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Executive Director for Financial Research Compliance

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Job Details

Job Title: Executive Director for Financial Research Compliance
Location: Case Main Campus
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Full/Part Time: Full-Time
Job ID: 9669

The executive director, sponsored projects compliance is the strategic leader for developing and maintaining compliant, efficient, and effective post-award financial compliance management of sponsored projects throughout Case Western Reserve University. The executive director is responsible for developing and implementing a long-range strategic plan for the university’s post-award financial compliance program by establishing and maintaining a culture of compliance. This is a core function with university-wide scope. This position will provide vision and leadership in university sponsored projects compliance and effectively manage a large, complex, and growing institution. The executive director will oversee and direct the university’s effort reporting process, effective audit function within ORA (i.e. responsible for sub-recipient monitoring, subcontractor compliance, Uniform Guidance compliance), the assurance of compliance with 2 CFR 200 Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards and relevant program-specific compliance requirements. This position will lead the development and implementation of policies, procedures, and practices necessary to achieve compliance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations and sponsor requirements. The executive director, sponsored projects compliance directly supervises 2 professional employees.


    Provide strategic leadership by setting priorities, defining, and evaluating strategic alternatives of financial research compliance through the development of financial models and reports, providing recommendations on a course of action when needed. Perform comprehensive reviews on policies and processes to improve efficiency and effectiveness throughout the research community. Work closely with the assistant vice president for sponsored projects to assure strategic initiatives are initiated and created. Assist in the development and maintenance of tools for analysis of current and future strategic objectives for the management of post award compliance management and processes for the research community. (20%)Utilize extensive knowledge of OMB Uniform Guidance (2 CFR § 200), Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, external non-federal sponsor regulations and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and understanding of university policy and procedures to ensure the university’s compliance relating to financial research administration costing and reporting requirements. Stay current on regulatory and legal issues relating to pre- award sponsored projects management and sub-recipient monitoring, maintain an advanced knowledge and understanding of federal cost principles and federal single-audit guidelines established by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and advise management on needed actions to comply. (20%)

Develop and implement processes to effectively manage the closeout for sponsored projects ensuring timely submission of various non-financial reports in coordination with General Counsel, Technology Transfer, principal investigators and department administrators, and submitted to the sponsor on a timely basis and manage the intricacies associated with all federal and non-federal sponsors and the needs of our partners. (10%)Develop and implement processes to effectively manage the subrecipient monitoring of all subrecipients for all sponsored projects ensuring that subrecipients are in compliance with 2 CFR § 200 Uniform Administrative Requirements and Single Audit requirements. Communicate additional expectations to comply with the university’s compliance program. Ensure review of Single Audit reports and the follow up with sub-recipient to determine if corrective actions have been taken on findings related to the university. Assist sub-recipients with resolution of financial noncompliance. Ensure compliance with FFATA reporting requirements relating to all subcontracts issued by CWRU relating to sponsored research. (10%)Supervise the effort reporting process and address issues as they arise to ensure that the effort reporting is completed efficiently and accurately. Educate the campus on the requirements for time and effort reporting. Identify opportunities to improve the effectiveness of the university’s effort reporting process. Ensure proper balance of stewardship with customer service by protecting the interests of the University, faculty, staff and students while considering legitimate needs of sponsors & sub recipients (10%)Direct and establish priorities for day-to-day operations of the financial compliance unit. Develop and set team metrics addressing and ensure internal operational efficiencies, maximum productivity, customer satisfaction and employee proficiency. Respond to highly complex situations and solve problems involving numerous and sometimes competing needs while being flexible. (10%)Make recommendations on policy development, updates and dissemination of the university’s sponsored projects policies, procedures, audit tools, and report templates designed to achieve compliance with 2 CFR § 200 Uniform Administrative Requirements as well as strategic alternatives. Provide ideas and solutions to address problems and formulate alternative strategies. Identify and recommend innovative business practices. Communicate concerns, changes, and recommendations to assistant vice president of sponsored projects in a timely manner. Review and update policies and procedures to improve compliance and operations. This will entail reviewing financial and non-financial information from a variety of sources, while benchmarking and working closely with the assistant vice president for sponsored projects and research directors across the university. (10%)Coordinate with the Training Manager to oversee the development of departmental training programs and individual face-face instructional sessions for investigators and any appropriate individuals to increase their understanding of sponsored projects financial compliance. Identify emerging trends that may affect the conduct of sponsored projects at the university and advise ORA management on needed actions. Deliver training for the university community in understanding and complying with university/sponsor requirements, grant administration, compliance, and organizational policies. Cultivate a culture of understanding of the sponsored projects compliance process as it relates to research in the university. (10%)


    Perform other duties as assigned. (<1%)


Department: Daily contact with assistant vice president, sponsored projects; executive director, sponsored projects accounting, effort reporting coordinator; compliance analyst, and other staff within the department. Weekly contact with grant managers, and other accounting staff, pre-award Research Administration staff. Continuous contact with professional and management staff of all levels within Research Administration.

University: Daily contact with management center representatives, department administrators and faculty. Quarterly contact with audit services, deans, associate deans, assistant deans and legal office.

External: Continuous contact with sponsor agencies (federal and non-federal), peers at other universities and subrecipient organizations. Occasional contact with audit agencies.

Students: Occasional contact with work-study students.


Direct supervisory responsibility for 1 professional employee.


Experience: 7 to 10 years of experience in sponsored projects administration, financial or grant management, and/or audit. Requires prior successful leadership experience in a complex research-intensive institution.

Education/Licensing: Bachelor’s degree in business-related field required (degree in accounting/finance is preferred). Master’s degree (e.g. MBA) preferred. Professional designation (e.g. CPA or CRA) is preferred.


    Strategic decision-making and ability to obtain information and identify key issues and relationships relevant to achieving a long-range goal or vision; ability to commit to a course of action to accomplish a long-range goal or vision after developing alternatives based on logical assumptions, facts, available resources, constraints, and university values.Strong interpersonal skills; ability to work and communicate with various individuals from a broad spectrum of disciplines, technical and educational backgrounds within the department and university, and with individuals outside the university; the ability to effectively communicate with individuals with scientific , legal or business backgrounds is essential.Strong organization skills; ability to multi-task, prioritize and give attention to detail in order to complete tasks and meet deadlines.Effective management skills; ability to lead, work with, elicit cooperation from, and read communication styles of team members and staff.Ability to problem-solve effectively; developing and implementing alternative solutions as needed.Flexibility to respond to project adjustments and alterations promptly and efficiently; and ability to conform to shifting priorities, demands and timelines.Good and effective presentation and public speaking skills. Advanced written and verbal communication skills. Ability to interact and communicate professionally with others and to establish meaningful relationships with senior leadership, deans, faculty, administrators, and sponsors.Advanced knowledge of sponsored program administration, policies, 2 CFR 200 Uniform Administrative Requirements, and federal and sponsor regulations and guidelines.Expert knowledge of and familiarity with internal controls over research activities. Expert knowledge of financial audit requirements and audit reporting. Expert knowledge of governmental accounting and budgeting, accounting principles and practices. Expert knowledge of federal and university rules regarding management of effort allocation.Knowledge of PeopleSoft grants management and accounting modules preferred.Foundational knowledge and practical abilities working with the Microsoft Office suite of tools and general computer skills. Advanced analytical skills to analyze accounting data, formulate and present conclusions. Expert analytical skills to analyze a variety of complex regulations, apply sound judgment, and draw logical conclusions.Ability to lead and set the tone of ORA activities within the university.Ability to make ethical decisions and act with integrity.Ability to produce accurate and timely work products when working under pressure.Ability to maintain confidentiality and exercise appropriate discretion with information.Highly motivated with a strong service orientation. Ability to work as part of a team of professionals. Ability to meet consistent attendance. Ability to interact with colleagues, supervisors, and customers face to face.


General office working environment.

Diversity Statement

In employment, as in education, Case Western Reserve University is committed to Equal Opportunity and Diversity. Women, veterans, members of underrepresented minority groups, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.


Reasonable Accommodations

Case Western Reserve University provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the Office of Equity at 216-368-3066 to request a reasonable accommodation. Determinations as to granting reasonable accommodations for any applicant will be made on a case-by-case basis.


COVID Vaccination Case Western Reserve University has implemented a COVID Vaccination policy requiring evidence of COVID-19 vaccination for all students, faculty and staff with an on-campus presence. Religious and medical exemptions may be provided in accordance with applicable federal and state laws. For more information go to: Applicants may contact the Office of Equity at 216-368-3066 /[email protected] for information regarding religious or medical exemptions as an accommodation.


Working at Case Western Reserve University

Case Western Reserve University is among the nation's leading research institutions. Founded in 1826 and shaped by the unique merger of the Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University, Case Western Reserve is distinguished by its strengths in educationresearch, service and experiential learning. Located in Cleveland's University Circle, we offer nationally recognized programs in the arts and sciencesdental medicineengineeringlawmanagementmedicinenursing and social sciences.

Student enrollment exceeds 9,800 students, forty percent of whom are undergraduatesFacultyand students hail from more than 90 countries, with academic interests that reach every region of the world. Case Western Reserve, with the support of individuals, corporations and foundations, aids nearly 100 designated research centers.

As a service-oriented institution dedicated to civic leadership, Case Western Reserve seeks individually and collectively to prepare our students to improve the human condition and to direct the benefits of discovery toward a better society. This effort is not limited to the university's classrooms, laboratories, librariesresidence halls and athletic fields, but includes partnerships with many other institutions. We build these partnerships believing that our ability to improve the human condition should begin in our own community.

Case Western Reserve University remains Ohio's top-ranked school among the nation's premier national universities, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report and is the only Ohio institution ranked in the top 50 nationally. We promote a culture of inquiry marked by rigor, creativity, curiosity, innovation, respect, sensitivity and open communication of ideas.

The university supports interdisciplinary partnerships in education and research with numerous faculty holding joint appointments in more than one Case Western Reserve school or department, as well as at neighboring institutions. These relationships launched many of the unique pairings of science, business and liberal arts into the centers and programs that enhance the undergraduate and graduate experience at the university. Our dual degree programs enrich the educational experience for those students who choose to balance the technical requirements of engineering or the sciences with a strong interest in the humanities.

With more than $375 million in research funding annually, the university attracts outstanding undergraduate and graduate students along with renowned faculty whose research has made significant contributions to the way we live and work. Case Western Reserve counts 15 Nobel laureates among our alumni and current and former faculty, including the first American scientist to ever receive the prize.

Our students' experiences in cultural institutions, clinics, social service agencies and industry are not viewed as “extra-curricular,” but create the learning experience that defines a Case Western Reserve education. The university's service programs in the Cleveland Municipal School District have impacted more than 145,000 students with more than 43 signature programs. The university has launched more than 580 community partnerships on the local, national and international levels. Annually the university sponsors Case for Community Day, an event where hundreds of Case Western Reserve employees and students lend their time and talent to targeted community development projects in the Greater Cleveland area.

Our alumni number more than 110,000 and constitute a “who's who” of every profession. Alumni represent one of the university's strongest resources, playing a vital role in campus life through their work as advisors, mentors, friends and advocates.

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