Associate Director of Finance - Department of Political Science

Apply now Job no: 522160
Work type: Staff Full Time
Campus: UMass Amherst
Department: Political Science
Pay Grade: 26
Categories: Accounting/Finance/Budget

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Summary

The Department of Political Science Associate Director of Finance provides comprehensive financial management and administration to ensure the smooth operation of department business functions.


Essential Functions

  • Provides budgetary planning information for the department to forecast account balances, revenues, and expenses.
  • Works with the Director of Administration and Research to prepare budget allocations for each fiscal year, determine appropriate spending categories and accounts, and prepare appropriate systems for tracking balances, expenditures, and revenues.
  • Forecasts long- and short-term budget projections to ensure appropriate financial coverage. Prepares ad hoc, mid-year, and year-end financial reports to analyze spending patterns and trends, to assess adherence to budget expectations, and to forecast future spending. Tracks instructional budget funding and expenditures. Prepares monthly financial status reports for faculty on individual departmental and grant accounts.
  • Provides financial oversight for the department’s accounts to ensure accuracy of data and compliance with departmental and University policies. Archives financial documents and transactions according to University, federal and state guidelines.
  • Acts as liaison with vendors, subcontractors, and other external agencies to prepare, maintain, and process necessary documents for purchase orders, contracts for services, and sole source documentations. Acts as liaison to Procurement, Controller's Office, Office of Grants and Contracts, and other relevant departments on campus.
  • Investigates, researches, and analyzes financial problems; provides troubleshooting assistance for faculty, staff, and students regarding fiscal policies and procedures.
  • Manages the processing of fellowship and internship funding.
  • Supports the financial aspects of the onboarding of international faculty, staff, and students.
  • Serves as departmental Certified Travel Preparer and credit card Manager. Manages Department Card and related expenditures. Processes travel and research expense reimbursements.
  • Advises faculty on policies and procedures regarding internal grant and departmental allocations, external grant accounts, budget restrictions, and set-up of accounts. Advises faculty on travel and credit card procedures and policies. Provides post-award grant management by compiling all related reports and processing expenditure requests.
  • Reviews, process, and approve daily expenditures via credit card and purchase order; monitors and tracks encumbrances for undergraduate and graduate student employees, ensures the timely processing and payment of invoices; collects appropriate documentation to enter vendors into vendor system; set-ups and monitor established contracts; and updates departmental financial calendar to ensure the correct and timely processing of standard transactions.
  • Manages joint accounting activities such as overhead transfers, and split funding expenditures. Executes journal entries for the transfer of funds. Prepares deposits to departmental funds. Manages the disbursements of faculty awards, and student awards and scholarships.


Other Functions

  • Assists with a variety of duties related to the daily operation and administration of the department.
  • Performs other duties assigned by supervisor.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Bachelor's degree with four years of relevant financial or business management experience or Associate's degree with six years of relevant financial or business management experience.
  • Excellent ability to work both independently and to be part of an effective team with a highly cooperative and collaborative work style. Ability to adapt and work effectively as the situation changes with independence, competent judgment, and discretion.
  • Excellent knowledge of statistical analysis and report creation that adds value to data informed decision-making. Must be able to understand the current practices and strategic goals of the department and use that knowledge to inform data gathering and the development of reports.
  • Extensive knowledge of best financial practices. Expert computer usage skills including spreadsheets (including formulas, graphs, and charts), word processing, and databases. Ability to exercise sound judgment and maintain confidentiality.
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills with the ability to interact effectively, and create and maintain harmonious relationships with a diverse population of staff, faculty, students and off-campus constituents.
  • Flexibility to work with initiative and willingness to take on a variety of tasks related to the successful operation and administration of the unit.
  • Extensive organizational skills and attention to detail with the ability to complete assignments in a timely manner, balancing the demands of concurrent and potentially competing projects.
  • Ability to investigate a situation, seek out additional information and resolve discrepancies. Ability to think through problems, organize information, identify key factors and underlying causes to generate solutions.
  • Must be able to understand, apply and explain rules, regulations and policies/procedures related to duties.


Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Experience with UMass systems.


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

Typical office work environment.


Work Schedule

  • Monday - Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.
  • Occasional night or weekend hours may be required.
  • This position has the opportunity for a hybrid work schedule, which is defined by the University as an arrangement where an employee’s work is regularly performed at a location other than the campus workspace for a portion of the week. As this position falls within the Professional Staff Union, it is subject to the terms and conditions of the Professional Staff Union collective bargaining agreement.


Salary Information

Level 26

PSU Hiring Ranges


Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with the application, please submit a resume, cover letter and contact information for three (3) professional references.


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, caste, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, disability, political belief or affiliation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related condition(s), veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, natural and protective hairstyle and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University. To fulfill that policy, UMass  Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans. It is the policy of UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action

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The University of Massachusetts is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action, Title IX employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age over 40, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, or other protected class.