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Vanderbilt University Assistant To The Chair - Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in Nashville, Tennessee

Assistant To The Chair - Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (Job Number: 1901254)


The Assistant to the Chair position is housed in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. This position will primarily plan, organize, and manage the daily administrative activities of the department. It will serve as a liaison between faculty, staff, and students and between the School Dean’s Office and the department. Duties require a strong exercise of independent judgment, initiative, and the ability to make decisions relative to the department’s operations and academic mission. The position will function with a high degree of understanding of University life, policies, and procedures.

The Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering department is involved in research and education in the areas of pharmaceuticals, bioengineered materials, high strength composites and specialty polymers, semiconductors and microelectronic devices, and a wide range of ultrapure fine chemicals. The solutions to many of the problems that we face today—e.g., energy, the environment, development of high performance materials—involves chemical engineers. The undergraduate program in chemical engineering prepares students to contribute to the solution of these and similar problems. Graduates find meaningful careers in industry, in government laboratories, and as private consultants. Some continue their education through graduate studies in chemical engineering, business, law, or medicine.

Duties and Responsibilities

Define and manage financial targets for ChBE

  • Develop and implement financial plans and projects based on needs and costs

  • Analyze annual departmental budget

  • Recommend distribution and allocation of departmental resources

Assist Chairman in planning and budget control

  • Serve as business manager for the department; act as contact point for fiscal matters

  • Attend meetings and interact with school and other departments/units/institutes as requested by the chairperson

  • Serve as resource for staff, students, faculty and chairperson regarding unit operations and university policies and procedures

  • Serve as resource for procurement entry by faculty, staff, and students

  • Resolve problems directly or in consultation with chairman concerning staffing, use of facilities, equipment, and funds

  • Maintain inventory of space utilization and recommend space allocations

  • Manage equipment purchase allocations

  • Maintain office and kitchen supplies

Monitor departmental operating expenditures

  • Reconcile expenditures, monitor for compliance with established policies and guidelines

  • Maintain inventory of space utilization and recommend space allocations

  • Manage equipment purchase allocations

  • Collaborate with and provide back-up support to Grants Manager as needed for assistance with proposal preparation, oversight on restrictions, budgeting, reconciliation of expenditures, etc.

Coordinate effort

  • Serve as e-Cert effort coordinator for department.

  • Collaborate with Grants manager and Program Coordinator to update costing for faculty, staff, and students in department labs.

  • Complete retroactive salary changes paperwork and transactions within Oracle

Develop and manage departmental personnel administration

  • Serves in Human Capital Management Specialist (HCM) role for the department

  • Maintain confidential personnel records for professional and non-professional staff

  • Works with faculty, staff, students, and the chairperson to understand, maintain, and update HR information in Oracle

  • Possesses and develops expertise in faculty and staff HR life cycle, from onboarding to retirement

  • Advises faculty and staff on routine HR processes and identifies more complex situations that require the involvement of the business officer

  • Assists employees with self-service transactions, as needed

  • Identifies and understands the connections between policies and procedures and the resulting impact on employees and communicates in advance of any impact

  • Maintains an extensive understanding of Oracle HR functions and related connections with Oracle financial functions

  • Enters routine and additional payroll elements

  • Assists Dean's Office with position reviews and reclassification of positions as necessary

  • Serves as the area resource on absence reporting

  • Train personnel in departmental systems and procedures

  • Recommend training for staff professional development

  • Interpret and communicate policies and procedures established at School and University levels to departmental staff

  • Handle complaints and grievances according to university policies

Ensure effective operation of department through program development, improvement and coordination of processes, participate in regular meetings to share information

  • Attend School and University meetings related to administrative staff

  • Work independently on projects related to administrative responsibilities

  • Prepare reports for ’chairperson’s review

  • Develop, interpret, and implement procedures for general departmental function, assuring that all policies conform to University guidelines

  • Initiate and lead efforts to achieve effective communication among department faculty, staff, and students

  • Provide support for strategic decision-making for the department by organizing staff meetings

  • Performs delegate time approval responsibilities, as needed

  • Understands and processes paid and unpaid leaves for both faculty and staff

  • Assists employees on FMLA with time keeping

  • Coordinate media for office and department publications

  • Other tasks as assigned

Profile of an Ideal Candidate

  • Bachelor’s Degree required, Masters preferred

  • 3 – 5 years of relevant experience required

  • University/College background – Engineering preferred

  • Strong organizational skills

  • Strong critical thinking/ problem solving skills

  • Experience working with senior leadership

  • Experience working in a higher education/ academic setting preferred

  • Financial background including the review of budgets

  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, Adobe, and have database experience

  • Comfort with new technological systems. Adapts easily to changes in technology and process.

  • Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously

  • Professional and pleasant attitude with considerable tact, diplomacy, and judgment in interactions with students, faculty, and staff

  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills

  • Meticulous attention to detail and organization

  • Great customer service and problem solving skills

  • Dependable, motivated, and willing to learn

  • Positive attitude

  • Ability to adapt to change

  • Team player

About Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University, located in Nashville, Tennessee, is a top-15 private research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Vanderbilt is situated on a 330-acre campus near the thriving city center, serving more than 12,000 students and employing almost 7,000 faculty and staff. The university’s students, staff, and faculty frequently cite Nashville and the surrounding area as one of the many perks of being a part of the Vanderbilt community. Vanderbilt University is a place where your expertise will be valued, your knowledge expanded, and your abilities challenged. It is a place where your diversity is sought and celebrated. Vanderbilt was recently named as one of “America’s Best Large Employers” and the top employer in Tennessee and the Nashville metropolitan area in 2019 (Forbes).

About Vanderbilt Benefits

Vanderbilt University offers a competitive, flexible benefits package including health, dental, vision, life, accidental death & dismemberment, disability insurance, paid time off, and a 403(b) retirement plan with employer match. Vanderbilt offers tuition assistance to employees, spouses, and dependent children.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Vanderbilt University is committed to achieving the goal of a diverse and inclusive academic community of faculty, staff, and students. We seek individuals who are committed to this goal and our campus values.

Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.

Primary Location: United States-Tennessee-Nashville

Organization: 15220 - Chemical and Molecular Engineering

Job: Administrative Professional Associates

Vanderbilt University is committed to principles of equal opportunity and affirmative action