Business Solutions Manager

Job description

Business Solutions Manager

Stanford University

Job Number:


Founded in 1891, Stanford University is among the top academic institutions in the country, excelling in a wide range of fields from the humanities to information technology to the health sciences and medicine. The university is located near Palo Alto, 35 miles south of San Francisco, on an 8,800-acre campus.

Residential & Dining Enterprises (R&DE), the largest auxiliary organization at Stanford University, supports the academic mission of the University by providing the highest quality services to students and other members of the university community. The Department has an annual operating budget of over $270 million, oversees a 5 million sq. ft. physical plant across the campus, and provides housing for over 13,000 students and dependents, serves over 18,000 daily meals at 30 dining and retail locations and over 300,000 meals at Athletic Concessions events, and hosts 20,000 conference guests annually. Additionally, R&DE comprises 735 FTE staff in the following divisions: The Office of the Senior Associate Vice Provost, Student Housing, Stanford Dining, Stanford Hospitality & Auxiliaries, Stanford Conferences, and a team of R&DE strategic business partners: Finance & Administration, Human Resources, Information Technology and Communications.

“Students (Customers) First” is the mantra of R&DE and our strategic goals reflect our commitment to delivering quality and excellence to our constituents every day. In R&DE, “Excellence is defined by aligning our strategic goals and performance with our vision.”

Stanford and R&DE are committed to creating and sustaining a diverse environment. R&DE's dedication to promoting diversity, multiculturalism, and inclusion is reflected in our work of providing service excellence to our students. Diversity is more than a commitment—it is foundational to what we do. We are fully focused on equality and believe deeply in diversity of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, national origin and all the other characteristics that make us different.


The Business Solutions Manager is responsible for developing, monitoring, testing, and improving systems that are used in performing student billing and housing assignment processes for approximately 14,000 beds within R&DE Student Housing Operations.

The Principal Business Solutions Manager is a senior staff member in the R&DE Student Housing Assignments office and reports to the Director of Housing Assignments. The manager is responsible for the direction and coordination of several key business areas, including setting systems product definition, day to day oversight and administration of key business systems; business process analysis and improvement; primary liaison with university partners needing data and statistics from assignment systems, and overseeing the primary reporting environments used for assignment processes. The manager collaborates with internal and external partners to develop and implement changes to advance and enhance the housing application, assignment, customer service, and billing processes of R&DE Student Housing Operations. The manager works with R&DE IT staff and developers to create and/or modify systems that underpin complex and various assignment processes. Works closely with various business partners to ensure systems meet all compliance and security protocols of the university including FERPA and HIPAA regulations.
CORE DUTIES Management Responsibilities

  • Holds a solid understanding of R&DE Student Housing's mission, business practices, issues, and data challenges facing the organization. Uses that knowledge to focus on developing and improving R&DE Student Housing processes for higher operational effectiveness and service to internal and external customers.
  • Serve as subject matter expert to business units within R&DE Student Housing Operations and with R&DE IT in planning and coordinating systems analysis, design and implementation projects to automate processes or improve business systems. Understands each system's strengths and weaknesses to determine opportunities to automate processes and functions.
  • Primary Subject Matter expert for the SAM and StarRez systems.
  • Assesses potential solutions for both technical and business suitability and sustainability.
  • Ensures that the design and integration of proposed system, software and reporting changes lead to the development and growth of R&DE Student Housing Operations and enhance the student experience through effective use of technology.
  • Works closely with developers and a variety of end users (students and staff) to ensure technical compatibility and user satisfaction. Perform necessary follow-up with business partners to ensure new or modified capabilities are performing satisfactorily and that business requirements have been met.
  • Ensures business solutions comply with FERPA and R&DE privacy standards. Responds to FERPA and subpoena requests by gathering and submitting relevant documentation and keeping Director informed of such requests.
  • Evaluates, troubleshoots, and records issues reported by students and staff. Ensures proper and timely resolutions that limit impact on R&DE Student Housing assignment and billing processes.
  • Serves as primary backup for the Associate Director of Housing Assignments and secondary backup for the Director of Housing Assignments. Assumes oversight of Housing Assignments in their absence, including managing all staff, resolving problems, and communicating information on housing assignments to other senior-level administrators and organizations.
Operational Responsibilities
  • Attends all Housing Assignments staff meetings and management meeting so is fully aware of all assignment policies and challenges of the Housing Assignment staff. Seeks input from system end-users on improvements and enhancements that can assist them in their work.
  • Serves as primary contributor on many ad hoc committees to streamline Housing Assignments and Housing Front Desks business processes using technical solutions. (i.e. early arrival and late stay processing of requests, integration with VPSA OAE systems, Service Now workgroups, etc.)
  • Works collaboratively with Housing Assignments managers and other external business partners to develop and implement the systems and procedures that support and enhance the student housing assignment and billing processes.
  • Analyzes systems' impact of potential policy changes recommended by University task forces, Senior University Administrators, committees, or other University staff. Gathers business needs as well as the design goals through interaction with Housing Assignments Managers and other stakeholders throughout Student Housing Operations and R&DE IT. Makes recommendations for implementation via business process or technical solution.
  • Evaluates enhancement requests based on streamlining processes, determines viability and validity of proposed change, recommends solutions, and keeps the Director apprised of any necessary modifications or customizations, including budgetary impacts.
  • Trains Student Housing Operations staff on best practices regarding Star Rez and other housing systems.
  • Translates requested policy changes into business requirements, business processes, and recommendations into specifications for solutions to be developed by R&DE IT or third party systems and report developers. Identifies, proposes and influences business solutions, negotiates deliverables and requirements with Housing Assignments and other business partners. Identifies, proposes and influences business solutions, negotiates deliverables and requirements with Housing Assignments and other business partners.
  • Coordinates pilot solutions to test populations, documents issues, develops resolutions and makes recommendations for future expansion.
  • Leads annual end user testing by setting schedules, test plans, and enhancement documentation for SAM, StarRez, and other assignment systems.
  • Provides technical support for all housing assignment rounds with bulk data uploads of assignments, residence priorities, and contract changes in SAM and StarRez. Evaluates assignment program error messages and responds accordingly. Provides audit reports.
  • Collaborates with R&DE IT to monitor systems performance during application periods and proactively seeks solutions based on error log activity from the student portal.
  • Annually translates the R&DE general rate increases into a detailed, master rate sheet for all residence options, contract and term lengths, and maintains adjustments throughout the year.
  • Annually sets the deadline calendar that determines move-in and move-out dates and other deadlines for students using information from many different sources such as the Registrar's Office, academic department calendars, Student Financial Services, housing operations, and historical patterns.
Technical Responsibilities
  • Serve as product manager for Housing Assignments' systems. Develop and maintain knowledge and expertise in the systems supporting Housing Assignment and billing processes (SAM, StarRez, Business Objects, etc.). Represent R&DE Student Housing Operations as the business owner of these systems.
  • Serves as primary liaison for R&DE Student Housing Assignments with R&DE IT and other external and internal partners.
  • Oversees and maintains the custom application's (SAM) annual and quarterly reference data to reflect current housing assignment policies and options.
  • Serves as subject matter expert regarding the development and creation of the StarRez billing system and integrated data within StarRez (from PeopleSoft, SAM, etc.).
  • Serves as principle business and technology analyst within R&DE Student Housing Operations for selection of housing software to complement SHARE, Oracle, and PeopleSoft student services system. Integrally involved in "buy vs. build" decisions.
  • Determines and documents functional requirements for new systems or purchasing of enhancements to current systems; analyzes available housing packages to determine their ability to meet Stanford's needs; makes recommendations on suitability of various options.
  • Ensures Housing Assignments' technical issues are identified, tracked, reported on, and resolved in a timely manner.
  • Formulates and implements annual and quarterly quality assurance testing plans to ensure that the highest quality development and implementation. Identifies and documents systems bugs against product expectations.
  • Collaborating with R&DE IT, analyze reporting systems that promote the efficient execution of Housing Assignments business processes and data interchange with other University systems including both importing materialized views along with exporting student data such as housing address, R&DE student billing, etc.
  • Oversees the creation and distribution of standardized and ad hoc statistical reports as needed for assignment managers, R&DE business partners, and Student Housing Operations staff which often includes collecting and analyzing data from multiple sources.
  • Maintains corporate business folder for Business Objects coordinating and publishing shared business reports that have been tested for accuracy.
  • Reviews and evaluates current trends for online forms, student communication, and housing assignment systems.
  • Oversees access to housing assignment systems and authorizes access based on job role.
  • Establishes business rules for integrating housing assignment data between systems for Student Housing and to the University systems (PeopleSoft).
  • Oversees training to users of new systems or product enhancements; contributes to end-user manuals and training guides.
Represents Student Housing Operations on Various Committees/Boards
  • Serves as member of R&DE Departmental Managers and attends meetings that discuss R&DE goals and compliance targets.
  • Serves as a member of the BDAWG team (Business Data and Analytics Working Group) that compiles and analyzes data across R&DE.
  • Serves as a member of the Undergraduate and Graduate Housing Issues, Policies and Procedures working groups.
  • Serves as a housing assignment technology subject matter expert on an ad hoc basis for the Graduate Housing Advisory Committee and Undergraduate Housing Advisory Committee.
  • Represent Housing Assignments on the University IT Change Advisory Board.
  • Meets biweekly with IT staff to review projects, bugs, and updates to systems for SAM, Star Rez, and other systems.
  • Serve as subject matter expert for R&DE Student Housing Operations on R&DE and University technical projects receiving assignment and financial data.

  • A four-year degree, a strong systems background, and five years of progressively responsible experience administering business operations in an academic environment.
  • Able to maintain a high level of productivity, manage multiple competing priorities, and work effectively under the pressure of time constraints in a fast-paced, complex, collaborative, and team-oriented environment. Manage resources in accordance with project/task scopes and schedules.
  • Must be detail oriented with experience and expertise in documenting projects, meeting minutes, action items and discussion/decisions from project teams.
  • Ability to work independently and exercise sound judgment, to manage critical issues, and to utilize problem analysis techniques.
  • Ability to lead diverse and inclusive work teams toward common vision or goal(s); establishes oneself as an essential team contributor; Tact, confidentiality, political astuteness and emotional maturity are essential in working with a diverse population of constituents and attitude of service to others.
  • Capacity to work in a high-pressure, demanding environment utilizing good judgment, sound decision-making skills and excellent customer service. Requires a high tolerance for ambiguity and extensive consultation for achieving consensus and to earn broad administrative support on matters impacting the project and the department.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively problem-solve and manage a variety of complex projects and initiatives independently and with minimal direction or supervision.
  • Successfully combine hard (e.g. technical knowledge, critical and analytical thinking, problem solving) and soft skills (e.g. people skills, communication, such as active listening, interpersonal and intrapersonal relationship, team work, emotional intelligence, collaboration/conflict management ) to meet position requirements;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, with demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in verbal and written formats including experience presenting and leading meetings with senior management.
  • Demonstrates agility to lead change
  • Demonstrates effective emotional intelligence, especially in situations with time constraints

  • Detailed knowledge of technical aspects of Stanford's student housing systems is a plus. Ability to identify, troubleshoot, test, and resolve technical problems with internal and external systems.
  • Experience in translating user requirements into effective and functional designs employing best practices and current technology.
  • Strong capabilities in functional analysis, fit/gap analysis, requirements documentation and process flow charting, presentation of options and solutions facilitation, issues analysis and resolution, coordination of user acceptance and sign-off, and business process improvement.
  • Proven ability and success in exercising sound decision-making and independent judgment to search out, identify, clarify and resolve complex problems that lead to the appropriate course of action within the context of University and Student Housing policies and established standards and protocols.
  • Knowledge of programming logic and relational database architecture
  • Some SQL and Java experience desirable
  • Experience developing and writing specifications for business reports combining information from various databases
  • Detail oriented including knowledge of basic accounting principles. Able to provide financial audits
  • Ability to write and edit RFP and RFI documents when reviewing and implementing new systems
  • Mastery of software product life cycle and associated best practices
  • Savvy with both technology infrastructure and knows how to use technology in streamlining business processes
  • Experience using Oracle, People Soft, and reporting systems such as Report Mart, Business Objects, or OBIEE is helpful. Advanced knowledge of Excel required.
  • Ability to work with business partners and staff to provide testing of system enhancements and implement changes in production environments within very short time frames

Certifications and Licenses:

Requires valid California State Driver's License

  • Frequently sit, perform desk-based computer tasks.
  • Occasionally stand, walk, twist, use fine manipulation, grasp, use a telephone, write by hand, sort and file paperwork, lift, carry, push, and pull objects that weigh up to 10 pounds.

* - Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of his or her job.

The job duties listed are typical examples of work performed by positions in this job classification and are not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, tasks, and responsibilities. Specific duties and responsibilities may vary depending on department or program needs without changing the general nature and scope of the job or level of responsibility. Employees may also perform other duties as assigned.

"Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job."

Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Additional Information
  • Schedule: Full-time
  • Job Code: 4702
  • Employee Status: Regular
  • Grade: G
  • Requisition ID: 89149


Location: Residential & Dining Enterprises, Stanford, California, United States
Classification Level:

To be considered for this position please visit our web site and apply on line at the following link:

Stanford is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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Job No:
Posted: 4/13/2021
Application Due: 4/13/2033
Work Type: Full Time