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Assistant Director, Business Affairs

Apply now Job no: 499589
Work type: Full-Time
Location: Hybrid/Flexible Work Arrangement, Other - Philadelphia, PA
Categories: Drexel University, College of Engineering

Job Summary

The Assistant Director of Business Affairs will report to the Department Head –Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics, within the College of Engineering. The Assistant Director serves as primary budget/administrative contact for the department. The position is responsible for operations including budgeting, purchasing, human resources, management information, student payroll, and research funding within the department. The position calls for a multi-talented, highly efficient professional to serve as a liaison between the Office of Research & Innovation (ORI), the College of Engineering (CoE) Dean’s Office, Human Resources (HR), Graduate Admissions, International Students and Scholars Services (ISSS), and various Drexel departments and administrative offices. A demonstrated ability to work effectively in collaboration with principal investigators (PIs), senior staff, external agencies, and consultants is essential. The Assistant Director of Business Affairs performs a variety of functions related to business operations, including but not limited to budget and human resource management, financial and administrative duties within the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics.

Essential Functions


  • Supports and advises the Department Head on spending, financial objectives, and policies for the department.
  • Handles and reviews all financial paperwork (i.e., request to purchase forms, check request, fund transfers, etc.
  • Independently manages and documents all financial transactions, including support of the Department Head’s oversight of P-Card administration, review, and compliance; prepares budget reports, business activity reports, and financial position forecasts for the department.
  • Tracks account revenue, expenses, and account details for both discretionary and grant/contract funds.
  • Analyzes financial details of past, present, and expected operations to identify development opportunities and areas where improvements are needed.
  • Directs routine business functions, ensuring University policies and procedures are followed; ensures and improves process efficiencies; oversees the identification and resolution of accounting and financial discrepancies; and liaison with internal auditors and external companies and other campus staff, such as the Office of Research.
  • Works with central campus organizations in the review, self-auditing, and assurance of department compliance with university space survey of research, instructional and office spaces.
  • Provides auxiliary sourcing and requisition, and appropriate budget authority approvals, of department purchases.

Grant Administration

  • Oversee all financial and grant and contract matters for the department.
  • Supports and advises investigators in both pre-award and post-award administration focusing on budgets for all grants and contracts involving the department.
  • Coordinates trainings, guides and supports department PIs and support staff on the COEUS proposal system as well as prepares budgets and proposals within the system on faculty’s behalf.  
  • Accepts responsibility for necessary administrative documents (i.e., EPAFs, transaction corrections, etc.) for investigators and University approvals and administration of sponsored programs for MEM in which Drexel faculty, fellows, staff, and students participate.
  • Analyze and monitors budgets to ensure all transactions are accurate.
  • Directs routine business functions to ensure that university policies and procedures are followed; improve process efficiencies; oversee the identification and resolution of accounting and financial discrepancies.
  • Maintains departmental files and records for PIs/project.
  • Effectively communicates and works with internal and external contacts (i.e., Drexel's Office of Research Administration, sponsors, etc.) in submitting proposals and reports and ensuring accuracy of pre- and post-award support for grant administration.
  • Understands the federal compliance regulations and guides investigators in compliance.
  • Prepares and provides training and expertise to new grant-supported department professional staff employee(s) in support of hiring and grant administration and procurement workflows.

Human Resources

  • Administers hiring processes, including but not limited to, conducting interviews, creating Drexel Jobs requisitions, posting work-study positions, and designing temporary and student hiring flyer/ads. 
  • Prepares associated hiring paperwork (i.e., non-employee associate forms and international visitor’s offer letters and internal visa paperwork, etc.)
  • Approve and track bi-weekly time sheets and monthly leave reports under MEM.
  • Advise, support and initiate ideas on ways to effectively improve on departmental procedures and ensuring they align with university policies.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Business or Equivalent
  • 5 + years of related experience

Preferred Qualifications

  • 3+ years of experience with grant and financial management in a higher-education setting
  • Proficient in Office 365
  • Experience with university financial software, such as Web*Finance and Banner
  • Possess excellent oral, written, presentation, organizational, and interpersonal skills
  • Strong organization, and management with integrity

Physical Demands

  • Typically sitting at a desk/table
  • Typically standing, walking


Hybrid/Flexible Work Arrangement

Additional Information

This position is classified as Exempt with a salary grade of L. For more information regarding Drexel’s Professional Staff salary structure,

Please review the Benefits Brochure for some information on our benefits offerings.

Special Instructions to the Applicant

Please make sure you upload your CV/resume and cover letter when submitting your application.

Review of applicants will begin once a suitable candidate pool is identified.

About the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics

The Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics (MEM) in the College of Engineering (CoE) at Drexel is home to 25 full-time core faculty and three core professional staff and is also served by undergraduate academic advisors and computing and technical services team in the college. The department’s ABET-accredited Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering enrollment is one the largest among private institutions in the nation, affirming the enduring value of a degree from a leader in co-operative education. The department offers MS and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering and supports an interdepartmental MS in Robotics. The department’s faculty include ASME, APS, IEEE, National Academy of Inventors fellows, and recipients of several early career and young investigator awards and a Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. Faculty contribute in areas such as AI and machine learning, advanced manufacturing, aircraft mechanics and structures, bio-manufacturing and 3D bioprinting, bio-mechanics, controls and power systems, materials and thermal and fluid systems including cold atmospheric-pressure plasmas and their application in medicine and health. In 2020 the ASME named Drexel among 10 Innovative Engineering Institutes, and department students, an alumna and faculty together founded I Am ME, a new professional student organization focused on promoting increased visibility and opportunity for female mechanical engineers. With the support of the CoE, the department recently recruited seven faculty, five of whom identify as female or from an underrepresented minority group. With rising applications and enrollments, FY22 research expenditures exceeding $5.4M, a new industry partnership with a global leader in process control automation and a priority on promoting an inclusive culture and environment, MEM is well-positioned to implement the departments recently completed strategic plan to re-invigorate the student experience and to chart a path for the department’s future. 

MEM traces its earliest roots to the Department of Mechanic Arts, a founding academic division in 1891 within the Drexel Institute of Arts, Science, and Industry. The department name reflects its history in fine mechanics and structures, in which Drexel’ first PhD was awarded, in 1967. Generations of graduates have built a legacy of impact in engineering and society and continue to make their mark, including pioneering NASA engineers and three shuttle astronauts, faculty at leading institutions, federal senior executive service professionals in energy and defense, leaders of global manufacturers and suppliers of electrical components, connectors, and systems, bearings, electronics packaging, and of the auto industry and other innovators and entrepreneurs, e.g., co-inventors of the barcode and later the universal product code (UPC) National Medal of Technology recipient, and of internet postage technology.



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