• Job Title: Mgmt 4, Admin & Operations, Acad
  • Reports to: Director of Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS)
  • Department: IDSS
  • Date: 05/01/2023
  • Position Title: Director, Administration and Finance
  • % Effort or Wkly Hrs: 100% effort
  • Prepared by: Jennifer Kratochwill

Position Overview

As the senior staff member on the IDSS leadership team, participate in setting and implementing the strategic direction for IDSS. Responsible for oversight of the day-to-day human resources, financial, space and general operational management of IDSS. Provide counsel and comprehensive support to the Director of IDSS, faculty, students, and other staff members regarding finances, personnel, operations, and other policy matters. Lead all administrative and financial elements, including strategic planning, implementation of major initiatives, ensuring financial sustainability of programs, as well as human resource management, space planning, and communications and events. Supervise financial and administrative HQ staff, including staff planning/allocation, hiring, mentoring and career development planning. 

Principle Duties and Responsibilities (Essential Functions**)

The candidate for this position will perform the following essential functions:

General/Strategic/Faculty Affairs

  • As a member of the IDSS Leadership team, participate in planning for the future of IDSS, including providing strategic financial, HR, IT and space insights for decision making purposes
  • Work with faculty leadership to develop,  implement and maintain strategic initiatives (e.g., ICSR, IDSSx, initial creation of MicroMasters team, DSML Summer Online Program)
  • Identify operational (and often confidential) challenges and recommend solutions to the Director
  • Advise and assist IDSS faculty and staff in HR and financial and administrative matters
  • Work with director, SCC and home departments to support faculty searches, hires and promotion cases as needed; onboard new faculty in IDSS (start-up packages, office, website, etc.)
  • Lead change management efforts by developing policies and processes (e.g, COVID access planning, staff coverage during shutdowns, WFH policies and practices, etc.)
  • Serve as primary liaison to central MIT departments including Schwarzman College of Computing (SCC) Dean’s Office, HR and VPF; facilitate any requests originating from those departments and ensure compliance with all MIT policies
  • Working closely with faculty leadership and staff in SSRC and TPP to ensure that operations in shared areas (e.g., space and staffing for events) are fluid and effective

Human Resources

  • Responsible for overseeing HR operations and personnel issues, including: administrative and postdoc/research staff searches and hire actions; visitor visa and appointment processes; support staff hiring and onboarding; visa issuance/liaison with ISCHO and ISO; compensation issues; and promotions. Responsible for all temporary hires through MITEMPS, Hollister, or an outside agency; maintain relationships with agencies to ensure smooth operations.
  • Supervise financial and administrative staff; evaluate staffing levels/coverage to expand or contract staff according to demand/budget; approve timesheets for support staff.
  • Mentor staff and promote career development opportunities
  • Maintain clear and regular internal communications via team and individual meetings, emails, Slack
  • Recommend salary adjustments, promotions, performance issues and terminations in collaboration with Human Resources Offices at MIT, the Director, SCC Dean’s Office
  • Act as primary liaison to HRO, SCC Dean’s Office, compensation staff to ensure compliance with MIT policy, processes, and external requirements
  • Advise faculty on postdoc hiring plans, write job descriptions, act as hiring manager for searches, manage disciplinary actions and other termination activity.
  • Process HR actions in MIT systems; write search reports and ensure that offers are made with SCC approval
  • Work closely with Financial Administrator to ensure adequate funding for postdocs and IDSS student fellowships.
  • Manage the annual salary review processes for all IDSS employees. Oversee and advise on the annual performance evaluation process;
  • Manage the Outside Professional Activities and Conflict of Interest reporting processes; draft reports from the Director for submission


  • Oversee all financial aspects of IDSS funding, including monitoring, reporting and analyzing a variety of funding sources and ensuring financial sustainability for IDSS programs and students
  • Lead daily management of GIB, endowed funds and gifts, revenue from online learning programs through MM and outside partners, and industry programs, including:
    • Reviewing, preparing and submitting the annual GIB budget, and reviewing Nimbus submission entered by Financial Administrator
    • analyzing and reporting to the director on endowed, discretionary and industry funds   
    • Managing financial staff responsible for day-to-day financial operations of payroll, travel, procurement, student appointment processing, salary distributions and certification.
    • Work closely with faculty directors of the IDSS MicroMasters and  ODL on the semi-annual payouts to DLCs and faculty

Space & IT Resources

  • Evaluate space utilization and plan for growth/contraction, in partnership with SSCR; lead changes to the space (office re-assignments, furniture, build outs, etc.) as needed
  • Manage office/desk assignments for faculty and visitors
  • Working with support staff, ensure safety and cleanliness of space with Facilities
  • Evaluate need and contract for IT support to ensure ongoing desktop support;
  • Approve server access for students and staff;


  • Manage communications and events staff responsible for major events, IDSS website, news stories, podcasts, and community building inside and external to MIT
  • Act as liaison to external stakeholders including: industry sponsors, visitors, etc.
  • Work to grow special initiatives by making connections inside and outside of MIT
  • Manage special projects as assigned by the Director of IDSS

Supervision Received

Director of Administration and Finance reports to the IDSS Faculty Director

Supervision Exercised

Will directly supervise IDSS administrative and support staff

Qualifications & Skills

Required: Bachelor’s degree; minimum of seven years’ administrative experience in a university environment is required. The successful candidate will have outstanding interpersonal skills, demonstrated organizational skills, effective oral and written communication ability and discretion. Must have experience managing a team and the ability to build and mentor a strong administrative team. Experience in the management of complex change and conflicting priorities required. Must be able to handle deadlines and prioritize work and to handle details while maintaining a view of the big picture. Must have strong computer skills, with proficiency in use of Microsoft Office products. 
Preferred: Master’s degree in business, higher ed, administration or related field; experience with ERP systems such as SAP, strong financial and analytical skills; HR experience, especially at MIT, preferred.

** To comply with regulations by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the principal duties in job descriptions must be essential to the job. To identify essential functions, focus on the purpose and the result of the duties rather than the manner in which they are performed. The following definition applies: a job function is essential if removal of that function would fundamentally change the job.