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Chief Administrative Officer

San Diego, CA, USA | University of California

  • Industry:
    Education (Higher)
  • Position Type:
  • Functions:
    General Management
  • Experience:
Job Description:
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The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) position (aka department business officer) plays a leadership role in all administrative functions in the Philosophy Department with delegated fiduciary responsibilities in maintaining business continuity in the department. The CAO has independent oversight of areas including budget and finance, academic personnel administration, human resources, facilities / space management, curriculum planning and student affairs administration, instructional support, and information systems. The CAO is a business leader with a high degree of knowledge in the overall field and recognized expertise in specific areas; problem-solving frequently requiring analysis of unique issues / problems without precedent and / or structure.

Reporting directly to the Chair with a dotted-line reporting relationship to the Assistant Dean, the CAO is responsible to develop, support and implement strategic, sound business and ethical practices within the department. Uses advanced administrative concepts and organization objectives to resolve complex issues.

The Chief Administrative Officer is the principle advisor to the department chair regarding the development, implementation and assessment of short- and long-term planning models, risk assessment, and budgets and financial performance. Formulate, propose and implement business and management goals, policies and procedures to meet department, faculty and university objectives. Exercise leadership and discretionary authority to solve managerial and programmatic concerns; utilize a high degree of independence, ingenuity and analytical skills to resolve complex problems.



  • Advanced knowledge of University rules and regulations, processes, protocols and procedures for budget, accounting and fund management, and / or personnel management.

  • Advanced interpersonal skills including verbal and written communication, active listening, critical thinking, persuasiveness, advising and counseling skills.

  • Advanced knowledge of a variety of administrative operational activities such as event planning, basic fundraising processes, risk management planning, website design, accounting and payroll, and contracts and grants regulations and guidelines.

  • Advanced knowledge of common University-specific computer application programs.

  • Ability to use discretion and maintain confidentiality.

  • Advanced skills in short- and long-term strategic planning, analysis, problem-solving and customer service.

  • Advanced knowledge of financial analysis and reporting techniques, and / or human resources policies and procedures for staff and academic employees.

  • Leadership skills and experience with ability to apply management principles, practices and techniques in the conduct of business for complex multi-discipline, publicly-funded academic research department. Demonstrated ability to use initiative, creativity and resourcefulness to accomplish duties. Ability to assess unique needs of department.

  • Demonstrated ability to view planning and operational issues in a comprehensive picture both in terms of current complexities and interactions and in long-term consequences for active academic department.

  • Proven ability to function effectively in a changeable environment. Ability to provide leadership in implementing organizational change.

  • Demonstrated ability to develop and manage budgets and adapt objectives to changes in resources. Thorough knowledge of the University budget process.

  • Demonstrated understanding of ethical issues in a University setting and the ability to instill and maintain appropriate standards of behavior and feedback.

  • Demonstrated high level skill in assessing needs and developing strategies to support diversity and inclusion.

  • Demonstrated knowledge of development and public relations functions in an academic setting.

  • Demonstrated ability to establish appropriate controls and operate effectively within a control environment.

  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience in space and facilities management including analysis, funding, design, construction and renovation of buildings and labs.

  • Demonstrated knowledge of student affairs functions and educational support systems.

  • Skill to analyze large quantities of data (financial, space, workload) and to identify objectives and constraints, and developing effective recommendations.

  • Demonstrated ability to develop and manage budgets and adapt objectives to changes in resources. Thorough knowledge of a University budget process.

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