget and explanation of results for CFO review.
  • Assist in development of the Council on Postsecondary Education’s annual budget request that includes the operating and capital budgets for OPC, Community College of Rhode Island, and Rhode Island College.
  • Ability to make recommendations to the CFO and senior management to improve financial processes and postsecondary system controls, when necessary.
  • Assist in assessment of financial condition for proprietary schools.
  • Assist the CFO to lead all activities related to the Council on Postsecondary Education’s Finance and Facilities Committee.
  • Assist in ad hoc assignments and projects as necessary.


  • Understanding of the state’s procurement regulations, policies, and procedures to assist in in management of the execution of purchasing agreements.
  • Assist in reviewing purchasing request for OPC and the institutions of higher education for particular commodities and services to ensure they are in compliance with the Council on Postsecondary Education’s and the state’s procurement regulations.

Research and Planning

  • Continuously improve finance-related research and planning capacity by assisting the CFO to provide direction to integrate Rhode Island‘s state longitudinal data system into current and future data collection and evaluation processes.
  • Understanding of legislation and reporting requirements of the Office of Management & Budget impacting the public postsecondary system.
  • Research, formulate, and develop improvements that will enhance the operations of OPC and the Council on Postsecondary Education.
  • Cross-organizational review of regulations, policies, agreements that impact financial operations of the Council on Postsecondary Education.
  • Perform research and analysis on various higher education initiatives, with ability to develop and conduct presentations of results to various stakeholder groups.


  • To attend meetings as required.
  • Perform additional duties as assigned.


Education: Bachelor’s degree required in accounting, business administration, business management, economics, education, finance, public administration, or related field. Master’s degree preferred.

Experience: Minimum of five years of management-level experience with administration and oversight responsibilities within a complex organization. Experience with compliance and regulatory requirements with government or quasi-government agencies. Demonstrated knowledge of state government, policies, and procedures. Experience in education and project management preferred.

Skills: Must possess knowledge of research principles and practices; management of information systems; public finance and fiscal planning; budgetary, contract administration, grant management, and reporting systems (i.e. Microsoft Office Suite, RIFANS, SHERPA (BFM),; must have the ability to plan and supervise staff performing assigned tasks. Demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously in a dynamic work environment; ability to manage projects and report results within appropriate timelines; must be able to think critically, work independently, and have effective verbal and written communication skills in order to successfully work with members of the public, fellow employees, governmental agency representatives, and state officials.

This is a non-union, non-classified, full-time position with a pay grade of 12. The director reports to the chief financial officer.

Send resume and cover letter by 5 p.m. on March 13, 2024. All requirements are subject to possible modification to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities.


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All requirements are subject to possible modification to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities. 

It is the belief and the policy of the State of Rhode Island that the race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, handicap/disability, age (subject to certain limitations established by law) or veteran status of an individual should neither serve as a barrier to his or her equal opportunity for employment nor be the basis of harassment in the workplace. The Rhode Island Council on Postsecondary Education fully endorses this basic policy of nondiscrimination.