Associate Director for Financial and Business Operations

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - SESE   Urbana, IL   Full-time     Finance
Posted on November 14, 2022
Apply Now

Associate Director for Financial and Business Operations

School of Earth, Society, and Environment

University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign

The School of Earth, Society, and Environment (SESE) is searching for an Associate Director for Financial and Business Operations to provide leadership and oversight for fiscal resources, finance, research administration, human resources, and daily operations of the School, which includes the Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Department of Geology, and Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science.

Duties & Responsibilities

Financial & Resource Planning

  • Perform forecasting and analysis of financial resources; develop and suggest options for consideration by School administration for long-term management of School resources. Includes advising School administration on available resources and resource challenges.
  • Serve as the School Director’s designee in a variety of administrative matters with signature authority for business functions.
  • Serve as resource for School Director in matters pertaining to cost sharing and other financial support requests from faculty, departments, and other University units. Develop financial reports to provide to School administration for financial review and administrative decision making; assist with such decision making.
  • Work directly with LAS on management and planning as pertaining to the School’s state and ICR funds.
  • Manage annual budget allocation process for state and institutional funds, including independently implementing budgetary changes based on calculations and review of School area personnel and operational needs.
  • Exercise financial responsibility and oversight of all School accounts, including state appropriations, ICR, gift, grant, self-supporting fund accounts and fellowships.
  • Work with School Director on financial management of the School including analysis of financial health and making recommendations regarding process improvements.
  • Track, submit, and request financial commitments owed to and by the School.
  • Oversee delivery of HR services to the School. Provide counsel to the School Director, Department Heads and faculty in handling personnel issues.
  • Oversee delivery of sponsored research services, including supervision of and backup for the primary sponsored research contact for all functions of the pre-award and post-award lifecycle.
  • Assist departments with annual salary review and increase process, as well as salary recommendations for new hires. 

Policy and Business Operations

  • Establish, recommend and enforce policies and procedures applicable to the business functions of the School and departments.
  • Identify areas within the School that could benefit from improved business processes and initiate the development and implementation of process improvements. Act as a liaison to campus units for purchasing, accounting and grants and contracts on matters pertaining to the School’s business affairs.
  • Act as the School’s liaison for internal and external financial and compliance audits, including follow-up implementations of audit recommendations.
  • Advise School Director on matters pertaining to general policy and ensure that University policy and procedures and relevant state and federal laws and regulations are followed for all areas of the School operations.

General Administration

  • Oversee all business office staff. Responsible for defining objectives and priorities for each area’s function and monitoring and evaluating performance.
  • Serve as the Primary Unit Security Contact (USC), as delegated by the School Director, to review and submit all requests for security access to University systems for School and department staff.
  • Serve as Department Card Manager (DCM) for all Purchasing and Travel cards issued to SESE and department staff. Provide oversight and training for business operations performed by SESE staff including, but not limited to P-Card and T-Card transactions, purchase orders, DAWS award payments, etc.
  • Responsible for decision making as it pertains to general School needs, in the absence of the School Director.
  • Oversee monthly, quarterly, and year-end accounting activities to ensure timely, complete and accurate financial reporting to the school and departmental management, staff and faculty researchers.
  • Responsible for the maintenance and oversight of the school and departmental chart of accounts and the University’s financial reporting system.
  • Serves as one of the unit contacts for Property Accounting. Approves property transfers, surplus and disposal requests and ensures proper and timely completion of biennial physical inventory.
  • Provides general supervision for a facilities position shared with the Departments of Mathematics and Statistics.

Required Qualifications
Bachelor's degree in business administration, management, or a field related to the position. Two years of professional business, financial, and or managerial work experience in a university or business setting. Demonstrated accounting and research administration experience. Supervisory experience.

Preferred Qualifications
Master’s degree in Business, Accounting, Finance, Education, Science or related field.
Five years of professional experience in business, financial, or accounting environment.
Five years of experience in higher education in a business or financial environment.
Three years of experience in budgeting and financial planning at the University of Illinois.
Experience with campus processes pertaining to state and ICR funds, including state budget allocation process, tuition remission return, and budget transfers.
Experience in the area of human resources, including personnel issues, University policies, and general processing knowledge.
Experience with U of I procurement and payments.
Illinois Certified Research Administrator and/or Illinois Certified Business Administrator

Successful candidates will have the following:
Good working knowledge of PC-based tools including Microsoft Excel and Word. Extensive knowledge of U of I procedures related to fiscal management, administration standards and practices. General understanding of self-supporting funds, including rate calculations. Extensive knowledge of federal grants administration standards and practices. Knowledge of University procurement and payments systems. Knowledge of University BANNER and data systems and campus financial policies. Excellent oral and written communication skills. Commitment to diversity and inclusion. Excellent interpersonal and teamwork skills. Excellent organizational skills. Ability to work harmoniously with faculty, staff, and students from a wide variety of disciplines.

 Appointment Information

This is a full-time Civil Service 5010 - Business/Administrative Associate position appointed on a 12 month service basis. The expected start date is as soon as possible after the deadline date. Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications.

Application Procedures & Deadline Information

Applications must be received by 6pm (CST) on December 5, 2022. Apply for this position using the Apply Now button at the top or bottom of the posting and upload your cover letter, resume (months and years of employment must be included), and names/contact information for three professional references. In order to be considered as a transfer candidate, you must apply for this position. Applications not submitted through this website will not be considered. For further information about this specific position, please contact  For questions regarding the application process, please contact 217-333-2137.

The University of Illinois System is an equal opportunity employer, including but not limited to disability and/or veteran status, and complies with all applicable state and federal employment mandates. Please visit Required Employment Notices and Posters to view our non-discrimination statement and find additional information about required background checks, sexual harassment/misconduct disclosures, COVID-19 vaccination requirement, and employment eligibility review through E-Verify.

Applicants with disabilities are encouraged to apply and may request a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (2008) to complete the application and/or interview process. Requests may be submitted through the reasonable accommodations portal, or by contacting the Accessibility & Accommodations Division of the Office for Access and Equity at 217-333-0885, or by emailing

Requisition ID: 1012845
Job Category: Administrative
Apply at: