This position guides and mentors a team of support specialists who deliver desktop services to faculty and staff that includes fostering innovative approaches and processes for software distribution and updates, managing hardware procurement and life-cycle replacement, as well as providing security for endpoint devices, cloud-based collaboration and communication tools, and data backup services. This role partners with team members to coordinate executive support for Northwestern administrators.
The mission of Northwestern IT is to “build innovative technology environments for the Northwestern community” in alignment with the University’s strategic goals and objectives. We are passionate about the continued improvement of personal computing support and the role it plays in supporting faculty and staff in their day-to-day activities. To deliver on our mission, you will work alongside technology leaders from across the University to identify opportunities that enable community members to more effectively run their personal computing environment, while ensuring alignment to quality standards in the delivery of a high availability support service with low tolerance for interruption.
TheDistributed Support Specialist Lead strengthens the team’s skills and expertise through professional development and training, while holding the team accountable for high-quality service delivery that includes mentoring team members and providing constructive feedback into their performance reviews. Aid in identifying, measuring and responding to key performance indicators of our services.
Consult with users and partners to provide creative and timely solutions for overall IT support and play a key role in executing all aspects of support.
Work alongside our team to implement improved user support and communication methodologies.
Be responsible for coordinating all executive IT support arrangements as it relates to activities around daily operation, travel, events, and other situations specific to supporting executives, including conferences and special events, e.g., University Board of Trustees meetings.
Be available for after hour support and weekend on-call support as needed.
Lead projects ensuring the client’s requirements and deliverables are clearly articulated, as well as delivered to expectations.
Strategic Service Development
Plan and execute desktop support in partnership with university technology leaders and Northwestern IT functional groups.
Work in conjunction with staff and senior management on the long-range planning of balanced and scalable support services that align with university goals, technology standards and best practice.
Consult on proof-of-concepts and unique solutions, lead projects, and own the implementation and communication of service enhancements.
Foster continual service improvement and best practice in the areas of IT service management and project management, while ensuring the highest possible quality of IT support.
Communicate and promulgate request and incident tracking standards and procedures to team members and Northwestern IT functional units.
Develop and maintain risk analyses process, risk mitigation strategy process, and issue logs for requests, incidents and projects.
Analyze short-and long-term resource needs and recommends and/or adjusts staffing and resources appropriately.
Service Performance Monitoring
Identify, recommend and implement key performance indicators to identify opportunities to improve client support and service delivery. Surface recommendations on necessary improvements and act on them as appropriate.
Community Development and Support
Create and maintain service documentation with clear and simple guidance to help users get the most out of IT services.
Organize and deliver workshops on tools, services, and skills for users of all skill levels.
Develop communications for service enhancements and disruptions, while engaging with clients regarding daily support activities and projects.
Represent the team while attending campus meetings and external conferences.
Provide work direction and/or supervise staff such as team members, subordinates, contractors, vendors, students, etc.
Recommend staff hires/terminations.
Coach and mentor staff.
Other duties that relate to assigned responsibilities.
Performs other duties as assigned.
Successful completion of a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university; OR appropriate combination of education and experience.
Minimum of 4 years’ experience delivering IT services and support with customer-service focus that includes executive support.
Proven success engaging partners and leading projects to completion.
Ability to maintain composure in high-stress situations, while leading communications across groups to facilitate technical troubleshooting and problem resolution.
Experience in the following areas:
Infrastructure (extends across applications) - Mac OS X Operating System, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access, Outlook), Windows Operating System.
Analytical – Critical thinking, decision making, judgment, problem solving, troubleshooting.
Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
Possess superb communication (written and verbal), organizational, and problem-solving skills.
Monitor, measure, and communicate progress on key service improvement initiatives and projects, revising timelines and efforts based on team members task-specific status updates.
Able to use remote support tools to manage and fix personal computing devices.
High level of technical troubleshooting skills in supporting desktop and laptop computers, mobile technology devices, printers, Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, Mac OS and related desktop software.
Ability to foster a collaborative and service oriented work environment.
Demonstrable ability to write and assess requests for proposals (RFPs), service level agreements (SLAs) and related documentation.
Preferred Qualifications: (Education and experience)
Master’s degree in Information Technology, Information Systems or proven equivalent experience at a large educational research institution.
Five or more years of management experience leading a team that delivers IT support to a diverse group of customers that includes executives.
Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)
Shown ability to work through complex problems, both technical and functional, to identify both the root cause and recommended solution.
Demonstrated knowledge of computing and networking technologies (Windows and Apple OSX).
Understanding of both network infrastructure and hardware.
As per Northwestern University policy, this position requires a criminal background check. Successful applicants will need to submit to a criminal background check prior to employment.
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.
Internal Number: 32807
About Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a major private research university with 12 academic divisions located on three campuses in Evanston, Chicago, and Education City in Doha, Qatar. We have approximately 2,500 full-time faculty members, 17,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and over 5,700 full and part-time staff. Northwestern University combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment. It provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal and professional growth.