University of Waterloo

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Administrative Assistant to the Dean

Administrative Assistant to the Dean

Requisition ID 
Job Category  
3000 - Dean of Math Office
Job Status 
Temporary Appointment (Contract)
Hiring Range 
$48,620 - $60,775

More information about this job


Term: 4 months


Reporting to the Administration Manager, the Assistant to the Dean is accountable for the administrative duties as well as general secretarial responsibilities required by the Dean. The Assistant must be fully aware of the Dean’s schedule and priorities, including travel commitments and speaking engagements, be prepared to make rapid changes to arrangements, and to alert the Dean to potential scheduling conflicts and priorities. The Dean is extremely active both on and off campus. The demands placed on the Dean are such that he/she relies on the Assistant to carry out the duties of this position with little direction or supervision, but keeping him/her constantly informed of the state of affairs. The Assistant must maximize the Dean’s time by strategically planning and scheduling the Dean’s time and ensuring that he/she is kept on schedule. The Assistant must have the ability to assess unexpected situations that may require the Dean’s immediate attention, and modify the Dean’s schedule as required.


The Assistant to the Dean personifies professional courtesy and absolute discretion when carrying out the duties of this position, handling complex situations as they arise, and maintaining utmost confidentiality of Faculty records
and/or discussions. The Assistant to the Dean is the frontline position liaising between the Dean’s Office and i) the Senior Administrators – President, Vice-Presidents Offices etc., ii) the UW Deans and iii) the Department Chairs/Directors in Math and campus-wide iv) international visitors, government offices, and local communities. The Assistant represents the Dean to all visitors and callers to the office with professional courtesy, poise and warmth; understands and employs appropriate protocol with dignitaries and international guests by phone and in person.


Manage Dean’s priorities and calendar bookings

  • Quickly adapt to and learn priorities of the Dean’s office to effectively maintain Dean’s calendar, schedule all appointments and meetings for the Dean
  • Maintain a record of the annual cycle of events related to the Dean’s administrative position; use this to plan well in advance for activities such as tenure and promotion, attendance at leadership meetings, and the annual performance cycle
  • Proactively manage the calendar to include requirements of the Dean’s external activities, including stakeholder relationships and community events
  • Organize agendas, minutes and documentation for the Dean’s use prior to meetings; arrange premeetings to brief the Dean if required
  • Handle complex situations as they arise with speed, and discretion, including need for urgent meetings and changes to detailed arrangements involving numerous other parties; tactfully communicate to other parties when scheduled meetings must be changed
  • Critically think in an unexpected situation to assess what needs to be completed and prioritize tasks effectively

Manage Dean’s correspondence

  • Independently manage the Dean’s correspondence: Create and manage a system to log, file and manage all forms of correspondence to track workflow, action requests, and follow-up to completion
  • Manage and action Dean’s primary email account; respond, forward and prioritize email as appropriate
  • Manage other communications directed to the Dean (mail and telephone)
  • Draft correspondence and other material for the Dean’s signature as required
  • Maintain contact with influential and senior members of the university, media, business and prospect community, both internally and externally as a front line representative of the Dean
  • Maintain utmost confidentiality concerning details of the Dean’s discussions and correspondence

Manage Travel arrangements and events

  • Manage and coordinate all travel preparations for the Dean which includes making arrangements for accommodation, transportation, conference registrations, meeting schedules, etc. and preparing complete itinerary for the travel
  • Collect and maintain information related to the Dean’s travel needs and preferences, copies of relevant travel documents and contacts for use on subsequent trip planning
  • Handle complex change situations as they arise, including rerouting travel, changes in accommodations, or last-minute changes in event schedules
  • Assist with travel arrangements for the Dean’s visitors
  • Administer room bookings for Faculty meeting rooms and parking for Dean’s visitor spots
  • Assist with large-scale events planned in the Dean’s office which may include the design of invitations, registration monitoring, arranging food services, set-up of facilities, greeting guests, etc

Financial administration

  • Prepare and process travel and expense claims and allowances in compliance with University
  • Policy and granting agency requirements; remain current on knowledge of all policy requirements; attend annual training sessions
  • Process P-Card statements on a monthly basis
  • Authorize, control, and reconcile all petty cash expenditures

Other administrative duties

  • Perform general office duties including reception, telephone and email inquiries for the Dean’s office – The assistant is often the first contact for students, faculty and others and it is the incumbent’s responsibility to present a professional and cordial environment for all visitors to the Dean’s Office. The incumbent is expected to work effectively in a team environment in which all members of the office collectively contribute to the overall operation of the Office of the Dean
  • Sort and distribute all mail addressed to faculty and staff of the Dean’s Office
  • Maintain mailboxes, arrange couriers and coordinate delivery of packages
  • Order and monitor office supplies
  • Manage physical record storage according to privacy legislation and records retention schedules
  • Monitor equipment and initiate service calls
  • Manage Dean’s office mailing lists
  • Conducts internet research for the Dean as required
  • Provides administrative support to other members of the Dean of Math office as required


  • Post-secondary diploma or equivalent education and/or experience in office administration 
  • Must have experience providing senior administrative support to a senior leader
  • Must have a demonstrated exceptional ability to manage the calendar of a senior leader with competing demands, changing priorities and complicated international travel and protocol
  • Must have experience in the coordination of events/meetings and briefing materials for a senior leader which requires strong project management skills and is essential to the success of this position
  • Experience interacting with a wide variety of people in many different contexts
  • Experience making independent judgement and handling confidential information
  • Knowledge of the University’s policies, procedures and operating requirements
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Demonstrated ability to work within a high stress environment and operate with a high degree of confidentiality and discretionary judgment, be comfortable in an environment that requires shifts in priorities and be able to work quickly
  • Outstanding organizational leadership, analytical and problem-solving skills, often with ambiguity and little direction
  • Must have the proven ability to exercise sound independent judgement and handle confidential information
  • Experience working in a receptionist or customer service role
  • Demonstrated ability to take the initiative, and accurately complete detailed work
  • Excellent interpersonal and relationship building skills with a demonstrated ability to handle faculty, staff and students from around the world with tact and diplomacy
  • Able to work independently and as part of a team in a busy office environment with multiple deadlines and conflicting requests
  • International experience is an asset
  • Intermediate ability to use computer applications including word processing, database management, spreadsheets and web page editing
  • Ability to compose correspondence
  • Strong proficiency in MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook
  • Occasional evening/weekend work required for events
  • Excellent interpersonal and relationship building skills with ability to handle faculty, staff and students from around the world with tact and diplomacy
  • Ability to develop sufficient understanding of various research and teaching areas at the Faculty of Math and to use this understanding to prioritize and anticipate the Dean’s schedules and meetings accordingly
  • Ability to change direction swiftly, manage multiple tasks simultaneously amid a number of distractions and be flexible to changing schedules and workload
  • Ability to trouble shoot and problem solve independently as well as part of a team
  • Ability to analyze situation and issues in an anticipatory environment
  • occasional evening/weekend work required for events