Systems Administrator


Northwestern University
Library Type: 
Academic Library

Position Details

Full Time or Part Time: 
Full Time
37.5 per week
Starts at 75k per year

Systems Administrator, Northwestern University Libraries Information Technology

Job Summary

Completes system installation and management, system monitoring and performance tuning, diagnostics and troubleshooting, user support coordination, backup and storage management, data center maintenance, and other related tasks.

Do you thrive in a technically challenging environment with opportunities to grow your skills? Are you enthusiastic to learn and implement new technologies? Northwestern University Libraries is looking for an ambitious and creative systems administrator to join a team committed to re-imaging the user experience for tomorrow's researchers. IT Infrastructure is responsible for a wide array of technologies at the University Libraries including Windows servers, Windows workstations and laptops, data storage, and systems security. As a Systems Administrator, you will assist in administering, maintaining and securing our diverse critical infrastructure. You will assist in running the Library's Windows domain including account creation and Group Policies. You will be responsible for creating and maintaining system images and documenting process for others. Monthly security and application patching for servers and workstations will also be your responsibility. Do you enjoy assisting people resolve their technical challenges? You will balance providing advanced help desk support with large-scale individual and team projects and rollouts. You should enjoy solving interesting problems, have a strong user focus, and be both enterprising and curious enough to try new ideas and learn new technologies. We are looking for a person with vision, leadership, critical thinking and technical abilities to help move the Library towards new solutions for supporting the library of tomorrow.

Principal Accountabilities

Strategic Planning

  • Provides recommendations regarding infrastructure changes including upgrades, rollouts, planning and budgeting.
    • Participates in disaster recovery/business continuity planning including backup and recovery procedures.
    • Identify and investigate emerging technologies suitable for the libraries and bring new opportunities to key partners.
  • Administration
  • Ensures data recoverability by implementing and verifying system backups.
  • Develops and promotes standard operating procedures for imaging, patching and updating of all software.
  • Conducts routine infrastructure audits to ensure compliance with established standards, policies, and configuration guidelines.
  • Creates and maintains user accounts, security, permissions, and file systems in an Active Directory Domain environment following operational standards and requirements.
    • Assists with running 700+ workstations using Group policy and permissions and automating processes with PowerShell.


  • Schedules and performs infrastructure installations and upgrades in accordance with established IT policies and procedures. Upgrade systems and processes as required for enhanced functionality and security issue resolution.
    • Responsible for creation, testing and maintaining of Windows images for deployment via Dell KACE. Handle the image configuration including profile migration, profile creation and drivers.
    • Creates and tests new software packages for deployment across enterprise
    • Responsible for patching of Windows workstations including handling patch testing, deployment and maintenance activities
    • Maintains and monitors virus protection software for Windows environment and resolving issues when detected.


  • Performs daily system monitoring, verifying the integrity and availability of all hardware, server resources, and systems, responding immediately to security or usability concerns.
    • Reviews system and application logs, and verifying completion of scheduled jobs such as backups.
  • In collaboration with senior system administrators, performs ongoing support and maintenance for systems and related applications
    • Prioritizes, fixes and resolves complex Help Desk issues providing timely technical support for users and work with them to tackle existing problems.
    • Participates in a rotating on-call after-hours support schedule with other systems administrators for production technologies


  • May provide work direction to team members, and/or input to team assignments

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 in a major such as computer science, information technology, or related; OR appropriate combination of education and experience.
  • 2 years system administration or other relevant experience required.
  • Please see information highlighted in tables below.
    • CrashPlan, Dell KACE
    • active directory design, administration
    • Adobe Creative Cloud Suite
    • Box Collaborative Storage
    • LDAP
    • Mac OS X Operating System
    • Microsoft Lync
    • Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access, Outlook)
    • Microsoft SharePoint
    • Server hardware
    • Storage hardware
    • VMware vSphere
    • Windows Operating System
    • Microsoft PowerShell
    • Shell Scripting
    • critical thinking
    • critical thinking
    • judgment
    • problem solving
    • troubleshooting
    • collaboration and teamwork
    • functional documentation
    • organizational skills
    • planning
    • Scrum project framework

Minimum Competencies:

  • Communication: Balancing listening and talking; communicates effectively one-to-one and in groups; writes precise, well-organized emails and proposals while using appropriate vocabulary and grammar; gives clear and manageable instructions.
  • Organization: Plans, organizes and schedules in an efficient, productive manner
  • Multi-Tasking: Demonstrates ability to work on multiple projects at one time.
  • Efficiency: Planning ahead; handling time well; anticipates contingencies and pays attention to detail; targets projects or initiatives that require special attention and focuses on key tasks when faced with limited time or resources; thinking of a better way of doing things.
  • Collegiality: being helpful, supportive, empathetic, and team orientated; building strong working relationships and a positive work environment.
  • Problem Solving/Analysis: Breaks down problems into smaller components, understands underlying issues, can simplify and process complex issues, understands the difference between critical details and unimportant facts.
  • Ability to Learn: Strong desire to develop and grow in knowledge and experience; learn new programs and technologies
  • Strong knowledge of hardware and software applications as well as operating systems and networking standards.
  • Demonstrated experience in managing end user computing infrastructure, Windows server platforms, related software, and basic system administration utilities.
  • Experience with complex Microsoft Active Directory deployments/migrations, as well as experience with virtualization technologies, such as VMware.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with Library IT or IT in a higher education environment.
  • Storage Expertise: Minimum 5+ years of implementing and/or maintaining a storage infrastructure, (DAS, NAS, SAN, Fiber Channel, iSCSI)
  • Virtualization Expertise: Minimum 2+ years of implementing and/or maintaining a VMware Infrastructure (3.x or vSphere 4/5). VMware certified professional a plus
  • Endpoint Management: Minimum 5+ years of implementing and/or maintaining a complex desktop and laptop environment (imaging, patching, troubleshooting)
  • Proven experience with PaperCut or other fee-based printing applications.
  • Experience translating business requirements into functional/technical specifications
  • Ability to communicate at all levels of an organization from end-user to senior management about both business and IT needs

Preferred Competencies:


Working Conditions:

  • As a member of the Library Technology team, this person may be called at any time to address emergency situations on library systems.
  • During certain times of the year, work hours may be extended or shifted to meet the need for staff during critical operational support activities.
  • 10% of work will take place outside of normal University business hours. Incumbent will be required to participate in rotating 24x7 on-call duties.
  • Requires occasional travel between library facilities on and off campus
  • Requires occasional physical labor in order to install, remove or relocate computer equipment and other hardware.

To Apply

Application Deadline: 
Open until filled
Application Note: 

Visit Northwestern University's hiring site and search for Job ID 35666

Apply To: 
Northwestern University Library
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston , IL 60208 42° 3' 12.7008" N, 87° 40' 26.6376" W