University of Waterloo

Governance Officer

Requisition ID 2024-11949
Employment Type
Time Type
Hiring Range
$83,455 - $113,561
Job Category
Job Location : Location


​​Reporting to the University Secretary (US) the Governance Officer acts as a neutral and objective resource providing procedural advice and support to three functional areas within the Secretariat:  

  • the Board of Governors and its committees; 
  • the Senate and its committees and councils; and 
  • policy development, renewal and administration, employee and student relations committees and quasi- judicial processes as captured in university policies and agreements.  

​The Governance Officer will be assigned work by the US predominantly in one or two functional areas with the expectation of cross-training to allow continuity of support in times of overload, vacation, or illness.  This may change from time to time as determined by the US.  


The Governance Officer will be assigned responsibility for particular committees and councils and have the ability and knowledge to act in the absence of an Associate University Secretary concerning the work of other committees and subcommittees within assigned functional areas.  The incumbent will provide leadership and professional support with a high level of confidentiality to the governing bodies and their committees, and act as a resource for internal and external stakeholders on governance-related matters.


This role will have a particular focus on Senate and supporting academic governance at the University.


Governance Coordination

  • Organizes committee meetings (Board, Senate, Stakeholder Relations) within their areas of responsibility, including planning and compiling the agendas; organizing and editing briefing documents; providing electronic materials; liaising with committee chairs and members; resolving procedural issues, monitoring issues and enduring that they are forwarded to the appropriate level of authority for approval; recording minutes and reporting decisions within the senior administration and to the university community as appropriate; posting and updating of agenda packages
  • Expert administrator of the governance portal including training of other Secretariat staff and resource to the university community; high level of knowledge of all functions associated with the portal
  • Drafting briefing and speaking notes for committee chairs as assigned
  • Act as a key resource for issues arising from the work of assigned committees or processes
  • Assesses, in concert with the AUS, what information can and should be released to stakeholders to maintain transparency and determine what information should remain confidential; makes recommendations regarding such to senior staff
  • Advises on agenda requirements, meeting organization, formation for recommendations and motions, appropriate follow-up actions, methods of consultation with stakeholders
  • Ensures that meeting procedures and processes are adhered to and provide advice to committees as required
  • Manages the communication and records retention functions of the Secretariat (as assigned), including records of committees and quasi-judicial proceedings, maintenance of the university’s policy library, communications to Senate and Board and their committees, management of filing systems, archiving documents and records with administrative staff, maintaining inventory of motions
  • Manages the Honorary Degree/Honorary Member/Distinguished Professor Emeritus nomination, evaluation, selection process, including organization and distribution of highly confidential packages, administering committee selection meeting(s) and liaising with high-profile selected nominees
  • Ensures appropriate parties in units across campus are notified of decisions of the Board, Senate, committees and councils and that decisions are interpreted and explained, and that all are recorded in various databases for historical accuracy
  • Supports the development, delivery and updating of training and education sessions for the University Community along with the Associate Secretaries
  • Interfaces among peer executive offices within the senior administration, providing guidance and direction on Secretariat procedures
  • Provides prompt and expert advice and guidance to the University Secretary, Associate University Secretaries and other administrative leaders regarding University Governance policies and procedures
  • Provides support for the review of existing policies and procedures in conjunction with the Associate University Secretaries and University Secretary
  • In collaboration with the Associate University Secretaries, provides support to coordinate and facilitate policy development and policy renewal processes
  • Support the execution and delivery of the quasi-judicial responsibilities of the Secretariat as captured in various University policies and agreements, including those relating to faculty, staff and students

Elections and Nominations

  • Administers elections to the Board, Senate, and other appointments in accordance with the by-laws of each governing body
  • Serves as the primary point of contact for questions about elections from chairs of governing bodies and committees, nominees, and interested candidates, both internal and external to the university
  • Liaises with the Office of Advancement and University Relations regarding communication strategies
  • Ensures elections are appropriately advertised, results are announced in a timely manner, and records are kept up to date
  • Tracks term dates for members of the governing bodies and their committees, advises the University Secretary and Associate University Secretaries of upcoming vacancies, and works to manage governing body and committee memberships to ensure appropriate university-wide representation as dictated by relevant by-laws and terms of reference
  • Coordinates the nomination process for Senate standing committees

Project Management

  • Develops project work plans, including milestones and deadlines, that align with the annual calendars of the governing bodies and office workflows, and monitors progress toward desired outcomes
  • Analyzes data, identifies trends and anomalies, and synthesizes it into easily understood reports for use by governing bodies, senior administration and others as required
  • Leads the development of change management strategies to implement University Secretariat projects and initiatives in consultation with the associate University Secretaries
  • Works with stakeholders of various projects to determine resource requirements and project team roles, communicates roles and responsibilities to project team members, as well as expectations for timelines and deliverables
  • Manages the implementation of the project and reviews and monitors progress

Duties within the Secretariat

  • Support governance-related matters, policy coordination and facilitation, quasi-judicial processes and other activities as may be required
  • May be assigned responsibility for special projects and events including governance reviews, award nominations, policy reviews, retreats, events, and initiatives designed to foster communication and collaboration between governing bodies
  • The US may assign the Governance Officer to specific areas within the Secretariat which may change from time to time


  • Undergraduate degree with preferred courses related to Project Management; governance experience and training is a definite asset
  • 5 years’ progressive experience in managing the work of committees or large working groups, preferable in a university environment
  • 2 years’ experience managing large, complex projects in a decentralized environment
  • Experience with an academic governance structure and understanding of the role of the governing bodies, administrative and academic policies, and quasi-judicial processes  
  • Judgment, analytical and problem-solving skills with a consultative and collaborative approach to addressing issues and opportunities
  • Project management skills to align projects with strategic goals and operational objectives, ensure team roles are clear, milestones are communicated, and deadlines are met
  • Ability to establish effective routines for excellent communication with all members of the team to maximize productivity
  • Communication skills with the ability to converse with, write reports for, and deliver presentations to all levels of the organization
  • Proven written communication skills, with the ability to produce content, as well as project report and documentation
  • Organizational skills to manage multiple activities that are accurate and thorough, sometimes of a complex nature
  • Ability to collaborate across internal and external boundaries to meet common objectives, improve outcomes and support work beyond one’s own unit
  • In-depth knowledge of techniques for planning, managing and coordinating projects that involve a variety of stakeholders
  • Ability to provide solutions and ideas for improvement by using imaginative approaches where constructive thinking and innovation are required
  • Ability to draw on diversity of skills, backgrounds, and knowledge of people to achieve more effective results
  • Ability and willingness to employee a consultative and collaborative approach to addressing issues and making decision
  • Professional manner, tact, diplomacy, and discretion in dealing with various stakeholders and colleagues, including senior leadership
  • Proven ability and natural inclination to develop relationships by interacting with people in a professional, respectful, and diplomatic manner
  • Ability to work independently and effectively as a member of the team to achieve department goals

Equity Statement

The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg, and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is co-ordinated within the Office of Indigenous Relations.


The University values the diverse and intersectional identities of its students, faculty, and staff. The University regards equity and diversity as an integral part of academic excellence and is committed to accessibility for all employees. The University of Waterloo seeks applicants who embrace our values of equity, anti-racism and inclusion.  As such, we encourage applications from candidates who have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, including applicants who identify as First Nations, Métis and/or Inuk (Inuit), Black, racialized, a person with a disability, women and/or 2SLGBTQ+.


Positions are open to qualified candidates who are legally entitled to work in Canada. 


The University of Waterloo is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. If you have any application, interview, or workplace accommodation requests, please contact Human Resources at  or 519-888-4567, ext. 45935.


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