Assistant Director, Purchasing/Contract Services

Job description

Job Description  

Reporting to the Associate Vice President for Contracting, Purchasing and Risk Management, this position is responsible for the execution, administration and advancement of the Purchasing and Accounts Payable functions.


  • Supervises the individuals responsible for purchasing and accounts payable activities.
  • Manages a comprehensive and integrated strategic procurement and sourcing function by providing oversight to purchasing staff in market assessments, RFP, bid strategy developments, supplier negotiations, e-procurement, Procurement Card program, and contract development and implementation activities.
  • Conducts university-wide, high profile, complex, and/or first-time commodity/service contract negotiations and uses exceptional negotiating skills to bring success to the university.
  • Ensures university compliance with ABOR, state and federal laws, rules, regulations and policies.
  • Acts in a consultative role with management throughout the university to determine how the Purchasing organization can assist in achieving goals.
  • Builds engagement with the university community in the adoption of improved procurement services and enhancing relationships with diverse internal and external stakeholders.
  • Collaborates with other management staff on improvements to procurement processes and policies.
  • Leads, mentors, and motivates team members and provides direction and training to the team in order to improve skills.
  • Oversees workload of assigned functions and makes appropriate changes to ensure task are performed timely and efficiently.
  • Performs procurement analysis and cost data for planning, budgeting, and other functional duties.
  • Analyzes market trends and benchmarks for the best practice and assists with specification development.
  • Utilizes knowledge of spend and technology in order to drive best value for the university.
  • Negotiates effective and commercially sound contracts and strategic supplier arrangements.
  • Manages the univeristy’s small business utilization program, to include annual reporting and preparation of small business subcontracts.
  • Oversees procurement conflict of interest management.
  • Serves as a member of the department's management team by participating in strategic planning, staffing decisions and other key areas.
  • Communicates ABOR, State and University laws, rules regulations and policies to internal and external customers and firms.
  • Provides guidance and consistency in policy and procedure decisions within work unit and campus-wide.
  • Represents the department or work unit on various committees, work groups and employee forums.
  • May have training responsibilities related to the department, employees or outside customers.

Minimum Qualifications   

  • Bachelor's degree in supply chain management, business or similar discipline is preferred.
  • Four years of professional experience in contract administration and/or procurement operations and supervision is required.
  • Any equivalent combination of experience, training and/or education.

Preferred Qualifications   

  • Experience with strategic planning, setting department goals and leading assessment initiatives.
  • Experience prioritizing and managing multiple high profile complex projects.
  • Related higher education experience dealing with area of assignment.
  • Certified Professional Purchasing Manager (CPPM) or Certified Purchasing Manager (CPM).

Knowledge Skills and Abilities   

  • Skill in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships.
  • Knowledge of management and supervisory principles and practices related to assigned work unit.
  • Skill in problem solving and decision-making.
  • Skill in planning, analyzing and coordinating multiple activities and establishing priorities.
  • Excellent customer service traits and the ability to handle conflict and diffuse situations.
  • Excellent supervisory, organizational and training skills.
  • Skill in program development and execution.
  • Ability to develop, schedule, organize, facilitate and evaluate purchasing and accounts payable activities.
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills.
  • Ability to work effectively with people from a variety of culturally diverse backgrounds.
  • Working knowledge of the principles and procedures of the assigned work unit.
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively within a team.
  • Awareness and commitment to NAU's EEO/Affirmative Action Plan and Safe Working and Learning Environment goals.

Background Information   

This position has been identified as a safety/security sensitive position.  Therefore, per AZ Revised Statute, Northern Arizona University requires satisfactory results for the following:  a criminal background investigation, employment history investigation, degree verification (in some cases) and fingerprinting.

Additionally, as an employer in the state of Arizona, NAU is required to participate in the federal E-Verify program that assists employers with verifying new employees' right to work in the United States.

Finally, each year the Northern Arizona University Police Department releases an annual security report.  The report is a result of the federal law known as the Clery Act and contains policy statements that address the school’s policies, procedures and programs concerning safety and security including policies for responding to emergency situations and sexual offenses.  The report contains three years of data for Clery reportable crime statistics for the campus along with the most current year’s Fire Safety Report, which includes policy statements and fire statistics for Flagstaff on-campus student housing. 

The report may be viewed at or by visiting the NAUPD website at:  A printed copy of the report is available upon request by contacting the NAU Police Department, Records Department at (928)523-8884 or by visiting the department at Building 98A on the NAU Mountain Campus.


Commensurate with experience.

**The starting salary will be determined by the qualifications of the selected applicant balanced with departmental budget availability, internal salary equity considerations, and available market information.

FLSA Status   

This position is exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and therefore will not earn overtime or compensatory time for additional time worked.


This is a Service Professional (SPF) position.  NAU offers an excellent benefit package including generous health, dental and vision insurance; participation in the Arizona State Retirement System or the Optional Retirement Program; 22 days of vacation and 10 holidays per year; and tuition reduction for employees and qualified dependents.  More information on benefits at NAU is available at

NAU is a tobacco and smoke-free campus.

Service Professionals are hired on a contract basis, renewable each 6 months according to terms of the Conditions of Professional Service, which may be found at:

Employees offered a position will be eligible for state health plans (including NAU's BCBS Plan).  New employees are eligible for benefits on the first day of the pay period following their enrollment, after their employment date.  Employees will have 31 days from their start date to enroll in benefits. If a new employee chooses the ASRS retirement option, participation in the Arizona State Retirement System, and the long-term disability coverage that accompanies it, will begin on the first of the pay period following 6 months after the new employee's start date. New employees who choose to participate in the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP), which is an alternative to the ASRS plan for faculty and other appointed staff, will begin to participate on the first day of employment.  Additionally, the long-term disability plan that accompanies the ORP will begin on the first day of employment.  More information is available at:

Learning and Development   

Your career at Northern Arizona University includes the opportunity for professional development.  New employee on-boarding training includes courses to be completed within the first 30 days ( If your position includes the supervision of a benefit-eligible employee, we offer the NAU Supervisors Academy for you to complete within your first 2 years.  In addition to the development classes offered in-person, every NAU employee receives a free subscription to From this site you can access more than 1,400 training videos on a broad range of subjects, including business skills, photography, music and video, home computing, and web design and development.  

Application Deadline   

Open until further notice.

How to Apply   

To apply for this position, please click on the "Apply" button on this page.  You must submit your application by clicking on the "Submit" button by midnight of the application deadline.  If you need assistance completing your application there are instructions available on line at or in person in the Human Resources Department located in Building 91 on the NAU Campus - on the corner of Beaver and DuPont Streets. 

If you are an individual with a disability and need reasonable accommodation to participate in the hiring process please contact the Office of Equity and Access at: 928-523-3312/TDD - 928-523-1006 or PO Box 4083, Flagstaff AZ  86011.

Equal Employment Opportunity   

Northern Arizona University is a committed Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution.  Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.  NAU is responsive to the needs of dual career couples.

EEO is the Law Poster and Supplements

NAU is an Employer of National Service.  AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other National Service alumni are encouraged to apply.




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Job No: 603805
Posted: 6/12/2018
Application Due: 8/11/2018
Work Type:
Salary: Commensurate with experience.