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School of Design + Construction Policies + Procedures

3.10 Administrative Unit

The administrative unit (AU) at the School of Design and Construction (SDC) is comprised of the administrative manager, administrative assistant, and student workers. This unit serves in the best interest of the school, its program(s), and college. These interests are not mutually exclusive and the administrative unit should operate with this understanding.

The administrative manager provides leadership for administrative unit activities and is responsible for administrative duties relative to budgets, personnel, and administrative support, in addition to confidential support for the director.

The administrative assistant provides support for fiscal services (travel, purchasing, and personnel), administrative center tasks, receptionist duties, and special projects as requested.

The student workers perform clerical and office support tasks for the school and the programs, under the supervision of the administrative assistant.

Guiding Principles
The administrative unit will:

  • Provide equal support to all programs, faculty, and the SDC;
  • Accomplish functions in a timely manner;
  • Utilize efficiency while preserving opportunities for face-to-face interaction;
  • Be knowledgeable and familiar with faculty/staff/students and program/SDC needs;
  • Maintain ability to respond to priority needs;
  • Be a service-oriented environment;
  • Employ best practices;
  • Uphold clear lines of responsibility and supervision;
  • Remain flexible and committed to adjustments as necessary;
  • Preserve staff morale.

Position Responsibilities

Administrative Manager (AM):

  • Budget management (including state, summer, accruals, grants, course fees, development funds, and TAs) and purchasing oversight (invoices, payments, and reconciliation)
  • Confidential support to director (annual reviews, intensive reviews, tenure & promotion, faculty searches)
  • Personnel and payroll administration (files, OPDRS, work authorization docs)
  • Grants (support to faculty for preparation/submission) and scholarships (committee, funding, award administration)
  • Office, facilities, and event management (in cooperation with administrative assistant)

Administrative Assistant (AA)

  • Reception for front desk, phones, visitors, key inventory, building access, incoming/outgoing mail and packages
  • Coordination of travel and purchasing processes
  • Paperwork for time-slip employees and leave reports/time-cards for faculty, staff, and student employees
  • Room scheduling (seminar and conference rooms; video conference/phone bridge reservations)
  • Assistance for events/event planning (e.g. lectures, exhibits, receptions, meetings, commencement, advisory board)
  • Clerical/office support (e.g. message boards, files, equipment/supplies, meeting minutes, facility requests)

Student Workers

  • Assistance with front desk reception, phones, visitors, key inventory, mail and packages
  • Ongoing office and clerical support for SDC faculty and staff (e.g. copies, cleaning, storage, courier for signatures and documents, posting and/or maintaining media walls in SDC buildings)

Unit Structure
The administrative unit works with the director and program heads regarding school and program support. Overall supervision of the administrative unit is provided by the director. Annual reviews for administrative staff will be completed by the director with input from others as essential.

Additional Resources

For additional reference please visit Human Resources Employee Handbooks.

Unit Operations

The AU is committed to providing a full range of services during normal business hours (8am-5pm, Monday through Friday) as follows:

  • Office Schedules
    1. In the event AU staff needs to be gone during the business day, an e-mail to the director (cc: administrative staff) and posted signage on your office door should indicate your absence.
    2. Administrative manager, administrative assistant, IT and Fab Lab staff should inform the director of their regular schedules. This includes communicating when sick, late, or out of the office. IT and Fab Lab staff will post hours and schedules outside their respective workspaces.
    3. Annual leave for all staff is scheduled with approval of the director and should be requested a minimum of one week in advance.
    4. The administrative assistant and academic program manager will work together to establish schedules for the front-desk student workers.
  • Communication Policies
    1. With four professional accredited programs, presenting a positive and optimistic attitude regarding the school and the university is of utmost importance. Since staff is often the first point of contact for our constituents, the image of the school begins with each staff person. We always want our school and programs to be represented with respect.
    2. In the event that service hours need to be adjusted, an e-mail will be sent and other signage will be posted so that faculty, students, and the public are informed.
    3. In periods where response time may be impaired, a detailed out-of-office reply will be attached to e-mail. The following template may be adjusted depending on the circumstances:
      1. Thank you for your email. With the start of the semester/winter break/extended leave, etc.) the School of Design and Construction is currently experiencing a delayed response time to e-mails and voice mail messages. It may take us a few days to get back to you but we will do so as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience and understanding.
    4. In normal operations response time for voice messages and e-mails will be within two (2) business days of receipt—even if it is a confirmation that the inquiry has been received and that more time is needed for a detailed response.
    5. As stated above, staff is the first point of contact for the school’s constituents. It goes without saying, presenting a positive and helpful demeanor is most important.
  • Staff Meetings
    1. The AU will meet as needed to ensure consistent communication and coordination of responsibilities.

Unit Processes
The AU has established procedures and timelines in conjunction with university regulations for the items identified below. It is critical that staff work to meet university requirements and deadlines, follow the BPPM, and bring issues forward to supervisor(s) to find appropriate solutions. Coordination, adherence, and timely responses are a direct reflection on our school. In circumstances where deadlines and requirements cannot be met, staff is expected to communicate directly to their immediate supervisor so that the issues can be resolved and the information can be provided to the individuals and offices that will be affected.

  • Travel: defined by the Travel Guide policy (SDCPPM 6.4)
  • Course Fees: defined by the Course Fee Expenditure Guide policy (SDCPPM 8.2)
  • Purchases: defined by the Purchasing Checklist policy (SDCPPM 6.3)
  • Facilities Requests: (TBD)
  • Grants and Contracts: (TBD)
  • Other: administrative unit staff will perform other duties as essential and as reasonable for the effective operation of the SDC.