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Business Administrator

Institution: Northwestern University
Location: Evanston, Illinois
Graduate Business School -Administrator
Posted: 08/26/2020
Application Due: 00/00/0000
Type: Fulltime

The Business Administrator (BA) is the senior administrative position in a department within a school & provides thought leadership in reviewing & recommending policy & procedure designed to enhance operational excellence. Ensures the effective, compliant, & efficient daily management of all operational, financial, & business functions in support of the business area's mission & in coordination with central offices such as HR, Budget, Facilities, IT, & Provost. Represents business area on internal & external administrative affairs by recommending alternatives & suggestions.

The Department Manager is an integral part of the Kellogg faculty support infrastructure, providing primary administrative oversight to the Managerial Economics & Decision Science and Operations departments. Reporting to the Senior Director of Faculty Affairs and Faculty Support, the department manager and works closely with department leadership and serves as the senior administrator for all academic operations, supervising the administrative staff and functioning as the central liaison to the department chairs, faculty, and doctoral students. In collaboration with administrative support areas across the school, the department manager builds cross-departmental expertise and enhances operational excellence in financial stewardship, course logistics, academic events, and research support.

Supports faculty community by delivering and developing best practices and standard operating procedures within a collaborative, team-oriented environment. Within the department and in collaboration with school administrative teams coordinates course planning and logistics, seminar programming, and PhD student recruitment. Oversees student, temporary staff, and contractor hiring to support of teaching and research, and works closely with department leadership to ensure all curricular support needs are met. Ensures the highest level of service is delivered to all faculty, staff, and visitors. Represents the department in internal and external administrative affairs by exchanging information and making recommendations. Oversees departmental operations related to faculty recruitment in coordination with school administration.

Specific Responsibilities:

Work Complexity:

  • EE uses judgment & an extensive amount of experience to adapt an advanced knowledge of skills, methods, practices, policies & procedures & a moderate degree of innovation, analysis, & reasoning to plan & prioritize work that is primarily project oriented & involves some extremely difficult problems &/or decisions.

  • EE interprets policy.

Budget & Financial:

  • Serves a primary role in the development & implementation of annual budget including fiscal resource allocation of appropriated, discretionary, endowment & gift revenues.

  • Typically involved in the budget management of numerous research grants.

  • Responsible for payroll, purchasing, travel & entertainment (T&E) transactions & requesting new chartstrings using NU protocol.

  • Oversees prompt payment of invoices & related research of errors.

  • Monitors open encumbrances & deficit chartstrings.

  • Level II approver in NUFS.

  • Routinely reviews & reconciles actual expenses to budget per NU Audit guidelines.

  • Approves funds reallocation within budget as necessary & appropriate.

  • Responsible to stop an expense that is inappropriate or against deficit chartstring.

  • Negotiates with vendors for purchases & leases.

Facilities & Safety:

  • Monitors area facilities conditions & directs requests to Facilities Management.

  • Maintains key database & security.

  • Works with management to assign staff &/or faculty space including appropriate FM refresh/renovation & furniture purchase.

  • Coordinates set up of furniture, data, phone lines, &/or renovations.

Faculty Support:

  • Manages administration of faculty recruitment including ads, candidate communication, interview & visit, & orientation.

  • Assists in the preparation of Promotion & Tenure cases.

  • Interprets & applies policy & procedure.

  • Oversees colloquium & seminar coordination, faculty travel planning.

Grants & Contracts:

  • Oversees &/or completes pre- & post-award research administration.

  • Utilizes established systems (effort reporting, direct cost charging/SDA, & financial reporting) to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations.

  • Interacts with Principal Investigators (PIs) to build relationships, transfer knowledge & advise on research policies & procedures.

  • Oversees payroll for research appointments.

  • Ensures faculty completion of effort certification.

  • Provides appropriate training for staff & PIs.

Human Resources:

  • Manages implementation of human resource programs, policies, procedures & talent management lifecycle & related mentoring & training.

  • Posts positions to eRecruit, leads the recruitment & selection process.

  • Manages area/unit structure & prioritizes & distributes staff workload.

  • Oversees Performance Excellence plan for each employee & prepares annual review.

  • Manages performance problems, administers leaves, approves timesheets & oversees completion of annual staff Conflict of Interest survey.

  • Institutes departmental policy & implements school & NU policy.

IT Services:

  • Ensures necessary hardware, software & network infrastructure services are appropriated from central or internal IT.

Regulatory Compliance:

  • Manages implementation of all safety, security & compliance programs & ensures compliance with all applicable federal, state, local & NU laws, regulations, policies & procedures.

  • Develops innovative methods to assist faculty & staff with adherence to grantor compliance programs.

Strategic Planning:

  • Manages & implements strategic operation plans.

  • Reviews plans, meets with leadership & key faculty & staff, & recommends changes & improvements to administrative operations to better meet organizational needs & objectives.

Student Support:

  • Implements department strategy regarding structure, process, & staff support of students in compliance with NU policy.

  • Researches scholarships, manages Teaching Assistant (TA) & grader allocations.

  • Prepares academic year course schedule; monitors course registration & enrollments.

  • Resolves student issues.

  • Acts as primary contact with School or student organizations.


  • Supervises 2 or more staff &/or provide work direction to others.

  • Provides direction to or coordinate administrative effort of staff within or outside of immediate dept or division.

Performs other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree in a major such as business, accounting or related; OR appropriate combination of education and experience.

5 years' administrative experience including budgets, finance, grants, facilities, &/or human resources; or other relevant experience.

Minimum Competencies:

Strong organizational skills and attention to detail

Ability to communicate effectively and diplomatically, both verbally and in writing

Proven leadership ability in a matrixed reporting environment

Demonstrated ability to work in a fast-paced environment

Familiarity with university and research settings

Ability to proactively identify and address needs

Strong interpersonal skills, consultative and collaborative

Preferred Qualifications:

Masters degree preferred

Experience in an educational setting with a focus on supporting faculty excellence

3-5 years management experience leading dynamic teams

Preferred Competencies:

Interest in fields of economics, accounting, or finance

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