University of Waterloo

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Director, Centre for Extended Learning

Director, Centre for Extended Learning

Requisition ID 
Job Category  
5270 - Centre for Extended Learning
Job Status 
Regular Full-Time
Hiring Range 
$106,045 - $132,557

More information about this job


The Director, Centre for Extended Learning (CEL) is accountable to the Associate Vice-President, Academic for providing strategic leadership and effective management of the University’s credit online learning courses and programs, as well as non-credit, online and face-to-face professional development programs. Major areas of responsibility include supporting the design, development, and delivery of online learning; enhancing and expanding non-credit program markets and revenue, and advocating for and supporting non-traditional students, including adult, part-time, and distant learners.


Leadership and Strategic Direction for Online Learning 

  • Provide leadership and support for online and technology-enabled learning at the University, ensuring that the University remains a leader among its peers in online learning 
  • Act as thought leader in the use of technology for teaching and learning, supporting the investigation, evaluation, and implementation of new technologies, and consulting on University decisions around technology-enabled learning
  • Create a strategic plan for the department that aligns with that of the institution and help meet the strategic plan goals of the University; measure and report on achievement of goals and other metrics that factor into the University’s internal and external reporting requirements and accountability measures (e.g., mandate agreements)  
  • Proactively identify how CEL can assist the institution, faculty, and departments meet objectives and overcome challenges including, but not limited to, promoting and supporting teaching and learning excellence, attracting new students (marketing and recruitment of non-traditional students), enabling access to underserviced populations, providing flexibility to traditional students, increasing experiential learning, and promoting internationalization 
  • Conduct or direct research and data analysis that helps inform unit or University practices and directions in online learning; share information internally through reporting lines, meetings, committees, reports to Senate, etc., and externally (e.g., to inform provincial, national and international initiatives); represent Waterloo in external consultations regarding online learning
  • Help provide a cohesive online learning environment by collaborating and coordinating with units such as with the Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE), Instructional Technologies and Media Services (ITMS), WatPD, the Library, Writing and Communication Centre, the Registrar’s Office 
  • Maintain relationships with provincial, national and international organizations involved in online learning; utilize relationships to extend Waterloo’s leadership in online learning  

Professional Development Program Success 

  • Ensure that Professional Development (PD), as an ancillary revenue-generating operation, generates enough revenue through its activities to sustain its operations as well as provide a revenue stream back to the university 
  • Ensure that PD provides top-quality professional development courses, corporate training, and community learning opportunities, that advance the goals and objectives of the University as they relate to innovation, reputation, outreach, and alumni engagement 
  • Guide PD in achieving growth, and ensures that the unit gathers the appropriate data and information regarding industry trends to make sound programming and marketing decisions 
  • Maintain memberships and affiliations with external professional development and continuing education organizations and foster relationships that facilitate ongoing knowledge sharing, promotion of the University, and collaborative projects with other institutions 
  • Make PD resources available to provide guidance and assistance to continuing education efforts being conducted across campus


  • Advocate for the adult, part-time, and distant learner to ensure programming and learner services meet the unique needs of these cohorts (both on and off campus) 
  • Work with Faculties and academic departments to encourage development of degree or certificate programs that will meet the needs of adult and distant learners, both within Canada as well as international markets; coordinate CEL support in communicating and marketing these opportunities to these sectors of the population 
  • Engage with government and other external initiatives relevant to online learning and professional development to capitalize on opportunities for the University 
  • Promote collaboration and partnerships within the University and externally with other institutions to benefit learners and maintain the University’s reputation as a leader in online and continuing education
  • Represent and promote the University’s strong reputation for online learning through membership in provincial, national, and international professional associations; presentations at conferences; and by networking with fellow practitioners across the country 
  • Represent online learners and program needs at various committees, e.g., Undergraduate Operations, Student Information System (SIS) Management, enrolment management, Admissions Forum, Learning Environment Operations (ex officio member), Finance, etc

Staff and Resource Management  

  • Manage the financial resources and performance of the Centre for Extended Learning; ensure the department’s budget is applied to maximize the positive impact it has at the University; advocate for new funding or positions as required 
  • Identify appropriate Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to ensure optimal services are delivered to all constituents (faculty and students); respond effectively to areas of concern with changes to services and strategies  
  • Lead the management team and strategic planning for unit 
  • Direct the recruitment, development, and retention of excellent staff to ensure an agile organization capable of meeting the growing and changing needs of faculty and students 
  • Ensure the appropriate systems and information management processes are in place to support the work of the department 
  • Negotiate collaborative agreements with other departments, institutional partners, external clients, and government; manage funding and external revenue


  • Masters degree in adult education, business management, or other relevant discipline 
  • Minimum of 8-10 years of progressive experience in a senior leadership role, with a proven track record of performance management within a larger department with direct reports, preferably in a higher education environment
  • Demonstrated success in the strategic leadership of online learning 
  • Very strong understanding of higher education, and e-learning in particular 
  • Proven management skills 
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, with the ability to effectively present strategies and plans to senior management 
  • Demonstrated ability to influence, negotiate, and develop relationships at multiple levels and across diverse audiences and areas 
  • Strong business and budget-planning acumen