Vanderbilt University Assistant to the Chair - Civil and Environmental Engineering in Nashville, Tennessee

Assistant to the Chair - Civil and Environmental Engineering (Job Number: 1801348)


About the Role:

The Assistant to the Chair position is housed in Civil and Environmental 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. Duties require a strong exercise of independent judgment, initiative, and the ability to make decisions relative to the department’s operations. The position will function with a high degree of understanding of University life, policies, and procedures.

About the Work Unit:

Vanderbilt’s Civil and Environmental Engineering department prepares students for entry-level positions in many specialty areas of civil engineering, as well as many other types of careers, such as business, construction, and law. At the graduate level, the department educates leaders in infrastructure and environmental engineering research and practice, with emphasis on the use of reliability and risk management. Development and application of advanced information systems as applied to civil and environmental engineering needs is an important part of the program.

Key Functions and Expected Performance:

Define and manage financial targets for CEE

  • 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 other departments/units/institutes as requested by the chairman

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

  • Maintain spatial data inventory

  • Manage equipment purchase allocations

  • On behalf of the department via the Coeus system, review and approve contract and grant proposals submitted by CEE grants managers, or submitted by other departments when CEE faculty have proposed effort on projects.

Monitor departmental operating expenditures

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

  • Maintain spatial data inventory

  • 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.

  • Authorize purchase and equipment requests, travel and entertainment expenses, as pertain to department operations

Develop and manage departmental personnel administration

  • Human Capital Management Specialist (HCM) for the department

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

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

  • 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 Deans Office with position reviews and reclassifications

  • Serves as the area resource on absence reporting

  • Train personnel in departmental systems and procedures

  • Recommend training for staff development

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

  • Handle complaints and grievances according to university policies

  • For Postdocs: Initiate Interfolio application for hiring new postdoctoral research associates; collaborate with hiring faculty mentor to make sure all requirements for hire are fulfilled; upload all supporting documentation; prepare appointment request from chair to dean; initiate hiring process, contact employee and begin on-boarding process; ascertain and document costing for salary payments; register new postdoc for employee orientation; track expected date of reappointment in calendar; process final end of employment when assignment is over.

  • Oversee VU registered undergraduate student workers, including onboarding

  • Oversee Intern/Observer process, provide I/O forms packet to sponsoring faculty for completion, initiate background check, I9, and on-boarding. Initiate hiring process

  • For TTK faculty hires: After offer of appointment has been made and accepted, initiate on-boarding of new faculty member in collaboration with VUSE dean's office, based on terms of start-up package. Initiate the on-boarding process. Calculate and follow dates of contract renewals as prescribed by VUSE. Ascertain initial costing for salary, changing as needed when notified by the faculty member of effort distribution to sponsored projects. Coordinate with grants manager on sponsored project period of performance, budget limitations, etc.

  • For non-TTK faculty hires: After TTK faculty vote and faculty member has been approved, initiate recommendation of offer of appointment. Initiate the on-boarding Implement calendaring to follow dates of renewals as prescribed by Faculty Manual and VUSE. Ascertain initial costing for salary, coordinate with grants managers on sponsored projects, period of performance, budget limitations, etc.

  • For adjunct/teaching hires: Receive request from faculty sponsor for paid or non-paid courtesy appointments and/or teaching assignments. Draft request from chair to dean, finalize upon review with chair, and submit to VUSE Dean's Office. Upon notification of acceptance begin "on-boarding" procedures. Process renewals and terminations, as needed, upon completion of assignment.

  • Receive request from faculty member to initiate exchange visitor visa application. Initiate application, contact visitor, requesting needed backup documentation. Pickup DS-2019 when ready and send by courier to visitor. Initiate background check and request I9 email. Upon arrival, follow regular "on-boarding" procedures to enter data in Oracle and establish either paid or non-paid HR record.

Determine/define qualifications and performance expectation for department staff personnel

  • Evaluate and ensure staff salary equity within the department

  • Organize and conduct annual performance reviews for department staff

  • Make hiring recommendations, interview and screen applicants

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

  • Attend VUSE and University meetings related to administrative staff

  • Work independently on projects related to administrative responsibilities

  • Prepare reports for chairman's review

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

  • Provide support for strategic decision-making for the department by organizing weekly staff meetings, meeting with chair and associate chair, and attending department faculty 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

Supervisory Relationships :

This position does have supervisory responsibility; this position reports administratively and functionally to CBO and indirectly to the Chair of the department

Education and Certifications :

  • Bachelor’s Degree required, Masters preferred

Experience and Skills :

  • 3 – 5 years of relevant experience

  • 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

Key Characteristics of a Successful Team Member in this Work Unit :

  • 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 is a renowned private institution founded in 1873 and located in the heart of Nashville, Tennessee. The university’s students, faculty, and staff 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. It is a place where employees know they are part of something bigger than themselves, take exceptional pride in their work and never settle for what was good enough yesterday. Vanderbilt was recently named the “best large employer” in Tennessee and a top employer for women by Forbes , ranked #1 in the PrincetonReview among 384 top colleges and universities for having the best financial aid in the nation – as well as #3 for “happiest students,” “quality of life” and “beautiful campus,” #4 for both being in a “college city that students love” and for having “great campus/city relations.”

About Vanderbilt Benefits

In addition to offering a lively community that encourages learning and celebrates diversity, 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. Also, after five years of service, Vanderbilt will pay up to 55% of the tuition for up to three dependent children to earn a bachelor's degree. Learn more about Vanderbilt's benefits at VU Benefits Overview at .

This position requires a Bachelor's and 5 years of experience or the equivalent.

Primary Location: United States-Tennessee-Nashville

Organization: 15230 - Civil Engineering

Job: Administrative Professional Associates