University of Waterloo

Returning Candidate?

Associate Vice-President, Communications

Associate Vice-President, Communications

Requisition ID 
Job Category  
Marketing / Public Relations / Communications
5693 - VP University Relations-Commun
Job Status 
Regular Full-Time
Hiring Range 
$115,902 - $144,877

More information about this job


The AVP, Communications will be a catalyst for communications excellence and innovation throughout University Relations and across campus. With extensive internal and external communications accountabilities, the AVP, Communications will seize opportunities to integrate communications and achieve synergies across communications programs and stakeholder groups. The AVP, Communications will support and leverage the strengths of colleagues in other areas from across the University to achieve our overall strategic objectives.   


The AVP, Communications will lead and co-ordinate the development of strategic and operational plans as well as oversee the delivery of primary communications vehicles and messaging to our critical audiences including faculty, staff, students, leadership, alumni, media, governments and other stakeholders.


The AVP, Communications will ensure the University develops compelling and timely communication materials that enhance Waterloo’s reputation and pride with both internal and external audiences.   


Reporting to the AVP, Communications are: Director, Media Relations & Issues Management; Director, Integrated Communications; Associate Director, Executive Communications; and the Associate Director, Internal Communications.


  • Provide leadership to all institutional, leadership and internal communications, media relations and issues management
  • Develops and executes compelling and effective communication plans to support University priorities
  • Plays an integral role in issues and reputation management
  • Develop a matrix of responsibilities to ensure that relationships with faculties and other organizations on campus are coordinated pro-actively and effectively
  • Review and make recommendations relating to a continuously improving Communications Council Core Working Group and Faculty Communicators Group
  • Develop and deliver an overarching strategic plan as well as annual work plans with clearly articulated goals, objectives and key performance indicators
  • Provide leadership and development for the University Relations Communications team as part of a refreshed performance management and talent development approach within University Relations
  • Participates fully in all University Relations leadership and communication routines
  • Develop and manage budget allocations to support communication initiatives
  • Collaborate fully with University Relations leadership to fulfill planning and University strategic priorities
  • Work with the Associate Vice-President, Marketing and Strategic Initiatives to ensure collaborative and productive working relationships and processes
  • Work with AVP, Marketing and Strategic Initiatives to develop a campus-wide integrated marketing communications strategy focused on desired outcomes from key audiences leveraging media relations, print/web communications, marketing promotions, events and outreach strategies
  • Review and define future role of Waterloo communications councils
  • Support the Director, Media Relations in the leadership of the Waterloo News Editorial Meeting
  • Collaborate with and support communications initiatives led by Advancement, Alumni, Provost Office, Human Resources, Research and other University services as required and appropriate


  • Bachelor degree in marketing, communications, journalism, public relations or related field
  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in a communications or public affairs environment in the post-secondary or not-for-profit sectors, relevant public or private sectors, including at least 5 years in a functional leadership capacity
  • Experience in leading and motivating high performing teams
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills, including presentations to senior audiences and serving when appropriate as institutional spokesperson
  • Capacity to engage and communicate highly complex issues relevant to higher education
  • Adept in current and emerging communications technologies and social media platforms
  • Technical skills: advanced MS Word and PowerPoint, basic Excel
  • Exceptional public speaking and social media skills