Associate Director of Business and Finance

Job Opening ID: 43398 - Position Number: 32027 - Job Code: 211023 

Job Summary

The Associate Director of Business and Finance is a key administrative position in the Bienen School of Music. As a member of the central Office of the Associate Dean for Administration, Finance and Planning, provides thoughtful leadership in reviewing and recommending policy and procedures designed to enhance operational excellence. Ensures the effective, compliant and efficient daily management of all operational, financial and business functions in support of the Bienen School’s mission and in coordination with central offices such as Human Resources, Budget and Planning, Information Technology and Provost.

Working Conditions: Associate Dean provides overall objectives and in consultation with employee develops deadlines. Work is reviewed for fulfillment of objectives and overall compliance with policy and procedures. Employee completes majority of activities without direction; consulting with supervisor as needed concerning new or unusual circumstances.

Principal Accountabilities

Areas of Responsibility

Tactical implementation of the following: 

  • Budget and Financial
  • Faculty Support
  • Grants and Contracts
  • Communications and Outreach
  • Human Resources
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Strategic Planning
  • Student Support

Work Complexity

  • Uses judgment and an extensive amount of experience to adapt an advanced knowledge of skills, methods, practices, policies and procedures and a moderate degree of innovation, analysis, and reasoning to plan and prioritize work that is primarily project oriented and involves some difficult problems and/or decisions. 
  • Interprets policy.
  • Ensures the effective, compliant and efficient daily management of all business, financial and operational functions in support of the Bienen School’s mission.
  • Ensures financial and human resources processes across all areas of the Bienen School are in conformance with University policies.

Budget and Financial:

  • Serves a primary role in the development and implementation of annual budget including fiscal resource allocation of appropriated, discretionary, endowment and gift revenues.
  • Typically involved in the budget management of research grants.
  • Responsible for payroll, purchasing, travel and entertainment (T&E) transactions and requesting new chartstrings using NU protocol. 
  • Prepares faculty salary recovery and summer salary. 
  • Creates and monitor recharge centers. 
  • Oversees prompt payment of invoices and related research of errors. 
  • Monitors open encumbrances and deficit chartstrings. 
  • Level II approver in NUFS. 
  • School level approver in HRIS. 
  • Routinely reviews and reconciles actual expenses to budget per NU Audit guidelines. 
  • Approves funds reallocation within budget as necessary and appropriate. 
  • Responsible to stop an expense that is inappropriate or against deficit chartstring.

Communications and Outreach:

  • Works collaboratively with the Office of Alumni Relations and the School’s Director of Development on gift management and reporting requirements. 

Faculty Support:

  • Manages administration of faculty appointments and recruitment as determined. 
  • Interprets and applies policy and procedure. 

Grants and Contracts:

  • Oversees and/or completes pre- and post-award research administration. 
  • Utilizes established systems (effort reporting, direct cost charging/SDA and financial reporting) to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations.
  • Oversees payroll for any research appointments. 
  • Ensures faculty completion of effort certification. 

Human Resources:

  • Manages implementation of human resource programs, policies, procedures. 
  • Posts positions to eRecruit and assists with the recruitment and selection process.
  • Administers leaves, approves timesheets and supports completion of annual staff Conflict of Interest Survey.
  • Recommends complex HR solutions and implements decisions. 
  • Institutes departmental policy and implements school and NU policy.

Strategic Planning:

  • Reviews plans, meets with leadership and key faculty and staff and recommends changes and improvements to administrative operations that best meet organizational needs and objectives.

Student Support:

  • Implements department strategy regarding structure, process and staff support of students in compliance with NU policy. Oversees processing of related data entry; resolves administrative issues (RAS forms, stipends, monitors fellowships, work-study payroll, etc.)


  • Supervises two or more staff and/or provides work direction to others. 
  • Coordinates administrative effort of staff within or outside of immediate dept or division.

Performs other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

Education, experience, and any other certifications or clearances

  • Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree in a major such as business, accounting or related; OR appropriate combination of education and experience. 
  • Five years of administrative experience including budgets, finance, grants and/or human resources; OR other relevant experience.

Preferred Qualifications

Education and experience

  • Graduate business degree or advanced experience.
  • Experience in financial database creation or management and working with complex enterprise data systems. PeopleSoft and Cognos experience preferred. 
  • Background in the Arts, preferably in a University setting.
  • Experience supervising others.

Preferred Competencies

Skills, knowledge, and abilities

  • Accounting/Account Reconciliation - Understands and interprets financial statements and reports; reconciles financial records.
  • Adaptability - Works effectively in an environment in which the parameters may change daily; adjusts behavior to meet the needs of different people and situations.
  • Analysis - Identifies and analyzes significant problems and opportunities; relates and compares data from different sources.
  • Attention to Detail - Consistently displays accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Business Acumen - Possesses business savvy and demonstrates the ability to foster and lead cost-efficient initiatives without sacrificing quality or core values.
  • Collaboration - Facilitates open and effective communication, cooperation and teamwork within and outside of one’s own team; respects the needs and contributions of others.
  • Collegiality - Being helpful, respectful, approachable and team oriented building strong working relationships and a positive work environment. 
  • Communication - Communicates effectively one-to-one, in small groups and in public speaking contexts; writes precise, well-organized emails, letters and proposals while using appropriate vocabulary and grammar.
  • Compliance - Honoring University policies and regulatory requirements.
  • Computer Proficiency - Successfully uses multiple software programs independently. Software may include Microsoft Office, applications such as PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and Access, email, web browsers, and PeopleSoft.
  • Conceptual Ability - Deals effectively, not just with concrete tangible issues, but also abstract conceptual matters.
  • Conflict Management - Exhibits understanding of natural sources of conflict and acts to prevent or soften them.
  • Customer Focus - Regularly monitors customer satisfaction; provides suggestions to improve quality and value to the customer.
  • Efficiency/Dependability - Effectively performs duties and responsibilities; displays attention to detail; supports organizational policies; anticipates demands/pressures of assignments and adjusts accordingly.
  • Financial Management - Manages financial assets responsibly with a focus on cost effectiveness and productivity.
  • Judgment - Demonstrates logic, rationality and objectivity; shows common sense; uses all available information to make educated decisions.
  • Listening - Actively listens to others' opinions and ideas; respects and seeks to understand differences in opinions. 
  • Meets Deadlines - Displays consistency and success in adhering to deadlines. 
  • Multi-Tasking - Demonstrates ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Organization - Plans, organizes and schedules in an efficient, productive manner; anticipates contingencies and pays attention to detail; targets projects or initiatives that require special attention and focuses on key tasks when faced with limited time and/or resources.
  • Quality/Compliance - Striving for excellence with our work processes and outcomes, honoring University policies and regulatory requirements.

Application Information

To apply for this position, you will need to submit your résumé, cover letter and references through the University's electronic recruiting system, eRecruit, using the job opening number or the job title.

Once you apply, you will receive an email confirming submission of your resume. For all resumes received, if there is interest in your candidacy, the human resources recruiter or the department hiring manager will contact you. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until a candidate is selected.

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.

Apply Now

If you are a current employee of Northwestern please use the following link instead: Apply Now