Senior Administrative Manager

Vanderbilt University
Nashville, Tennessee
Feb 24, 2021
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Senior Administrative Manager

Job Identification: 10000102

The Senior Administrative Manager is a position that will oversee the Electrical Engineering (EE) work unit and Computer Science (CS) work unit within the Vanderbilt School of Engineering (VUSE).  This position will coordinate and perform a diverse set of support tasks, managing both work units, to ensure the faculty and staff have the resources needed to operate smoothly and efficiently. Responsibilities include oversight of the financial and operations for the work units.

This position will interface with a wide constituency of partners across the school and University, including regular interactions with senior-level administrators, as well as the two institutes: Institute for Software Integrated Systems (ISIS) and Institute for Space and Defense Electronics (ISDE).

This position requires exercise of independent judgment, initiative, and the ability to make decisions relative to the department’s finance and operations as well as other tasks assigned. The position will function with a high degree of understanding of University life, policies, and procedures.

Electrical Engineering has been primarily responsible for the information technology revolution that society is experiencing. The development of large-scale integrated circuits has led to the development of computers and networks of ever-increasing capabilities. Computers greatly influence the methods used by engineers for designing and problem solving.

Computer science blends scientific and engineering principles, theoretical analysis, and actual computing experience to provide students with a solid foundation in the discipline. Degree program emphasis is on computing activities of both practical and intellectual interest and on theoretical studies of efficient algorithms and the limits of computation. Specific strengths of this department include cyber-physical systems, cybersecurity, radiation effects on electronics and artificial intelligence.

Duties and Responsibilities
Office Management:

  • Serve as the “Senior Administrative Manager” to the departmental Chairs by managing and overseeing finance and operations for the departments
  • Develop and implement new policies and procedures, as approved by the Chairs and Chief Business Officer (CBO)
  • Serve as a resource for staff, students, faculty, and Chairs regarding unit operations and university policies and procedures
  • Ensure effective operation of department through improvement and coordination of processes, clear communication disseminated in a timely fashion, empowering department staff in their professional growth
  • Resolve problems directly, or in consultation with the Chairs, regarding unit operations and university policies and procedures
  • Prepare reports for the Chairs to review as required
  • Attend all monthly university-wide and VUSE wide Financial Unit Manager (FUM), Human Capital Management (HCM) and Grant Management (GM) monthly meetings and training opportunities
  • Act as the department reviewer and signatory for all grant, financial and department item

Financial Management:

  • This position ensures that all personnel transactions are recorded accurately and are in compliance with applicable university and departmental policies, and funding parameters.  This position requires a deep understanding of the operations and financial landscape of the unit as well as institutional financial policies and procedures
  • This position will coordinate with VUSE’s central Financial Unit Manager (FUM) to make sure that all non-salary transactions are recorded accurately and are in compliance with applicable university and departmental policies, and funding parameters. This position requires a deep understanding of the operations and financial landscape of the unit as well as institutional financial policies and procedures.
  • May be asked to prepare general ledger journal entries on behalf of the assigned financial unit(s)
  • Maintains an extensive understanding of financial systems
  • Maintains an extensive understanding of the institution’s chart of accounts and departmental use of optional segments and Project Portfolio Management (PPM) POET (Project, Project Organization, Expenditure Type and Task) structure
  • Maintains an extensive understanding of institutional and departmental travel, expense and procurement card policies
  • Maintains an extensive understanding of sponsored projects accounting and expenditure regulations, where applicable
  • Uses excellent professional judgment and integrity to evaluate the appropriateness of expenditures and possesses the maturity and confidence to address questionable transactions either directly or escalate if needed
  • Uses high attention to detail to ensure every component of a requisition or expense report is accurate prior to approval
  • Maintains a big picture perspective in order to ensure that all expenditures are evaluated to assess the impact on departmental operational needs and financial goals
  • Develops a dashboard of meaningful financial and metric reports to share with Departmental Chairs and other leadership
  • Ensures that the grant managers are providing meaningful reports including grants, faculty funds, gifts, endowment, etc. to principal investigators on at least an every other month frequency.
  • Ensures that PPM unprocessed transactions are minimal throughout the year and cleared to $0 at fiscal year-end
  • Ensures that effort certifications are processed on a timely basis
  • Reviews contract/grant balances periodically to mitigate any potential deficits or funds returned to an agency due to a low burn rate

Personnel Management:

  • Management of human resource policies for academic, research, and student appointments in compliance with university personnel regulations
  • Assist in the hiring of EE and CS administrative personnel
  • Responsible for the supervision and development of EE and CS administrative personnel
  • Works closely with the Deans Office for hiring, training, as well as personnel issues
  • Complies with Federal and State employment laws, as well as Vanderbilt/VUSE policies and procedures
  • Responsible for developing training programs and materials for administrative staff

Liaison with other University offices:

  • Builds and maintains strong working relationships within the departments and institutes and will work closely with other work units within Vanderbilt School of Engineering
  • Participates in recurring meetings, trainings, and round table discussions to allow opportunities across campus to learn from each other
  • Employs an unflappable, caring approach in communicating with all employees
  • This position may have interaction with (including but not limited to) Division of Sponsored Research, Office of Contract and Grant Accounting, plant operations, building managers, VUIT, other Schools, Graduate School, Student Accounts, URO, and Risk Management
  • Other tasks as assigned


  • Bachelor’s Degree is necessary
  • Master’s Degree is preferred
  • Strong administrative support skills are necessary
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, specifically Excel is necessary
  • Exemplary organizational skills are necessary
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and presentation skills are necessary
  • Demonstrating problem-solving skills, initiative, and diplomacy is necessary
  • Ability to multi-task, work under pressure, and respond to deadlines, without sacrificing quality, is necessary
  • Three years of experience is preferred
  • Knowledge and/or experience with grant and contract processes is preferred
  • Experience with effort certification is preferred
  • Strong working knowledge of chart of accounts, including expense items, allowable costs, and unallowable costs, is preferred

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
At Vanderbilt University, we are intentional about and assume accountability for fostering advancement and respect for equity, diversity, and inclusion for all students, faculty, and staff. Our commitment to diversity makes us who we are.  We have created a community that celebrates differences and lets individuality thrive. As part of this commitment, we actively value diversity in our workplace and learning environments as we seek to take advantage of the rich backgrounds and abilities of everyone. The diverse voices of Vanderbilt represent an invaluable resource for the University in its efforts to fulfill its mission and strive to be an example of excellence in higher education.

Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.

Please note, all candidates selected for an offer of employment are subject to pre-employment background checks, which may include but are not limited to, based on the role for which they have been selected: criminal history, education verification, social media review, motor vehicle records, credit history, and professional license verification.

Please apply online at

About Us
Vanderbilt is a community of talented and diverse staff & faculty!

At Vanderbilt University , our work - regardless of title or role - is in service to an important and noble mission in which every member of our community serves in advancing knowledge and transforming lives on a daily basis. Located in Nashville, Tennessee, on a 330+ acre campus and arboretum dating back to 1873, Vanderbilt is proud to have been named as one of “America’s Best Large Employers” as well as a top employer in Tennessee and the Nashville metropolitan area by Forbes for several years running. We welcome those who are interested in learning and growing professionally with an employer that strives to create, foster and sustain opportunities as an employer of choice through:

  • Working and growing together as a community of communities... we are One Vanderbilt.
  • Providing a work environment where every staff and faculty member can be their authentic and best self, while providing the resources and opportunities to learn and grow.
  • Encouraging development, collaboration, and partnership both internally and externally while fostering the value that every member of the Vanderbilt community can lead and grow regardless of title or position.

We understand you have a choice when choosing where to work and pursue a career. We understand you are unique and have a story. We want to hear it. We encourage you to apply today so that you might become a part of our story.