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Columbia Astrophysics Lab


  • 533036
  • Morningside
  • Columbia Astrophysics Lab
  • Full Time
  • Opening on: Dec 30 2022
  • Grade 13
  • Job Type: Officer of Administration
  • Bargaining Unit:
  • Regular/Temporary: Regular
  • End Date if Temporary:
  • Hours Per Week: 35
  • Salary Range: $80,000 - $100,000
The salary of the finalist selected for this role will be set based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to departmental budgets, qualifications, experience, education, licenses, specialty, and training. The above hiring range represents the University's good faith and reasonable estimate of the range of possible compensation at the time of posting.

Position Summary

Reporting to the Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory (CAL) Co-Directors, the Director of Administration and Finance is responsible for the organization and planning of the day-to-day research and administrative activities of the laboratory including financial management, personnel management, space management and the provision of student, researcher, and faculty services. The Director of Administration and Finance assumes overall responsibility for the laboratory's administrative budget and supervision of the research budget, assumes overall responsibility for oversight of all projects in the laboratory, including laboratory's gift accounts and grants and accounts connected with any special programs. Works closely with the EVP A&S Office and partners with other offices throughout the University. 


Research / Laboratory Administration 

Responsible for the hiring, training and supervising of the laboratory's staff and working closely with the EVP A&S offices (HR Administration and EVP Finance and Budget Office) for the processing of documentation and administration of all appointments; oversees search activities; explains University benefits and policies. 

Oversees all international hires, coordinating with the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) in visas, visa renewals, housing, and related paperwork as well as assists in immigration processing Type minimum qualifications

Collaborates with the Co-Directors and Academic Affairs Office to complete searches and research appointments and other research administration. Oversees the visiting and adjunct appointment processing ensuring timely submissions to the Academic Affairs Office. 

Oversees the administrative and human resources functions for the laboratory including assisting the Co-Directors in determining personnel, personnel recognition, recommendations and addressing employee concerns. 

Oversees the procurement activities and operations for the laboratory, including the laboratory supplies inventory. Trains new staff on procurement policies, manages purchasing cards and reviews/approves all reimbursements and purchase requests.

Demonstrates day-to-day leadership and guidance to staff by proactively managing and providing clear, timely and University compliant solutions on a wide range of administrative and financial matters. 

Oversees the information technology (IT) operations for the laboratory, manages the equipment renewal processes, negotiates leasing contracts, manages the laboratories phone system, and oversees the ordering and vendor selection for IT supplies and repairs.

Collaborates with University offices and departments to oversee logistics for smooth operation of the laboratory, including facility needs, maintenance, repair, and minor construction as needed. 

Finance and Budget 

Provides oversight and directs the laboratory's financial planning and accounting practices, maintains financial management reporting and control systems, monitors laboratory expenses, oversees petty cash fund activities, oversees compliance with University/affiliate policies, procedures and regulations. 

Assumes overall responsibility for the laboratory's administrative budget, including laboratory's gift projects, discretionary projects and pre & post award grants and projects connected with any special programs. 

Responsible for conducting monthly projects reconciliation; oversees fellowship/assistant budget; responsible for preventing overdrafts; budget submission process and reports as needed; recommends level of spending, resolves financial problems. 

Proactively assists Principal Investigators in managing grant funding, including expenditure monitoring, reporting, quarterly certifications, planning, equipment inventory management, and effort reporting. 

Provides guidance and direction to the staff members and works in collaboration with the EVP A&S Office to complete all year-end transactions for the laboratory. Trains, mentors and acts as a coach for new employees to perform transactions. 

Manages laboratory budget exceeding 9M. 

Performs special projects as needed.  


Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor's degree required and a minimum of 4 to 6 years' relevant experience

Additional Position - Specific Minimum Qualifications

Must have, or be able to acquire quickly, a detailed knowledge of University policies, procedures, and systems. Strong communication, interpersonal and organizational skills required. Initiative, discretion, attention to details, ability to establish priorities, ability to work under pressure and without supervision and good independent judgment required. Computer literacy and experience with electronic funds management required.  

Management and leadership skills, and experience in working with various levels of constituents and stakeholders preferred. Ability to present complex financial data in a simple and easy way to understand. Type preferred qualifications


Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.

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