Department Administrator, Aerospace, GALCIT

California, United States
03 Jan 2021
End of advertisement period
03 Mar 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering institute that marshals some of the world's brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions. We thrive on finding and cultivating talented people who are passionate about what they do. Join us and be a part of the diverse Caltech community.

Job Summary

The Department Administrator oversees fiscal matters, department administrative staff, building management, and provides support for the academic programs in the Aerospace Department (GALCIT). This position requires a high level of independence, responsibility, organization, discretion, and excellent problem-solving skills. The successful candidate will have proven abilities to work with a wide array of constituents in a multi-faceted administrative role. Reports to the Director of GALCIT and the EAS Operations Officer. Also supports the Center for Autonomous Systems and Technologies (CAST) in collaboration with the Aerospace Research Laboratories Manager, and as directed by the Director of GALCIT.

The Department Administrator for GALCIT is a member of the combined leadership team with the GALCIT Director and the Aerospace Research Laboratories Manager, participating in the strategic planning for the department, including setting procedures, goals, and objectives; budgeting; development; and communications.

The Department Administrator is a member of the EAS Division Administrative Council, which includes the Division Operations Officer, the Division Finance Manager, and the EAS Department Administrators.

Job Duties

  • Manage departmental finances, including general budget, gift, and endowment funds; provide financial oversight of department recharge centers, events, programs, and special projects. This includes projections, budgeting, monitoring, correcting, and reporting functions using Caltech’s Oracle business systems
  • Along with department’s faculty members, provide administrative supervision for the department staff (Research Laboratories Manager, Options Manager, administrative assistants), including payroll, timekeeping, and employee records. Responsible for hiring, reviewing, disciplining, and terminating staff employees, as well as interpretation and compliance with Institute and EAS Division policies and procedures. Conduct periodic performance reviews for department staff. Recommend and/or request training opportunities. Hold regular staff meetings
  • Coordinate with the EAS Division Office and other Caltech support offices on personnel and fiscal management. Act as a liaison with other Campus units and departments including Finance, Cost Studies, Development, Alumni Office, etc.
  • Attend monthly academic year GALCIT Faculty meetings as necessary and follow up as directed on decisions and actions determined at the meetings
  • Provide guidance to Options Manager regarding administration of graduate student programs including recruiting, financial support, office assignments, TA and fellowship budgets, etc.
  • With the Director and the Aerospace Research Laboratories Manager, provide administrative oversight of CAST
  • Manage and oversee the communications activities of the Department through electronic and print media, including distribution of information to and within the Department. Provide feedback and suggestions to the Director on website development and the GALCIT and CAST web pages and directories. Regularly monitor the website content
  • Provide support and strategic input for high profile events and programs with significant visibility and impact on the reputation of GALCIT, CAST, the Division and/or the Institute (e.g., workshops, symposia, STEM Programs, Biennial Space Challenge). Working with the Director and his office, manage and direct GALCIT and CAST outreach efforts to students, colleagues, industry partners, and alumni. Manage the department’s administrative team in executing GALCIT special events and programs, conferences, public relations, and public outreach activities
  • Assist the Director of GALCIT by prioritizing and tracking long and short-term projects, including department construction projects, to provide progress reports as needed and ensure timely completion. Oversee the Aerospace Research Laboratories Manager in completing Caltech’s equipment surveys and space studies, cost center reviews, management of the GALCIT Shop and updating of GALCIT’s emergency response plan
  • Develop new procedures and processes to improve the overall effectiveness of the Department (e.g. procedures for welcoming/announcing visitors, new postdocs and staff; tracking alumni and donors)
  • Manage student, visitor, and faculty office assignments; is the approver for security access/keys. Manage calendar for classroom usage
  • Supervise assistant in the daily operation of the Director’s office
  • Other duties as assigned

Basic Qualifications

  • BA degree or equivalent combination of education and experience including 6+ years of experience with modern electronic business systems and personnel management in an academic or business environment
  • Previous supervisory or lead experience in a complex business environment
  • Proven ability to work independently with minimal supervision, handle multiple concurrent tasks, and learn new skills rapidly
  • Must have excellent verbal communication skills and the ability to work effectively with staff, students, and faculty with varying cultural backgrounds
  • Must have excellent written communication skills, including punctuation, grammar and spelling
  • Must have excellent math/accounting skills, and experience with monitoring budgets, performing financial analysis, and developing budget projections
  • Proficiency with Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Access

Preferred Qualifications

  • BA degree
  • Caltech or other work experience in an academic setting and experience with Oracle or Caltech accounting and reporting software and procedures is strongly preferred. 
  • Experience interacting with various levels of management and/or faculty on sensitive and confidential matters. Outstanding interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate clearly and tactfully. Ability to prioritize and organize work using good judgement and able to work independently to accomplish tasks
  • Flexibility to deal with varied workload and deadlines. 
  • Proven ability to provide leadership/direction to support personnel

Required Documents

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter