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Specify Technical Support Manager

The University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS
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Job Details

Position OverviewThe Technical Support Manager’s primary responsibility will be managing the help desk support services of the Specify Collections Consortium (SCC), an international organization of natural history museums. The Manager will exercise independent judgment and professional discretion in performing their duties with fulfillment and member relationship activities.

The Technical Support Manager will report to the SCC Membership and Fulfillment Officer and will interact daily with SCC staff members. The Manager will communicate extensively with collection scientists from SCC member institutions to provide front-line technical support and problem-solving. The Manager will configure and customize Specify software and provide guidance and training for Specify users in its function and use. The successful candidate will supervise part-time student employees who will help provide technical support. The Manager will help evaluate requested software features, test new software releases and will represent the Consortium in virtual member and community forum meetings and in occasional webinars.

The ideal candidate will have strong interpersonal and project management skills and a working knowledge of computing and databases. Prior experience with Specify software or museum data is not required, and training will be provided. Depending on public health conditions, the position may require occasional travel to member sites or conferences.

The University of Kansas offers a generous benefits package including robust health plan options, retirement plan contribution matching, up to 176 hours of paid vacation earned per year, 96 hours of sick leave earned per year, 9 paid holidays plus one discretionary day. KU is located in the lovely, bucolic college town of Lawrence, Kansas with outstanding schools and cultural activities. Job Description40% Provide Specify software technical support as manager of the Specify Help Desk by receiving incoming email, phone, and Discourse communications, responding to inquiries and requests, tracking user issues to resolution, and coordinating problem-solving with staff. Prioritize support tasks of varying complexity to allow for the staging and completion of support activities from providing immediate answers to tasks that require multi-week planning.

15% Debug and customize design of Specify data entry forms through XML. Design Specify labels and reports for printed output. These activities include communicating with consortium members, tracking progress, and delivering final products.

10% Assist in non-technical aspects of data conversions, and importing data from other systems into Specify via spreadsheet based feature.

10% Document in writing or with video recordings, descriptions of methods, techniques, and tips for managing collections data in Specify.

10% Participate in the requirements analysis and user-centric testing of new Specify software releases.

5% Supervise student hourly employees, including coordinating their recruitment, training, work priorities, task tracking, and work and performance evaluation.

5% Engage and participate in regular and impromptu staff meetings to discuss issues arising related to Specify users and help desk tasks. Work with the Membership and Fulfillment Officer to set priorities and goals.

5% Perform other activities as needed in accordance with the scope of the position.
Position RequirementsWork Location: (Hybrid) Dyche Hall, Lawrence Campus, and remote
Required Qualifications
  1. Bachelor’s degree in STEM or business-related field or Associate’s degree in STEM or business-related field and 1 year related experience.
  2. Proficient at task prioritizing and time management, ability to track and accomplish tasks to meet deadlines as evidenced by previous work experience.
  3. Proficient with desktop computing as evidenced by previous work experience.
  4. Proficient writing and editing skills as evidenced by application materials and past writing projects.
  5. Demonstrable highly collaborative work habits, team collaboration and communication skills as evidenced by interview and referees.
Preferred Qualifications
  1. Experience working in a customer fulfillment/service position.
  2. Experience working with databases in a museum or science context, especially MySQL or MariaDB databases.
  3. Bachelor’s degree in STEM, collections, or business discipline.
  4. Working knowledge of Specify Software, and structure and syntax of XML documents.
  5. Enthusiasm for problem-solving and for learning new skills and for completing tasks, as evidenced in interview and in application materials.
Additional Candidate InstructionsOnly complete application packages submitted online will be considered. A complete application includes online application form, resume, cover letter, names and contact information for three professional references.

Review of applications will begin May 24th and continue until a qualified pool of applicants is identified. Contact Information to ApplicantsTheresa Miller, [email protected] Advertised Salary RangeMin $50,000 Work Schedule40hrs/week Application Review Begins24-May-2022 Anticipated Start Date13-Jun-2022


Working at the University of Kansas 

Join the University of Kansas, and you’ll become part of a Jayhawk family that spans the globe. Wear your KU shirt in London, Istanbul, Buenos Aires, Nairobi or anywhere else, and you will likely hear a resounding “Rock Chalk!” from a stranger. Of course, the appropriate response is an enthusiastic “Jayhawk!” Because, after all, they’re not really strangers, they’re family.

The Jayhawk community is united by more than 150 years of tradition and by our commitment to pushing the boundaries of knowledge, transforming the academic experience, and creating solutions through innovative research. KU’s mission is to lift students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities and making discoveries that change the world.  

The University of Kansas is the state’s flagship university and one of just 66 invited members of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU). We consistently earn high rankings for academics and recognition as a premier research university.

KU faculty and staff embrace our role as the state’s flagship university, AAU member and R1 institution that serves the state, nation and world. We celebrate the energy and compassion that infuse the Jayhawk spirit; and, we remain true to KU’s historic values: the elevating force of education, the transformative power of research and the healing power of service.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging 

The University of Kansas is committed to a learning and workplace environment that is representative of our nation and global society, accepts and values everyone, appreciates our common humanity and understands that our multiple differences are the cornerstone of academic preparation, professional excellence and distinction. KU must be a place where all people feel they belong and have access to resources and support that help them attain their educational and professional goals.

We recognize there are inequalities and privileges generated by historical and persistent intersecting differences by race, ethnicity, gender identities, gender expressions, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, abilities, religion, regional background, veteran status, citizenship status and nationality. And we hold ourselves accountable for policies, processes and programs that appreciate these and other differences and create more fair, safe and just learning, working and living environments for KU students, faculty and staff.


KU offers a broad array of undergraduate and graduate study programs, and we fulfill our mission through academic and research programs of international distinction, coupled with outstanding libraries, teaching museums and information technology. These resources enrich the academic experience for students from all 50 states and 112 countries, and provide enrichment resources for KU faculty and staff.


The university attains high levels of research productivity and recognizes that faculty are part of a network of scholars and academicians that shape a discipline as well as teach it. KU staff are integral to our research success, participating in and supporting discoveries that expand knowledge and improve lives.


The university and our employees serve society through research, teaching and the preservation and dissemination of knowledge. KU's academic programs, arts facilities and public programs provide cultural enrichment opportunities for the larger community. And, KU offers educational, research and service programs throughout the state. KU employees are encouraged to participate in and serve the campus and surrounding communities in a way that is meaningful to them.

International Dimension 

KU offers more than 100 programs of international study and cooperative research for KU students and faculty at sites around the world. The university offers teaching and research that draw upon and contribute to the most advanced developments throughout the United States and abroad. At the same time, KU's extensive international ties support economic development in Kansas.


The University of Kansas, our students and employees are committed to excellence. We foster a multicultural, inclusive environment in which the dignity and rights of individuals are respected. Intellectual diversity, integrity and disciplined inquiry in the search for knowledge are of paramount importance.

Our City and State 

KU sits atop Mt. Oread in the center of Lawrence, a town full of natural beauty and culture. In fact, Rolling Stone magazine named Lawrence one of the best college towns in the United States. Lawrence is home to more than 100,000 people, and has a charming, Midwestern friendliness that welcomes visitors and celebrates diversity. In addition to KU, Lawrence is home to Haskell Indian Nations University, the premiere tribal university in the United States.

Lawrence’s historic and thriving downtown features restaurants, nightlife and local shops offering unique finds that you won’t find anywhere else. The town has more than 50 parks, an encompassing mixed-use trail, and quick access to biking/hiking trails along the Kansas River and around Clinton Lake. A five-minute drive from Lawrence, Clinton Lake offers fishing, boating, beaches, camping and other outdoor activities.

Located just 40 minutes west of Kansas City, Lawrence offers the appeal of a mid-size, suburban town with quick access to the amenities of a large city, including an international airport. The Kansas City metro area is home to world-class museums and cultural activities, Jazz clubs and other nightlife venues, expansive shopping options, and exciting professional sports with the Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City Royals and Sporting KC.

Kansas is in the center of the country, making it convenient and cost effective to fly or drive to destinations throughout the United States. Far from flat, the Flint Hills, just 90 minutes from Lawrence, offer panoramic vistas that showcase the breathtaking beauty of America.

Making KU Your Home 

Something about Lawrence is magnetic. Long-time residents are never surprised when a KU student or employee from out of state decides to make Lawrence their permanent home. And, even those who do leave often find themselves returning to “the nest” at some point in the future. In fact, Lawrence has been named by several publications as one of the best places to retire.

At the University of Kansas, you’ll join a global Jayhawk family and find a place to call home.

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