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Division Administrator

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Position Summary

The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University in Palisades, New York, is seeking a Division Administrator for a career opportunity. Reporting to the Associate Director, the Division Administrator is responsible for the day-to-day administration of a large, active research division. Serves as primary liaison between the PIs and LDEO Administration, and coordinates with Morningside administrative offices as needed.


Financial Management: Responsible for developing and updating the division budget on an ongoing basis using best available information from PIs. Responsible for securing PI sign-off on quarterly financial statements and for processing expenditure corrections & other adjustments when PIs identify inaccuracies.

Budget Development: Develops fiscal year budget and submits to LDEO finance according to the annual budget calendar. Works with PIs to determine anticipated expenditures for existing projects and to develop proxy budgets.

Budget Monitoring: Monitors financial activity in ARC monthly. Identifies errors and alerts PI. Provides updates to LDEO Finance at least quarterly to incorporate new information. Conducts a detailed review of anticipated year-end expenditures at the end of Q2 for a meeting with the Directorate. Monitors PI institutional projects in ARC monthly. Has DAF authority and approves TBERs and other transactions. Approves time sheets.

Sponsored Research Administration: Works with PIs on pre- and post-award sponsored project administration.

Pre-award: Interprets proposal announcements, coordinates budget & proposal preparation, and works with LDEO Contracts & Grants to submit proposals on time.

Post-award: Responsible for ensuring project compliance with University policies & sponsor terms and conditions. Monitors financial statements monthly. Serves as coordinator for annual effort reporting certification.

Project Management: Responsible for assigning salaries to projects and keeping payroll suspense at or near zero each month. Works with PIs to administer sponsored projects. Works closely with LDEO Finance and sponsors to ensure accurate and timely project close-out and invoicing. Informs PIs and AD of problems and conflicts.

HR: Coordinates the annual performance review process within the Division. Works with HR manager and AD on recruitment, promotion, retention, and termination. Advises AD and PIs on type of appointment, leaves of absence, and salary/grade level where required. Works closely with the Director’s Office on processing research appointment paperwork.

Planning and Development: Advises AD on division planning. Works with the AD and others to support division, Observatory, Earth Institute, and University initiatives. Assists AD with the management of division discretionary accounts and other division resources.

Space Management: Coordinates capital projects on behalf of the AD. Coordinates maintenance of departmental office equipment and public rooms. Coordinates and completes the Columbia University Space Inventory. Supervises small (1 to 3) administrative support staff. Performs other duties as assigned by the AD or the Directorate. Reports to Associate Director/Senior Management. Supervises supporting administrative staff. Responsible for working with others to develop sponsored project budgets on their behalf. Delegated authority for preventing overdrafts on research accounts.

Minimum Qualifications

  • B.A. or equivalent. MBA or MPA preferred
  • Three to five years' experience in financial administration, budget preparation and management related to performance of federal contracts and grants.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills required.
  • Familiarity with standard office software required; should have advanced proficiency in Microsoft Excel.
  • High level of confidentiality is essential.

Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer - Race / Gender / Disability / Veteran

The Lamont campus values diversity and inclusion, and encourages applications from members of underrepresented minority groups.

We accept online applications only.

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