16 days old

Director of University Payroll

Vanderbilt University
Nashville, Tennessee 37203
  • Job Type
  • Job Status
    Full Time

About the Role:

The Director of University Payroll reports directly to the CHRO and serves as a key member of HR’s executive leadership team. The position is responsible for delivering complex and comprehensive services related to payroll design, administration, and legal compliance, and providing strategic thought leadership for Vanderbilt University. The position collaborates closely with critical stakeholders across campus, particularly the offices of finance and accounting. 

Ongoing responsibilities include:

Leads a high-functioning team focused on important outcomes, comfortable operating in a complex, and dynamic environment. Envisions organizational success and communicates clear goals and objectives. Provides appropriate positive and constructive feedback; shares knowledge and develops employees; maintains high levels of accountability; deploys effective coaching strategies; celebrates publicly, critiques privately.

Creates and maintains a superior customer service culture, minimizes and resolves employee pay-related issues, including overpayments, late pay, deductions, and related pay adjustments. Exhibits a strong working knowledge of the HR/Payroll/Finance enterprise systems and collaborates with business systems analysts on the identification of issues and resolution of concerns. Partners with SkyVU Support, HRIS and VUIT to facilitate and manage quarterly updates to Oracle Cloud.

Develops policies and procedures that support the accurate and timely withholding, processing and payment of payroll taxes including international taxes as appropriate. Responsible for accurate production of W-2 Forms and related year-end tax reporting issues, oversees and ensures the successful accomplishment of fiscal- and calendar-year tax and reporting processes. Ensures compliance with applicable local, state, federal and foreign tax laws; including knowledge of tax treaty applications; wage and hour laws; and collective bargaining agreements.

Provides functional leadership of the evaluation, selection, and implementation of systems necessary for effective payroll operations. Ensures the ongoing development, maintenance, and improvement of work processes and action steps required to administer payroll activities efficiently and accurately.

Functions as a key steward of institutional resources. Gets the job done; accepts responsibility; addresses problems rather than allowing unresolved issues to fester; models willingness to contribute above and beyond the call of duty. Ensures effective financial and budgetary management of the unit’s operating budgets.


About Vanderbilt University


Vanderbilt is a renowned private institution founded in 1873 and located in the heart of Nashville, Tennessee. The university’s students, faculty, and frequently cite Nashville and the surrounding area as one of the many perks of being a part of Vanderbilt community. Vanderbilt University is a place where your expertise will be valued, your knowledge expanded, and your abilities challenged. It is a place where your diversity is sought and celebrated. It is a place where employees know they are part of something bigger than themselves, take exceptional pride in their work and never settle for what was good enough yesterday. Vanderbilt was recently ranked #1 in the Princeton Review among 382 top colleges and universities for “happiest students” - as well as #2 for “best quality of life” and “great financial aid,” #5 for “best run colleges” and “beautiful campus,” and #6 for both being in a “college city that students love” and having “great campus/city relations.” 


About Vanderbilt Benefits
In addition to offering a lively community that encourages learning and celebrates diversity, Vanderbilt University offers a competitive, flexible benefits package including health, dental, vision, life, accidental death & dismemberment, disability insurance, paid time off, and a 403(b) retirement plan with employer match. Vanderbilt offers tuition assistance to employees, spouses and dependent children. Also, after five years of service, Vanderbilt will pay up to 55% of the tuition for up to three dependent children to earn a bachelor's degree. Learn more about Vanderbilt's benefits at VU Benefits Overview.

Success Factors:  


  • Respect – Is friendly, tirelessly cordial, patient, polite, and genial. Comes in to work with a good attitude and is ready to help campus employees, managers, and colleagues through what may be a difficult and overwhelming time for them.   

  • Naturally Communicates – Readily shares information and is comfortable working within a highly collaborative team. Communicates proactively. Understands that open communication and the sharing of knowledge is fundamental to the success of the team. Asks for advice, and considers it thoughtfully.

  • Assumes Positive Intent -- Assume that others are working and taking action with good intentions. They may not have all the information yet and asking thoughtful questions and providing information is critical to mutual understanding and moving forward with success.

  • Analytical & Detail-Oriented – Accurately assesses information and applies applicable law, policy and procedure. Considers the long term implications of actions today and advises employees appropriately. Even small mistakes can create big issues; attention to detail work indicates care about the outcomes. 

  • Responds Promptly -- When emails and phone messages aren’t returned in a timely way, it sends the message that the other party is not important.   Responds even if just to acknowledge receipt and provide a timeframe by which the requester can expect a full response. 




Master's Degree in a relevant field is preferred, with eight years of progressive experience in payroll or closely related operations.

A Bachelor's degree in a relevant field (e.g., accounting, HR Management, Finance, etc.) or equivalent experience is required.

Broad knowledge and expertise in the management of all aspects of payroll for a large complex organization of 3,000 employees or more, not outsourced to a 3rd party payroll processor is required.

Content expertise in multi-state taxation and the taxation of nonresident foreign national employees under tax treaties is required.

Higher education payroll management experience preferred.

Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) is preferred.


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Director of University Payroll

Vanderbilt University
Nashville, Tennessee 37203

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Vanderbilt University
Nashville, Tennessee

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