Chief business officer
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Chief business officer (CBO) is the position of the top operating executive of an academic or research institution such as a university, college, institute or teaching hospital. The chief business officer role and title are unique to higher education, the title director or vice president are also applied to the executive serving in the chief business officer role.
The titles of senior vice president and vice president are found most often in a university’s central administration office, a hierarchical relationship does not necessarily exist between those positions and the chief business officer position of a university affiliated institute or center, which is often at an equivalent level. The chief business officer position should not be confused with the chief business development officer position which is unrelated.
The chief business officer is responsible for the administrative, financial, and operations management of the organization often combining the roles of chief administrative officer (CAO), chief financial officer (CFO) and chief operating officer (COO). As a result the executive holding the chief business officer position, by definition, will usually possess a broader range of experience and more extensive skill set than an individual serving in those C-level positions.
As one of the highest ranking executives in an academic or research organization, the chief business officer may oversee strategic planning in addition to budgeting, financial management, contracts, human resources, procurement, compliance, real estate, facilities, information technology and risk management. In many organizations sustainability and green building initiatives also fall under the purview of the chief business officer.
Many chief business officers hold advanced academic degrees or leading professional credentials and continue to participate in academic research or consulting projects in their areas of expertise. Job experience for the chief business officer role is generally gained, on the job, at the department, unit or program level prior to advancing into a chief business officer role although business officers at all levels are sometimes hired from private industry, government or other non-profit organizations.
Educational requirements for the chief business officer position vary by institution.
See also 
- National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO)
- Association of Professionals in Business Management (APBM)
- University Business Magazine, Chief Business Officers Speak Out, October 2008
- Business Officer Magazine, A Learning Agenda for Chief Business Officers, May 2001
- The Other Career in Education; College Administration Is a Promising Field With a Personal Touch, The Washington Post, August 20, 2006, Rebecca R. Kahlenberg.