4001 Senior Academic Financial Officer


TITLE Senior Academic Financial Officer






The Senior Academic Financial Officer (SAFO) is the financial officer for academic affairs and advises the Provost on all matters pertaining to budget management and control, budget preparation, and fiscal planning. The SAFO works with the Office of Financial Services to coordinate the organization and reporting of financial information for all academic units and creates and executes timelines and procedures for various financial and administrative processes occurring in academic units.

The SAFO prepares and provides the Provost with revenue and expense projections for financial planning, advises the Provost regarding financial decisions and ensures that all budgets within the Provost’s area of responsibility, including college budgetary units, are fiscally sound for both University and Foundation funds. The SAFO assists the Provost with implementation of objectives in the long-range plan by developing budget frameworks for reprioritization of funds and assuring sustainable funding of strategic initiatives. Additionally, the SAFO provides professional service to deans, academic unit leaders and all other constituencies interacting with the Office of the Provost. The SAFO serves on various university-wide committees and is expected to complete ongoing professional development annually.


Education: A bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field is required. A CPA or master’s degree is preferred. An equivalent combination of years of experience and education may be considered for substitution of educational requirements.

Experience: At least three years of financial/accounting and/or budgetary experience is required. Advanced accounting and/or budgetary experience in higher education is preferred. Licensed, or pursuing certification, as a certified public accountant preferred.

Skills: Strong leadership and strategic planning abilities are required. The ability to project a strong positive image of the University through interaction with all constituencies conducting business with the University, is required. Executive problem-solving skills and the ability to organize and manage complex functions and multi-project details simultaneously are required. Exceptional aptitude in financial activities management (e.g., tools, graphics, and analysis) is required. Must be skilled in using financial management software commonly used in higher education. Familiarity with data analytics concepts preferred. Excellent written and verbal communication skills are required. A demonstrated commitment to Missouri State University’s inclusive excellence principles is required. A successful track record of innovation is preferred.


1. Ensures efficient coordination of academic affairs accounts by designing budgeting systems and financial records which are compatible with the University's financial information and reporting systems.

2. Advises the Provost regarding financial decisions by monitoring monthly budget summary reports from the colleges and other academic cost centers, providing accurate information regarding the financial status of individual accounts, and interpreting University financial reports.

3. Assists the Provost in annual budgeting and financial planning by providing revenue and expense projections and coordinating realignment process to assure congruency between budget allocations and the objectives of the Long-Range Plan.

4. Establishes the academic affairs budget calendar, initiates the budget planning process in all academic affairs units, provides guidance to colleges regarding budget preparation and determination of carryover, and monitors balances and expenditures going forward.

5. Coordinates changes to the proposed fee schedules, identifies and tracks carry-forward commitments, tracks academic reserve commitments, and identifies and communicates budget reallocations.

6. Assures sustainable funding plans for endowed chairs and professorships, coordinates start-ups of new programs, and documents funding plans for job postings.

7. Provides assistance to the Provost by collecting, organizing, and analyzing financial and other statistical data for the preparation of financial and non-financial reports, establishing reporting deadlines for those providing data for these reports, and utilizing the Banner financial system and procurement card system to assist with financial management responsibilities. Acts as procurement card coordinator and approver as assigned.

8. Oversees production of academic affairs annual report and compliance reports as assigned by the provost.

9. Provides leadership in Academic Affairs to help strategically navigate the ever-changing budget environment. Balances risks and rewards of potential trade-offs while seeking new pathways to value creation for students, faculty/staff, administration, and all stakeholders.

10. Serves as a strategic partner to the Deans’ Team in managing disruption and transformation in the higher education space.

11. Tracks budgets for positions including vacancies, funding plans for replacements and new positions.

12. Accepts signature authorization responsibilities to approve various personnel forms, payroll forms, purchase orders, and other documents as delegated by the Provost.

13. Serves as liaison between the Provost and other University offices, as assigned by the Provost.

14. Trains new academic unit leaders and support staff on all aspects of financial budget management and policy.

15. Helps implement digital tools for descriptive, diagnostic, and predictive analytics.

16. Accepts delegated duty of Deputy Chair of the Information Technology Council.

17. Serves as a member of the Information Technology Council’s Student Computer User Fee (SCUF) subcommittee. 187. Oversees SCUF budget planning, coordination, and distribution.

18. Contributes to a work environment that encourages knowledge of, respect for, and development of skills related to Missouri State’s Inclusive Excellence principles.

19. Remains competent and current through self-directed professional reading, developing professional contacts with colleagues, attending professional development courses, and attending training and /or courses as required by the Provost but no less than at a level equal to continuing professional education required by the Missouri State Board of Accountancy.

20. Contributes to the overall success of the Office of the Provost by performing all other essential duties and responsibilities as assigned, maintaining high levels of accuracy, and maintaining a professional demeanor and appropriate levels of confidentiality.


The SAFO supervises other employees as assigned by the Provost including the Operations Administrator for Academic Affairs, other Full-time, Part-time and Graduate Assistants as needed.


REVISED October 2023