Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science is redefining engineering education and research through its pioneering “Whole-Brain Engineering” philosophy, integrating the elements of left-brain thinking — analysis, logic, synthesis, and math — with the kind of high-level right-brain thinking that fosters intuition, metaphorical thought, and creative problem solving. Augmenting the analytical core of engineering with substantial initiatives in design, entrepreneurship, leadership and personal development, and unusual collaborations that span disciplines, Northwestern Engineering students and faculty are prepared to take the world in a whole new direction.
Northwestern Engineering comprises more than 1,800 undergraduate students, 2,000 graduate students, 190 faculty members across nine academic departments and varied programs, centers, and institutes. Northwestern Engineering staff members support innovative academic programs, an intellectual footprint that deepens the frontiers of knowledge, partnerships that catalyze education and research, and a diverse culture that embraces different viewpoints and ideas.
The Business Administrator (BA) is the senior administrative position in the department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) within the McCormick School of Engineering. This position provides thought leadership in reviewing & recommending policy & procedure designed to enhance operational excellence. Ensures the effective, compliant, & efficient daily management of all operational, financial, & business functions in support of the business area's mission & in coordination with McCormick Administration. Specific areas include: budget and accounting; payroll, purchase and expenses transactions; involvement in the management of sponsored accounts; staff organization, recruitment, training and performance; graduate & undergraduate student administration; space and safety; and general business office management. Under the general direction of the department Chair and in collaboration with the Associate Dean, the BA supports the area’s mission and exercises independent judgment based on University, school and organization policies and procedures. Represents business area on internal & external administrative affairs by recommending alternatives & suggestions.
Areas of Responsibility
Tactical implementation of at least 6 of the following:
Budget & Financial
Communications & Outreach
Facilities & Safety
Grants & Contracts
EE uses judgment & an extensive amount of experience to adapt an advanced knowledge of skills, methods, practices, policies & procedures & a moderate degree of innovation, analysis, & reasoning to plan & prioritize work that is primarily project oriented & involves some extremely difficult problems &/or decisions.
EE interprets policy.
Anticipates projects, deadlines and departmental initiatives and prepare upfront analysis and documents for review by the Department Chair.
Assists the Department Chair to develop and implement policies, procedures and strategies to achieve departmental goals and long-term vision;
Acts as the department information resource for faculty, staff and student inquiries and assistance.
Uses judgment & an extensive amount of experience to adapt an advanced knowledge of skills, methods, practices, policies & procedures, sometimes without clear precedents, & a considerable degree of innovation, analysis & reasoning to independently plan & prioritize work that is almost all project oriented & involves many extremely difficult problems &/or decisions.
Recommends changes to policies and procedures to develop best practices to better meet objectives.
Budget & Financial
Serves a primary role in the development & implementation of annual budget including fiscal resource allocation of appropriated, discretionary, endowment & gift revenues.
Typically involved in the budget management of numerous research grants.
Responsible for payroll, purchasing, travel & entertainment (T&E) transactions & requesting new chartstrings using NU protocol.
Prepares faculty salary recovery & summer salary.
Oversees prompt payment of invoices & related research of errors.
Monitors open encumbrances & deficit chartstrings.
Level II approver in NUFS.
School level approver in HRIS (myHR).
Routinely reviews & reconciles actual expenses to budget per NU Audit guidelines.
Approves funds reallocation within budget as necessary & appropriate.
Responsible to stop an expense that is inappropriate or against deficit chartstring.
Negotiates with vendors for purchases & leases.
Oversees timely and accurate processing of purchases for department non-sponsored and sponsored requirements including lab purchases.
Communications & Outreach
Working closely with the Office of Alumni Relations, may actively pursue opportunities for alumni contact & solicitation.
Delegates or completes maintenance of alumni lists or database; production, edit &/or distribution of newsletter; &/or management of website, & special events.
Facilities & Safety
Monitors area facilities conditions & directs requests to Facilities Management using FAMIS.
Maintains key database & security.
Works with management to assign staff &/or faculty space including appropriate FM refresh/renovation & furniture purchase.
Coordinates set up of furniture, data, phone lines, &/or renovations.
Brings requests for building & space improvements to attention of management.
Completes appropriate section of annual SIMS survey following NU protocol.
Manages the development & communication of department safety plan.
Monitors research lab compliance & respond to Risk Management reports.
Ensures communication with Principal Investigators (PIs) regarding NSIS participation.
Manages administration of faculty recruitment including ads, candidate communication, interview & visit, HRIS (myHR) paperwork & orientation.
Oversees the preparation of Promotion & Tenure cases.
Interprets & applies policy & procedure.
Oversees colloquium & seminar coordination, faculty travel planning. Ensures faculty completion of annual Conflict of Interest Survey.
Provides accurate, prompt and thorough administrative and financial support for faculty.
Orients new faculty to department and act as first point of contact for questions from faculty.
Advises faculty on financial matters pertaining to sponsored and non-sponsored accounts.
Grants & Contracts
Oversees &/or completes pre- & post-award research administration.
Utilizes established systems (effort reporting, direct cost charging/SDA, & financial reporting) to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations.
Interacts with Principal Investigators (PIs) I to build relationships, transfer knowledge & advise on research policies & procedures.
Oversees payroll for research appointments.
Ensures faculty completion of effort certification.
Provides appropriate training for staff & PIs.
Manages implementation of human resource programs, policies, procedures & talent management lifecycle & related mentoring & training.
Posts positions to eRecruit, leads the recruitment & selection process.
For undergraduate students: Organizes new student week & orientation to department.
Prepares academic year course schedule; monitors course registration & enrollments.
Resolves student issues.
Acts as primary contact with School or student organizations.
Supervises 2 or more staff &/or provide work direction to others.
Provides direction to or coordinate administrative effort of staff within or outside of immediate dept or division.
Acts as teacher and mentor to department staff, identifying staff knowledge gaps and developing training workshops with exercises that help achieve school-wide best practices; delivers school-wide training in an area of subject matter expertise.
Provides direction for staff on possible career paths and opportunities.
Performs other duties as assigned.
Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree in a major such as business, accounting or related; OR appropriate combination of education and experience.
5 years' administrative experience including budgets, finance, grants, facilities, &/or human resources; or other relevant experience.
Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
Thought leadership. Ability to manage a team to be effective and efficient.
Ability to manage a team to be effective and efficient.
Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
Exemplary project management skills and the ability to identify priorities.
Impeccable follow-up and follow-through.
Strong computer skills: Excel, word processing, google documents, and presentations.
Strong attention to detail and deadlines.
Strong organizational skills.
Demonstrated adaptability, dependability, and efficiency.
Demonstrated ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously.
Strong interpersonal, communication and organizational skills.
Ability to interact professionally with faculty, staff and graduate students.
Previous experience in a university setting, preferably with faculty and graduate students.
Previous experience in managing sponsored research across various agencies.
Experience with NU Financials, Cognos, Vista, SES, InfoEd and Peoplesoft.
Completion of NU Leadership program.
Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)
Demonstrated initiative and willingness to jump on board with projects beyond the immediate scope of the job.
Decision making skills.
Maturity and ability to work with autonomy as well as part of a team.
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.
Internal Number: 35370
About Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a major private research university with 12 academic divisions located on three campuses in Evanston, Chicago, and Education City in Doha, Qatar. We have approximately 2,500 full-time faculty members, 17,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and over 5,700 full and part-time staff. Northwestern University combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment. It provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal and professional growth.