University of Waterloo

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Assistant to the Chair

Assistant to the Chair

Requisition ID 
Job Category  
2200 - Electrical & Computer Eng
Job Status 
Regular Full-Time
Hiring Range 
$48,620 - $60,775

More information about this job


The Assistant to the Chair (Assistant) provides executive level support to the Chair and is responsible for ensuring the smooth operation and confidentiality of the Chair’s Office. This position is accountable for managing the faculty appointments, administrative appointment, tenure and promotion procedures, including annual review process, sabbatical and other leave applications. This position provides continuity through academic leadership changes.


Executive Administrative Support

  • Provides comprehensive assistance to the Chair to meet the teaching, outreach, public relations, and research activities and goals of the Department
  • Organizes the Chair’s schedule and coordinates often unexpected changes to detailed arrangements
  • Keeps the Chair appraised of priorities or urgent matters requiring immediate attention and in the absence of the Chair, responds as appropriate
  • Liaises with faculty, staff, students, alumni, external partners and employs appropriate protocol with dignitaries and international guests
  • Handles difficult situations with discretion and confidentiality, including the need for urgent meetings and dealing with distressed students
  • Maintains confidentiality concerning details of the Chair’s discussions and correspondence
  • Organizes agendas, support materials, and creates briefing notes for the Chair prior to meetings
  • Provides technical writing and proofreading for the Chair
  • Ensures the effective functioning of the Chair’s office through meeting management, document creation (e.g. draft correspondence, briefs, presentations, etc.), and travel arrangements

Faculty Relations Administration

  • Assists the Chair with the recruitment, appointment, evaluation, promotion and retention of faculty
  • Coordinates advertising of vacant faculty positions and works with four Department Advisory Committee on Appointments (DACA) chairs in the recruitment of new faculty hires
  • Maintains the department Faculty Position Application (FPAS) system and ensures completeness of applications and submitted documents
  • Coordinates applications for new or vacant faculty positions, and prepares acknowledgement and rejection letters
  • Coordinates interview process, schedules candidate visits, including travel arrangements and reimbursement claims
  • Prepares package for full-time faculty appointments and assists the DACA Chairs in the preparation of UARC documentation
  • Maintains database of statistical data for the various DACA chairs
  • Liaises with the university Immigration Specialist regarding immigration requirements for academic appointments
  • Prepares sessional teaching, lab instructor and teaching assistant contracts, and research professor, cross and adjunct appointments
  • Provides an orientation to new faculty members and ensures that all support services are arranged
  • Monitors end dates of definite term and probationary term appointments and ensures renewals are processed in a timely manner
  • Prepares all administrative appointments related to Associate Chairs, Coordinators, etc
  • Coordinates tenure and promotion proceedings in consultation with the Chair
  • Coordinates letters from external referees
  • Coordinates the final submission to the Dean of Engineering Office
  • Coordinates merit proceedings and timelines in consultation with the Chair
  • Collects year-end reports from faculty members, compiles data related to research grants, publications, teaching and service activities from same, preparing summary forms, and packages for Merit Committee
  • Prepares spreadsheets of final merit ratings for Dean’s office
  • Prepares letters of evaluation for all faculty members in the Department
  • Co-ordinates the dissemination and collection of student evaluation materials for teaching faculty
  • Reviews and ensures Leave applications are complete, calculates and verifies sabbatical leave entitlements
  • Provides advice and guidance on policies and procedures related to tenure, adjunct appointments, overload, administrative appointments, leaves, retirement, etc
  • Maintains confidential faculty files pertaining to tenure, promotion, merit and discipline cases in accordance with UW Policy 75
  • Tracks faculty administrative tasks, committee memberships, etc. and maintains teaching records, course critiques, reviews, etc
  • Maintains faculty away list to track sabbaticals, vacation, etc

Departmental Committee Support

  • Ensures the effective and efficient operation of the department’s various committees (e.g. DACA, DTPC) and coordinates logistics as required
  • Maintains current membership of the various committees and assists the Chair with recruitment of faculty to various committees and ensures voting procedures are followed
  • Prepares minutes from monthly department meetings and annual retreats, and follows up on deferred items and action items
  • Ensures meetings follow appropriate protocol, process guidelines and standards
  • Assist with planning and execution of various special events e.g. department retreat, as required

Administrative Support

  • Provides assistance to the Associate Chairs as needed
  • Provides assistance to the Administrative Officer as needed
  • Ensures consistency in implementation and compliance with UW policies and procedures
  • Generates a variety of ad-hoc reports and data summaries for review by various officers
  • Special project analysis, research, and other duties as assigned by the Chair or Administrative Officer
  • Advises Administrative Officer of absences to ensure continuity of support to the Chair’s office


  • Acts as back up for processing visiting or non-faculty appointments during the absence of the Research Appointment Coordinator
  • Provide back up to other staff as required
  • Maintain procedure manuals for this position and implements changes to procedures and processes as directed by the Faculty or University
  • Identify and recommend process improvements, recommends amendments to the database as appropriate


  • College diploma (undergraduate degree preferred) or equivalent education and/or experience in related field
  • Five years administrative support experience in progressively responsible positions, preferably in an academic environment
  • Experience with the application and interpretation of policies and procedures is necessary, preferably within an academic environment
  • Proficiency in using Microsoft Office, email, calendaring, and database systems
  • Demonstrated experience with taking minutes
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Must possess cultural awareness, sensitivity and patience to communicate and interact effectively with a wide range of people whose first language may not be English
  • Excellent interpersonal and relationship-building skills with a demonstrated ability to work harmoniously with a variety of groups with professionalism, tact and diplomacy
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain high levels of confidentiality dealing with sensitive matters with discretion
  • Problem solving skills, sound judgement and initiative with the ability to make decisions independently
  • Thoroughness, accuracy, and attention to detail is essential
  • Ability to work well under pressure of high volume and frequent interruptions, ability to stay calm during challenging times and periodic pressure
  • Willingness to adapt to changing priorities, schedules, and procedures with flexibility
  • May occasionally require work outside of regular business hours