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Instructional/Research Computing Systems Administrator

Apply now Job no: 493067
Categories: Staff
Department: T&I - Infrastructure

The Instructional/Research Computing Systems Administrator is responsible for building, supporting and maintaining physical and virtual computer lab systems and servers in support of computer science and other disciplines’ computationally-intensive work at Davidson College. This position works closely with Davidson faculty, Technology & Innovation (T&I) infrastructure staff, instructional designers and others to develop and connect computing environments such as Linux lab workstations, remote access virtual lab systems, and high-performance computing (HPC) resources, be they located on-campus, at other institutions, or on public cloud services such as Azure and AWS. This position works to improve provisioning, deployment and maintenance of servers across on-premises and cloud tiers, and to develop HPC capacity as needed, serving as the primary system administrator and integrator to develop services for these programs.  As a part of T&I’s converged Infrastructure team, the Research Computing Systems Administrator also works with the other network and system administrators to support the College’s IT infrastructure, particularly those portions that support Linux automation and orchestration.

As a member of the T&I team, the Systems Administrator is expected to uphold the department’s mission to “drive digital transformation that advances Davidson’s primary purpose” and contribute positively to a culture of collaboration, transparency, empathy, innovation, and accountability within T&I.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

  • Perform system administration duties for servers supporting mathematics, computer science, genomics, physics, and other academic departments.
  • Collaborate and communicate closely with faculty and students to address their needs.
  • In collaboration with faculty, assist in delivering computational environments and services that support teaching and research activities for key data sciences applications.
  • Build, maintain, patch and update computer labs systems, servers and systems applications on Linux including zero-day/time sensitive response to security vulnerabilities.
  • Experience in shell scripting or other capabilities to manage systems environments… ability to troubleshoot scripts running on servers.
  • Assist in supporting the various server infrastructure components including hypervisors, storage arrays, web servers, middleware services, campus-based applications, and other infrastructure required to support T&I services.
  • Maintain current knowledge of best practices and future trends in HPC systems and application and participate in user communities, professional associations, and conferences to share expertise and learn from others.
  • Prepare and provide status, activity, project updates and reports, and other communications to faculty and T&I leadership and campus constituents, as needed or requested.
  • Ensure computing lab systems and equipment are in good working order.
  • Assist in coordination as needed with outside providers.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Associates degree in Information Technology, Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science preferred, and two plus years of relevant work experience with Linux systems and/or Linux system administration.
  • Prior experience maintaining and supporting small-scale, shared-use High-Performance Compute (HPC) environments.
  • Experience using and supporting Linux systems, preferably Red Hat Enterprise Linux or derivatives such as CentOS, including maintaining secure patch levels, and working with other teams to troubleshoot, diagnose, and resolve server problems. 
  • Knowledge of one or more scripting languages (bash, Python, Perl, etc.) and demonstrated ability to use these for automation, system administration and support.
  • Understanding of HPC applications and workloads, server, and network security.
  • Experience using or supporting public cloud (AWS, Azure) infrastructure, technologies and capabilities.
  • Ability to troubleshoot and interact effectively with other teams and vendor support organizations.
  • A ‘can-do’ attitude to challenges; energized by change and thriving in team-based work.
  • Excellent verbal, written, interpersonal, and customer service skills and ability to establish good working relationships with a wide range of people within an academic community.

Desired Skills and Abilities

  • Holds or is pursuing an advanced degree in computer engineering or computer science, and/or additional years’ relevant work experience beyond the minimum level.
  • Hands-on experience building, maintaining and/or operating grid computing clusters, HPC clusters and research data management systems.
  • Knowledge of the higher education environment for computationally intensive computing (such as Internet2, ESnet, science DMZ architectures, etc.).
  • Experience supporting large file transfers for scientific and research data sets.
  • Understanding of storage area networks and experience with file operations and file storage (such as CIFS, NFS, NIS, Samba, and iSCSI).
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Windows Server 2012/2016 including core system administration capabilities. 


If interested in applying, please go to http://employment.davidson.edu and complete the online application, along with a cover letter and resume.


At Davidson College, we believe the college grows stronger by recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty and staff committed to building an inclusive community.  In order to achieve and sustain educational excellence, we seek to hire talented faculty and staff across the intersections of diverse races, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities, ages, socio-economic backgrounds, political perspectives, abilities, cultures, and national origins.

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