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Senior Director, Contracts and Administration (17414)

American University
District of Columbia, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted date
Sep 17, 2021

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Position Type
Administrative, Business & Administrative Affairs, Financial Affairs, Grants & Contracts, Executive, Executive Directors, Other Executive, Provosts
Employment Type
Full Time
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The Senior Director, Contracts and Administration (SD) is a senior staff position within the Office of the Provost, who provides high level strategic support to the Vice Provost for Academic Administration (VPAA). The Senior Director leads the review of contracts and academic affiliations on behalf of the Provost’s Office. The SD strategizes with academic units, deans and vice provosts to negotiate business terms and conditions for partnerships and contracts. The SD ensures compliance of current contracts, and leads the creation and documentation of administrative policies and procedures within the Provost’s Office purview. The Senior Director will provide oversight for initiatives to support sound business decisions that are aligned with the university’s mission and financial objectives. Alongside the VPAA, the SD will review strategic resource allocations within the division. The SD will represent Academic Affairs on various operational task forces and committees as needed. This position reports directly to the Vice Provost for Academic Administration, along with the University Registrar, the Senior Director of AU Central, and the Senior Director of Finance and Administration- Academic Affairs. The position supervises one Director of Finance and Administration.

Essential Functions
  1. Drafting and Review of Contracts and Academic Affiliations: The Senior Director provides senior level management for contract development and administration related to academic affiliations and academic partnerships. The SD leads the development of policies and procedures in the areas of contract management in partnership with university stakeholders in the Office of General Counsel, Finance Division, and Office of Research. The SD ensures that contractual processes comply with federal and state regulations. In partnership with deans and vice provosts, the SD applies judgement to secure favorable contractual business terms and conditions for the university that align with the university’s strategic imperatives. The SD serves as the lead within Academic Affairs to draft and edit contracts, liaising with deans, vice provosts, the office of general counsel, controller’s office, budget office, office of research, and other stakeholders as needed. Supports deans and vice provosts to facilitate positive relationships with external partners and affiliated universities as appropriate. The SD liaises with academic units and the office of general counsel to finalize academic affiliation memoranda of agreement (MOA) contracts prior to signature, in accordance with the university’s signatory policy. Edits and revises contracts, ensuring all university policies and guidelines are met prior to signature, and coordinates review with office of general counsel as needed.

  2. Audit and Contract Compliance: Leads the review and audit the university’s current contracts. Audit the university’s repository of active contracts to ensure compliance. Suggest and lead the development of amendments as required. Administer contractual management and oversight training to unit representatives as needed to include topics such as MOA guidelines, due diligence processes, agreement review process, monitoring agreements and close-out. Improve contractual management and internal controls for the university as follows: - Monitor use of AU logo - Review of financial activity related to major contracts - Review procedures around protected and confidential information - Document performance metrics - Monitor affiliates for maintaining required insurance and licensing - Assess expenditures related to contracts, verify payment status by monitoring GLs related to partnerships

  3. Business Decision Support: Using university data, develop cost and teaching load analysis, compensation impact analysis, dashboards, ratios and benchmarks useful in decision-making by senior leadership. Assist the VPAA in providing intervention and analytical support to academic units in resolving major budget, financial and audit issues in partnership with the Finance, Procurement, Controller’s and Budget Offices as needed. Prepare ad-hoc data analyses as requested by the VPAA by extracting data from university systems (ERP and data warehouse).

Supervisory Responsibility
  • Directly supervises: 1 FT Director of Finance and Administration

Work Environment

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work
  • Full time
  • Function Leader B
  • Exempt
  • In addition to standard office hours, additional work hours may be required and expected in order to meet deadlines and needs of the office.

Required Education and Experience
  • Master's degree or equivalent
  • 8-10 years of relevant experience
  • Experience reviewing contracts with an eye towards business terms and conditions
  • Experience conducting financial analysis
  • Evidence of collaborative or team work in a collegial environment, deliberation, process and consultation.
  • Demonstrated strategic leadership, planning, change management and process improvement skills · Highly analytical, multi-tasking, and creative problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent communication skills, work ethics, integrity and discretion. · The position requires high attention to detail, writing and communication skills, and the ability to work independently with minimal supervision.
  • Demonstrated ability to perform a variety of complex and diverse tasks involving sound judgment, flexibility, accuracy and collegiality.

Preferred Education and Experience
  • Masters degree in relevant field such as Finance, Business or Legal Studies highly preferred
  • Juris Doctor or equivalent
  • Higher education experience preferred
  • Advance financial knowledge in accounting, budget planning, and financial forecasting.
  • Expert knowledge of information technology systems in academic and/or business environment.

Additional Eligibility Qualifications
  • Project Management and Representation on Committees: Initiates and leads discussion of, or changes to, administrative policies and procedures to promote operational efficiencies and process improvements. Leads project teams and/or working groups to develop solutions to operational problems, student service issues and submits recommendations to the VPAA. Provides facilitation and oversight various projects and taskforces relating to partnership and contractual management, space management, academic reporting, operating procedures for face to face and online programs, and other initiatives as needed. The position may be asked to represent Academic Affairs on various working groups and task forces led by other offices. Tracks progress on major projects led by the Office of the Provost.

  • Supervision of Staff: The Senior Director supervises the Director of Finance and Administration. This SD monitors the budget of strategic initiative GL accounts within the Provost’s Office, and coordination of the MOA process. The SD leads direct reports, provides coaching and training to staff to ensure they have the information necessary to complete job duties, reviews tasks/projects, and evaluates performance

  • Other Duties as Assigned

  • Hiring offers for this position are contingent on successful completion of a background check.
  • To ensure the health and safety of our community AU requires COVID-19 vaccinations for faculty and staff. Click here to learn more about our health and safety directive.

  • Click here to learn about American University's unique benefit options.

  • Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice. This position is not eligible to participate in a bargaining unit, as the position will access confidential information, and will supervise employees.

Nearest Major Market: Washington DC

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