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Associate Director of Administration
Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts
Date Posted 01/05/2022
Admin-Other Administrative Positions
Employment Type
Application Deadline Open until filled


Faculty of Arts and Sciences


Job Summary

The Department of Physics at Harvard is large and diverse in its research interests. With 10 Nobel Prize winners to its credit, the distinguished faculty of today engages in teaching and research that spans the discipline and defines its borders, and as a result Harvard is consistently one of the top-ranked physics departments in the nation.

The Department's greatest resources are the people that fill its classrooms, labs, and offices, as well as state-of-the-art facilities. For undergraduate concentrators, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers, Harvard features a complete range of opportunities to engage in world-class physics from theoretical to the experimental.

Research in the Department seeks to explore and explain fundamental questions that range from understanding the origin of the universe, including string theory, cosmology, and astrophysics, to understanding the visible world of colloids and the world on an ever-diminishing scale, from the mesoscale to the nanoscale, condensed matter, and atomic, molecular and particle physics.

With more than 40 affiliated faculty members, 34 staff, 150 undergraduates, 250 graduate students, and 120 postdoctoral fellows, the Physics Department has a lively intellectual environment, and emphasis is placed on teaching and preparing students to be at the forefront of the next generation of physicists.

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Associate Director of Administration manages and serves as the primary liaison to faculty, staff, and managers on policies and procedures for all human resource and general administrative matters and outreach activities. As a member of the Department’s senior management team, the Associate Director will be responsible for evaluating current policies and/or procedures for most efficient use of staff and resources, will make/recommend changes where necessary and will implement plans accordingly, and provide strategic planning, program development, and HR guidance to the Director, Chair, and Faculty.

Job-Specific Responsibilities

Areas of responsibility include, but not limited to, the following:

Human Resource Administration: Manage, recruit, train, mentor, review performance, draft job descriptions, make salary recommendations, and coordinate workflow and assignments of ten faculty assistants and departmental support staff. Work collaboratively with Faculty to determine appropriate staff portfolios and ensure proper work quality and productivity. Serve as the primary contact and liaison for weekly and bi-weekly payroll; adjust time and absences, complete and process payroll reports, troubleshoot problems, and provide PeopleSoft time entry training and support to employees and managers. Responsible for drafting job descriptions, compensation recommendations, hiring, benefits, training, and employee problem resolution. Manages the hiring process, including job postings, scheduling, and coordinating phone and on-site interviews, conducting reference checks, and coordinating new hire paperwork completion and orientation activities. Enters new appointments and changes to appointments, including staff, temp, and LHT, intern and student appointment categories. Coordinates supporting paperwork, monitors processing, and troubleshoots system issues. Creates and maintains personnel files and records, including updating the Harvard and Physics directories, maintaining records and reports related to the recruiting and selection process, and preparing correspondence and other materials. Conducts new hire check-ins and exit interviews, as appropriate. Develops comprehensive channels for the Physics community by forming partnerships with FAS Human Resources, HUCTW Union, Title IX coordinators, Counseling and Mental Health Services and the FAS Diversity and Inclusion Office. Partners with the Executive Director and department managers on employee engagement activities and cross-training opportunities. Manages HRIS systems interface and problem resolution.

General Administration: Forecasts departmental staff budget (i.e., head count, salaries) and reviews department organizational structure in conjunction with the Executive Director. Works collaboratively with Faculty Assistants to maintain up-to-date training manual and onboarding checklist for new hires. Responsible for assisting staff with training, education and growth opportunities including actively mapping plans for and engaging with staff on professional development goals. Actively partners with faculty and senior management in continually assessing administrative needs and helps create an optimal organizational strategy to meet those needs. Creates, implements, and communicates department policies to staff and faculty. Liaise with FAS/Central Administration as needed and communicate policy implementations and updates to the community. Partners with Executive Director on special projects. Liaises with IT for Refresh Program.

Outreach Activities: Creates and manages Physics alumni network that promotes continued involvement in research and departmental activities. Organizes and maintains a department newsletter in collaboration with the Department Web Master and oversees ongoing administrative aspects of the process. Will be instrumental in playing a supporting role on the Diversity Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) Committee as well as partnership, collaboration, and facilitation in the implementation of DIB tools, resources, events, education for faculty, staff and students. Works with Executive Director, Chair and faculty members in planning and implementing programs that increase the department’s visibility to non-Harvard audiences. Works with Physics graduate and undergraduate program managers and coordinators on student engagement activities. Represents department on relevant FAS and University committees, as needed. Other duties as required.

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • 7+ years of progressively responsible administrative management experience that includes staff supervision.
  • HR related or financial management experience.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Demonstrated experience in strategically assessing priorities, managing change, and effectively juggling multiple complex activities in a time-sensitive environment.
  • Ability to manage and mentor a team of non-exempt staff. Demonstrated ability to coach and inspire staff to provide unparalleled customer service.
  • Strong service-oriented attitude with a demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and flexibly with all kinds of people and across all levels of an organization. Ability to influence others for which there is no direct reporting relationship. Experience in team building and team management preferred.
  • Familiarity with physical science departments and experience supporting science faculty preferred. 
  • Strong computing skills, particularly with Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint.
  • Education and/or experience with general finance and accounting concepts and practices preferred.
  • Successful applicants must have excellent interpersonal skills, clear judgment, and the ability to work effectively in a group environment. Applicants should demonstrate a high level of organization, discretion, attention to detail, and communication. Experience developing, coaching, and supervising a diverse staff to promote an environment of collaboration, inclusivity and belonging among teams and organizations.

Working Conditions

Consistent with the new federal guidance, all Harvard employees must be fully vaccinated. Individuals may submit a request for exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. More information regarding the University’s COVID vaccination requirement and exemptions may be found at the University’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Information” webpage: http://www.harvard.edu/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccine-information/.

Additional Information

A cover letter is required to be considered for this position. 

FAS and the Department of Physics is committed to cultivating not only the diversity of our faculty, staff, and students but also in developing an inclusive culture that is vibrant, engaging and encouraging of innovation as well as intellectual debate. We believe creating and maintaining an inclusive workplace allows employees from all backgrounds and walks of life to achieve their fullest potential. We also believe an inclusive culture is one that accepts, values and views as strength the difference we all bring to the workplace.

All formal written offers will be made by FAS Human Resources.

Job Function

General Administration


USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code

361058 Administrative Manager


00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Pre-Employment Screening

Credit, Criminal, Education, Identity


35 hours per week

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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