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A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.

Job Summary

This posting is for a high-level Chief Administrator for the Department of Physics.  We are seeking an experienced and dynamic leader who can partner with the Chair, Dean’s office and colleagues to create an effective and robust administrative structure to support and promote optimal departmental functioning.

The Department of Physics is a large research and teaching unit in the Natural Sciences Division of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.  The Department has 53 Tenure Track Faculty, 11 Research Scientists and Lecturers, and over 34 staff.  Total annual financial volume is approximately $34 million split 18/16 between sponsored research and general funds.  The Department has 140 PhD students, and graduates 60 undergraduate majors per year.  In addition to concentration instruction, the Department provides significant service teaching, primarily for engineering students who also take the introductory Physics sequence.

Key skills and attributes required for this position include:

  • An individual that embraces the mission, vision of LSA and the Department, and the principals of integrity & trust, accountability & sound judgment, collaboration & innovation and a positive & engaged community
  • High-level administrative experience in an academic setting
  • Excellent change management skills to guide administrative and personnel transitions
  • Commitment to improving administrative processes and building efficiencies within and across departments and the School
  • Ability to engage in strategic planning to set and reach both short- and long-term goals
  • Commitment to establishing and maintaining a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment for faculty, students and staff
  • Experience with financial management, budgeting and expenditure projection
  • Experience and demonstrated success in supervising administrative, secretarial, clerical, technical, and research staff
  • A commitment to excellent customer service
  • Strong communication skills, with excellent people skills and experience building and leading teams
  • Experience with grants management, HR policies and procedures, and processes related to student funding and support.



Provide budgeting and expense projections; Establish controls to maintain budget oversight; Review business transactions for compliance with relevant policies and regulations and provide departmental authorization for these transactions; Manage and oversee all research (including external grant funding), operating (general fund), discretionary, designated, recharge and endowment funds including the implementation of fiscal policies and procedures; Monitor and maintain budget policies set forth by the College of LSA and Department leadership; Advise the Chair regarding optimal uses of financial resources for planning and management discussions. Working with the LSA Shared Services operations, prepare special budget and financial reports with statistical analysis where required.


Manage and lead the successful performance and continuous development of staff. Coordinate the work of staff, providing leadership in a collaborative, team-oriented environment with support for professional development; approve job descriptions for non-academic positions; review positions for appropriate classification and compensation level; provide oversight for procedures related to faculty recruitment, appointment, review, retention and promotion. Work collaboratively with LSA Human Resources to develop job descriptions, review positions for appropriate classifications and rates. Assist and provide guidance to the Chair and Executive Secretary with requests for promotions, UMOR research track hires, LEO lecturer appointments and renewals, sabbatical and other leaves, and emeritus status.  Create and update MOUs to specify research, teaching, and service commitments for faculty with split appointments.

Analyze and evaluate the administrative staffing needs of the department and make recommendations to the Chair.


Be familiar with UM policies and procedures and assure awareness and compliance among faculty, staff, and students.  Routinely monitor departmental activities to ensure variance is within acceptable range and proactively address issues. Interpret and provide information related to University, School and Department policies and business procedures to all faculty, students and staff. Approve the annual department space survey. Represent the Department to other University units and administrators and outside units with authority to make financial and operational commitments. Resolve operating problems, employee complaints and grievances. Serve on University, School and Department committees.

Partner with the Department Chair on long-range planning and strategic operations.   Assist in developing policies and procedures, interpret University and College policies and procedures for the faculty, staff and students.  Oversee all aspects of and provide leadership in student services areas including: GSI appointments, fellowships, graduate student recruiting, graduate student services, and undergraduate student services.   Oversee development activities including alumni relations, donor stewardship and fundraising; manage, plan and coordinate facilities use and renovation.  Actively participate in the LSA’s Chief Administrators group; Serve as a liaison for administrative matters to the College of LSA.

Required Qualifications*

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent is required
  • At least five to seven years progressively responsible administrative work in an academic environment
  • Strong financial management skills in budgeting and expense reporting
  • Experience developing a highly interactive and collaborative team environment
  • Demonstrated ability in managing staff and leadership through change, and working within a complex and collaborative administrative structure
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal and leadership skills; strong organizational skills
  • Experience with management of externally funded sponsored research. Experience in a research environment in conjunction with grant / contract proposal preparation.
  • Experience with undergraduate and graduate student programs
  • Ability to work proactively in a fast paced, dynamic unit
  • Demonstrated ability to manage various aspects of a complex organization
  • Proven ability to successfully supervise and mentor a variety of individuals
  • Ability to work independently and interactively as part of a team
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Competency and experience using Business Objects or similar query application
  • Must demonstrate a collaborative, proactive and goal oriented approach to administrative practices
  • Demonstrated ability to serve as a departmental leader, staff mentor, and partner to the Department Chair

Desired Qualifications*

  • Advanced educational degree preferred
  • Knowledge of UM and LSA policies and procedures desired

Additional Information

The College of Literature, Science, and the Arts seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitments to serve the diverse people of Michigan, fulfill the College’s Guiding Principles, and sustain the excellence of LSA.  

Background Screening

The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background checks.  Background checks will be performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Mission Statement

The mission of the University of Michigan is to serve the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying knowledge, art, and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future.  The University of Michigan is committed to foster learning, creativity and productivity, and to support the vigorous exchange of ideas and information, not only in the classroom but in the workplace by: 

  • Creating a work environment in which people treat each other with respect and dignity, regardless of roles, responsibilities or differences. 
  • Providing support, direction and resources enabling us to accomplish the responsibilities of our jobs and to reach the goals that are set for professional and personal growth.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  This job may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.