The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) seeks an experienced and collaborative leader to serve as the Assistant Director of Sponsored Programs overseeing the Post-Award operations.
The Assistant Director will join the University at a pivotal moment as it embarks on expanding research, scholarship, and creative activity efforts in Nebraska and beyond to accomplish the N2025 strategic plan. UNL is a leading world-class research university with a deep commitment to its land-grant mission, consistently recognized for its value and access to the citizens of Nebraska and beyond.
UNIVERSITY LEADERSHIP AND STRATEGIC VISION
Dr. Robert G. (Bob) Wilhelm joined the University in 2018 as the Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development, after previously serving as a vice chancellor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Earlier in his career, Wilhelm worked at the Palo Alto Laboratory of Rockwell Science Center and Cincinnati Milacron as well as co-founding a high-tech company, OpSource. He is a recognized expert in precision engineering and advanced manufacturing. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and the International Academy for Production Engineering. In Charlotte, he led the reorganization of the University Research Park as chair of University City Partners, worked to define a statewide agenda for research and innovation, and served on the North Carolina Board of Science, Technology, and Innovation. For more information about the Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED), visit https://research.unl.edu/.
Dr. Ronnie D. Green is UNL’s 20th Chancellor. Prior to being named Chancellor in 2016, Green served for six years as the Harlan Vice Chancellor of the UNL Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources of the University of Nebraska system. Green has served on the animal science faculties of Texas Tech University and Colorado State University, and as the national program leader for animal production research for the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and executive secretary of the White House’s interagency working group on animal genomics within the National Science and Technology Council.
Under the Chancellor’s leadership, the University embarked on a 25-year vision (N150 Vision) and launched the first five-year (N2025) strategic plan in 2020, beginning an aggressive agenda that is built upon six distinct aims: 1) innovate student experiences that prepare graduates to be lifelong learners and contributors to the workforce in Nebraska and the world; 2) establish a culture at Nebraska committed to increasing the impact of research and creative activity; 3) focus research, scholarship, creative activity, and student experiences to foster innovative, interdisciplinary endeavors and solve challenges critical to Nebraska and the world; 4) broaden Nebraska’s engagement in community, industry, and global partnerships; 5) create a climate that emphasizes, prioritizes, and expands inclusive excellence and diversity; and 6) prioritize participation and professional development for all Nebraska students, staff, and faculty.
ROLE OF THE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln seeks to attract and retain a high performing and diverse workforce in which employees’ differences are respected and valued to better meet the varying needs of the diverse populations we serve. The university fosters a diverse and inclusive work environment that promotes collaboration so that all individuals are able to participate and contribute to their full potential. As an EO/AA employer, the University of Nebraska considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation. See https://www.unl.edu/equity/notice-nondiscrimination.
The Assistant Director serves as a key member of the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) management team and is responsible for: Management of all OSP Post-award Project Specialists; Accounts receivable monitoring; Monitor activity charged to sponsored program accounts to ensure conformance to 2 CFR 200 regulations under Uniform Guidance; Liaison with federal and non-federal agencies on post-award issues; Management of sponsored project effort reporting systems policies and procedures; Overseeing audit functions; Training for OSP staff and campus stakeholders on post-award compliance issues. The position works closely with other offices within the Office of Research and Economic Development, the Office of Business and Finance, Bursar’s Office, Business Centers, Nebraska Business Information Systems (NeBIS), and other campus wide stakeholders to ensure effective coordination with the post-award financial arena.
- Leadership and Supervision: Supervision of all OSP Post-award team personnel (currently 13 FTE positions). Supervisory duties include playing a lead role in the selection, hiring and training of Post-Award staff for the team; day-to-day training and mentoring of team; analyzing proficiency and readiness for more complex assignments; on-going monitoring and evaluation of performance; analysis and assignment of workload; oversight of tasks; and advanced problem solving. Sets performance standards for the team; provides direction to team members and prepares performance evaluations, providing both positive feedback as well as corrective action. Provides guidance and support to team on communication and interactions with Principal Investigators (PIs) and other project/unit staff and aids with problem resolution. Communicates regularly with team to provide feedback and support to foster professional growth and development.
- Monitor accounts receivable and financial reporting processes: Design and implement necessary changes in policy and processes related to billing, invoicing, financial reporting, accounts payable, and receivable functions in OSP to increase efficiency and to ensure continued compliance with State and Federal regulations, as well as University policy and procedures. Interact with the Bursar’s and the State Treasurer to ensure receipts are accurately deposited. Serve as liaison with the State Treasurer to coordinate ACH payment transfers to the university via the state’s treasury. Research, identify and apply payment for unidentified ACH receipts. Interact with sponsors to resolve payment situations and billing inquiries as needed.
- Audit Functions: Oversee all audit functions within OSP. Oversee all audit requests from federal and nonfederal agencies and internal audit. Conducts internal spot audits of at-risk accounts. Works with central office on the University’s Single Audit and Schedule of Expenditures of Federal Awards.
- Training, Outreach, and Promotional Activities: Provide training for OSP post-award staff and campus liaisons. Develop and/or update current training materials in OSP. Develop topical presentations for campus Develop, long-term, a comprehensive post-award training program for use by the entire UNL research administration community.
- Project Verification Statements / Effort Reporting: Oversee Project Verification Statements (PVS). Oversee policy review and development as related to effort reporting. Oversee procedure review and development as related to effort reporting. Oversee campus training at the University to ensure strict concurrence with federal compliance obligations in this area, including: Ensuring that 100% of effort statements due under federal regulations are properly certified and approved. Assess and, when needed, modify institutional systems and processes to ensure compliance with changing federal requirements, seeking to reduce faculty and departmental administrative burden whenever possible fixation process
- Professional Development: Remain up to date and continually expand professional knowledge base. Stay apprised of OSP, university, NU system policies and procedures that may affect sponsored programs activities. Keep current on sponsor electronic systems, procedures, and regulations of funding agencies. Attend trainings and workshops relevant to OSP and the Post-award team’s professional development. Participate in UNL and professional society educational opportunities.
- Carry out other duties and projects as assigned by the Director.
QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS
This position requires strong interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work collaboratively with internal and external constituencies. The successful candidate will have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, management, or a related field plus five years of research administration experience in a university, government or other research-related setting, three of which will be in a post award setting.
The Assistant Director must have familiarity and understanding of Uniform Guidance 2 CFR 200, a demonstrated knowledge of federal agency-specific rules and requirements and demonstrated supervisory experience.
Priority will be given to candidates who have earned a master’s degree in accounting, finance, management or a related field; who have knowledge and experience with effort certification, experience with business analysis and change management techniques and the ability to work with multiple constituencies and systems in a collaborative atmosphere. The ideal candidate will have past involvement in professional organizations such as NCURA, SRA or NCUBO and hold one or more of the following certifications: CRA, CPA and/or CGFM.
ABOUT THE OFFICE OF SPONSORED PROGRAMS
The Office of Sponsored Programs supports Nebraska faculty and staff in the pursuit and management of external financial resources that enhance research, creative activity, and scholarship. OSP provides pre-award and post-award services throughout the award life cycle and is responsible for submitting, negotiation and accepting all sponsored awards at the university.
The office is located on the first floor of the Prem S. Paul Research Center at Whittier School located adjacent to the main City Campus. Co-located in the building are Research Compliance Services, Research Communications, Research Development teams, Research Project Management Office and several major interdisciplinary research centers.
The Assistant Director oversees eleven direct reports and is part of a team of 35 full-time employees and interns. View the full staff directory.
During FY2021, OSP staff submitted 2,060 proposals and received 1,560 awards. Information on the portfolio of federal funding at UNL can be found in the annual research report.
UNL works with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to submit and negotiate F&A rates. The university is currently in the middle of its base year. Review the current F&A rates and the most recent F&A rate agreement.
For more information about the Office of Sponsored Programs, visit the OSP website.
ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-LINCOLN
Founded as a land-grant institution in 1869, UNL is the flagship institution among the four universities of the University of Nebraska system. Nebraska ranks among the world’s leading universities and is the state’s primary intellectual center through its three primary missions of teaching, research, and service. The University’s land-grant tradition creates a statewide responsibility to serve the needs of Nebraska and its citizens. Through Nebraska Extension and its partnerships with federal, state, and county agencies, the University has an outreach program in each county in the state.
UNL is designated in the Carnegie Classification system as a research university with very high research activity (R1) and a wide array of grant-funded projects aimed at broadening knowledge in the sciences and humanities. The University set new records with $321 million in total research expenditures in FY 2021. By connecting everything it does to its research, scholarship, and creative activity, the University ensures these innovations shape the education provided to its students. It is a member of the Big Ten Conference and the Big Ten Academic Alliance and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
The University enjoys strong public support from the citizens of Nebraska, and UNL contributes to a strong workforce and vibrant economy within the state. Nebraskans view UNL as “their Land-Grant University” and are vested in its success. The University of Nebraska Foundation recently launched the “Only in Nebraska” combined campaign to ensure the University of Nebraska’s future success. In an earlier campaign, the NU Foundation raised $1.8 billion. Over the last 10 years, more than $1 billion has been invested in significant major capital construction, including academic and research facilities, supported by both private gifts and state funding. Recent new construction and renovations have been made possible by $216 million in infrastructure support funded by the State of Nebraska.
ABOUT LINCOLN, NEBRASKA
Situated in the city of Lincoln, UNL plays an integral part in the success and future of the city. As collaborative and open partners, the City of Lincoln and UNL are deeply committed to each other’s success. Lincoln has many of the cultural and entertainment benefits of a much larger city, with the feel of a friendly Midwestern community. As the state capital, most Nebraska state agencies and offices are located in Lincoln, as are several U.S. government agencies.
Lincoln boasts a highly educated workforce with an unemployment rate of 2.9%. The median age is 32.8. The West Haymarket project, which has developed since 2014, has spurred rapid growth associated with several large organizations, including Hudl, a technology firm started by graduates of UNL’s Jeffrey S. Raikes School, and Olsson, an engineering and architecture firm. The University’s partnership with the city and private groups in redeveloping a former railyard into a sports and concert arena has sparked renewed interest in housing, retail, and other activities within walking distance of the city campus.
With the most parkland per capita in the nation, an extensive (and growing) bike trail network, many diverse employment opportunities, and a low cost of living, Lincoln is one of the fastest growing metro areas in the Midwest, yet still boasts an easy average commute time of 18 minutes door to door. Lincoln has been rated the #1 Healthiest City by Daily Finance, Happiest City by Gallup, #1 Best Places to Find a Job, #4 Best Places for Business and Careers by Forbes, #4 Best Run City in the Nation by MSN, Top 10 Cities to Buy a Home by ABC News, #4 Best Place to Raise a Family by Gallup, and one of the Cleanest U.S. Cities by American Lung Association.
The Lincoln Municipal Airport (LNK) is located 10 minutes from downtown, with the larger airport Omaha Eppley Airfield (OMA) located in Omaha, about 60 minutes away from campus. Lincoln lies adjacent to Interstate 80, which crosses the state. Learn more about life in Lincoln.
APPLICATIONS, INQUIRIES, AND NOMINATIONS
To ensure full consideration, applications should be submitted by March 17, 2023. The search committee will continue to receive applications until the position is filled.
Applicants should go to https://employment.unl.edu, requisition S_230210. Click “Apply for this Job,” complete the information form and attach a) a letter of interest that highlights your qualifications for the position and explains your interest and motivation; b) resume; and c) the names of three to five professional references. References will be requested only of candidates who make the short list.
Questions can be directed to:
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development
UNL offers an attractive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with the successful candidate’s background and experience.
The University of Nebraska is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive work and learning environment free from discrimination and harassment. UNL is dedicated to creating an environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and included.
As an EO/AA employer, the University of Nebraska considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation. See https://www.unl.edu/equity/notice-nondiscrimination.