Administrative Specialist
University of Illinois

Urbana, Illinois

Administrative Specialist
Department of Crop Sciences
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Illinois is a world leader in research, teaching, and public engagement. We serve the state, the nation, and the world by creating knowledge, preparing students for lives of impact, and addressing critical societal needs through the transfer and application of knowledge. Illinois is the place where we embrace difference. We embrace it because we value it. Illinois is especially interested in candidates who can contribute, through their research, teaching, and/or service, to the diversity and excellence of the Illinois community. Crop Sciences is where plant genetics, biotechnology, business, data science, crop production, and sustainability are brought together by results-oriented faculty and students

The Administrative Specialist is the principal assistant to the head of the Department of Crop Sciences. The primary purpose of this position is to organize the Department Head's time and commitments and to assist in organizing and tracking projects.

Administrative Support for Department Head

  • Independently revises , coordinates and manages the department head's day-to-day workflow including travel and calendar, requiring a high level of confidentiality and strong independent judgement. This requires working with high level college administrators, faculty, staff, stakeholders, donors, alumni, students, and the general public. The person in this role must take initiative to determine priorities, screen all meeting requests for appropriate utilization of time, relevance, alternative context, and respond appropriately.
  • Address inquiries and draft correspondence on behalf of the head providing requested information on a variety of topics which require initiative, tact, and discretion.
  • Compile complex and confidential departmental reports including research, teaching, extension, service, and awards required for reporting.
  • Provides follow-up to matters as needed and performs other duties as assigned by the department head.
  • Serves on campus committees as needed.
Operational Management
  • Manages highly sensitive and confidential filing system with official records of the department including current and historical documents. Review all incoming mail, both physical and electronic and respond/direct as appropriate. Draft memos, letters, and agendas on behalf of the head or assistant head for business and strategic planning and prepare documents for the head's signature. Route correspondence to appropriate college and campus units as necessary.
  • Independently coordinates travel for the department administrative team including the director of graduate studies, director of undergraduate studies, and assistant head for business and strategic planning.
  • Serves as the main point of contact for the director of graduate studies, director of undergraduate studies, department faculty advisory committee, Graduate Student Organization, college, and department head on award submissions, award presentations and award reviews.
  • Provide direction to clerical staff for working with Facility Management Scheduling regarding the scheduling of classroom needs, exams, etc.
  • Collaborates with the director of graduate studies, director of undergraduate studies, and director of online programs on finalizing teaching assignments and disseminating information to all faculty and staff.
  • Works closely with the Department Head on compiling annual faculty reports, sabbatical requests, and promotion and tenure packets and professorship/chair nominations and overseeing the follow-up on these items.
  • Plan, coordinate and ensure efficient communication for meetings for departmental, college, and professional committees, including the CPSC external advisory committee.
  • Manages logistical support for open faculty searches which can include initiating correspondence, interview scheduling, and serving as the main contact for potential candidates.
  • Coordinates and executes confidential elections for the department including departmental, college, and university level committees.
  • Plans department's social events (invitations, records of attendees, venues, schedules, meals, travel, etc.). These events include but are not limited to Harvest Open House, Student Welcome in the fall and spring semesters, retirement receptions, etc.
  • Ensures smooth and efficient communication of general information and updates to the CPSC intranet and website.
  • Supervise, mentor, and provide direction to clerical staff and undergraduate student workers for the department.
Department Support
  • Plan, coordinate and implement workshops, conferences, events for a variety of programs in the department.
  • Support department administrative staff through program coordination, communication, human resources search support, and work closely with the department head on project management.
  • Responsible for the management and preparation of space for new faculty. Assist with clean out of space for departing faculty and staff.
  • Maintains master list of department employees, corresponding org chart, and all additional departmental lists.
  • Maintains email contact lists for department groups.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships; work effectively and collegially with others in a manner consistent with a workplace of dignity and respect; support and engage in equal employment opportunity principles, rules, and regulations.
  • Foster a culture of diversity and inclusion within Crop Sciences.
Minimum Qualifications :
Bachelor's degree in business administration, management, or related fields. A minimum of two years of professional experience with responsibility for administrative projects and processes and supervisory experience.

Preferred Qualifications :
MS degree in business administration, management, or related fields. A minimum of three years of professional experience at an institution of higher education with responsibility for administrative projects and processes.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

• Demonstrated exceptional professional service skills and the ability to work in a team setting .

• Proven effective organizational, analytical, and problem-solving skills .

• Ability to exhibit discretion in professional judgment .

• Attention to detail .

• Critical and analytical mindset .

• Demonstrated ability to organize and prioritize .

• Highly developed communication skills .

• Ability to develop and tailor tools to effectively communicate ideas and analyze situations .

• Must have knowledge of policies, procedures and rules and regulations of the University.

• Ability to maintain confidentiality and to represent the Department Head in a professional manner.

• Must exercise excellent judgment and discretion, especially in handling of confidential and/or sensitive information.

• Excellent decision-making abilities and able to solve problems.

• Knowledge of office administration and clerical procedures and office routines and practices.

• Ability to meet frequent deadlines and handle staff and building emergencies in a calm manner.

• Knowledge and ability to navigate effectively within the university system.

• Commitment to diversity and inclusion.

This is a full-time Civil Service Business/Administrative Associate position appointed on a 12-month service basis. The expected start date is as soon as possible after the closing date. Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications.

For more information on Civil Service classifications, please visit the SUCSS web site at .

Application Procedures & Deadline Information
Applications must be received by 6:00 pm (CST) on March 29, 2023. Apply for this position using the Apply Now button at the top or bottom of this posting. In order to be considered as a transfer candidate, you must apply for this position. Applications not submitted through will not be considered. If required by the position, transcripts or other documentation of credentials are to be provided no later than the first day of employment. For further information about this specific position, please contact Linda Kemplin, For questions regarding the application process, please contact 217-333-2137.

The University of Illinois System is an equal opportunity employer, including but not limited to disability and/or veteran status, and complies with all applicable state and federal employment mandates. Please visit Required Employment Notices and Posters to view our non-discrimination statement and find additional information about required background checks, sexual harassment/misconduct disclosures, COVID-19 vaccination requirement, and employment eligibility review through E-Verify .

Applicants with disabilities are encouraged to apply and may request a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (2008) to complete the application and/or interview process. Requests may be submitted through the reasonable accommodations portal , or by contacting the Accessibility & Accommodations Division of the Office for Access and Equity at 217-333-0885, or by emailing .

Requisition ID: 1015955
Job Category: Administrative
Apply at:


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