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Assistant / Associate Vice President for Research Operations

Apply now Job no: 533015
Work type: Officer of Administration
Location: Eugene, OR
Categories: Accounting/Finance, Executive/Management/Director, Research/Scientific/Grants

Department: Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation
Appointment Type and Duration: Regular, Ongoing
Salary: $140,000 - $205,000 per year; Commensurate with experience
Compensation Band: OS-OA13-Fiscal Year 2023-2024
FTE: 1.0

Application Review Begins

May 15, 2024 (updated); position open until filled.

Special Instructions to Applicants

With your online application, please upload a resume and a cover letter describing your experience, professional competencies and qualifications, and your interest to serve the University in the role. You will also be asked to enter the names and contact information of three professional references; candidates will be notified prior to contacting references.

Candidates with advanced skills and experience may be considered for the title of Associate Vice President for Research Operations.

Department Summary

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation (OVPRI) serves as an advocate and catalyst within the University of Oregon (UO) for expanding the range and impact of UO's research, scholarship, and creative endeavors. The OVPRI oversees sponsored programs, research compliance, technology transfer, economic development, industry engagement, research-based ventures, and research development and administrative responsibility for numerous high-profile research centers and institutes and core research facilities, which provide opportunities for faculty across the university to collaborate on research efforts that are inherently interdisciplinary, and of significant societal importance. As a university that holds the distinction of a “very high research activity” ranking (R1) in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, the UO is also one of only two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities (AAU). Visit research.uoregon.edu to learn more.

OVPRI, including centers and institutes, has over 700 employees across faculty, classified and unclassified staff, postdoctoral scholars, and graduate and undergraduate students, with a $45m annual budget. The Research Operations unit is comprised of more than twenty-five financial, technology, and administrative staff that ensure the smooth operations of this organization. The Research Operations portfolio spans activities from a major technology upgrade for research administration, managing faculty startup distributions, research core administrative operations, human resource development, research data analysis financial budgeting, and, reporting and forecasting tools.

The OVPRI is committed to a respectful work environment. We value the cultural, educational, and life experiences of each employee. We believe that a diverse workforce enables us to deliver culturally responsive services to all members of our community. As part of our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, we welcome, respect, and foster a sense of belonging for a wide range of identities and experiences in our workforce. We strongly encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, and/or LGBTQIA+ community members.

Position Summary

The Assistant/Associate Vice President of Research Operations (AVPRO) reports to the Vice President for Research and Innovation and, together with the other AVPs and directors, is a key member of the OVPRI’s senior and executive management team. The AVPRO serves as the strategic leader for research and financial operations within the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation (OVPRI). The AVPRO leads significant projects to strengthen support for research and improve research administration across campus and within the division. This position oversees several research administrative units such as Research Finance and Business Administration, Research Technology Services, and Human Resources. The AVPRO supervises and mentors unit directors, and supports a culture of service, operational excellence, and continuous process improvement to support effective and efficient research operations support in the face of ever-changing researcher needs and regulatory obligations. OVPRI is seeking a leader who can continue the vision and development as a best-in-class, high-performing, customer-centric team that aligns with the goals and objectives of the office and the institution and leads the fiscal management of the unit.

The AVPRO is responsible for establishing a high-functioning, service-oriented unit that supports OVPRI operations while ensuring financial institutional compliance with federal, state, and university policies. Research Operations is comprised of finance and business operations, human resources, data services, technology, and data analysis support for the OVPRI. Responsibilities include comprehensive financial management, including reporting on expenditures, commitments, and multi-year financial projections. The AVPRO works cooperatively with leadership and administrative staff of OVPRI administrative units, centers, institutes, and research cores to support budget and resource planning and responsible fiscal management The AVPRO also represents the interests of the UO with regional and national peers.
As OVPRI and UO seek to improve business processes, this position plays a key role in developing best practices. The AVPRO will provide leadership during the transition from a legacy research administration system to Huron’s suite for research operations and will work to ensure continued support of these critical functions. A successful transition to the new platform will require change management in the operating units and substantial outreach and communications to the research community.

The University of Oregon continues to experience a rapid phase of growth in its research portfolio as a result of increasing the number of its hiring of tenure-line faculty, with a significant increase in the sciences and other grant-active disciplines. UO opened the Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact in 2020 and it is expanding in 2025, adding up to 30 tenure-line faculty with large, sponsored research portfolios. The Ballmer Institute was established in 2022 and will further expand UO’s sponsored research portfolio. We expect rapid growth in the amount and diversity of funding over the coming several years and are seeking a leader who can ensure that OVPRI is able to meet this new demand.

Success for this position after 36 months would include: Increased engagement of research relationships and impact of University of Oregon research; strong relationships with our center and institute directors and business managers for service-oriented, efficiently run operations, with clear reporting and financial forecasting transparency; and a successful and smooth implementation of new grants management software (Huron’s Research Suite).

Minimum Requirements

• Master's, J.D., or equivalent related degree.
• Four years of financial and budgetary experience.
• Seven years of supervisory experience, including progressive experience in leading and managing professional and administrative staff.
• One of the following:
- Six years of related and increasingly responsible experience at a research university, research institute, hospital, or research and development unit of a corporation in a range of management assignments; OR
- Three years of experience as an academic leader with research administration responsibilities (e.g. associate dean for research, research institute head, head of research-intensive department) AND experience as a principal investigator with a sponsored research portfolio; OR
-Ten years of increasingly responsible experience in a government agency or similar environment that requires customer service in a highly regulated environment where job duties have included high-level management, setting of strategic direction, and execution of programmatic and process improvement.

Candidates with advanced skills and experience may be considered for the title of Associate Vice President for Research Operations.

Professional Competencies

• Strong organizational skills and attention to detail with the demonstrated ability to develop, scale, and advance multiple complex projects/problems simultaneously.
• Ability to understand and develop complex financial models and communicate them effectively.
• Ability to think critically and strategically and engage in constructive discourse and problem solving.
• Commitment to advancing the university goal of facilitating faculty research and operations.
• Demonstrated abilities in developing and communicating policy and procedure and business process optimization.
• A sophisticated approach to cultural change that balances awareness of established practices with bold, reasoned pursuit of innovation.
• Ability to communicate clearly and effectively regarding UO’s mission, innovation and research strategy, both verbally and in writing with all levels of the organization and external stakeholders.
• Ability to work collaboratively with internal and external partners.
• Ability to manage and provide oversight for budgeting, accounting, and financial reporting for innovation and research operations.
• Ability to interact with financial decision-makers and maintain a high level of discretion and confidentiality.
• Ability to interact, communicate, and work effectively with individuals, recognizing and respecting the many and varied identities of each person.
• Demonstrated commitment to integrity, diversity, equity, and inclusion in research.
• Demonstrated ability to work independently, set appropriate work priorities, and require minimal supervision over regular work activities.

Preferred Qualifications

• Advanced or terminal degree in public administration, business administration, or law.
• Experience supporting research at a major research university or other institution of comparable complexity.
• Experience in a team-based professional setting, including developing and leading teams.
• Experience developing and managing a shared services environment.
• Experience implementing technology/automation projects.
• Experience with BANNER or another similar administration system.

FLSA Exempt: Yes

All offers of employment are contingent upon successful completion of a background inquiry.

The University of Oregon is proud to offer a robust benefits package to eligible employees, including health insurance, retirement plans and paid time off. For more information about benefits, visit http://hr.uoregon.edu/careers/about-benefits.

The University of Oregon is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the ADA. The University encourages all qualified individuals to apply, and does not discriminate on the basis of any protected status, including veteran and disability status. The University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees with disabilities. To request an accommodation in connection with the application process, please contact us at uocareers@uoregon.edu or 541-346-5112.

UO prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, marital status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in all programs, activities and employment practices as required by Title IX, other applicable laws, and policies. Retaliation is prohibited by UO policy. Questions may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator, Office of Civil Rights Compliance, or to the Office for Civil Rights. Contact information, related policies, and complaint procedures are listed on the statement of non-discrimination.

In compliance with federal law, the University of Oregon prepares an annual report on campus security and fire safety programs and services. The Annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report is available online at https://clery.uoregon.edu/annual-campus-security-and-fire-safety-report.

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