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Program Manager

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Position Details

Position Information

Title Program Manager
Department Large Binocular Telescope Obs (0463)
Location Main Campus
Position Summary

With two 8.4m mirrors on a common mount that can be combined to form an interferometer with an effective aperture of 23m, complemented with adaptive secondary mirrors, the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) is the largest optical telescope in operation. Providing unprecedented ground-based resolution at near- and mid-infrared wavelengths, the LBT is a forerunner of the Extremely Large Telescopes. With a suite of state of the art instruments nearing completion, the observatory is moving to full operation while adding new capabilities such as ground-layer AO and new AO-fed instrumentation.

The LBT Observatory (LBTO) is headquartered on the Tucson campus of the University of Arizona and the telescope itself is located on Mt Graham (3200m), a 3.5-hour drive from campus.

LBTO is seeking a Program Manager (PM), who will lead the implementation of the Observatory development plan aimed at fully exploiting the unique capabilities of the telescope in the decade (at least) preceding the scientfic exploitation of the current ELT projects.

The Program Manager will work closely with the Observatory Director and will be part of the Management Team in an integrated Product Team environment. The Program Manager will have a strong skill set in program and/or project management and the proven ability to coordinate teams in a highly technical and scientifically oriented environment.

Outstanding UA benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance plans; life insurance and disability programs; paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays; UA/ASU/NAU tuition reduction for the employee and qualified family members; state and optional retirement plans; access to UA recreation and cultural activities; and more!

Accepting a new position is a big life step. We want potential candidates and their families to be able to make informed decisions. Candidates who are considering relocation to the Tucson or Phoenix area, and have been offered an on-site interview, are encouraged to use the free services offered by Above & Beyond Relocation Services (ABRS).Ask your department contact to be introduced to ABRS prior to your visit.

The University of Arizona has been listed by Forbes as one of America’s Best Employers in the United States and WorldatWork and the Arizona Department of Health Services have recognized us for our innovative work-life programs. For more information about working at the University of Arizona, please click here.

Duties & Responsibilities

The Program Manager (PM) will be, with the group managers, the enabler of the Director’s blueprint for the observatory. Cognizant of the priorities for the observatory set by the Director, the PM will work closely with the group managers who supervise the activities of the staff to achieve the goals of the observatory.

In close collaboration with the Observatory Director, the PM will:

  • lead the development of the annual Program Plan (PP), with deliverables, milestones, budget, and schedule components,
  • coordinate and track projects and efforts (hereafter referred to as “the tasks”) that are strategic in nature (e.g. PP, long term developments), and/or span disciplines and groups, including summer shutdown activities.
  • implement the tasks along with maintaining and improving the existing infrastructure,
  • be responsible, in close collaboration with the Group Managers, for ensuring that the tasks are accomplished in a prioritized and efficient manner,
  • have the authority to prioritize the implementation of the tasks according to the available resources,
  • keep the Director informed of the progress, successes and challenges encountered in completing the tasks,
  • implement program management best practices to schedule and track the execution of the tasks and the relevant resources, and
  • manage, in close collaboration with the Director, programmatic relationships with instrument teams and vendors.

The PM reports to the Director and is a member of the Observatory Council (the Executive Committee dealing with high-level issues such as strategic planning, observatory policies, and personnel matters).

The PM is Tucson-based, but is expected to spend time as needed at the LBT site (10,500 ft elevation) working with Mountain Management staff on operations. Occasional travel to the Partner institutions in the US and Europe, as well as professional conference attendance, is expected. The PM position does not entail direct staff supervision, except in the PM’s management role for specific projects.

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities
  • Excellent critical thinking skills;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to run multiple cross-functional projects to successful completion;
  • Good English oral and written communication skills;
Minimum Qualifications
  • Undergraduate and/or graduate degrees in a science, engineering, project management, operations management, or program management area; or equivalent relevant experience;
  • At least seven (7) years of experience with program or project management within a high-technology environment;
  • Ability to think and work at 10,500-foot altitude and lift 50 lbs.
  • Ability to drive according to the University Fleet Safety Policy.
Preferred Qualifications
  • Experience at senior, executive level management;
  • Fifteen (15) years, or more, of experience with program or project management within a high-technology environment;
  • Post-graduate qualification in management, engineering or physical sciences;
  • Experience or background in astronomy or the physical sciences;
FLSA Exempt
Full Time/Part Time Full Time
Number of Hours Worked per Week 40
Job Category Administrative and Professional
Benefits Eligible Yes - Full Benefits
Posted Rate of Pay DOE
Type of criminal background check required: Name-based criminal background check (non-security sensitive)

Posting Detail Information

Posting Number A22058
Number of Vacancies One
Desired Start Date 12/04/2017
Position End Date (if temporary)
Limited to Current UA Employees No
Contact Information for Candidates

Gene Gardner

Open Date 09/11/2017
Close Date
Open Until Filled Yes
Review Begins On 10/30/2017
Special Instructions to Applicant
Diversity Statement

At the University of Arizona, we value our inclusive climate because we know that diversity in experiences and perspectives is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and creating an inclusive academic community. We translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience and expertise working with diverse students, colleagues and constituencies. Because we seek a workforce with a wide range of perspectives and experiences, we encourage diverse candidates to apply, including people of color, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. As an Employer of National Service, we also welcome alumni of AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service programs and others who will help us advance our Inclusive Excellence initiative aimed at creating a university that values student, staff and faculty engagement in addressing issues of diversity and inclusiveness.

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Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * Where did you first learn about this position?
    • Arizona Daily Star
    • Arizona Republic
    • Chronicle of Higher Education
    • Department of Economic Security (DES)
    • Diverse Issues in Higher Education
    • Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education
    • Jobing.Com
    • LinkedIn
    • Local Job Banks
    • Pima County One-Stop
    • Professional Conference
    • Professional journal/publication
    • Referred by UA Employee
    • Invited by Dept to Apply
    • UA Website
    • Other
  2. * Do you have an undergraduate and/or graduate degree in a science, engineering, project management, operations management, or program management area; OR, equivalent relevant experience?
    • Yes
    • No

Documents Needed to Apply

Required Documents
  1. Cover Letter
  2. Resume
Optional Documents