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Vice President for Finance and Business Services

Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology
Job Location:
Flushing, 11369
Business and Financial Services

 About the Institution

In 1932, Charles S. “Casey” Jones, a pioneer aviator and aviation company executive, foresaw the need for highly trained technicians to design, build and service aircraft and engines. George A. Vaughn Jr., a World War I flying ace, and Lee D. Warrender, an engineer, joined Jones in establishing the Casey Jones School of Aeronautics, the predecessor of the Academy of Aeronautics, and in September 1986, the College of Aeronautics.

From 1932 through 1947, the school offered design and maintenance programs, graduating well-trained technicians, many of whom went on to secure leadership positions in the aviation and aerospace industries. In 1941, the institution moved to its present location in Queens and until 1945 devoted its resources to the nation’s war effort training more than 20,000 technicians for the armed forces. In fall 1964, the Academy of Aeronautics conferred associate in applied science degrees for the first time, and, in 1969, the Academy was accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The College completely revised its curricula in 1996, resulting in nine new academic programs, including for the first time the bachelor of science and an associate degree in flight. In fall 2001, the College created the Aviation Training Institute, from which the aviation maintenance certificate program is offered. It enables students to earn their airframe and powerplant (A&P) certificate in as few as 16 months. Subsequent program additions included the first engineering program and the first master of science degree in the mid-2000s.

In 2004, the Board of Regents of the state of New York approved the institution changing its name from the College of Aeronautics to Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology. Vaughn is a four-year, private institution with master’s, bachelor’s and associate degrees as well as certificates in aviation, engineering, technology and management. Working closely with the industries we serve, Vaughn has developed rigorous curricula that incorporate the latest technology as well as the knowledge you need to succeed in your chosen profession. We provide traditional degrees as well as professional, technical and certification programs that prepare our graduates for successful careers. Most importantly, a degree from Vaughn College provides the critical, analytical and communication skills that form the foundation for a lifetime of success. 

The evidence of our graduates’ success comes from our career placement rate of 98 percent of our graduates are employed or continue their education, 78 percent in their field of study, within one year of graduation. Also, in a study published in the New York Times, Vaughn is the best institution in the country at moving students from the bottom 40 percent to the top 40 percent in income—changing the career trajectory for students and their families.

Student Demographic Information

  • Designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution by the US Department of Education
  • 90 percent of all students receive some form of financial aid, either federal or state funding
  • 61 percent are eligible for low-income federal Pell Grants (Pell recipients are typically the neediest students)

New Student Enrollment, Fall 2023

  • Total new student enrollment: 324
  • Average GPA: 82 (Vaughn is test optional)

Total Student Enrollment

  • Fall Enrollment: 1,164
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 14:1 (2022)
  • Male: 88 percent
  • Female: 12 percent

2023 Student Diversity

  • Hispanic: 31 percent
  • Black/African American: 18 percent
  • White, non-Hispanic: 15 percent
  • Asian or Pacific Islander: 16.5 percent
  • American Indian or Native Alaskan: 1 percent
  • Two or more races: 2 percent
  • Chose Not to Respond: 13 percent
  • Other: 3.5 percent

Vision, Mission and Core Values 

Vision Statement

To change the world one student at a time with a transformational education that creates a lifetime of opportunity.

Mission Statement

Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology is dedicated to providing a dynamic learning environment built on our aeronautical heritage that inspires a diverse and committed community of students to achieve success as leaders in the industries we serve.

Core Values

Demonstrate Integrity: We pursue our mission following the highest standards of excellence, ethics and mutual trust, and expect everyone to be accountable for their decisions and actions.

Embrace Diversity: By respecting diversity in all its dimensions, we foster a community that invites and is inclusive of everyone.

Practice Collaboration: Our culture is driven by a commitment to shared governance, teamwork, communication and collaboration within the institution and in partnership with outside entities.

Achieve Impact: We are dedicated to providing students an educational experience that will transform their lives and to creating a learning environment for trustees, faculty and staff that nurtures a passion for student success.

Choose Courage: Leveraging our pioneering aeronautical heritage, we choose to be bold in our decision-making, challenge the status quo, and generate opportunity for future generations.

Educational Facilities

Campus Location

Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology is located at 86-01 23rd Avenue, Flushing, NY 11369, and the Aviation Training Institute building is located at 43-05 20th Avenue, Astoria, NY 11105. Located in the New York City borough of Queens, the College offers many opportunities to network with an array of technology and aviation companies. Vaughn College has a six-acre campus and is convenient to major transportation routes. As part of the institution’s prior strategic plan, a 200-bed residential hall has been built, enabling students to live and pursue their chosen field of study on campus. In 1998, a state-of-the-art, 35,000- square-foot-addition to the building complex was completed. It includes a 65-foot observation tower, providing a spectacular view of the runways at LaGuardia Airport. In fall 2007, Vaughn opened a residence hall with 200 beds. Newer improvements include a new cafeteria, additional degree programs and certificates and other improvements including the complete renovation of the 1941 building.

The institution also has made considerable investments in laboratory equipment due in large part to the institution’s status as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and this has allowed for more than $20 million invested in faculty, facilities and equipment over the last 20 years. Significant equipment includes flight and air traffic control simulators, advanced robotics equipment as well as 3D printers—all to support our degree programs.

Distance Education

Vaughn College offers several of its academic and technical courses in an online format. Many students want the experience of taking some of their courses online to complement their work schedules. On-campus students at Vaughn can participate in online classes to complete requirements for their degree programs. Virtually all management and aviation courses are available online; several arts and sciences and other elective courses are also available. The College is committed to greater investments in the development of more opportunities for online learning.

Faculty and Staff

The institution currently has 37 full-time faculty and instructors and 85 staff members with 132 adjuncts and 96 part-time staff. Several key staff and faculty positions are done remotely. The student-to-faculty ratio is 14 to one.

Strategic Agenda—Designed for Impact

Vaughn has worked over the last several decades to transform the institution from an aeronautics school into a multi-faceted residential institution. Our strategic plan, Designed for Impact, calls for Vaughn to be regarded as an educational institution at the leading edge of innovative, transformative, lifelong-learning.

This community including students, faculty, staff, trustees and others along with external assistance received approval for our plan in fall 2019, after an 18-month process, and were in the midst of operationalizing each strategy when the pandemic occurred. This crisis delayed the operational planning and implementation. The plan now covers the years 2021 to 2026.

The agenda calls for the implementation of five overarching initiatives:

  1. Establish life-long learning as our fundamental purpose and ground it with a comprehensive digital transformation that drives everything we do. 
  2. Constantly evolve the mix of certificate, degree, competency-based and micro-credential programs based upon market needs and utilize cutting edge on-campus, off-site, in-class, hybrid and distance education delivery systems.
  3. Maximize our enrollment capacity and create space for expanded learning and engagement by optimizing space utilization, the mix of onsite and virtual programming and the careful consideration of the purchase or lease of land and buildings and utilizing partner relationships.
  4. Deliver exemplary services to all stakeholders, primarily students, and superior campus communication services utilizing innovative and integrated technology systems to support all of those services.
  5. Provide financial stability through expert marketing and enrollment services, pricing and discounting plans and rigorous financial and human resource management and development operations, all driven by predictive analytics and sound data analysis.

The community also makes regular use of ad hoc committees which can include trustees, students, faculty, staff, alumni and external contributors. Those ad hocs have produced additional charges for implementation. Both Designed for Impact and the ad hocs have operational plans and are tracked and reported out to the board and the community twice per year.

Vaughn’s Leadership

The position of vice president of finance and business services reports to the president and is also an officer of the corporation. President Sharon DeVivo has been with the institution since 1996 and president since 2014. She is the seventh president of the institution and the first woman. There are currently three other vice presidents including: academic affairs, training and student affairs.

The team’s strategic objective is to create a transformative educational experience inside and outside the classroom and they are driven by the desire to provide under resourced and underrepresented students with a terrific career trajectory.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Vaughn College is in the most ethnically diverse county in the country, Queens, one of the five boroughs of New York City. The institution has always represented the latest immigration waves to the United States and our students, faculty and staff are now largely from Hispanic, Black and Middle Eastern/North African and Asian. The board of trustees is also 50% female and more than 40% from underrepresented backgrounds. That said, the Vaughn College community is committed to continuing the journey of creating an equitable and inclusive environment for students, faculty and staff that provides a sense of belonging. Over the next two years we have a plan to provide more education and training as well as an ongoing review of our onboarding of new faculty and staff coupled with a review of our policies and procedures to ensure that we are a welcoming community. 

The Opportunity

Like many small institutions, Vaughn has experienced enrollment declines as a result of the pandemic and the subsequent economic impact of inflation on students’ ability to afford higher education. In the past year, the institution has been laser-focused on enrollment and made significant changes including rebuilding the admissions team, conducting market research to better understand the needs of prospective students and families, aligning the high workforce demand in aviation, aerospace and related technical fields to a Vaughn education with a significant publicity campaign and more. Increasing enrollment and leveraging our assets to turn the institution in a better direction is the top priority.

The current operating budget for the College is about $34 million and the quasi-endowment is roughly $22 million. Tuition and fees for academic students are about $15,000 per semester while the Aviation Training Institute (our aviation maintenance training program) is about $12,500. About 80% of the institution’s revenues come from tuition and fees with the remaining revenue coming largely from grants and the residence hall. The largest expenses come from salaries and benefits, debt service, advertising and contracted services.

Given the need for the institution to be nimble, flexible and ever-changing, the next vice president of finance and business services will bring a disciplined process for testing the underlying business model assumptions and understanding the options available and resources required when the institution experiences a deviation from that plan. Closely tied to that is a risk assessment process and the use of key metrics to provide the board and institutional leadership with information to evaluate options and make intelligent decisions to support the innovation required to move the institution forward.

Professional Qualities and Personal Attributes

  • The successful candidate will bring the following professional skill sets:
  • A bachelor’s degree in business administration, finance or accounting; master’s preferred
  • At least eight years of experience in financial management and leadership, including significant experience in the private non-profit higher education industry.
  • High degree of personal and professional ethics and integrity
  • Desire to have a deep knowledge, understanding, and commitment to Vaughn’s vision, mission and core values.
  • Commitment to the students that Vaughn serves and the desire to make a difference
  • Knowledge and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Demonstrated experience in strategic planning and budget alignment; successful engagement of all constituencies to gain support to achieve strategic priorities.
  • A key thought leader and driver of the institution’s business model by developing, implementing, and evaluating short- and long-term strategic financial objectives.
  • Exceptional skill in budgeting, investing, forecasting, and cost-effective solutions that optimize resource allocations, foster financial transparency, and chart the course toward long-term fiscal stability and sustainability of an institution.
  • Extensive experience with managing regulatory policies and internal controls to ensure compliance with all financial policies, procedures, and regulatory requirements, including federal and state financial aid regulations.
  • Effective oral and written communication skills, including the ability to listen to different groups and communicate effectively with a wide range of constituents.
  • Strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and the ability to make well-informed decisions with the support of quantitative and qualitative data.
  • A proven record of building and leading effective, collaborative, diverse teams that work cohesively to identify opportunities that advance the college’s strategic plan.
  • Ability to build trust across multiple constituencies and garner support for a short-and long-term financial plan, information technology initiatives, construction and facilities management, campus safety and operations, risk management, and human resources.
  • Expertise in creating forward-looking, predictive models and activity-based financial analysis to provide insight for financial business plans and forecasts in alignment with institution’s strategy
  • Provide leadership, supervision, and development of staff, fostering a shared vision, acting as a role model, and demonstrating Vaughn’s values

Personal Attributes

  • Collaborative ability to work with a variety of different personalities, styles, and roles
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communications skills to effectively engage senior management, the board of trustees, staff and various external constituents, and partners
  • Eagerness to influence and engage multiple stakeholders at all levels with poise, confidence, and willingness to clearly explain decisions and processes
  • Outstanding analytic, abstract reasoning, and synthesis skills combined with open and flexible mindset that support development of creative strategies and options for the institution to meet its financial goals
  • Relationship and trust builder through transparency, listening and integrity
  • Enjoyable to be around, team player


The salary range for this position is $230,000 to $260,000 with the final offer amount based on education, skills and experience. This role is also eligible for various benefits including medical/dental, insurance, 403(b) plan, paid time off and other benefits in accordance with the position.

Application Process

To be considered for the position, candidates are requested to submit:

  1. A curriculum vitae or resume,
  2. A letter of interest that addresses the leadership opportunities and desired experiences and attributes in the profile, and
  3. Contact information for three references (to be contacted at a later date with the candidate’s permission) for best consideration. The search will remain open until an appointment is made.

This search is being conducted by Stevens Strategy. Resumes will be reviewed beginning July 22, 2024, and will continue until the position is filled. 

Please submit the necessary materials by email to: with the subject line “Vaughn College vice president of finance and business application”. Any questions can also be directed to

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