Northwestern University — Associate Dean of Administration, Finance, Facilities & Planning

Job ID:  40005
Location:  Evanston, Illinois

Department: MCC Administration
Salary/Grade: EXS/18

Job Summary:
The Associate Dean of Administration, Finance, Facilities & Planning (AFF&P) serves as the School’s Chief Operating Officer with management and performance responsibilities for budget; financial operations; HR/Talent Management; space planning and facilities including research lab construction; risk management; general and lab safety; contract review and Cohen Commons foodservice.

Reporting directly to the Dean of the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University (NU), the position contributes to the development of long-range strategic plans, governance structure and objectives, and the establishment and effective implementation of organizational policies and procedures.  The Associate Dean is an active member of the Dean’s senior team.

The Associate Dean advocates, collaborates, innovates and adapts to achieve operational excellence and administrative infrastructure stability in support of McCormick’s teaching and research mission.  The McCormick student body encompasses 1880 undergrads; 963 Phds; and 1235 masters students. Leads the strategic deployment of the School’s revenue streams.  Optimizes financial, manpower, and space/facilities resources across nine academic departments, eleven professional masters programs, the Segal Design Institute, the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and McCormick Research Centers.

Staff engagement is guided by the culture of McCormick which values synergy and inclusion among diverse people.   The Associate Dean directly supervises the AFF&P team of 18 and co-supervises the nine academic department Business Administrators.  The position develops trusted relationships with the other NU schools and Central Administration, and represents McCormick on NU committees and externally, particularly with peers in major U.S. engineering schools.

Specific Responsibilities:
Strategy, Innovation, Metrics and Analysis:

  • Engages in the ideation, management and evaluation of the School’s strategic initiatives and programs informed by data analysis and collaborative dialogue.  Contributes to the annual brief to the NU President and Provost. Serves as a change agent to ensure the continued evolution and viability of McCormick’s financial and administrative infrastructure. Creates policy and procedure.  Prepares and delivers management presentations.  Ghost writes for the Dean as appropriate.   

Budget Strategy, Planning, Management and Performance

  • Directs the strategic allocation of McCormick’s six revenue streams and the McCormick quasi endowment for optimal short and long-term performance. Ensures all gifts and endowments are utilized in a timely manner and compliant with donor intent. Ensures that federal research expenditures are compliant with Uniform Guidance.  Oversees the annual all-funds non-sponsored budget planning process and quarterly forecasting for all McCormick units including academic departments, professional masters programs, Segal and Farley Institutes, independent research centers and all deans’ offices. Serves a central role in the annual faculty and staff salary planning process; determination of new faculty start-up packages; and faculty retention packages. Directs the planning and funding mechanism for capital projects. Provides continual process improvement to provide clear communication, streamline work effort and achieve optimal budget consistency and equity across the school. Ensures accurate and timely collaboration with the NU Office of Budget and Planning and NU Financial Operations/Controller on all financial matters.

Financial Operations and Business Services:

  • Stewards daily financial operations including purchasing, payroll and reimbursements with attention to adherence to university and federal sponsored policy and procedure including reconciliation and audit controls.  
  • Human Capital, Organizational Management, Shared Services
  • Collaborates with individual McCormick units to identify the optimal staff structure. Maintains McCormick’s successful track record in shared service offerings which enable administrative efficiency and subject matter experts who support the entire unit/School.  Directs the school’s position management strategy for ~240 staff FTE. Oversees McCormick staff recruitment endorsing NU HR guidelines and diversity, equity and inclusion values. Committed to staff compensation equity across the school whether funded on soft or hard money. Ensures that 100% of McCormick staff receive at minimum an annual performance review. Serves as a university resolution officer and school representative for Title IX, Clery Act and related policies. Oversees proper management of staff performance cases including direct handling of senior level positions as appropriate.  Nurtures a collaborative relationship with NU Human Resources.

Employee Engagement, Talent Management and Training:

  • Develops, rewards and retains staff talent; provides counsel regarding career pathing. Hosts the Dean’s annual townhall, McCormick’s staff orientation program, and oversees staff recognition events throughout the year.  
  • Drives the structure and offerings of the McC Training Hub to broadly share best practices. Serves on the McC Learning Council Committee and collaborates closely to merge NU training offerings with McCormick-developed boot camps, work/info sessions.  Leverages NU HR/OOE/OOD offerings such as the Wellness Committee to best support staff whole-selves at work.
  • Space, Facilities and Safety including Research Space
  • Directs the planning and funding for all capital projects.  Leads the School’s space allocation strategy for ~450,000 nasf across eight buildings on the Evanston campus; one in Chicago; and one in San Francisco.  Strives to optimize space utilization; oversees the McCormick lab renovation process especially for new faculty/PIs.  Collaborates with Office of Research Safety to comply with NU research safety standards and procedure.     Oversees data collection and analysis of metrics to measure space productivity by PI; annual submission of SIMS/NU Connect data; annual capital equipment inventory; annual evacuation drills for Tech, Ford and Cook.   Serves as Building Manager for Tech, Ford and Cook including communication with other NU school occupants.   Maintains a collaborative working relationship with NU Facilities Management and related project architects and contractors.

Compliance,  Contracts, Risk Management, Emergency Planning and Business Continuity:

  • Assumes the delegation of signature authority from NU Senior VP for contract review and authorization.  Contributes to NU’s risk management assessment. Ensures the currency of the School’s business continuity plans. Maintains collaborative relationships with NU General Counsel, Risk Management, and University Police in the best interests of the School.
  • Cohen Commons Foodservice and Event Center/Events
  • Directs the service offering of Cohen Commons (4th floor Tech) which includes private weekday lunch service for NU faculty and staff and event space for NU units.  Coordinates with NU Purchasing & Procurement and NU Student Affairs Office in the contractual agreement with the foodservice supplier (Compass) and maximizes the customer experience and financial performance as best possible.
  • McCormick Representation, Advocacy and Collaboration 
  • Develops and maintains productive working relationships with all NU Central offices and other NU Schools. Actively represents the School on NU committees including planning, policy, systems and compliance administration.  Active member of the EDG Group representing the top 25 engineering schools.  
  • Other related duties as assigned by the dean.

Minimum Qualifications: 

  • An undergraduate degree required; an advanced business degree preferred. 
  • Minimum 10+ years successful senior leadership and supervisory experience in financial, capital project and organization/HR management.
  • Credentials and demonstrated success in leadership, strategy, and customer-centric management. 
  • Extensive experience with budget and financial performance for a large, complex organization.  Knowledge of general accounting principles. 
  • Experience in staff performance management.  An approach to staff engagement that brings out the best in staff yielding operational excellence, trust, and ownership.

Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)

  • Strong aptitude for critical thinking, strategic vision, and ability to optimize solutions for the good of the entire organization.
  • Affinity for being part of a collaborative, high performance, and innovative senior team.
  • Adept at data analysis and interpretation to inform decision making.
  • Exemplary interpersonal and listening skills.   Ability to communicate and connect with a diverse audience including deans, faculty, University senior management, staff, students and alumni.  Accomplished at mediating challenging situations.
  • Ability to motivate others to achieve excellence.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Previous experience in an academic or research university setting. 
  • Advanced business degree.

Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)

  • Knowledge of construction management.

To view the job posting and/or apply for the job, click here

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.