Chief Finance and Operations Officer | Morristown-Beard School
Carney, Sandoe & Associates
Location: Morristown, New Jersey
Type: Full Time
Morristown, New Jersey
Chief Finance and Operations Officer
Start Date: July 2023
Morristown-Beard School (MBS), an independent coeducational day school, is located in Morristown, NJ on 22 beautiful acres. For more than a century, the campus has been thoughtfully developed and enhanced to meet the needs of its community. Serving students from over 80 communities in Northern New Jersey, the school maintains enrollment of over 600 in Grades 6-12. At MBS, academic rigor and moral and ethical development are equally valued, and students are guided to reach their academic potential while recognizing the value of a balanced life. In July 2021, Head of School Liz Morrison joined the MBS community. Her arrival has brought exciting new energy and vision. MBS has large ambitions for its future, including the augmentation of school resources via enhanced financial strategy, the implementation of a campus master plan, and strategic fundraising efforts to advance the school’s mission.
The school can trace its origins to 1891, with the opening of St. Bartholomew’s School in Morristown, New Jersey. In 1896, the school moved to its current location. When the school closed in 1898 due to financial challenges, several St. Bartholomew’s faculty members collaborated to create the Morristown School for boys. 1891 also brought the creation of The Beard School, in nearby Orange. Led by Lucie, Lizzie, and Ettie Beard, the Beard School provided quality education to girls in New Jersey. In 1971, recognizing the challenges of declining enrollment coupled with financial hardship, the Morristown School and the Beard School joined forces to create a co-educational school on the Morristown campus. This successful partnership provided evidence that such mergers were possible, and that the resulting product brought strength and increased opportunities for all students.
Morristown-Beard seeks a skilled and thoughtful leader to serve as the school’s next Chief Finance & Operations Officer (CF&OO), assuming the role in July 2023. Reporting directly to the Head of School, the CF&OO serves as leader of MBS’ finance and operations, provides strategic partnership and counsel to both the Head and the Board of Trustees, and, as a member of the senior administrative team, collaborates frequently and thoughtfully with colleagues. The community culture at MBS promotes an environment based on trust and care. Candidates should possess financial acumen, leadership skills, high emotional intelligence, and tremendous empathy.
Within a culture of support and collaboration, Morristown-Beard School students discover and develop their individual pathways to academic success and personal fulfillment while becoming enlightened, morally responsible citizens of the world.
Every lesson and interaction at MBS relate to the School’s long-standing Core Values of personal responsibility, awareness of diverse perspectives, engagement, tenacity, independence of mind, and humor and humility. These Core Values comprise the bedrock of the MBS academic program, as well as the foundation for co-curricular activities and interpersonal relationships among students and faculty. In short, MBS employs these Values to help train and guide students so that they may ultimately contribute to making the world a better place.
At a Glance
Upper School enrollment: 450
Middle School enrollment: 150
Students of color: 28%
Towns represented: 85
Total faculty and staff: 156
Faculty of color: 23.5%
Faculty with advanced degrees: 72%
Student/teacher ratio: 1:7
Average class size: 14
Financial aid budget: $4.4M
Students receiving aid: 20%
Annual operating budget: $25M
Campus size: 22-acres
Athletic teams: 60+
Opportunities and Challenges
Serving as a strategic thought partner for the Head of School, the CF&OO must stay current regarding business management trends and opportunities by maintaining personal networks, pursuing professional development, and participating in professional organizations at the local, state, and national levels.
The CF&OO also is an integral member of the highly collaborative Senior Administrative Team that has established trusting working relationships. In this capacity the CF&OO will help administrators with annual budgets, while also participating in the development of school strategy and implementation of the current strategic plan. In support of these processes, the CF&OO will provide recommendations, financial analysis, projections, and other data. To participate effectively in this work, the CF&OO must build trusting relationships by respectfully listening to and working with colleagues and other members of the school community.
The CF&OO will work closely with the Head of School, other senior administrators, the newly appointed Director of Human Resources, the school’s attorneys, and insurance carriers to manage all potential legal and financial risks.
Working with an experienced Business Office staff, the CF&OO will oversee school business functions. Providing strong leadership for the Business Office staff, the CF&OO will manage and mentor direct reports, while exploring ways to bring further efficiency to some business operations.
Given the school’s impressive facilities on its 22-acre campus, the CF&OO will work closely with the Facilities Director and the Board’s Buildings and Grounds Committee, to maintain the current high standards and attention to details with respect to buildings, grounds, and equipment. In addition, the school recently acquired part ownership of a local hockey rink, and there is interest in exploring property acquisition to expand the campus.
Serving as the liaison with various Board of Trustees committees including Finance, Endowment, and Buildings and Grounds, the CF&OO will provide updated financial reports and multi-year forecasting, while ensuring that all fiduciary responsibilities are being met.
As the leader of the Business Office, the CF&OO must model the school’s mission, philosophy, and goals through clear communication and respectful interaction with everyone in the school community - all staff, parents, and students. The CF&OO also must maintain professional relationships with the school’s external community, including banks, attorneys, auditors, insurance carriers, contractors, and accrediting organizations.
In addition to embracing Morristown-Beard School’s mission, supporting its Head and leadership, and
representing the school at professional and public forums, the new CF&OO has a number of primary
Provide strategic leadership, analysis, and management of finances and operations.
Establish financial and capital strategies that are consistent with the strategic priorities.
Serve on the Head of School’s Administrative Team and lead, co-lead, or participate in several other teams and committees.
Oversee all business office functions including all financial reporting to the Head of School, Board of Trustees, and various committees.
Serve as chief staff liaison to Board committees.
Build and/or maintain the school’s short- and long-term strategic financial models.
Oversee the administration of the school’s endowment.
Oversee School operations including personnel, maintenance, and vendors.
Maintain strong relationships with banks and lenders to ensure that funding is secured for the needs of the school and compliance with loan terms.
Administer and manage all employee benefit programs including health insurance, retirement, worker’s compensation, life insurance, and other related plans.
Manage insurance programs including property, casualty, medical, workers’ compensation.
Ensure compliance with all local and state reporting requirements.
Collaborate effectively with Advancement, Enrollment Management, and other departments.
Participate in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging professional development.
Coordinate closely with the Facilities Director on oversight of the physical plant, grounds, and construction functions.
Qualifications and Personal Attributes
Strong financial acumen, gifted in both annual budgeting and financial forecasting and planning;
A compassionate leader with high emotional intelligence;
A creative and strategic thinker who identifies, pursues, and implements growth opportunities on behalf of the institution;
A commitment to building community and living Morristown-Beard’s mission;
Capacity and willingness to collaborate thoughtfully and the ability to build trust with colleagues, creating open dialogues and team-building morale;
Sophisticated communication skills, both oral and written, and the capacity to tailor messaging based on needs and interests of audience;
The ability to disseminate financial and budgeting information with transparency and clarity.
Click on the links below to learn more about Morristown-Beard School.