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 
Regular Full-Time
Hiring Range 
$48,620 - $60,775

More information about this job


Reporting to the Administration Manager, the Assistant to the Dean is accountable for providing dedicated support and assistance to 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

  • Quickly adapt to and learn priorities of the Dean, including the Dean’s active projects as well as day to-day administration required by the Dean
  • 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 schedules and priorities change
  • Critically think in an unexpected situation to assess what needs to be completed and prioritize tasks effectively
  • 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

Manage Dean’s correspondence, referrals and follow-up

  • Independently manage the Dean’s correspondence, including referrals
  • Manage and action Dean’s primary email account; respond, forward and prioritize email as appropriate
  • Manage all forms of correspondence to track workflow and action requests
  • Follow up referrals to completion
  • Manage other communications directed to the Dean (mail and telephone)
  • Draft correspondence and other material for the Dean’s signature as required
  • Maintain utmost confidentiality concerning details of the Dean’s discussions and correspondence

Manage Dean’s calendar bookings

  • Maintain the Dean’s calendar, schedule all appointments and meetings for the Dean; proactively manage the calendar to include requirements of the Dean’s external activities, including stakeholder relationships and community events
  • 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
  • Organize agendas, minutes and documentation for the Dean's use prior to meetings 
  • Arrange pre-meetings to brief the Dean if required

Tracking and Reporting

  • Management, organization and tracking of all incoming and outgoing correspondence associated with the Dean including electronic files and records; strong follow-up processes are required
  • Responsible for development and management of workflow processes and correspondence tracking systems
  • Tracking of the Dean’s projects and current priority activities; provide weekly status reports on key activities including who is currently working on them, and estimated time of completion; requires use of software solution that is shared across core team members
  • Manage physical and electronic storage according to records retention policies

Travel arrangements

  • 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
  • Prepare and process the Dean’s 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

Other administrative duties

  • Provide backup for other Dean’s office staff as required
  • Take minutes at Dean’s meetings as required
  • Assist with events as required


  • College Diploma preferrably in Executive Assistant training and/or 4 year post-secondary education in office administration and/or customer service and/or equivalent education and/or experience
  • Administration and Executive Assistant work experience required
  • 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
  • A high degree of organizational skill, interpersonal acumen and problem solving ability is required to provide
  • oversight in balancing multiple priorities and deadlines
  • Demonstrated experience tracking and reporting project progress
  • Excellent interpersonal and relationship building skills with ability to handle faculty, staff and students from
  • around the world with tact and diplomacy
  • Experience with international travel and bookings
  • Experience interacting with different cultures, nationalities, races and religions
  • 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 remain calm in stressful situations
  • 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