Executive Director, Contracts and Grants Accounting



Appalachian State University
Executive Director, Contracts & Grants Accounting

About The Opportunity
Appalachian State University is seeking a collaborative and transformative individual for the Executive Director, Contracts & Grants Accounting position. The Executive Director ensures compliance with Federal, State, and other agency specific regulations, and develops and implements policies, procedures, and system processes to ensure compliance with sponsored project financial and administrative management requirements in accordance with Federal OMB circulars, UNC Business Process Standards, and requirements outlined in sponsor agreements.

The Executive Director will be the lead campus representative for post-award accounting activities and will work closely with the Office of Research and Innovation to support the research goals of the institution. Additionally, the Executive Director will work collaboratively with Deans, Chairs, Faculty, and departmental research administrators to continuously monitor business processes and internal controls for efficiency and effectiveness while ensuring compliance with Federal, State, UNC System, Sponsor, and University policies and procedures.

The Executive Director will also be the lead contact for research accounting and reporting systems. They will collaborate with Business Systems and Information Technology Services personnel to evaluate system capabilities and implement changes to business processes to best utilize the University's research accounting and reporting systems.

A detailed leadership profile for this position is available at: https://bit.ly/ASU-ED-CGA.

About the University
As a premier public institution, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The App State Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System, App State enrolls more than 21,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and 80 graduate majors at its Boone and Hickory campuses and through App State Online.

App State faculty and staff receive grant funding from state, regional, and national organizations, as well as business and industry sponsors, in support of their research, creative, and/or scholarly endeavors. These projects span a variety of disciplines and have a far-reaching impact. In FY 2023, App State generated over $22 million in sponsored program funding, including inter-institutional awards, which was the second highest amount in university history.

About the Team
The Executive Director reports to the Associate Vice Chancellor and University Controller in the Division of Finance and Operations. The Executive Director will provide administrative leadership for the Contracts and Grants Accounting team, which includes Business Processes and Operations, Contract and Grant Billing, and Accounting and Compliance.

Duties and Responsibilities

Senior Leadership and Administration
• Provide leadership in all aspects of post award contract and grant compliance.
• Provide administrative support for the daily operation of the Contracts and Grants Accounting unit.
• Work with Contracts and Accounting staff to develop and monitor internal systems and procedures to promote efficiency in workflow utilizing accounting and reporting systems to the fullest potential.
• Facilitate high level customer service to colleges, faculty, research administration staff, and programs sponsors while maintaining institutional oversight and financial stewardship of sponsor funds.
• Partner with the Office of Research and Innovation on collaborative and strategic initiatives to promote the growth and development of research activities on campus, with a focus on creating clear and effective approaches to co-managing interdependent processes between the units.
• Remain up to date on Federal regulations and Cost Accounting Standards and pending changes to prepare for implementation.
• Facilitate discussion between the Contracts and Grants Accounting unit and colleges, faculty, principal investigators, and research administration staff to address areas for improvement or increased efficiency.
• Demonstrate effective leadership and management skills exercising a broad range of independent judgment and decision making.

Leading Change
• Lead efforts to provide the highest level of support for the campus research community by developing and monitoring business processes for research administration.
• Empower staff to problem-solve and take ownership of work assigned with the goal of creating a collaborative team environment to promote a high level of customer service.
• Identify opportunities to leverage system and automated processes in favor of manual processes.
• Develop and lead strategic planning initiatives to anticipate and respond to changing Federal regulatory requirements with an emphasis on compliance and documentation.
• Design and document compliance systems and processes to maintain a strong internal control environment.

Develop and Mentor Staff
• Mentor and encourage the professional development of staff.
• Develop and deliver post award administration training and documentation for campus.
• Hire and maintain highly qualified staff with a focus on providing high levels of customer service and problem solving.
• Lead the Contracts and Grants Accounting team to distribute manageable workloads.

Education and Experience
The successful candidate will be required to have a master's degree in an appropriate specialization (Accounting, Finance, Business Administration, or business related field) and ten (10) years of progressive experience in sponsored programs and/or contracts and grants administration within a university, government, or other research enterprise, with at least five (5) of those years in a management role.

A certified research administrator (CRA) credential is preferred.

Compensation and Work Flexibility
The salary range for this position is $115,000-$130,000. This position is also eligible for a potential sign-on and/or relocation bonus.

This position is eligible for flexible work arrangements in accordance with University policies.

Special Instructions
To apply, please submit an application via https://bit.ly/AppStateEDCGA. The position remains open until filled.

Finalists will be subject to a criminal background check prior to the offer of employment. All candidate names and information will remain confidential; however, finalists invited to campus may be asked to waive confidentiality to engage with the broader campus community. References will not be contacted without a candidate's prior knowledge and consent.

Contact Information
App State has retained the UNC System Office executive search team to support this recruitment. Confidential inquiries and nominations should be directed to Scott Murray, director of executive search and leadership programs, at sfmurray@northcarolina.edu.

Equal Employment Opportunity
Appalachian State University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. The University does not discriminate in access to its educational programs and activities, or with respect to hiring or the terms and conditions of employment, on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity and expression, political affiliation, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information or sexual orientation.

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Contact Information

Appalachian State University
First Name
Last Name
(919) 843-5671
Contact Email
Contact URL

Background Information

Years of Experience
  • College/University
  • Grants and Contracts
  • President, CEO, Executive Director
Work Authorization
Security Clearance

Target Job Information

Job Type