Careers at UMass Amherst

Business Manager - Geosciences Department (Hybrid Opportunity)

Apply now Job no: 518441
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Geosciences
Union: PSU
Categories: Administrative & Office Support, Accounting/Finance/Budget, 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 Business Manager provides management and supervision for the administrative and technical support services of the department of Geosciences. This position is responsible for financial, personnel, facilities, and programmatic activities that support the department's academic, research, and outreach missions. Exercises considerable initiative, leadership, and judgment in providing advice and guidance regarding policy and procedure within the University community. Serves as the chief departmental administrative officer and executive assistant to the Department Head. Acts as supervisory and administrative intermediary on behalf of the Department Head on all aspects and phases of administrative and academic activity, both within the Department as well as relative to the Department and the College of Natural Sciences (CNS).

Research within the department of Geosciences revolves around four main clusters: Global Change and Surface Processes; Water; Dynamic Earth; and Geography, Society and the Environment. Research areas include geology; geography; earth systems; geochemistry; paleoceanography; geomorphology; geophysics; political economy; and geography of livable cities, landscapes, and livelihoods. The faculty includes 19 tenure track faculty, three lecturers, nine research associates/post-docs, 350 majors (including Environmental Science) and 65 graduate students.


Essential Functions

  • Serves as chief financial officer for the department. Develops, assesses, and administers complex departmental budgets; forecasts and projects spending plans. Makes spending decisions that support department operations and goals. Serves as resource and adviser on various fiscal matters, such as policies pertaining to new funding initiatives, cost sharing agreements, operation of departmental "cost centers," additional compensation, and faculty startup agreements; tracks these programs and their impact on departmental budgets. Serves as primary liaison to CNS Dean's office finance department regarding budgets and financial commitments. Develops financial instruments for purposes of monitoring and reporting account information. Manages financial operations of "Centers." Prepares annual program statement and operating budget. Projects revenue and expenses; prepares and submits recharge revenue. Performs all PeopleSoft finance operations as they interface with Summit A&F system and UMass BuyWays. Ensures effort reporting (ECRT) compliance.
  • In partnership with the Associate Head, ensures academic support. Plans and oversees course and room scheduling. Acts as primary department course scheduling representative with reporting functions to university systems (SPIRE/CAPS) and ability to query all graduate and undergraduate records.
  • Supervises departmental accounting staff to ensure compliance with University, State, and Federal rules and regulations. Ensures compliance with the University's accounting and purchasing policies, programs, and procedures. Participates in the development of operating procedures. Ensures that accurate records of university purchased equipment are maintained. Works creatively, collaboratively, and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality, and inclusiveness.
  • Administers the completion and submission of the annual Tririga space survey for the Office of Campus Planning. Serves on the department's space planning committee. Oversees workplace operations, including key access and Geosciences van fleet management and servicing. Liaises with college operations staff, Solution Center, and serves as building coordinator for the department.
  • Plans, organizes, and directs departmental policies and procedures for grant and contract administration. Works in collaboration with the CNS Office of Research Support Services (RSS) to establish procedures for grant proposals, budgets, co-principal investigators, and subcontracts. Oversees grant fiscal administrators; analyzes and reports on department-wide grant activity. Monitors federal regulations and funding opportunities. Disseminates information on University policies and procedures as they apply to grants and contracts. Troubleshoots and serves as liaison to funding authorities, CNS RSS, the Office of Grants and Contracts Administration (OGCA), other applicable University offices, and faculty researchers.
  • Researches and prepares information/reports for reviews, strategic planning, surveys, statistical and historical data, and department short term and long term plans, as needed. Gathers and prepares information for development and outreach materials and ensures the smooth preparation and facilitation of alumni events and programs.


Other Functions

  • Performs related duties as assigned or required to meet Department, Executive Area/Division, and University goals and objectives.
  • Works creatively, collaboratively, and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality and inclusiveness. 
  • In the performance of work, takes initiative, be creative, and operates with self-direction.
  • Works in partnership with colleagues within the CNS community and across the campus to support the Dean's strategic priorities.


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

  • Associate's degree in business, accounting, or related field with five (5) years of relevant financial experience.
    • Or Bachelor's degree in business, accounting, or related field with two (2) years of relevant financial experience.
    • Or Bachelor's degree in any field with four (4) years of relevant financial experience.
  • Demonstrated understanding of fiscal management principles, including budgetary/fund accounting procedures, demonstrated ability to forecast future budget needs, create annual departmental budgets and prepare periodic reports.
  • Demonstrated ability and willingness to lead, advise and train staff and to maintain absolute confidentiality.
  • Demonstrated experience with grant and contract management, including ability to follow federal and private sponsor terms and conditions of proposal and award administration.
  • Excellent organizational skills. Ability to coordinate complex projects and to function under time constraints and deadlines amid constant interruptions.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Supervisory, management, and training skills necessary to coordinate the department's business activities.
  • Knowledge of standard computer operating systems and proficiency with word processing, spreadsheets, use of databases.  Ability to utilize financial databases and systems to manipulate and analyze financial data for internal and external reporting, grant management, and management of various types of funds.
  • Ability to work some nights and weekends.
  • Understands responsibilities with respect to conflicts of interest and behaves in ways consistent both with law and with University policy.
  • Contributes toward creating a positive and respectful workplace defined by personal and professional competence, integrity, and collaboration.
  • Understands and contributes to implementation of departmental and institutional goals for achieving non-discrimination and creating a respectful, inclusive environment that is supportive of diversity.
  • Uses access to sensitive and/or not yet public university related information only in the performance of the responsibilities of position and exercises care to prevent unnecessary disclosure to others.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently to organize multiple tasks and set priorities for action, take initiative, be creative, and operate with self-direction in a fast-paced office environment.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to interact effectively and work productively in establishing and maintaining harmonious working relationships with a diverse population of staff and students.
  • Ability to organize and prioritize goals; ability to collaborate well to formulate plans and objectives in accordance with overall college goals; ability to identify and implement process improvements.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and to set and meet deadlines while maintaining high standards of accuracy and quality.


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

  • Typical office environment.


Work Schedule

  • Standard business hours; some night and weekend work required.
  • This position has the opportunity for a hybrid work schedule, which is defined by the University as an arrangement where an employee’s work is regularly performed at a location other than the campus workspace for a portion of the week. As this position falls within the Professional Staff Union, it is subject to the terms and conditions of the Professional Staff Union collective bargaining agreement.


Salary Information

Level 26

PSU Salary Ranges


Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with the application, please submit a resume, cover letter and contact information for three (3) professional references. The search will remain open until filled.  

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.

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