Sr. Associate Dean and Chief of Staff

Jun 08, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
About The Unit: The Institute for Molecular Engineering (IME), established in 2011 by the University of Chicago in partnership with Argonne National Laboratory, is a transformational academic unit exploring the intersection of science and engineering. IME explores innovative technologies that address fundamental societal problems through advances in nanoscale manipulation and design on a molecular scale. IME is the largest new academic program that the University has started since 1988.

Unit Job Summary: The Senior Associate Dean and Chief of Staff (COS) reports directly to the IME Director and is the lead administrative staff person in the Director's administrative team. The incumbent ensures that day-to-day operations, in addition to high-priority projects and initiatives, are effectively and efficiently managed. The incumbent plays a critical support role in decision-making and execution of decisions. The COS represents the IME Director and requires sound independent judgment, flexibility, entrepreneurial vision, strict confidentiality, and a dedication to consultation and consensus-building. The COS manages all administrative, non-academic staff (except other senior associate deans); oversees the areas of: finance, human resources, facilities, safety, information technology, and administrative support; and partners with central University administration to operationalize best-practice administrative processes and procedures, while continually striving for the most efficient processes and solutions that advance the academic and research mission of the IME. This role represents the IME in building and enhancing productive partnerships throughout the University, with Argonne National Laboratory, and with all key stakeholders; and ensures transparent, timely and effective communications. The COS will work closely with central University administration, faculty, and staff to facilitate solutions and expedite responses across organizational boundaries. DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: Operations Management: Interprets, implements, and enforces University and IME procedures, processes and policies, and ensures compliance. Establishes and implements efficient IME processes with appropriate checks and balances. Budget Planning and Management: Provides high-level direction for the development and coordination of the IME annual budget; works with the Director to determine guidelines for budgetary priorities. Finance and Grants Administration: Oversees the effective and efficient delivery of financial services for IME encompassing procurement and payment services, pre- and post-award grants management, databases on commitments to faculty and programs, the fiscal year end closing process and business processes; and supervises the Director of Finance and all finance staff. Human Resources: Ensures that IME delivers the highest quality HR practices, inclusive of the full employee life cycle, namely talent management, performance management, and training and development. Ensures staff pay is internally equitable and externally competitive, and ensures fiscal responsibility. Implements best practices and leading class models developed by Central HR. Manages all Unit administrative organizational changes; ensures compliance with the collective bargaining unit agreement; oversees management of Workday HRIS, ensures employee data integrity, and supervises the HR Business Partner and all HR staff. Facilities: In coordination with the Deputy Director for Space, Infrastructure, and Facilities, oversees all capital development plans and renovations to meet the long- and short-term needs of faculty, staff and student space allocations; oversees facilities operations; and supervises the Facilities Director, and all facilities and safety staff. Administrative Staff: Manages all administrative support staff to ensure the highest quality staff performance and support of faculty. Information Technology: Oversees information technology needs for IME; ensures that administrative and research computing systems and tools are operating well; and works closely with University IT. Support of Academic Appointments: In coordination with the Deputy Director for Faculty Affairs, ensures that faculty hiring is in alignment with the IME strategic growth plan; coordinates the onboarding of new IME faculty and lecturers.

Unit Education: Bachelor's degree required with a minimum of ten years of progressively responsible administrative / managerial / financial and human resources expertise Advance degree preferred Applicants should provide a writing sample of no more than two (2) pages.

Unit Experience: - Demonstrated background to function at an executive level within a higher educational environment. - Demonstrated ability to work independently and exercise sound judgment. - Broad knowledge of higher education governance, organizational structure, instructional and research programs, and academic and research policies and procedures. - Ability to understand and interpret the Director's initiatives and execute them successfully. - Ability to communicate effectively with IME faculty, staff and students and understand their needs. - Ability to handle highly sensitive issues that require strict discretion and confidentiality. - Demonstrated ability to work with senior leadership from within and outside the IME, and ability to think strategically and serve as a sounding board for executive leadership. - Proven ability and skill to identify and analyze complex situations, present alternatives and options, and recommend or implement effective courses of action. - Clear and effective verbal and written communication skills. - Proven ability to research and prepare executive level documents, reports, and summaries. - Knowledge and analytical skills to develop and interpret policies and procedures. - Demonstrated advanced administrative and organizational skills. - Analytical ability necessary to administer a complex budget. - Strong technological knowledge, especially in the areas of computerized information systems, financial analysis tools, databases, and in their applications to communication strategies. - Exceptional management skills to oversee staff in a collegial manner while ensuring staff goals are in line with leadership. - Ability to understand and interpret needs in the areas of: communications, special projects, human resources, facilities, financial and grant administration, and budget planning. - Ability to be comfortable in a collaborative environment in which teamwork, collegiality and consensus are the rule and faculty governance is the standard. - Entrepreneurial initiative. Preferred: - Knowledge of University of Chicago governance, organizational structure, and policies and procedures. - Working knowledge of the operational and long-range goals and policies of the University of Chicago and IME. - Familiarity with Argonne National Laboratory and its unique partnership with the University. Applicants should provide a writing sample of no more than two (2) pages.

Unit Job Function Competencies: ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: Management / Analysis: Provides the highest level of analysis on a broad range of complex issues and resolves or makes recommendations for resolution. Anticipates and identifies potential problems, and apprises senior leadership, as necessary. Facilitates the decision-making process by researching and maintaining a current knowledge base of all issues pertaining to IME and the University. Reviews Director's signature items and ensures University policy compliance. Manages confidential information and sensitive issues with the utmost discretion and professionalism. Representing the Director / Communications: As appropriate, acts on behalf of the Director to resolve problems independently and keeps the Director apprised of emerging issues. Represents the Director with internal and external constituents. Establishes priorities and sets the agenda for external communications to promote the academic and research mission of the IME; coordinates internal cohesive communications for IME. Special Projects and Initiatives: Provides project management leadership for special initiatives important to the Director. Prepares written materials or presentations, as needed by the Director.

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