Director Admin Operations

Job description


The Administrative Director of Operations is responsible for the management of the overall finance and business operations for the Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences (PQHS). These activities include supporting the development of the department’s strategic objective with the Chair and the department’s faculty, translating the plan into a business plan, financial /grants management, operations, human resources management and general department operations. The administrative director will also have the responsibility for organizing complex tasks and providing leadership, advice and guidance regarding financial and administrative policies and procedures. The Case Western Reserve University Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences is one of the largest basic science research departments with five operating budgets of over $5 million operating dollars in the School of Medicine. The administrative director’s responsibilities are directly related to the vision of the School of Medicine and therefore, this position will also report to the Vice Dean for Finance and Administration and function as a part of the School of Medicine Administrative Operations team as directed by the Office of Finance and Planning.

The director will provide oversight and strategic direction to the Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods, the Swetland Center for Environmental Health, the Cleveland Center for Health Outcomes Research and the multiple core facilities. The director also provides financial oversight to the Cleveland Institute for Computational Biology.



  1. Strategic Operations: Provide financial and administrative leadership to the department working closely with the chair to implement the strategic goals and objectives of the department consistent with the long-term plan of the School of Medicine. This includes participation in the strategic planning for the department, overseeing the fiscal health of the department across all missions, development and monitoring of the 3 to 5-year financial plan, monitoring progress towards goals and ensuring the efficient operations of the department. Verify linkages between the budget and strategic planning objectives. Work closely with chair on strategic planning initiatives. Continuously monitor and evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery methods and procedures; assess and monitor workload, administrative and support systems and internal reporting relationships; identify opportunities for improvement; and direct the implementation of changes. Serve as a technical resource and advisor on financial and regulatory issues to chair, faculty and staff. Plan departmental budget needs by analyzing program plans on both a short and long-range basis by considering past requirements and expenditures and present program plan. Develop the annual operating budget. Perform needs assessment, make projections based on multiple items and variables, analyze budget variances and recommend courses of action. Prepare analytical reports and analyses. Recommend, develop and implement changes to department policies and practices. Receive assignments in the form of objectives with goals and the process by which to meet goals. Exercise judgment within defined procedures and policies to determine appropriate action. Identifies risks and responds accordingly. Provides priority setting and workflow analysis. (20%)
  2. Sponsored Programs: Provide day-to-day administrative leadership for all aspects of sponsored research operations for the department. This includes pre-award processing, budget preparation, grant submission, post-award grant management and financial operations. Assure faculty fulfillment of all obligations and responsibilities in sponsored research including complete compliance with all applicable federal and state regulations and laws. Instruct and guide faculty and staff in proper grant management and reporting procedures. Investigate allegations of fraud and financial compliance questions/issues using available resources such as sponsor regulations, university policies and procedures and the network of informed individuals such as the principal investigator, departmental or research administrator, business manager, chair, or dean. Coordinate with university compliance officer, audit services and general counsel as needed. Develop and negotiate contracts and budgets with non-federal sponsors for proposed research grants. Assist the chair and faculty with commercial ventures and their relationships to the University and the School of Medicine. Manage multiple complex contracts and grants including center grants, training grants, industry projects, clinical trials, etc. Serve as a resource for federal regulations and University policies pertaining to grant submissions, IRB and IACUC protocols. The research portfolio includes but is not limited to NIH, NSF, U01, R01, T32, DP, CDC, Cuyahoga County Board of Health, Cleveland Municipal School District and ODJFS and International grants and contracts with multiple countries including Canada, Iceland, Germany, Madagascar and Uganda. Federal funding agencies include NASA, NSF, DOD and the CDC and funding from multiple foundations including but not limited to Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research (FFAR), Sisters of Charity Foundation, BrightFocus and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. Provide guidance and oversight for cost share and matching requirements on projects where required. Manage the alternate financial structures and financing posed by commercialization of discoveries including federal programs for small business and biomedical startups (SBIR/STTR), private donations and venture capital investment programs. (20%)
  3. Financial Management: Responsible for all aspects of fiscal management, including prospective analysis of funding sources, faculty recruitment and start-up packages, endowments and development of pro-forma financial statements. Develop annual budget and monitor performance against the business plan. Meet regularly with the department chair to review performance matrices. Collaborate with the chair and faculty in order to enhance sponsored research grant programs. This includes seeking funding opportunities and guidance in application processes.  Ensure monthly financial reports for individual faculty with research grants and/or programs are accurate and distributed to the faculty. Approve and monitor expenditures. Analyze budget performance reports to track internal progress and forecast expense for remaining periods, providing financial guidance. Interpret and assess trends and formulate plans to balance expenditures. Develop cost control and monitoring programs. Monitor internal and external environment as it relates to department operations to anticipate and adapt significant changes. Define and evaluate strategic alternatives through the development of financial models and reports, providing recommendations on the course of action. Serve as a technical resource and advisor on financial and regulatory issues to chair, faculty and staff. Provide leadership, advice and guidance regarding financial and administrative policies and procedures. Serve as department expert on financial, administrative and outside funding agencies’ policies and procedures. Establish benchmarks for budgetary review. Review analysis of staffing expenses, non-salary expense projections and annual funding to provide an opportunity for the faculty to effectively manage their individual research programs. Responsible for effort certification and year-end close. Conduct regular audits of expenditures from all funded and unfunded sources to assure compliance and to safeguard University resources. (20%)
  4. Human Resources: Oversee and manage the human resource activities for the department. This includes the resolution of operational issues, design, maintenance and implementation of any changes, establishing standards and procedures adhering to university policies, appointment process for new faculty, lecturers, visitors and research staff, performance management/merit review, faculty tenure, staff development, leave administration and retirement and/or termination. Indirectly supervise all research and educational personal, approximately 80 staff. Approve and assure timely submission of personnel documents, including performance/merit evaluations and compensation requests. Liaise with the SOM Human Resources Manager to manage employee relations matters within the department; this may include conflict management, performance management, reorganization requests, etc. Identify training needs and programs. Serve as the primary contact for the SOM Office of Faculty Affairs and Human Resources, the central department of Human Resources and other SOM and university administrative offices. (15%)
  5. Supervision/Administrative Operations: Hire, train and supervise activities of departmental support staff, providing policy direction and regular performance management. Conduct periodic meetings with direct reports and other members of the Department’s support team to review changes in funding, policies and procedures and to discuss operational issues. Assign or reassign administrative tasks as needed due to changes in funding levels or absences. Approve standard operating procedures and conduct regular audit of workflow and organizational design. (10%)
  6. Education: Develop long range educational proforma and associated operational plans with the chair and graduate program director(s) for 9 degree programs including the undergraduate minor and the accredited program for master degree for Public Health (MPH), the masters and PhD programs in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, the master and PhD programs in Clinical and Translational Research and the master, PhD and certificate programs in Biomedical and Health Informatics. Participate in dual degree agreements and tuition sharing process for 11 dual degree programs in MPH. Collaborate with the SOM Office of Enrollment Management to establish targeted enrollment for graduate and PhD programs, monitor student enrollment, ensure educational outcomes are monitored so that student outcomes are maximized and assist in the planning and implementation of new programs and/or enhancements to existing programs. Ensure undergraduate program and graduate programs revenues are allocated appropriately. Ensure program accreditation is continuously monitored and developed on an ongoing basis. (5%)
  7. Shared Resources: Monitor and ensure appropriate oversight of departmental cores and shared resources. For cores, ensure that appropriate internal controls are in place to ensure data integrity; processes result in accurate allocation of costs; utilization is maximized (within and across departments); business plans are developed, updated and monitored; and recommend establishment/maintenance / elimination of cores. For departmental shared resources, ensure the resources are maintained and in proper working order. (5%)
  8. Physical Plant: Serve as primary administrator responsible for day-to-day operational oversight of the various facilities. Manage space allocations and monitor utilization per departmental and School of Medicine metrics. Produce and maintain space inventories and maintain university equipment inventories. Facilitate major equipment purchases and installations. (5%)



  1. Maintain up to date knowledge of grants management requirements in particular those of major funding agencies and Case Western Reserve University; policies and procedures of the university and changes in the educational and research landscapes that affect the department.  This may include maintaining professional affiliations to enhance professional growth and remain current in the latest trends and regulations in sponsored research and financial reporting. (<1%)
  2. Perform other duties as assigned. (<1%)



Department: Daily to weekly contact: chair and/or vice chair of research, faculty and support staff for overall operations and day to day support.

University/School: Regular contact with School of Medicine Finance and Planning Office for forecasts and budgets, Office of Sponsored Research for post award federal reporting, School of Medicine Office of Research Administration for submissions, School of Medicine Office Grants and Contracts, Office of Faculty Affairs and Human Resources for hiring and reviews, School of Medicine Development office to explore funding opportunities and the university’s Department of Human Resources and office of Procurement and Distribution; Contact with the Office of General Counsel for student related issues, the Student Employment office, School of Medicine Animal Resource Center to ensure faculty compliance and other department administrators as needed.

External: Daily to weekly contact with grants management staff at the funding agencies including but not limited to the National Institutes of Health and other government agencies for new and terming appointments; grant administrators at pharmaceutical companies, other institutions of higher learning, various offices of Research Administration at collaborating institutions, vendors, donors and others as a part of medical science placement and recruitment.

Students: Regular contact with student employees for routine assigned tasks.



Supervise all PQHS central administrative staff (7 departmental support personnel). Plus, all Human Resources requirements for additional administrative and research personnel listed above. Assure annual reviews are administered within university policies for all research staff supervised by faculty.



Experience: Minimum of 10 years of meaningful related experience. Experience in Federal Grant management is a plus.

Education: Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree with concentration in the field of management, accounting and/or finance preferred.



  1. Strong interpersonal skills: ability to work and communicate with various individuals from a broad spectrum of disciplines, technical and educational backgrounds within the department, school and university and with individuals outside the university.
  2. Professional and effective oral and written communication skills; strong writing and editing skills, must demonstrate the ability to effectively and accurately relay information.
  3. Strong organization skills: ability to multi-task, prioritize and meet deadlines; must demonstrate attention to detail and accuracy, time management skills and proven ability to successfully follow-through on assigned projects; ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously.
  4. Effective management skills: ability to lead, train, work with and elicit cooperation from team members and staff.
  5. Ability to work effectively independently and collaboratively within a team; must be highly motivated, responsible, dependable and a self-starter.
  6. Excellent problem solving skills; must demonstrate sound judgement and effective decision making; ability to identify and implement alternative resolutions and strategies; effective conflict management skills.
  7. Ability to work with sensitive information and maintain confidentiality.
  8. Must demonstrate flexibility and ability to work under pressure; must be able and willing to work in a fast-paced, changing environment and conform to shifting priorities, demands and timeline.
  9. Understanding of sponsored research grants and clinical trial grants administration required.
  10. Knowledge of financial spreadsheets and GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles).
  11. Knowledge of federal OMB circulars A-21, A-110 and A-133 sponsored research reporting requirements.
  12. Excellent computer skills including mainframe applications experience; excellent mathematical skills; ability to use or learn to use financial spreadsheets, accounting software, NIH application software, database packages, PeopleSoft financial system applications.
  13. Ability to meet consistent attendance.
  14. Ability to interact with colleagues, supervisors and customers face to face.



Typical office environment. No exposure to chemicals.





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Job No:
Posted: 6/2/2021
Application Due: 8/1/2021
Work Type: