Business Operations Specialist 1

Apply now Search #: 497142
Work type: Full-time
Location: Storrs Campus
Categories: Administrative Services


The Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture (PSLA) is seeking a dynamic and team-oriented leader with strategic financial ability to contribute to a culture that values community, inclusion, excellence, and strategic growth. The incumbent will be responsible for financial management for the Department, including managing department funds and budgets, overseeing day-to-day operations, and serving as a resource to faculty staff and students regarding fiscal policies and post-award grant management. The successful candidate will have demonstrated skill and experience in academic business operations and the ability to thrive in a complex yet collegial, collaborative, and high-paced work environment with multiple competing demands. The successful candidate will be strategic, forward-thinking, and collaborative in addressing the needs of a department, which operates multiple service centers, academic programs, opportunities for entrepreneurial program development, and a robust externally funded research enterprise. This position requires an individual with demonstrated skill and proven experience in high-level administrative support, as well as an ability to work in a team environment and possess leadership potential. 

PSLA is a diverse department with a collegial group of 21 faculty and 12 member support staff, over 100 students in the 2- and 4-year programs and accredited landscape architecture program and around 30 graduate students. Research and teaching infrastructure of the department includes wet labs, greenhouses, plant growth chambers and tissue culture facilities, design studios, 153-acre research and teaching farm, and the Waxman Conifer Collection. The Department operates the Home & Garden Education Center, the Plant Diagnostics Clinic, Turfgrass Disease Diagnostic Center, the Soil Nutrient Analysis Laboratory, and the Plant Transformation facility. PSLA is often a top academic department in the College in external grant funding per faculty line, with over $3M per year.


  • Lead a wide range of departmental fiscal, administrative, and business functions. 
  • Serve as fiscal officer for the Department. Determine the appropriateness of financial transactions with regard to funding sources.  Provide approvals/disapprovals for expenditures, requisitions, procard transactions, and travel requests. Perform transactions in KFS to maintain fiscal integrity. Work with the college business office on the monitoring of revenues and expenditures on department financial accounts, including Foundation accounts.
  • Prepare and manage the Department budget, incorporating the department head’s requests. Streamline and resolve budget, administrative, and business issues related to the operation of the Department. Provide significant feedback on establishing, implementing, and monitoring departmental administrative policies, processes, and procedures, including strategic financial planning and semi-annual department financial health reports to faculty. Complete and submit the annual budget construction worksheet to Dean’s Office. Attend and assist in departmental budget hearing with the Dean’s Office. Attend periodic budget meetings with Asst. Dean of Finance.
  • Manage the procurement of research, laboratory, and academic supplies, equipment, controllable property (computers, laptops, tablets), licenses and agreements, and other required purchases.
  • Oversee Foundation accounts and ensure strategic use and appropriate spending, as well as identification of opportunities for growth and new donor alignment. Ensure timely acknowledgment of donations and appropriate correspondence with donors.
  • Process all department personnel paperwork and payroll activity for employees (AAUP, UCPEA, durational, post-docs, graduate assistants, student workers, visiting scholars, and special payroll). Compose offer letters, submit special payroll requests, complete payroll authorizations, and complete and submit I-9’s. Adhere to University policies, procedures, and deadlines pertaining to individual payroll type. Create and maintain personnel files. Serve as a resource, as needed, for activities related to Promotion, Tenure, and Reappointment, and Departmental searches.
  • Manage department’s recruitment and search activities; submit and update requests in the online recruitment system PageUp; coordinate advertisements, track applications, arrange interviews, and communicate with applicants. Consult with HR to determine the appropriate position title and/or salary range.
  • Perform administrative management duties, coordinate office workflow, determine office staffing needs, and potentially serve as direct supervisor for one or more staff. Review administrative and internal operating procedures for efficiency and effectiveness and recommend improvements. Interpret and implement operational and fiscal policy. Develop, maintain and monitor administrative files and records. Represent department at the College’s Administrative Assistants meetings as well as participating in the CAHNR Administrative Solutions Team (CAST).
  • Assist in the management of faculty grant and project funds. Provide account balances; determine the allowability of expenditures; calculate salaries and fringe projections for budget management. Submit rebudget, no-cost extension, and cost transfer requests on behalf of the principal investigators. Guide faculty in developing knowledge to interpret financial statements and manage funds; potentially providing training on these topics. 


  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, business, or a related field and a minimum of two to three years of professional experience OR an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience working in a fast-paced, complex, and multi-faceted office environment.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with demonstrated ability to establish relationships with a variety of constituents, both internal and external to the University.
  • Excellent knowledge of MS Office applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, Teams, and Outlook.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.


  • Experience working in a higher education setting.
  • Experience with Kuali Financial Systems, Core-CT, HuskyBuy, PeopleSoft and Concur, or similar enterprise systems.
  • Ability to expertly manage time and deadlines, and juggle multiple competing priorities.
  • Knowledge of Visa requirements for international students and staff.
  • Demonstrated potential to lead others.


This is a full-time (35-hrs/wk), 12-month, permanent position. Telecommuting on a hybrid basis may be allowed subject to authorization and University policy. The University offers a competitive salary, ranging in the upper 50’s to lower-to-mid 60’s commensurate with background and experience, and outstanding benefits including employee and dependent tuition waivers at UConn, and a highly desirable work environment. For additional information regarding benefits visit:

Other rights, terms, and conditions of employment are contained in the collective bargaining agreement between the University of Connecticut and the University of Connecticut Professional Employees Association (UCPEA).


Employment of the successful candidate is contingent upon the successful completion of a pre-employment criminal background check. 


Please apply online at, Staff Positions, Search #497142.  Please be sure to include, a resume, cover letter, and contact information for three (3) professional references (including title, organization/company, phone, and e-mail). Incomplete applications will not be considered. Evaluations of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

All employees are subject to adherence to the State Code of Ethics which may be found at

The University of Connecticut is committed to building and supporting a multicultural and diverse community of students, faculty and staff. The diversity of students, faculty and staff continues to increase, as does the number of honors students, valedictorians and salutatorians who consistently make UConn their top choice. More than 100 research centers and institutes serve the University’s teaching, research, diversity, and outreach missions, leading to UConn’s ranking as one of the nation’s top research universities. UConn’s faculty and staff are the critical link to fostering and expanding our vibrant, multicultural and diverse University community. As an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer, UConn encourages applications from women, veterans, people with disabilities and members of traditionally underrepresented populations.

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