Director of Operations and Administration (Hybrid Opportunity)

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Hybrid (Amherst, MA, USA)
  • Sep 21, 2023
Full time Deans & Directors Other Administrative Positions Other Executive

Job Description


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 Director of Operations and Administration for the Department of Chemistry will be responsible for direct and indirect supervision of all administrative and operational staff of the department, all lab renovation and building maintenance projects, and coordinating lab safety. The Director reports directly to the Chemistry Department Head. This is a highly independent position, requiring the ability to make critical and timely decisions affecting many individuals, creating & shaping departmental policies, planning operational budgets, and coordinating activities with multiple entities, both on and off campus.


Essential Functions    

  • Functions as primary departmental crisis manager for all physical and operational activities, coordinating efforts with appropriate campus individuals/departments. Functions as department administrator, responsible for all administrative staff and their respective activities. Is the primary person responsible for smooth operations of the department’s teaching, research, and administrative functions.
  • Supervises the Computer support team whose three professional staff members provide coordination for all activities related to the computer network and equipment needs of both the Chemistry and BMB Departments. Establishes budgets, creates department policies, and optimizes resources. Coordinates related activities and priorities with both departments and CNS (College of Natural Sciences) computing team as well as central UMass-IT.
  • Provides direct supervision of the Business Manager and their areas of responsibility. Indirect supervision of additional administrative staff including: department Bookkeeper, Office Manager/Personnel Coordinator, Bank Card Manager/Financial Coordinator, Seminar and Alumni Coordinator/reception, Graduate Program Manager and the Graduate Program Assistant.
  • Provides direct supervision of the Graphic & Multimedia Designer/Undergraduate Program Manager and their areas of responsibility. Indirect supervision of the undergraduate program assistant.
  • Oversees the activities of the department Electronics Shop and supervises operational staff member(s) that provide scientific instrument repair services. Establishes budgets and optimizing resources.
  • Oversees the activities of the department Machine & Carpentry Shops. Supervises professional operational staff member(s) that utilize machine shop equipment for Department projects, trains department personnel on how to use available equipment responsibly and safely, and assists with various (carpentry, mechanical, electrical & plumbing) projects, audiovisual equipment support, etc.  Establishes budgets, improves measures of safety, and tracks training of personnel.
  • Provides direct supervision of the department Head’s assistant.
  • Coordinates lab safety initiatives and implements guidelines established by the Departmental Safety Committee and Environmental Health and Safety. This involves going into labs where research is being conducted involving hazardous materials that could be toxic, carcinogenic, radioactive, and/or explosive. Maintains close contact with the Environmental Health and Safety Department.
  • Functions as department Safety Coordinator, representing department in appropriate meetings and as department representative for ongoing Environmental Management System. Maintains an up-to-date safety training profile for entire department utilizing on-campus resources.
  • Functions as Departmental and CNS representative in meetings and committees with Lab Safety Coordinators, Building Coordinators, faculty senate health council, radiation safety committee, renovation project committees, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, etc.
  • Independently analyzes and responds to requests for assistance with complex physical, environmental, and/or safety situations.
  • Presents creative solutions with budget estimates to colleagues, faculty, and other clients.
  • Coordinates all work related to maintenance, renovations, new buildings/projects involving department personnel or space by Facilities and Campus Services, and independent contractors. Acts as a liaison with these departments and outside contractors.
  • Monitors effective utilization of department space for teaching, research, and service facilities. Completes regular (currently annual) space audits for the campus and irregular space audits for research grant support.
  • Functions as primary building coordinator for LGRT/Goessmann/PSB/ISB, and as a back-up for LSL. Responds to building emergencies or related problems. Represents Department to Facilities and Campus Services, contractors.  
  • Oversees acquisition and distribution of furniture, fixtures, supplies, and equipment. Facilitates purchasing with a campus bank card. Creates budgets, maintains accurate and auditable records, completes monthly bank card accounting statements, and adheres to all University related fiscal policies.
  • Functions as back-up for Business Manager and Office Manager.
  • Continually investigates new technologies to provide technical support for an active research & teaching environment. Proactively collaborates with research groups, teaching faculty, and administrative offices on how to incorporate emerging new technologies to improve efficiency or resolve ongoing issues.
  • Ensures that the Department complies with applicable state and federal laws and regulations, and University policies and procedures.
  • Acts as the University representative to ThermoFisher, that supplies the products and manages the Campus Stockroom that supplies chemicals and supplies to approximately 27 departments/centers on-campus daily.
  • General supervision provided by the Head of the Department. 


Other Functions

  • Works collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality, and inclusiveness. 
  • Works in partnership with colleagues within the CNS community and across the campus to support the Department Head’s and Dean’s strategic priorities.
  • Performs other duties as assigned in support of the mission and goals of the Chemistry Department, College of Natural Sciences, and the University.
  • Works responsibly with confidential information to prevent unnecessary disclosure to others.
  • Acts as department liaison with local community.
  • Coordinates activities with CNS Dean’s office as appropriate.
  • Cross-trains with colleagues to provide more flexibility and increased efficiencies.
  • Maintains electronic and paper records in auditable fashion as appropriate.




Preferred and Required Qualifications

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

  • Bachelor’s degree and five to seven (5-7) years of relevant experience.
  • Five (5) years direct supervisory experience, including proven ability to motivate teams to efficiently achieve goals and meet deadlines.
  • Prior experience in a teaching or research lab in industry and/or academia and/or non-profit setting.
  • Ability to work independently to organize multiple simultaneous tasks and set priorities for action, take initiative, be creative, achieve goals in a timely manner, collaborate with both on/off-campus colleagues, and operate with self-direction in a fast-paced and changing environment.
  • Ability to interact and communicate effectively, and work productively with a diverse population of faculty, staff, and students. Has extensive history of establishing and maintaining positive working relationships.
  • Project management experience.
  • Operations experience with complex research facilities and/or with construction and project delivery.


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

  • Bachelor’s degree in chemistry or related field.
  • Master of Business Administration.
  • Managerial experience with both Union and Non-Union shops.
  • Working knowledge of computer networking.
  • Previous experience in both academic and industrial environments.
  • Three years of experience with coordinating building repairs and lab renovations.
  • Ability to interpret building and construction plans.
  • Five or more years of experience in a research lab setting, including work with lasers, x-ray equipment, and/or radioactivity.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of lab safety procedures, including ability to maintain designated campus safety training. Knowledge of Departmental & University policies will be acquired on the job.
  • Understanding of machine shop environment.


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

  • Predominant: office environment, including long stretches of computer work.
  • Occasional: working in teaching and research labs and in shops, where hazardous material and/or conditions are present.
  • Ability to handle material 25-40 lbs.


Additional Details

  • Required to work some nights and/or weekends.
  • Ability to be on-call as needed for emergencies.
  • Willingness to have flexible schedule.
  • Required to have a department cell phone for emergencies. While this position does not have an official “on-call” status, the expectation is that “urgent” issues may need to be dealt with after normal business hours (including Holidays and weekends). This cell phone number will be posted on all Departmental Lab Safety Cards (and distributed to EH&S and Campus Police) as a back-up to the Principal Investigator in the case of a lab accident.


Application Details (to apply use the Apply Now button below.)

Work Schedule

  • Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 5:00pm.
  • 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 29

PSU Hiring Ranges


Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with the application, please submit a letter of application, resume, diversity statement (see below) 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. In addition to application materials above, candidates will need to submit a Statement of Contribution to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The Diversity Statement should identify past experiences and future goals. These contributions may result from lived experiences, scholarships, and/or mentoring, teaching, and outreach activities. (

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UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, caste, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, disability, political belief or affiliation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related condition(s), veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, natural and protective hairstyle and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination 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 UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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