University of Waterloo

Associate Director, Integrated Communications

Requisition ID
Job Category
Marketing / Public Relations / Communications
5680 - SSO-Outreach & Engagement
Job Status
Regular Full-Time
Hiring Range
$74,976 - $93,720


The Associate Director, Integrated Communications is a key senior management position accountable to the Director, Student Success for institution-wide strategic leadership, effective management, successful implementation, and collaborative coordination of services and initiatives to enhance student engagement initiatives, integrated communications strategies, and the strategic positioning of the Student Success Office in the campus community. Plays a crucial role in the successful achievement of institutional goals for student retention and student success targets of the Student Success Office in achieving the university’s goal of a vibrant student experience. Responsible for ensuring effective student engagement strategies to capture the student voice, the delivery of student-centric programming, and effective and leading-edge communications strategies based on the unique needs and preferences of Waterloo students throughout all stages of their education from pre-arrival through to graduate school. A leading expert on campus for student engagement, outreach and communications, responsible for leading cross-campus initiatives, presenting student voice insights and communications best practices to cross-campus partners.


Provides overall strategic leadership and direction to the Integrated Communications team:

  • Exceptional leadership and management of staff including hiring, staff performance management, professional development, salary administration, priority setting, strategic planning and ensuring the effective delivery and assessment of services
  • Leads strategic and integrated communications for the SSO ensuring key audiences receive accurate and timely information about transitioning to university, continuing success, student resources, student life, and other essential information throughout their time at Waterloo
  • Ensures that SSO plans are linked to and integrated with those of other campus units to maintain quality, ensure consistency, and champion student-centric guiding principles.
  • Accountable for ensuring the effective management of digital and social properties
  • Provide strategies, management, structure and process for the assessment, planning, and provision of facilities, services, programs and initiatives in support of the student communications and student engagement
  • Responsible for the development and implementation of an issues communications strategy, in partnership with key campus stakeholders, for addressing unpopular or controversial issues that may arise and be of concern to students and their families
  • Maintain current knowledge about best practices for initiatives that prepare a student for university and that help provide a meaningful, relevant and engaging experience while they are here

Provides leadership and support for the SSO’s strategic planning, policy development, financial administration and resources allocation in conjunction with the senior management team:

  • Assists in the overall management of the Student Success Office by participating in the decision-making processes of the other units reporting to the Director, Student Success Office and of other appropriate management bodies of the university
  • Provides leadership and support for the Department’s strategic planning, policy development, financial administration and resource allocation in conjunction with the senior management team
  • Establishes objectives and performance expectations in alignment with the overall objectives and direction of the Student Success Office and strategically plans for continuous improvement
  • Provides advice and input to the Director, Student Success Office in regards to the overall expenditures and maintenance of the SSO budget and input on reporting of the SSO budget expenditures to the SSAC committee
  • Manages the budget for the integrated communications team within the department
  • In the absence of the Director, SSO and other senior management, acts on their behalf to oversee and run the
  • SSO team and provide direction with respect to project and team member responsibilities

Collaborates, advises, consults, educates, and builds consensus:

  • Develop an effective network of relationships with members of the university’s senior administration and senior communications staff across campus. Political acumen is critical
  • Works closely with faculties, other departments and student governments to help guide student communications in a strategic and effective way and works with these areas to help improve student communications across campus
  • Utilize extensive knowledge of the university, highly developed strategic, analytical and communication skills, expert knowledge of communications process and technology and a high degree of political acumen and interpersonal skill to nurture relationships with a range of stakeholders across the university

Research, reporting, and information sharing:

  • Develop and execute strategies that provide faculty and staff with timely, accessible and relevant information to help students succeed
  • Collaborate with SSO colleagues to develop and provide relevant data and information that will inform student success strategy and execution across the university. Champion assessment and evaluation related to student retention and engagement, with the SSO Data Analyst and with the support of key partners including
  • Institutional Analysis and Planning and the Registrar’s Office
  • Lead the strategic planning for the sharing of research results and insights with campus partners to influence strategies and initiatives across campus
  • Ongoing management of the institutional profile and reputation with student audiences
  • Interprets the university’s positioning and visual identity frameworks and ensures the effective positioning of the university to students and their families

Maintains a strong understanding of current trends and best practices for communications and student engagement:

  • Maintain an in-depth understanding of how the timing, tactics and nature of communication with students can influence student success
  • Strategies for effective communication
  • Accountable for the safeguarding of the university’s reputation through the identification, development, and delivery of new concepts and models along with well-tested, on brand, creative, innovative and high-quality approaches to marketing, communications, design, and student engagement


  • University degree in related discipline or equivalent education and experience - required, Master’s degree in a related discipline - preferred
  • 5+ years of experience in a marketing or communications management role – preferably in higher education or non-profit environment
  • Experience managing/leading a large team, in a student service environment preferred
  • Experience working within academic and academic support units an asset
  • Project management experience
  • Advanced - strategic, analytical, and communication skills
  • Advanced - knowledge of communication process and technology
  • High degree of political acumen
  • Interpersonal and relationship skills with a range of stakeholders
  • Proven ability to take initiative and be both creative and flexible
  • Proven ability to think strategically and exercise political savvy
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, solid organizational skills, and sound judgment
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively, build consensus and be sensitive to the needs and interests of various stakeholders
  • Demonstrated ability to contribute to and thrive in a collaborative environment and to apply a positive team approach to working with internal and external colleagues
  • Expert knowledge of communication strategies with a special emphasis on web, social media, video, mobile communications and various web systems that enhance communications (LEARN, Portal, etc.) and provide a strategic and student-centric communications approach to a diverse and multi-audience
  • An understanding of website architecture and the WCMS system, social media principles and strategy, and CRM/communication platforms that enhance student communications


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