Reporting to the Department Chair the Director of Finance and Administration is responsible for the overall financial management and administrative operations of the Department of Mechanical Engineering in The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS). The Director of Finance and Administration provides active, hands-on leadership of the Mechanical Engineering Department???s financial activities, including budgeting and financial planning, expense reconciliation, closing, reporting, payroll and internal controls; supervises the department???s Finance Analyst, academic administration including Student Services team; and IT Manager. Serves as primary Effort Reporting coordinator, promotes innovation, documentation of SOPs, and optimization of departmental efficiency; oversees the department???s facilities needs and external relations activities; and performs other duties as assigned.
(55%) Financial Planning, Budgeting, Reporting, and Internal Controls:
Budgeting and Financial Planning. Provides strategic financial planning and forecasting to the Chair by capturing and analyzing data to inform financial decisions of the Department. Utilizes budget analyses and modeling to forecast future financial needs/resources. Responsible for annual budget submission, quarterly variance explanations, and other regular and ad hoc reporting requested by the SEAS Dean???s Office.
Expense Reconciliation: Assumes overall responsibility for all financial transactions and the management of the Department???s administrative budget, including gift projects, discretionary projects, and pre- and post-award grants and projects connected with any special programs including Carleton Laboratory. Responsible for ensuring monthly reconciliation of departmental accounts, and of oversight of the reconciliation of sponsored projects to prevent overdrafts. Investigates and resolves variances, and recommends budget modifications to adjust levels of spending.
Internal Controls. Provides oversight and direction for the department???s financial team and transactions and accounting practices. Designs, implements, and monitors financial reporting and control systems, including department IT systems. Establishes departmental financial policies and standard operating procedures (SOPs) in accordance with school and university policy. Ensures compliance with departmental, SEAS, and University policies and procedures, as well as external rules and regulations from sponsoring agencies and legal and regulatory authorities. Approves financial transactions up to $15,000.00 and provides ad hoc approvals. Coordinates with SEAS Finance, CU Internal Audit, SPA/SPF, Controller???s Office and other internal stakeholders to comply with any audit requirements. Responsible for the approval and oversight of reconciled departmental P-Card transactions in accordance with the university P-card policy.
Payroll: Responsible for maintaining suspense cost to a minimum. Provide oversight of all payroll activities, including salary allocations, cost transfers, payroll reconciliation, and overpayment recoveries.
Closing and Reporting. Provides guidance and direction to the finance team and works in close collaboration with the SEAS Finance team to complete all year-end transactions for the Department.
Effort Reporting. Serves as Primary Effort Coordinator for the Department and is responsible for monitoring the effort certification process for the department.
(25%) Human Resources, Faculty Affairs, and Administration:
Directly supervises department???s administrative staff, oversees Faculty and Student affairs, including administrative staffing, faculty recruitment, onboarding, promotion and tenure, personnel transactions, including interactions with the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO).
Supervisory oversight of departmental compliance with ensuring safe working practices and environments in accordance with university policies and Occupational Safety and Health rules and regulations. Collaborates with SEAS HR to ensure prompt reporting of workplace accidents, injuries, and illnesses.
Hands-on Leadership. Demonstrates leadership to staff by proactively providing clear, timely and University compliant solutions on a wide range of administrative and financial matters.
Performance Management. Completes and provides all departmental performance evaluations for Officer level staff.
Development and Documentation of SOPs. Works with Administrative Manager to track and document workplace procedures and processes and to optimize efficiency through standardization. Formulates and initiates training for maintaining continuity of all departmental administrative functions during contingencies.
Academic Administration: directly supervises the Admissions and Students Affairs Officer including all academic and Student Affairs functions of the Department, including accreditation, admissions, registration, advising, curricular planning, curriculum proposal, faculty teaching schedules, class times and room assignments.
(5%) Oversight of Facilities and External Relations:
Works closely with the Department Chair on all space related matters; provides oversight of departmental facilities and SEAS Facilities. Oversees departmental media and external relations. Collaborates with other University offices and departments as needed to ensure effective operation of the department.
(5%) Performs other tasks, duties, and responsibilities as assigned.
Bachelor???s Degree is required, with a preference for training in Business Administration, Human Resources, Finance, Accounting, or other relevant fields. Advanced degree desirable (e.g., MBA, MPA, MA). Minimum of 5 to 7 years of substantial hands-on experience in financial administration and supervisory/management experience required.
Background in budgeting, accounting, and contract administration is required, including detailed knowledge of GAAP. Experience in higher education or other large, complex institution preferred. Familiarity with Columbia financial systems, particularly the Accounting at Columbia (ARC) system, is preferred. Experience with running financial report for project reconciliation, budgeting in the University Budget Tool, handling labor accounting in People @ Columbia (PAC), working in the Financial Front End (FFE) and RASCAL systems, and performing affirmative action employment searches in the is desired.
Must have, or be able to acquire quickly, a detailed knowledge of University policies, procedures, and systems. Extensive experience with grants highly preferred, including a thorough knowledge of internal policies and external regulations governing sponsored projects and grant research compliance, as well as procedures and systems for pre- and post-award financial management.
Must have excellent interpersonal, communication, organizational, and leadership skills. Ability to establish priorities, work under pressure, and exercise independent judgment and discretion is necessary. Ability to react quickly and effectively to other inquiries from a variety of management levels with comprehensive and accurate information in a wide variety of contexts and changing priorities is needed. Must be detail oriented and possess quantitative skills with a high degree of proficiency in spreadsheets using Excel including Pivot Tables. Must have strong proficiency with MS Office. Experience with Linux is desirable.
Positive, forward-thinking, mission-oriented attitude and a sense of humor are a must.
Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran
Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.
Columbia University is one of the world's most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The University recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its research and teaching to the vast resources of a great metropolis. It seeks to attract a diverse and international faculty and student body, to support research and teaching on global issues, and to create academic relationships with many countries and regions. It expects all areas of the university to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world.