The Department of Writing Studies in the College of Liberal Arts was formed through a merger of several previously existing writing and communication programs and departments and opened officially in 2007. We are an academic department rich in teaching experience and research expertise in rhetoric, writing, and technical communication, with 14 tenured/tenure track faculty, 20+ full-time instructors, and many talented graduate instructors. We offer degrees including the BS, MS, MA, and PhD. We also offer an undergraduate minor, undergraduate certificate, and a post-baccalaureate certificate.
The Department of Writing Studies seeks to understand the social, disciplinary, and rhetorical functions of written, visual, digital, scientific, and technical communication practices. Through our research, degree programs, and courses—as well as our outreach to the University and communities outside the University—we investigate the intersections of communication with culture, politics, science, technology, and ethics. In all our educational programs, we strive to foster our students' critical-thinking skills as well as their sense of personal, professional, and civic responsibility.
The Department Administrator has primary responsibility for managing day-to-day and long-term operations of the Department of Writing Studies. Reporting to the Department Chair, this position requires a high level of skill and experience, with a broad range of competencies, to play a key role in implementing the department’s strategic plan and advancing the academic, professional, and community missions of the department. The position provides support to the Chair and members of the department, working strategically to align the department’s budget, human resources, curriculum management, research-related activities, facilities, technology, data systems, and other operational areas, while ensuring compliance with collegiate and University policy and regulations. This position works collaboratively with collegiate administration (i.e. finance, HR, curriculum, graduate and undergraduate programs, development, etc.) and is responsible for cultivating and maintaining strong and effective relationships with faculty, staff, students, visiting scholars, and other key constituencies both within and outside the University. This position also supervises staff program support services for its programs including First-Year Writing, which fulfills the University’s first-year writing requirement, and programs in rhetoric, writing and technical communication including a BS and minor, MA/CERT, and MA/PhD programs.
Strategic Planning and Operational Management: 30% Partner with the chair to make recommendations for strategic planning and to set priorities and achieve the best use of unit resources (i.e., operational budget, human resources, and space) to meet instructional, research and administrative needs. Support the development of new initiatives and realignment of existing programs through oversight and management of processes and systems. On behalf of Chair, draft and disseminate correspondence (proposal, memoranda, operating procedures, etc.) and develop and implement department policy. Coordinate Internal and External Reviews of unit, and if applicable, Accreditation Reviews. Serve as Chief of Staff, coordinating all aspects of unit management. Anticipate, plan, and manage the daily and strategic administrative operations of the department; investigate and resolve administrative problems. Determine, enact and manage the formation of operational/administrative projects as needed. Build collaborative relationships while serving as the unit liaison on behalf of chair, faculty, staff and students with CLA, other University and outside entities such as professional academic and community partners. Coordinate data collection for responding to internal and external surveys. Work with the chair (and other members of the department) to develop external communication strategies, priorities and messages. Supervise and monitor department communication (print, web, and social media)
HR & Supervision: 25% Manages the Department’s HR function to ensure the smooth and efficient operation of the department in all staff functions. Consults with the Chair and faculty program and Center for Writing directors to determine and align staff work plans, necessary personnel actions, and goals with the overall strategies established for the department and its programs. Serve as department contact for HR issues of all employee groups (Civil Service, Bargaining Unit/labor represented, P&A, Faculty, graduate and undergraduate personnel). Manage the search and recruitment process for professional and staff positions. Develop/evaluate new and current positions and make recommendations for position attributes (classification and level, appointment term and percentage, salary, minimum and preferred qualifications) Supervise office staff. Includes full supervisory authority for developing job descriptions and performance standards; coordinating searches; hiring; training; orienting; professional development, assigning, monitoring and adjusting workloads; problem-solving; disciplining; terminating and settling grievances. Approve all overtime compensation. Serve as primary unit expert for chair, faculty and staff on University and College policies and procedures involving promotion and tenure; award dossiers; faculty and staff searches; sabbaticals; single semester leaves; EOAA, FMLA; annual review of probationary faculty; annual report of outside professional activities and business procedures. Interpret, develop and implement unit policies and procedures. Manage tracking of all leaves and reporting to CLA. Prepare and process Visa applications and extensions for international employees and graduate students. Ensure secure maintenance of department personnel files, and that all HR processes and documentation are completed for the department. Manage all employment related issues including faculty and staff new hires, transfers, background checks, I-9s, paid and unpaid leaves, accommodations for disability, disability/medical leaves, appointment entry, annual reviews, pay changes, 9 over 12 pay plans, promotions, and professional development leaves. Serve as a resource for the program’s two directors of graduate studies and the chair in interpreting and implementing University policies regarding graduate student recruitment, admissions, funding, teaching and RA-ships, scholarships, awards, and fellowships and developing unit-level policies as well as working to modify program requirements and / or tuition rates to improve enrollments. Work with directors of graduate studies and chair on financial packages offered to incoming graduate students as well as other research awards.
Financial Planning and Operational Budget: 20% Advise and assist chair on fiscal issues related to funding, budget priorities, operational funding, payroll, faculty research and retention, curriculum management UMN Foundation (UMF) accounts, and sponsored funds. Participate in strategic planning and annual budget, while managing development of annual budget and budget proposals/requests, in conjunction with Chair and senior accountant. Responsible for fiscal activities including budgeting, managing expenditures and forecasting, and, overseeing the preparation of transactional documents. Coordinate the development of annual operation budget (SEE) with chair, Executive Committee, and senior accountant, as appropriate. Direct ongoing budget activities through coordinated effort with the College, the University Foundation (UMF), the Office of Research Administration and Technology and other campus units. Advise chair on the budget process. Monitor monthly and/or quarterly reports for consistency in spending plans. Review and sign off on bi-weekly payroll abstract. Research and resolve payroll issues. Support grant-funded faculty research activities and refer faculty to appropriate resources. Manage projections, spending plans and scholarship/fellowship awards. Coordinate unit development, donor relations, and outreach activities with the collegiate Office of Institutional Advancement, UMF and University Relations. Identify topics with potential for regional and national media outreach. Support alumni outreach. Oversee events that involve alumni and donors. Work with fiscal team on all the above
Curriculum and Instructional Management: 15% Serve as curriculum manager. Work with Chair, Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS), Director of Graduate Studies of MS/CERT (DGS), Director of Graduate Studies MA/PhD (DGS), and Director of First-Year Writing (FYW) to manage curriculum planning, course scheduling, and instructor hiring for the department. Plan annual curriculum in consultation with Chair, DUS, both DGS, FYW Director in accordance with classroom scheduling policies. Prepare and recommend undergraduate and graduate curricular offerings to the unit’s curriculum committees. Ensure course offerings align with classroom scheduling policies, instructional budget parameters, faculty and staff course-load policies, enrollment targets, course releases, sabbaticals, and course buy-outs. Manage ECAS/CCS course entry. Manage Writing Studies’ single allocation (TA/UI) instructional budget. Analyze detailed information on instructional costs, enrollments, and course scheduling in order to recommend efficient modifications to curricular plans (class size, etc.). Serve as a resource for annual scheduling processes.
Office Management: 10% Manage all aspects of daily unit operations, including policy and procedure development and implementation. Determine and allocate resources by monitoring staff duties and adjusting workloads as needed. Develop and manage annual calendar, set deadlines and priorities. Oversee the updating of department information and data systems. Initiate, identify and manage projects. Coordinate space planning, allocation, and reporting. Work with facilities on emergency plans. Implement physical changes and additions to space and equipment. Review and approve computer and equipment purchases, involving both non-sponsored and sponsored accounts (ensuring compliance with numerous regularly both internal and external to the university). Ensure equipment is maintained and inventoried. Ensure unit events involving faculty, students, alumni, donors and the broader community are welcoming for all attendees. Oversee event details/logistics. Develop, organize and supervise unit communication (web, social media and print). Monitor and update unit web presence.
Required Qualifications -Bachelor's degree and at least four (4) years of relevant work experience in an academic unit in a higher education setting; or a combination of higher-education and relevant administrative work experience in a higher education setting totaling eight (8) years. Must include two (2) years of supervisory experience. -Experience with at least two of the following: academic searches, promotion and tenure, curriculum management, graduate programs, accounting/budget management, or human resources. -Computer experience with word processing, spreadsheets, and database software; and online reporting systems. -Project management experience.
Preferred Qualifications -Administrative experience at the University of Minnesota or in higher education setting providing assistance to the Department Chair or Director of an academic department. -Masters Degree or advanced training in business, human relations or a related field. -Ability to make sound decisions, set priorities and work in a fast-paced environment with deadlines and interruptions. -Successful candidate must be creative and attentive to business and staff needs, perform at a high level of discretion, integrity and confidentiality. -Administrative experience in human resources and payroll. -Demonstrated application of sound business principles. -Successful experience with course scheduling, academic searches and promotion and tenure processes. -Experience with PeopleSoft, EFS, CCS and ECAS. -Proven ability to develop timelines, implement innovative business strategies, identify problems and solutions and conduct systematic processes reviews and improvements. -Experience and/or commitment to working with diverse groups of people. -Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively with diverse constituencies. -Demonstrated ability to take initiative and work independently.
Internal Number: 335145
About University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.