EFL Associates Seeking CFO for Ottawa University 

August 2, 2021 – Executive search firm EFL Associates has been selected to find a new chief financial officer for Ottawa University (OU), a private Baptist university based in Ottawa, KS. Steve Waldron, the recruitment firm’s managing director—legal practice and higher education practice, is leading the assignment along with Angela Lilje, practice and project manager, higher education practice.

The incoming CFO will oversee every aspect of budget preparation including operating and capital budgets and cash planning ensuring plans are challenging, balanced across units and achievable. They will provide accurate and timely information and analysis throughout the year presented in formats that facilitate decision making. They will also develop long range financial plans, evaluate alternative scenarios and recommend/implement actions to enhance university operations.

EFL is looking for candidates with five years or more of top-line financial executive experience, preferably in the higher education arena. Prospects should have experience with executive-level financial responsibilities in multiple operational areas. In addition, experience in strategic planning, new business markets and financial analysis is desired. They should have proven planning, forecasting, cash management and budgeting skills, as well as experience and track record of success in dealing with auditors, regulators and legal firms.

Ottawa University is an institution with a 155-year heritage of educating adults and students of traditional ages for lifetimes of faith, service, leadership and significance. In addition to the main campus in Kansas, Ottawa University has a residential campus in Surprise, AZ and adult campuses in several locations around the country. From its founding in 1865 in Ottawa, KS, the university has grown to an institution today that serves nearly 5,000 students through its residential campuses, adult and graduate studies campuses and online.

EFL also recently assisted in the recruitment of William M. Tsutsui as the new president and CEO of Ottawa University. The board announced in January that it had hired EFL Associates to conduct a nationwide executive search, orchestrating a carefully planned succession process a full year before Kevin Eichner’s official retirement.

Related: Recruitment of Academia Presidents Rising

“Our comprehensive, nationwide search attracted significant interest from a diverse group of impressive candidates,” said Lucky DeFries, chairman of the board of trustees. “We were very gratified at the quality of the talent, experience, and the enthusiasm of those who applied. After careful deliberation, the board agreed that Dr. Tsutsui represented the best fit for ensuring the continued momentum of the university. We’re delighted to welcome Dr. Tsutsui as Ottawa’s new university president and CEO, and his spouse, Dr. Marjorie Swann, to the life of our institution.”

Veteran Consultants

Founded in 1978, EFL Associates provides executive search services from offices in Kansas City, Denver, St. Louis and Raleigh, NC. The firm specializes in the following areas: finance and banking, higher education, non-profit, life sciences, energy, construction and engineering, consumer packaged goods, manufacturing, public pension organizations, chief financial officers and board services.

Mr. Waldron has nearly 35 years of leadership, organizational structure, strategic planning and litigation experience in the practice of law, higher education and the U.S. Marines. This combination of knowledge and personal understanding gives him a unique perspective on talent.

Ms. Lilje joined EFL Associates in 2008 and has continued to expand and improve the quality of the services offered through the higher education practice. She has overall responsibility for all of the internal operations for all recruitment projects in the practice. She coordinates the strategic roll-out of each project including pre-launch research, the development and deployment of email communications, and targeted phone calls. Ms. Lilje also oversees the electronic applicant system and communicates with candidates and clients on a daily basis.

Related: Why Universities Have Stepped Up Efforts to Involve Search Firms

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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