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Clerk IV - Assistant to Department Head

Apply now Job no: 510778
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Chemistry
Union: USA/MTA
Categories: Administrative/Office Support, College of Natural Sciences

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Summary

The Assistant to the Department Head will work under the general direction of the Chemistry Department Head. This position will provide high-level administrative support by facilitating personnel and academic actions for the Chemistry Department, Department Head, Associate Head, Department Personnel Committee, and Faculty Search Committee.


Essential Functions 

Ensure a high level of operation by overseeing the smooth functioning and timely completion of matters that need the attention of the Department Head and Associate Head:

  • Maintain Department Head’s schedule and calendar. Schedule appointments.
  • Prioritize and coordinate matters requiring Department Head and Associate Head review.
  • Initiate and prepare correspondence and other communication with little input or revision needed from the Head or Associate Head.
  • Maintain signature authority schedule.
  • Facilitate and expedite business originating from the Head’s Office, including faculty search and personnel matters.
  • Keep abreast on policies and procedures, and advise faculty, committees, or staff accordingly.
  • As primary liaison for the Chemistry Department, interface with various levels of staff and faculty in other departments and offices both on campus and off, as well as the general public.
  • Research and problem-solve on a variety of issues and requests.
  • Organize and schedule faculty, personnel and search committee meetings, prepare agendas.
  • Prepare schedule for invited speaker visits when the Head or Associate Head is the Host.
  • Assist Head and Associate Head with grant and contract fund administration including monitoring accounts, preparing budgets and forecasting reports, and assembly of travel reimbursement paperwork and monthly Bank card receipt reconciliation.
  • Coordinate and compile information for various surveys, American Chemical Society accreditation and academic quality assessment and development (AQAD).
  • Organize miscellaneous special events.
  • Create and maintain office management systems for department operation, ensure consistent and transparent records for the organization of Head office.

Ensure continuity of practice and procedure and provide support and assistance to departmental personnel and faculty search committees that rotate the chair position:

Personnel Committee

  • Provide administrative support for faculty reviews, merit, exceptional merit and anomaly raises.
  • Provide administrative assistance to the Department Personnel Committee.
  • Assure adherence to protocols and policies for (but not limited to) reappointment through tenure decision year, tenure, promotion, annual faculty reviews (AFRs), and Periodic Multi-Year Review (PMYR).
  • Collect supporting materials and process appointments, reappointments and terminations for all faculty (tenure track, non-tenure track and visiting) and adjuncts.
  • Communicate with the Dean’s office and Human Resources to ensure full, accurate and timely submissions of documentation.
  • Support Personnel Committee and Head in use of Academic Personnel Workflow System (APWS).
  • Coordinate faculty award nominations.

Faculty Searches

  • Coordinate administrative support for faculty search process. Prepare and arrange advertisement postings, arrange travel and accommodations, schedule candidate’s itinerary. Maintain applicant files in the administrative system, prepare correspondence with applicants. Schedule, publicize and coordinate candidate seminars.
  • Prepare and distribute information to faculty candidates and new hires.
  • Finalize search file documentation for submission.
  • Prepare personnel forms related to faculty hires, background reviews, and visa applications.

Coordinate Chemistry alumni activities:

  • Functionally supervise a Clerk III’s performance of the duties that pertain to the coordination of the department’s Alumni Program.
  • Draft response letters to major donors with little input or revision needed from the Head or Associate Head.


Other Functions

  • Work collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality and inclusiveness. 
  • Work in partnership with colleagues within the CNS and Department of Chemistry community and across the campus to support the Dean’s strategic priorities.
  • Perform other duties as assigned in support of the mission and goals of the College of Natural Sciences and Department of Chemistry


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • High School diploma or equivalent.
  • At least three (3) years office experience required.
  • Proficiency in word-processing, spreadsheet, and database software.


Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Experience working in an academic department preferred.
  • Experience providing administrative support for grant proposals and budgets, including an on-line grant-submission program preferred.
  • Ability to work effectively with on-campus offices and departments, such as Human Resources and OGCA.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Organizational skills.
  • Ability to maintain absolute confidentiality.
  • Self-motivation, ability to work with minimal supervision.
  • Ability to prioritize and balance work tasks in a demanding environment.
  • Ability to be resourceful and problem-solve.
  • Ability to work in an occasionally demanding environment, under pressure, and beyond normal hours.
  • Ability to function independently and proactively, exercise considerable judgment and discretion.


Work Schedule

 Monday – Friday 8:30am – 5:00pm


Salary Information

Grade 13 


Special Instructions to Applicants

Please submit a resume, cover letter, and contact information for three professional references.

As part of a commitment to their own multicultural community, CNS seeks an individual with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and one who will understand and embrace university initiatives and aspirations.(

UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

Advertised: Eastern Standard Time
Applications close: Eastern Standard Time

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