Department Administrator (Neuroscience/ ZMBBI)

Columbia University, College of Physicians & Surgeons in New York

Deadline Open until filled
Date Posted January 13, 2014
Type Administrative
Salary Commensurate with experience
Employment Type Full-time

Position Summary:

Overlooking the Hudson River, the College of Physicians and Surgeons (P&S) is located two miles north of the Morningside Heights campus of Columbia University. P&S, along with the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, and the School of Nursing, comprise the 20-acre campus of the Columbia University Medical Center. The College of Physicians & Surgeons has a full time faculty of approximately 1,900, an annual operating budget of $1.3 billion with a total endowment in excess of $1 billion. The College is currently seeking a Department Administrator/Chief Financial Officer for the Department of Neuroscience and the Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute (ZMBBI).  This is a senior leadership position which reports to the Chair of the Department of Neuroscience, the Co-Directors for the Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute and the Vice Dean for Administration. The Department Administrator/CFO will manager all operations for the Department of Neuroscience which has 38 faculty members and annual revenues of $19 million.  Responsibilities within the ZMBBI include development, strategic planning and supporting project managers with design and capital expenditures related to the Jerome L. Greene Science Center.    

Responsibilities: In conjunction with the Chair(s), the DA/CFO sets departmental goals and objectives as well as manages its relationship with the Medical School, CU Medical Center, and other affiliated organizations. He/She will direct the department's financial planning and accounting practices, maintain financial management reporting and control systems, monitor departmental expenditures, oversee compliance with the policies, procedures and regulations of the University/external agencies and assure an efficient, high-functioning infrastructure to support the Department's research and educational missions.

Financial Management:

  • Manage the department's finance and accounting practices, as well as its financial relationships with the Medical School, Columbia University Medical Center, Columbia University and other affiliations.
  • Manage revenue/expense reporting and control systems, report generation, forecasting models, and reconciliation procedures for departmental accounts as well as accounts of other entities.
  • Develop business plans for new and proposed programs; implement marketing plans.
  • Prepare annual budget for all sub-units within the department and overall department consolidated operating budget for final review and approval. 
  • Assure that the department budget is submitted in a timely fashion and in compliance with Medical School guidelines.
  • Track budgeted verse actual expenditures and revenues.
  • Reconcile expenditures and prepare journal entries as part of monthly closing process.
  • Monitor, report and explain variances to approved budget; address variances and present alternatives for achieving the goals.
  • Supply narrative for quarterly variance reports. 
  • Council faculty on present financial position, cost saving tactics, and advise on necessary corrective actions. 
  • Provide accurate and ongoing budgetary forecasts to faculty and departmental leadership.
  • Offer financial analysis to quantify leadership priorities in the areas of recruitment, retention, and capital renovation. 
  • Meet fiduciary responsibility for financial controls and comply with all audit requirements.
  • Negotiate with external entities to maximize financial resources.
  • Complete financial oversight of all department activities.


Research Management

  • Support and monitor research-related financial activities to assure compliance with University, P&S, and funding agency regulations; prepare reports as required.
  • Provide oversight and administrative direction for all grant management activity and clinical research compliance within the department.
  • Prepare budgets for grant and contract applications.
  • Manage the pre-award, post-award and close-out process of all sponsored projects; functions as a departmental resource for principal investigators when preparing grants.
  • Oversee compliance with all funding agencies to assure that all required information is maintained and reported on a regular basis while identifying, analyzing and correcting any discrepancies.
  • Assist the Program Director and Principal Investigator(s) in the preparation of the administrative and budgetary aspects of applications and reports
  • Work with CU Research Administration as needed to achieve goals.
  • Monitor and analyze grant budgets and notify principal investigators of the need to reallocate projected expenses; assure any overdrafts are promptly corrected.
  • Maintain ongoing contact with NIH agencies, and representatives at granting agencies/Foundations to coordinate efforts and expedite processing of information.


Education Management:

  • Oversee management of all student and Post-Doctoral fellow related activities
  • Oversee graduate program administration
  • Manage department-specific educational programs such as Grand Rounds, CME programs, etc.
  • Provide guidance and education to faculty and staff concerning financial and administrative operations of an academic department; assure that all faculty and staff participate in required compliance training.


Human Resources Management:

  • Supervise central administrative staff and manage departmental human resource functions such as, recruitment/appointment of faculty and staff, orientation, payroll, A & P processes and other related functions.
  • Determine the appropriate organizational structure and mix of staff to maximize departmental operations and minimize expenses.
  • Utilize compensation strategies which comply with and further the overall mission of the University, the School and the department.
  • Assure that annual staff performance evaluations are conducted in a timely fashion and that job descriptions are accurate and up-to-date.
  • Participate in the faculty recruitment process providing input relating to the negotiation of recruitment packages, space etc.
  • Assure adherence to CU, CUMC, and Medical School human resource policies and regulations.


Facilities and Information Technology Management:

  • Manage facilities and space for the Department, collaborating with CUMC facilities and space management staff.
  • Support project managers with building design, functionality concerns, and monitoring of capital expenditures for the Jerome L. Greene Science Center. 
  • Develop and monitor a capital plan incorporating short and long term capital needs of the department
  • Responsible for the departmental space and equipment inventories
  • Coordinate with CUMC facilities management on departmental renovation and construction projects.
  • Develop and implement department information technology plan and policies.


Compliance Management:

  • Assure compliance with CU, CUMC, Medical School, NYP, union, and governmental policies, procedures, and regulations related to financial affairs, physician billing at all practice sites, grants and contracts, practice enhancement, and philathropy matters.
  • Cooperate with all audit requirements and implement all audit recommendations in a timely manner
  • Ensure department activities comply with sponsoring agency (e.g., National Institutes of Health) and external audit.


Development/Strategic Planning:

  • Assist the Chair and Development office with fundraising activity as necessary.
  • Assist and participate in the formulation of strategic plans for the department; create administrative plans that support the overall goals of the department; coordinate strategic planning processes. 
  • Advise Chair/Vice Dean for Administration on implementation and monitoring of strategic plans including staffing requirements, faculty recruitment, space assignments, and financial plans necessary to meet goals of plans. 
  • Periodically review administrative structure of the department to assure the structure meets the strategic and operational goals of the department; create and implement revised structures as necessary and appropriate.
  • Support senior scientific leadership with strategic planning and formulation of long term business plan for the department and ZMBBI. 
  • Oversee gift and endowment revenues for Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute (ZMBBI) and work in conjunction with Development team on fundraising strategies to increase overall revenue. 



  • Master's degree in business administration or similar degree and a minimum of seven years of progressive responsibility at a managerial level, preferably in an academic health center.
  • Effective leadership and organizational skills.
  • Proven ability to manage and lead staff in a changing environment.
  • Knowledge and experience with complex information and computer systems,
  • Understand managerial accounting and finance principles (including practice management),
  • Understanding of the evolving academic science marketplace
  • Ability to identify opportunities to enhance income from development and revenue sources as well as indentifying how best to promote, schedule and charge for various initiatives.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with a diverse population of faculty, staff and students; experienced in the supervision of administrative and support staff personnel.
  • Ability to provide initiative, judgment and creativity in the resolution of complex problems
  • Effective communication/presentation skills, and a proven track record of forming collaborative and effective working relationships with physicians and administrative leaders.
  • Ability to establish realistic and achievable priorities and the ability to lead staff to achieve departmental goals and objectives. 


To apply for this job, please click on this link     

How To Apply

You can apply for this position online at