Director of SERC Financial Operations
Director, SERC Financial Operations
There are only fifteen (15) University Affiliated Research Centers (UARCs) in the United States, supporting our Nation’s security via research in strategic areas of interest to the Department of Defense (DoD). The SERC is one of these 15 research centers, hosted at Stevens Institute of Technology. It is the largest and fastest growing research center at Stevens in its 150-year plus history. It is also unique in that it is a partnership between 25 premier universities in the US, with Stevens Institute of Technology as the lead university.
Stevens is a prestigious private research university nestled in the vibrant heart of Hoboken, New Jersey, with a stunning view of the iconic Manhattan skyline. From its inception in 1870, Stevens has consistently championed technological ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit, defining the forefront of education and research programs spanning finance, computing, engineering, and the arts expand the frontiers of science and leverage technology to confront the most challenging problems of our time.
It takes a team of extraordinary talent to propel a university on the rise. At Stevens, you become a key player in a diverse and inclusive community of employees who work together to support the education, research, and innovation mission of the University. This position provides the ideal candidate a leadership position and opportunity to be a catalyst of transformation, and a chance to expand your horizons, in the context of a fast growing research center. We are looking for a highly-qualified individual to join the leadership team supporting the Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC) at Stevens Institute of Technology.
The Director of Financial Operations will administer day-to-day financial operations for SERC and ensure the efficient administration and financial management of federal, sponsored project contracts in compliance with internal and external policies and procedures. The role requires a strong understanding of research administration and operations including pre-award, post award, financial operations, and strategy, and the successful candidate will play a key role in driving cross-functional research initiatives, executing overall research strategy and supporting SERC’s mission as a high-impact, leading systems engineering research center.
The successful candidate must possess: strategic thinking skills with the ability to coordinate a large number of complex tasks and reprioritize as needed; a high level of initiative, organization and intellectual curiosity with a results-oriented perspective; superb time management skills; excellent interpersonal skills with a strong aptitude for forging connections across lateral groups; written and verbal communication skills; the ability to anticipate obstacles and pro-actively and creatively problem-solve; the ability to maintain situational awareness of program statuses, risks, and opportunities and flexibility in dealing with a range of working styles and competing demands.
The ideal candidate will be someone who appreciates that technology is continually changing how enterprises develop and organize the systems that drive creative solutions, innovation and efficiency.
- Lead strategic initiatives for improving internal financial operations that facilitate the best possible research environment through smart procedures and processes.
- Maintain awareness of and work with University financial management to optimize rate management and cost recovery strategies on behalf of the SERC.
- Oversee overall budget planning, tracking, and management, including managing sponsored and non-sponsored research budgets. In addition to oversee and facilitate budget modification processes.
- Analyze, monitor, and evaluate pre-award, post-award, and sponsored and non-sponsored research activities, including but not limited to grant expenditures, salary changes, compliance with budget allocations, and reconciliation of sponsored and non-sponsored project research accounts on a monthly basis.
- Develop and maintain internal financial control systems to monitor performance against budget, create tracking tools to manage and forecast financial operations to prevent overdrafts, monitor burn rates, and review research accounts monthly to identify problem accounts and/or deficits and work with research administrator to rectify.
- Develop and lead initiatives to improve financial processes and financial reporting, coordinating with Stevens leadership and selected Principal Investigators (PIs), including initiatives to modernize financial tools.
- Oversee property management processes.
- Serve as the central liaison with the Sponsored Projects Administration, Purchasing, Accounts Payable, etc. for matters related to post-award grant management. This includes identifying process gaps and implementing process improvements or recommended policy updates as needed.
- Maintain comprehensive knowledge of all relevant regulations, policies and procedures that affect the acquisition and management of sponsored projects, as well as a working knowledge of the University's financial systems.
- Create performance metrics analysis reports for senior management.
- Manage the SERC research finance team and identify training and professional development opportunities.
- Provide guidance to senior leadership to ensure both technology resources and processes are streamlined, automated and efficiencies are continuously being assessed.
- Oversee licensing and registrations as needed.
- Lead audit activities for the SERC.
Qualifications & Requirements
- Bachelor’s degree in accounting or business management required; advanced degree in accounting, business or project management is preferred.
- 10 years experience in an academic setting or business unit related to research administration and/or finance.
- Knowledge of U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Uniform Guidance and U.S. government Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), including working knowledge of Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS).
- Working knowledge of the Microsoft suite, including significant proficiency in Excel, and proficiency in Workday business management software and Kuali financial software.
- Additional training in or experience with government contracts is an advantageous qualification.
This position requires access to information that may be subject to export control requirements. Successful candidates must be qualified for such access without an export control license. As a result, US citizenship or LPR (Lawful Permanent Residence) is required.
SERC and AIRC