Academic Administration Manager

Salk Institute for Biological Studies - Academic Administration Manager

Academic Administration Manager Job Description

Academic Administration Manager Job Description



1) Academic (Faculty) Personnel Program Support (75%)

    • Through document drafting (policies, SOPs, etc.), research and benchmarking, moves ahead CSO priorities including not limited to the development of Institute-wide programs, policies, job descriptions, and procedures related to faculty or other academic personnel.  With direction and prioritization from CSO, independently researches, consults and plans for issues that impact/may impact the objectives and deliverables of the CSO’s office. 
    • Works with CSO and Institute leaders (faculty, executives, etc.) to ensure timely management and execution of projects assigned to the CSO office in furtherance of Institute goals.  Ensures consistency in execution of these goals and objectives.
    • Maintains up to date information as a resource for CSO and other executives pertaining to faculty personnel issues, appointments, terms, etc.  Assists in identifying and effectively using resources for data collection on unique issues or proposed programs.  Continually taps into AIRI, HHMI, and other resources as needed to support the CSO and builds relationships with external parties to further this goal.
    • In partnership with other departments as appropriate, documents faculty compensation actions (equity, merits, retention, etc.).  Monitors time in rank, records actions, and manages reviews, appointments and promotions all faculty members with other CSO support personnel as appropriate.  Ensures due dates for academic personnel actions are clearly articulated and adhered to consistently.  Manages preparation of faculty personnel materials and ensures they are received in a timely manner by the CSO for upcoming actions such as appointments, reviews, and promotions so the reviews are completed in accordance with Institute policy.  Upon completion of academic meetings obtains follow up actions and meeting data from CSO, prepares the vast majority of action letters for review by HR and other relevant parties. Upon receipt of final versions obtains signatures and distributes letters and copies; coordinates with Human Resources to ensure appropriate compensation and benefits action are taken in a timely manner.
    • Ensures CSO has all documentation, notice and approvals needed for faculty recruitments.  Provides strategic and tactical support to him and his executive assistant in this area, working directly with search committees as needed.  Prepares faculty recruitment statistics and notifies CSO and executive team of issues related to under representation in applicant pools.  Responsible for ensuring timely onboarding activities for new faculty, coordinating with other individuals and departmental representatives as necessary, and evaluating each situation to ensure that meetings are appropriate.
    • Coordinates with various faculty committees on membership including but not limited to the Appointments Committee, Academic Council and faculty recruitment committees to ensure composition is balanced, and considers the full scope of faculty responsibilities.  Maintain necessary records for various committees.
    • Manages and coordinate-s anything that could be deemed under the purview of, or requiring the involvement of, the CSO’s office such as non-resident fellow visits, scientific visitors or events, postdoctoral affairs communications, etc. which will require active communication and collaboration with other support and professional personnel.
    • Maintains faculty and adjunct faculty personnel files and other faculty documents on secure network drives to ensure confidentiality, proper organization and easy document retrieval.  Ensures written correspondence is filed appropriately.  Works with President’s Office and HR to ensure that all written correspondence is maintained in both the faculty drive and personnel folders.  Provides information upon request by the Board of Trustees, the executive team, or the President.  Ensures that finalized agreements, announcements and templates for all commonly used documents are maintained in the appropriate document management system.
    • Serves as a liaison between the CSO and HR functions, as well as other executive leaders in matters relating to faculty academic personnel.  Acts as a partner between the CSO’s office and HR due to the collaborative nature and regular interaction of these functions. Handles Salk adjunct faculty appointment/reappointment process.
    • Proactively automates recordkeeping mechanisms, collaborating with other departments as needed.
    • Provides support to various faculty committees as needed, maintaining necessary records and databases. Builds rapport with and maintains effective working relationships with faculty. 
    • Oversees Salk faculty UCSD adjunct faculty appointments process. Works with and serves as primary contact for UCSD regarding UCSD adjunct appointments of Salk faculty.  Maintains current listing of adjunct reappointment due dates. Serves as primary contact for Salk adjunct faculty with questions on process, scheduling and other issues as they may arise. Troubleshoots and escalates issues to CSO as needed.
    • Works with HR to evaluate salary recommendations for incoming faculty members.
    • Leads junior faculty awards process in conjunction with ApCom, Grants Administration and External Relations keeping ApCom chair informed and ensuring that all deadlines are met for nominations, applications and recommendations.
    • Reviews visiting scientist agreements and other non-faculty academic appointments, ensuring all terms are appropriate and any backup documentation is included before sending to the CSO for signature.
    • Trains administrative staff on faculty recruitment process and policies. Serves as primary contact for any questions and follow up necessary.
    • Performs other duties as assigned. 

2) Strategic Analysis and Process Improvement (25%)

    • Provides a wide range of analytical research and support to the leadership team at the direction of the Director, Strategic Projects or the SVP, Finance & Administration.  Develops and performs special and independent analytical studies requiring the analysis and synthesis of complex information. Evaluates data, identifies issues, options and alternatives. Formulates and presents recommendations.
    • Performs analysis on financial data and makes recommendation based on trends.
    • Conceptualizes and develops process improvements based on knowledge and understanding of industry practices. Reviews with Director of Strategic and leads implementation of processes. 
    • Independently develops strategies, recommend and implement resolutions to ensure efficient management of the Institute’s resources.  Communicates analytical findings and recommendations.
    • Independently spearheads and completes projects of varying sizes, involving subject matter experts and ancillary resources as needed.
    • Using project management standards, defines and documents goals, scope, detailed requirements, timelines and deliverables for each project.  Works directly with stakeholders to resolve issues. Keeps Director of Strategic Projects informed about status, challenges, and any expected delays in project completion. 
    • Other duties as assigned.



  • A minimum of four (4) years of experience in academic personnel or an equally complex/nuanced program management role that is considered essential to the organization’s mission (process management is not a substitute for program management but the importance of effective processes and opportunities for improvement cannot be understated).  Must be able to demonstrate being in a previous role that required regular analysis, political acumen and stakeholder engagement.
  • A minimum of two (2) years of experience working closely with senior-level administration to resolve complex issues, proactively seek and recommend solutions, ensure that projects and initiatives move forward on schedule in accordance with established protocol, and ensuring confidentiality and appropriate documentation at all stages.
  • A minimum of two (2) years of experience with detailed research, benchmarking, data collection, financial modeling and related analysis.


  • Experience in a shared governance environment where priorities may conflict and stall/slow progress.
  • A minimum of two (2) years demonstrated experience managing a wide array of projects with diverse and visible requirements, inflexible deadlines, and multiple stakeholders, which require a high level of tact and diplomacy to ensure successful completion.
  • A minimum of three (3) years of experience in a faculty appointment or other senior level academic setting involving appointments.
  • A minimum of seven (7) years of experience in academic personnel or an equally complex/nuanced program management role that is considered essential to the organization’s mission.



  • Bachelor’s degree in business, management or other related field or equivalent combination of education and experience.



  • Strong analytical skills utilizing quantitative and qualitative data analysis to identify problems and develop innovative recommendations without the benefit of precedent. 
  • Polished, professional writing skills that demonstrate a command of the issue(s) at stake and an understanding of the target audience which demonstrate good judgment, consistency and a methodical approach.
  • Demonstrated ability to independently understand, analyze, and interpret written material, financial data, and reports and subsequently to effectively communicate results of the analysis as appropriate to a particular audience.
  • Ability to independently analyze and to identify data, situations, problems, policies, procedures, and to segregate problems from symptoms, recommend potential solutions, and apply solutions.
  • Ability to problem solve, using investigative/research skills to analyze, develop, propose and implement creative solution to difficult problems.
  • Proven political acumen and the ability to function effectively in a diverse, complex organization. Proven ability to apply high ethical standards to business practices. Willingness to interface directly with tough clients and adapt communication skills to the individual and the situation(s) at stake.
  • Interest and ability to anticipate, innovate and take initiative where new approaches and departures from historical practices may be necessary to respond to an evolving business/research environment. 
  • Strong prioritization, organizational and time management skills.  Effective at communicating priorities and current/projected workload.
  • Strong interpersonal skills including tact, diplomacy, adaptability and skills in recognizing politically sensitive situations.
  • Willingness to continue to learn new skills and continue to broaden scope of responsibility, collaborate with others, share responsibilities and function as a member of a team – or as the team leader. 
  • Advanced MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio and Outlook skills. 
  • Ability to effectively use relational databases and data warehouses. 
  • Desire to consistently find new technical solutions that will increase the efficiency of this role and then to identify when technical training is needed and commit to obtaining it.


  • Asana, MS Project, or other project management software experience/knowledge.


  • Must be willing to work in an animal-related research environment.
  • Satisfactory completion of the Institute’s background investigation.
  • Must be willing to work a flexible schedule based on the demands of the position.
  • Must be able to work effectively in a dual reporting relationship, keeping primary supervisor informed and updated on the status of all tasks and projects.


This position requires constant adjusting focus, grasping, hearing, keying, hearing, sitting, talking, analyzing, calculating, communicating, reading, reasoning, writing, working inside and confined areas.