The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health invites applications and nominations for the position of Chief Financial Officer.

The opportunity

This is a rare opportunity to guide the financial health and advancement of a world-class institution in its mission to advance health and health equity through remarkable service to patients and communities, outstanding education, and innovative research. The school is the first in the nation to combine the principles of medicine and public health in all of its missions. Its setting within a top-tier university and academic medical center results in a vibrant environment.

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the School of Medicine and Public Health is a strategic leader responsible for the overall financial operation of the school. This includes budgeting, financial reporting, and management of the school’s educational and research funds; financial relationships with the UW–Madison campus and external organizations; and accurate and timely accounting for all school cost centers, accounts, and funds. The school’s annual expenditures exceeded $726 million in fiscal year 2021, plus additional funds managed by the school’s clinical departments from UW Health, the school’s clinical partner.

Reporting to the Dean of the School of Medicine and Public Health, the CFO is a member of the Dean’s Leadership Team. The CFO provides strategic counsel and executive decision-making support to the Dean on all fiscal matters, from resource allocation and budgeting to cost-savings and revenue-generating opportunities. The position requires experience and skill in assessing the financial aspects of the complex and interconnected environment of an academic medical center that is housed within a research-intensive university.

The CFO plays a leadership and advisory role in collaborations with colleagues at UW Health and the UW–Madison campus. This role implements financial strategies that support the objectives and the missions of the school by fostering relationships with school leaders such as department chairs and center and institute directors, UW–Madison units that report to the Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration, and UW Health. The CFO functions as a collaborative team member and the role requires skill in objective decision-making, sound interpretation of university policy, and analysis of complex data. The individual must be able to use and distill financial data to draw appropriate inferences, develop recommendations, and present facts to multiple stakeholder groups.

The CFO manages the staff of the school’s Office of Fiscal Affairs. The office provides support to the administrative and academic units of the Dean's Office, as well as the school's numerous departments, centers, and institutes.

The successful candidate must have a profound commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, experience in budgeting and resource allocation through an equity lens, and knowledge of how fiscal initiatives can drive operational, institutional, and cultural change. They will be charged with advancing a unified, school-wide strategic framework that ensures the financial success of the school’s pillars of education, research, and service, in alignment with the school’s values.

Organization overview


“The University of Wisconsin–Madison is distinctive in its scale and breadth, the premium we place on our relevance to society, and our commitment to inclusivity in the broadest sense.” — Rebecca M. Blank, Chancellor

Since 1848, this campus has been a catalyst for the extraordinary. As a public land-grant university and one of the most prolific research institutions in the world, UW–Madison is home to those who are driven by a desire to both explore new worlds and to apply new ideas to real-world problems.

Bascom Hall sits atop Bascom Hill, the symbolic center of the UW–Madison campus.

With a total annual budget of over $3.4 billion, including more than $1.3 billion in annual research expenditures, UW–Madison has been in the top 10 in national research spending every year since 1972. The campus is home to more than 24,000 faculty and staff and 45,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree students. Members of the student body represent all 50 states and 127 countries. The university is ranked the number one public university and fourth overall in Washington Monthly’s 2021 College Guide and Rankings and 14th among public institutions in U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 rankings of best colleges.

The Wisconsin Idea — the principle that the university should improve people’s lives beyond the classroom — has been guiding the efforts of UW–Madison Badgers for more than a century. The university has been dedicated to studying poverty and social inequity for 50 years, is ranked #1 among large schools for producing Peace Corps volunteers, and boasts 19 Nobel Prize winners among its faculty and alumni.

School of Medicine and Public Health

The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) is recognized as an international, national, and statewide leader in education, research, and service. Founded in 1907, it transformed into the nation’s first School of Medicine and Public Health in 2005 to integrate the principles and power of interwoven medical and public health approaches in all its missions.

Powered by more than 5,500 employees, including over 2,000 faculty, the school’s engagement spans the entire state of Wisconsin and includes a deep commitment to improving the health of the population. This commitment manifests itself in innovative models that serve as paradigms for the rest of the country.

Members of the school rapidly translate discovery into application and continually foster synergies among clinical care, education, and research. Consistently ranked among the nation’s top medical schools, SMPH has established high-performance academic programs that are intentionally distributed across the entire spectrum of academic medicine. Its faculty members hold appointments in 27 departments—17 in the clinical sciences and 10 in the basic sciences. The faculty is composed of some of the nation’s leading researchers, educators, and clinicians.This includes several members of the National Academy of Science and the National Academy of Medicine.

The sun sets over the Health Sciences Learning Center and the Wisconsin Institute for Medical Research at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

Mission and values

UW SMPH strives to carry out its mission of advancing health and health equity through remarkable service to patients and communities, outstanding education, and innovative research. It upholds the values of integrity and accountability, compassion, diversity, equity and inclusivity, and excellence. The school’s Shared Guidelines for Professional Conduct help the SMPH community embody these values in their daily activities.

Fostering a diverse and inclusive community is important both as an end in itself and as a valuable driver for eliminating health disparities. The school strives to be comprised of a diverse, inclusive academic community committed to advancing health and health equity; developing the next generation of clinicians and scientists; and creating innovative research programs across the entire continuum of basic, clinical, translational, and population health sciences.

SMPH is dedicated to creating an inclusive, collaborative, respectful, and welcoming environment in which all faculty, students, and staff will thrive.

UW Health

UW Health is the integrated health system of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, serving more than 700,000 patients each year in the Upper Midwest and beyond with 1,849 physicians and 21,000 staff at seven hospitals and more than 80 outpatient sites. The health system's overall annual budget is approximately $3.8 billion. UW Health is governed by the UW Hospitals and Clinics Authority and partners with UW School of Medicine and Public Health to fulfill patient care, research, education and community service missions.

UW Health Hospitals, which includes both University Hospital on the UW–Madison campus and UW Health at The American Center on the east side of Madison, has been ranked No. 1 in Wisconsin for 10 years in a row by U.S. News and World Report. University Hospital is one of only 25 U.S. hospitals named to Newsweek’s “Top 100 Global” list, which includes hospitals in 11 countries around the world. American Family Children’s Hospital is also nationally ranked as a top children’s hospital.

UW Health has been designated by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation as a Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality in the Healthcare Equality Index.

Office of Fiscal Affairs and Chief Financial Officer

The School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) Office of Fiscal Affairs, led by the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), is a vital part of the administration of SMPH. The office consists of more than 20 talented financial and accounting professionals who provide support to all areas within the Dean’s Office administration, as well as the school's 27 departments, 21 centers, and nine institutes.

The team provides support, consultation, and service to units to assist in budgeting, financial reporting, and transactions and ensures units are following university and state policy and being proper stewards of public funds. They manage and oversee a variety of funding types, including state funding, grants, gifts, and recharge funds.

The CFO also provides support for grant programs and fundraising campaigns that are part of the school, such as the Wisconsin Partnership Program and the upcoming Wisconsin Medicine campaign, a first-of-its-kind joint comprehensive campaign of the school and health system.

The school exists in a complex and fiscally responsible and robust funding environment comprised of the university, UW Health, and the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association, which raises, invests, and distributes funds for the benefit of the university.

Facts and figures about the school’s finances:

  • Approximately 35% of SMPH expenditures are funded by federal grant dollars
  • Approximately 26% of SMPH expenditures are funded by dollars transferred by UW Health
  • SMPH receives approximately $89 million allocated by UW–Madison, which includes state support and tuition revenues
  • Total value of funds held at the UW Foundation and UW Office of Trust Funds (includes endowed and discretionary funds) is approximately $1.4 billion

Qualifications and attributes of leadership

The successful candidate will hold a bachelor’s degree in a field related to the position. A master’s degree in business administration, finance, accounting, or a related field is preferred. A CPA is desired. The incumbent must have at least ten years of progressive financial leadership and management experience. At least five years of strategic financial management, in combination with a commitment to fiscal integrity, within a university and/or healthcare setting is preferred.

They must possess excellent interpersonal and oral/written communication skills that foster trust, credibility, and understanding. The candidate must have the ability to navigate complex academic and healthcare communities, building bridges and strong collaborative relationships with a range of internal and external stakeholders. The applicant must have the ability to interact and influence at all levels of an organization and to work collaboratively across functions and departments toward shared objectives.

The community

Located on an isthmus between two lakes, Madison is the capital city of the state of Wisconsin. Madison has been voted:

  • No. 1 Best Place to Live (Liveability, 2021)
  • No. 1 City for Most Successful Women Per Capita (Forbes, 2019)
  • No. 1 City for Best Work-Life Balance (SmartAsset, 2020)
  • No. 8 Best Area for STEM Professionals (WalletHub, 2020)
  • No. 2 Best State to Practice Medicine (WalletHub, 2020)
  • No. 2 Best City for Biking (People for Bikes, 2020)
  • No. 2 Most Walkable City (Expedia, 2018)
  • No. 4 Fittest City in the U.S. (ACSM American Fitness Index, 2020)
  • No. 5 Best Cities for Millenials (, 2020)
  • No. 4 Greenest City (Zippia, 2020)
  • No. 1 Best Place in the U.S. for Raising Children ( 2020)
  • No. 1 Best College Football Town in America (Sports Illustrated, 2019).

Madison’s technology economy is growing rapidly, and the region is home to the headquarters of Epic Systems, Exact Sciences, American Family Insurance, American Girl, Sub-Zero, and Lands’ End, as well as many biotech, healthcare IT, and health systems startups.

The city of Madison and the University of Wisconsin–Madison acknowledge that they occupy ancestral Ho-Chunk land. The School of Medicine and Public Health recognizes the health inequities faced by Native communities and pledges to address this as an important component of its missions.

Madison is the second largest city in the state, with a city population of approximately 273,000 and regional population of over 1 million. It is the fastest-growing county in the state of Wisconsin. The city is within easy driving range of Chicago and Milwaukee. Madison offers numerous unique neighborhoods and commercial areas including the Capitol Square, State Street, Willy Street, Shorewood Hills, Maple Bluff, and Hilldale. Suburbs and surrounding smaller communities include Sun Prairie, Middleton, McFarland, Verona, Cottage Grove, Waunakee, and Fitchburg.

Madison is home to one of the strongest local food scenes in the country with several James Beard Award winners, gastropubs, and farm-to-table restaurants. From April to October, the Capitol Square hosts the impressive Dane County Farmers’ Market, the largest producer-only farmers’ market in the country. The city is rich with cultural offerings such as the Overture Center for the Performing Arts, Orpheum Theatre, Concerts on the Square, Jazz at Five, UW-Madison Mead Witter School of Music and Hamel Music Center, Madison Symphony Orchestra, Madison Opera, Madison Ballet, UW–Madison Chazen Museum of Art, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Wisconsin Historical Museum, and Madison Children’s Museum, among others.

The Dane County Farmer's Market is held weekly on the Capitol Square during non-winter months.

The city has a dedicated athletics fanbase which largely centers around the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Sports venues include Camp Randall Stadium, the Kohl Center, LaBahn Arena, Wisconsin Field House, and the Alliant Energy Center. Madison is home to Forward Madison FC, the first professional soccer team in the city, as well as the Madison Mallards, a college wood-bat summer baseball league team. Marquee endurance sports and specialty sporting events include IronMan Wisconsin and IronMan 70.3, Reebok CrossFit Games, Madison Marathon, and many national and international championship competitions.

Application process


Please send nominations to:

Stephen Y. Nakada, MD, and Robert Flannery, CPA
co-chairs of the Chief Financial Officer Search Committee
c/o Benjamin Schultz-Burkel, DMA
4299C HSLC, 750 Highland Avenue
Madison, WI, 53705-2111


To apply, please visit the UW-Madison jobs website, using the "apply now" button below. Applicants will be asked to upload a CV and personal statement/cover letter.


To receive full consideration, please apply by Feb. 20, 2022.

Diversity, equity and inclusion

The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health has a deep and profound commitment to diversity both as an end in itself and also as a valuable means for eliminating health disparities. The school is committed to being a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist workplace and is an Equal Employment Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Applications from Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) individuals, LGBTQ+ and non-binary identities, women, persons with disabilities, military service members and veterans are strongly encouraged.


Unless confidentiality is requested in writing, information regarding applicants must be released upon request. Finalists cannot be guaranteed confidentiality.

Apply now