Office Administrator, Office of Organizational Strategy & Change

Office Administrator, Office of Organizational Strategy & Change

Job ID: 44415
Location: Evanston, Illinois

Department: Offc of Org Strategy & Change
Salary/Grade: EXS/7

Job Summary:
The mission of the Office of Organizational Strategy and Change is to facilitate organizational change at Northwestern University. The Office, which has a dual reporting relationship to the Offices of the Provost and Executive Vice President (EVP), collaborates with academic and administrative leaders to support Northwestern's core research and teaching mission by:

  • Assessing opportunities for institutional change and strategy
  • Designing approaches to address organizational challenges
  • Facilitating development of solutions to challenges
  • Partnering to support implementation

The Office places a special focus on facilitating change initiatives that span across multiple organizational units to enhance strategies, structures, processes, culture, and overall effectiveness and efficiency.

The Office Administrator (OA) provides overall management of all administrative aspects of the Office. The OA is a key member of the Organizational Strategy and Change team and supports a dynamic team environment. Under limited supervision, and using a high degree of independent judgement, the OA manages daily operations and calendaring for the AVP and project support for the team. The OA will interact with Northwestern executives on a regular basis and exercise discretion in the coordination of sensitive and confidential information and materials. The OA works collaboratively with other Organizational Strategy and Change staff and prioritizes time allocation for the AVP. The OA represents the office with external and internal constituencies and supports the office in its strategic, programmatic, and coordination efforts.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Applies a high degree of independent judgment and discretion to manage the complex calendar and project requirements and decide on priorities to ensure effective use of the team’s time.
  • Manages, organizes and prioritizes various simultaneous tasks
  • Effectively handles highly sensitive, and often highly confidential, information using tact, diplomacy and exemplary judgment.
  • Coordinates a variety of meetings, events and team building activities, which may include managing logistics and technology, distributing meeting materials, taking meeting minutes, managing attendee lists, and coordinating room reservations and/or catering needs.
  • Oversees & ensures that day-to-day operations are appropriately managed, efficient and effective.
  • Maintains the team’s project dashboard to facilitate coordination and communication across projects
  • Operationalizes goals & objectives; ensures that resources are created or obtained.
  • Identifies opportunities to improve and streamline office processes and contributes to the overall effectiveness of the team
  • Participates in developing IT strategy to meet the mission & needs of program/project.
  • Ensures necessary hardware, software & network infrastructure technology services are appropriated from central or internal IT.   
  • Supports or manages special projects, as needed.

Budgets & Financial

  • Manages day-to-day financial and budget operations including processing invoices, purchasing, processing expense reports for signature, preparing and reconciling budget.
  • Ensures that the program/project meets expense goals.
  • Develops and implements ideas for improving business processes.
  • Plans & implements annual budget process.
  • Oversees all daily, monthly & annual financial activities including transactions, analysis, & reporting.
  • Approves funds reallocation within budget as necessary & appropriate.

Communication, Outreach & Recruitment

  • Works collaboratively with other administrators and support staff throughout the University and acts as a model of exceptional administrative support.
  • Serves as the initial point of contact for guests creating a welcoming and hospitable environment.
  • Builds and maintains professional, efficient, and knowledgeable interactions with both internal and external constituencies.
  • Supports scheduling and agenda development for the Organizational Strategy & Change Advisory Group.
  • Maintains Office website and liaises with University Web Communications as necessary.


  • Supports the team in development & implementation of evaluation processes, quantitative & qualitative measurements that ensure that program/project benchmarks are successfully attained and communicated in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Collaborates with internal/external resources to develop meaningful outcome measurements and methods of program/project evaluation that will lead to enhancement.


  • Coordinates and supports large scale and complex events including the annual Best Practices Forum, a signature annual event for more than 200 senior University staff.
  • Provides program management support for all organizational change programming including but not limited to: communications, managing registration, maintaining participant databases, scheduling, evaluation, and other duties to ensure consistently high quality standards across all programs.
  • Coordinates travel arrangements as necessary.

Human Resources

  • Serves as primary point of contact for all HR matters; proactively seeks guidance and support on complex HR issues to resolve in a timely manner.
  • Manages HR processes including administration of all HR actions from hiring to termination, including on-boarding for office interns and new staff.
  • Oversees recruitment & selection process.
  • Approves timesheets.
  • Interprets HR policy to maximize effectiveness of HR administration to meet strategic plan objectives.  

Regulatory Compliance

  • Ensures compliance with all applicable federal, state, local & NU laws, regulations, policies & procedures.

Strategic Planning

  • Develops & executes strategies to involve internal constituents and cultivate new collaborations.


  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree; OR appropriate combination of education and experience.
  • 4 years program/project administration or other relevant experience.  
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Demonstrated excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to demonstrate a calm, courteous and professional demeanor under pressure when working with a variety of situations and/or people
  • Proven ability to take initiative and make sound decisions without direction
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment with multiple competing priorities
  • Collaborative, can-do approach to all work
  • Demonstrated advanced proficiency with the Microsoft Office Suite of products and SharePoint
  • Previous experience in higher education or other complex organization strongly preferred
  • Familiarity with Northwestern systems (e.g., NU Financials) strongly preferred
  • Demonstrated ability to build collaboration by encouraging trust, mutual respect and shared purpose among colleagues and visitors
  • Demonstrates receptivity to feedback and a willingness to learn. Values a culture of continuous improvement

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Previous experience in higher education or other complex organization strongly preferred

Please apply online at

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