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University of Washington in Seattle, Washington
Date Posted 01/28/2021
Admin-Other Administrative Positions
Employment Type
Application Deadline Open until filled

As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty. All of which has allowed the UW to be nationally recognized as a “Great College to Work For” for six consecutive years. 

The Department of Microbiology is one of the premier biological science departments in the country. The department has a national reputation for high quality teaching and an international reputation for excellence in research.  Because of the revolution in biology that began in the 1970s, rapid advances in microbiology and the development of biotechnology have increased our understanding of all living systems. This has in large part been determined by studies of microorganisms. The research programs of the faculty in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Washington reflect exciting areas of modern microbiology. Our faculty span a broad range of interests including microbial ecology, physiology, virology, and microbial pathogenesis in both animal and plant systems. The members of our department are largely concerned with understanding the mechanisms by which organisms interact with one another and with their environment at the cellular and molecular levels. Because of the strong interdisciplinary nature of these interests, numerous collaborative efforts between our faculty and those in other science and medicine departments have developed.

The UW Department of Microbiology has an excellent opportunity for a full-time Assistant to the Chair position. This position is responsible for the management, oversight and strategic planning of faculty appointments, reappointments and promotions in the Department. This position is regularly called upon to thoroughly understand and interpret Departmental, School of Medicine and University policy for faculty and staff, and to represent the Department to various outside stakeholders. The position will manage certain key events in the Department such as our seminar series and endowed lectureships.

Given the large scope of the Chair’s role, the individual has an extremely complex job.  The individual in this position is privy to highly sensitive information (different than just confidential information) including, but not limited to faculty salaries and faculty behavioral and performance issues. Being privy to “sensitive” information requires extensive experience with administrative and HR matters and a thorough understanding of when and to whom to talk to about issues and when to maintain the strictest confidences. It also demands a level of professionalism and maturity to “know” information and to manage that knowledge professionally, i.e., that such knowledge does not affect judgment, activities, or attitude toward individuals. For example, this position is sometimes involved with communication to and from the Attorney General's Office regarding counsel of highly confidential matters. In these instances, the Assistant to the Chair prepares correspondence and exercises judgement on who the information should be distributed to and how it should be presented without exposing the Department and/or the Chair to potential risks of legal nature. They will have considerable positional power and must exercise excellent judgment in this regard. Using independent judgment, sometimes the successful candidate will be required to respond on behalf of the Chair to inquiries from the general public or other entities within UW Medicine and the University or to route questions and comments in order to resolve administrative problems. The position will manage certain key events in the Department such as seminar series and endowed lectureships. As such, in consultation with the Department Director, the position will have authority on determining appropriate budget accounts and spending balances for each of these events, as well as determining the appropriateness of level of expenditures for the events.

The Assistant to the Chair reports directly to the Department Chair. They interact on a regular basis with faculty, postdocs, students, staff, affiliate and visiting faculty and candidates. The position also has regular interactions with the Dean's Office, AHR, HR, ISO, and other UW units.

Executive Support
• Provide direct confidential senior-level executive support.
• Communicate effectively on matters involving the Department, employing tact and diplomacy.
• Handle sensitive and urgent matters in a thoroughly professional and timely manner with careful attention to confidentiality.
• Have frequent contact with individuals such as senior management staff, faculty and external affiliate faculty and administrative officers as it relates to the department administrative office.  In particular, interface extensively and as needed with offices of the Dean and Associate Deans, administrators at Affiliate Institutions, Program Directors, departmental Chairs, division Chiefs, the Attorney General’s Office, the Labor Relations Office, and others as part of the support provided for the Chair’s Office.
• Compose, prepare and transmit confidential and sensitive written and verbal communication on behalf of the Chair; draft letters, notes and other correspondence for Chair’s signature.
• Prepare presentation materials for the Chair for use at local, national, and international meetings using MS Power Point and other advanced software.
• Develop and manage complex department reports, manuscripts and grant proposals.
• Complete management and oversight of the Chair’s complex calendars and schedules; draft and process confidential time-sensitive correspondence.
• Attend Administrative Leadership meetings; manage minutes for the Chair and distribution; track completion of action items for the leadership team identified in the meetings.

Faculty Affairs
Management of all faculty appointments for the Department:
• Serve as content expert on all matters related to academic human resources (faculty).
• Review and advise department staff and faculty on new policies and procedures relating to Microbiology and affiliate faculty appointments.
• Manage faculty recruitment, appointment, and separation process.
• Develop job descriptions and manage the processing of personnel requests for hiring of new and replacement positions.
• Conduct initial resume screening, organize and distribute to the Faculty Search Committee.
• Initiate new hire paperwork and direct UW orientation for faculty and postdocs.
• Serve as a resource and in an advisory role to faculty and staff for faculty personnel policy and procedure compliance including, dissemination of information from Compliance, Compensation Office, Benefits Office and Academic Human Recourses Office.
• Manage independently and in close collaboration with the Chair the promotions process for faculty within the department.
• Liaison and primary communicator with the Office of the Dean and the Office of Academic Appointments & Compensation )AAC) on matters relating to appointment, promotions, and personnel issues for faculty.
• Manage the annual reviews between the Chair and faculty in a confidential and discreet manner.
• Interact directly with the Department Chair on issues related to appointments, promotions and renewals including on-going systems development and improvement to ensure that processes are as effective, efficient, and user-friendly as possible.
• Participate in the Department management team, focusing on the processes and systems relating to all areas of responsibility.
• Responsible for the development of the tools that will be used for measuring, monitoring and reporting related to faculty appointment matters.
• Implement policies, operational practices and systems to all areas of responsibility: Faculty appointments, reappointments, appointment renewals, promotions, training and orientation, and determine the operational impact on the faculty employment and appointment process.
• Provide independent decision making in regard to all areas of the faculty appointments.
• Act as liaison with delegated authority for independent decision making and recommendation to prospective candidates in partnership with AHR, AAC, and between faculty, Department personnel and the Chair.
• Review all materials in areas of responsibility for compliance with UW Academic HR, SoM, AHR, ISO, and Departmental policies and procedures.
• Monitor policy and/or procedural changes and advise faculty, Chair, and Department Administrator as to appropriate changes.
• Whenever possible provide training and overview sessions with faculty to ensure effective partnership with Department Administrator and program assistants.

Project Management
• Responsible for organizing and managing projects of significant size and scope for the Chair’s office.
• Projects vary, but include independent organization, independent judgement, and management of Department-wide programs and initiatives. For example, the management of the Department’s seminar speakers series, content management of the department’s website related to faculty and postdoctoral affairs as well as advising on web design revisions needed, developing schedules for departmental events such as the Annual Endowed Lectureships.

Visa Processing
Oversee and triage visa processing for international faculty and postdoctoral scholar appointments:
• This process requires thorough understanding of UW, federal, and state regulations and applications for new and renewal documents.
• Use independent judgement on appointment type and visa type applicability for faculty and postdoc candidates.
• Determine timelines for visa and appointment applications from international faculty and postdoc candidates.
• Advise applicants and faculty mentors on required documentation, credentials and eligibility for new faculty and postdoc positions.
• In partnership with ABC Visa team, advise faculty and international postdocs on future visa options and requirements for renewal appointments, timing, and provide recommendations.

Other Duties as Assigned
(A) Relationship management:
• Manage complex relationships that include UW, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Biomedical Research Institute, Seattle BioMed, Fred Hutchinson and other institutions affiliated with the Department of Microbiology. This requires strong interpersonal communication skills in order to document policies, provide advice, and work with faculty and administrative team members in each setting.
• Manage relations and communication with donors.
(B) Perform other related duties as assigned.

• Bachelor's degree in business administration, English, communications, or related field and 3 to 4 years of of experience in executive support or office administration. Applicants with an equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered.
• Demonstrated professional skills with a strong customer service orientation.
• Proven verbal and written communication skills, including editing/proofreading experience.
• Problem-solving ability with demonstrated independent judgment, tact, discretion, and confidentiality.
• Flexibility, the ability to multi-task, and the ability to work in a fast-changing, dynamic environment with competing deadlines, last-minute requests, and interruptions.
• Competency with Microsoft Office, Office 365, and related applications, including Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint; experience with other cloud-based computing platforms is a plus.
• Fast and enthusiastic learner.

Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.

• Knowledge of AHR and HR procedures.
• Knowledge and experience with UW visa processing at a unit-level or similar.
• Knowledge of ARIBA and other UW systems.
• Experience with website content management using Drupal or similar software.

Application Process:
The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process.  These assessments may include Workforce Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others.  Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.

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