There is rarely a perception in colleges and universities that everyone owns the financial plan. Deans, department chairs, and division heads are most concerned with their own budgets, rather than the aggregate. Mythologies about how the academic and financial sides of the house operate create artificial divisions and compromise the development of shared responsibility. Driven by myth, each side tends to view the other as a threat to its values and priorities. These views often stereotype the other in ways that become self-fulfilling prophesies. For example, Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) believe that academics are inefficient and that CFOs, with their particularly keen grasp of reality, are better suited to set institutional priorities. They believe that, as in the for-profit world, finance is the language and measurement of success, and everyone should be fluent. And from the academic side of the house comes the conviction that those who work in finance are unable to comprehend the essence of higher education and that CFOs will arbitrarily take away needed resources. In a recent discussion NERCHE’s Chief Financial Officers Think Tank approached the task of finding ways for the CFO to help dismantle these myths and build partnerships with academic administrators.
New England Resource Center for Higher Education, University of Massachusetts Boston, "Brief 11: Partnering For Accountability: The Role of the Chief Financial Officer at an Academic Institution" (2002). New England Resource Center for Higher Education Publications. 35.