University of Waterloo

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Director, Student and Faculty Relations

Director, Student and Faculty Relations

Requisition ID 
Job Category  
Career Services
5180 - Coop Educ & Career Action
Job Status 
Regular Full-Time
Hiring Range 
$106,045 - $132,557

More information about this job


The Director, Student & Faculty Relations is accountable for the creation and delivery of the University’s co-op student experience and faculty engagement strategy as it relates to integration with the academic mission of the University, with the principles of co-operative education and the well-being, safety and success of all co-op students as they go through their co-op journey at Waterloo. Ensures ongoing student and faculty engagement, feedback and influence on delivery of co-operative education and the related supports, service and results to students to meet student and faculty expectations.

The Director will collaborate and partner with faculty and senior administrators to proactively influence pedagogy and academic structure in relation to the co-op model, policies, guidelines and process, whilst seeking constant innovations and improvements, as well as consideration to other forms of work integrated learning, dependent on needs and requirements. A collaborator, connector and influencer within the Co-operative and Experiential Education portfolio, the Director will also represent co-operative education at appropriate University committees and councils as well as externally at relevant associations, provincially, nationally and internationally.


Help shape and execute the strategy for Co-operative education

  • Provides strategic direction and leadership for Student & Faculty Relations on stakeholder focus, structure, process management/integrity, benchmarking and planning
  •  Leads initiatives in support of the Co-op strategy and goals
  • Creates and is accountable for all aspects of the co-op student experience strategy. Enabling student input, participation and feedback and ensuring integration with the academic mission and that the principles of co-operative education are followed and student success in Co-op is clearly defined and met
  • Develops student and faculty feedback mechanisms and metrics to ensure a continual pulse check on strategic direction, partnership and support being provided to meet student and faculty expectations
  • Provides input and influence to the University’s strategic, student enrollment plans
  • In collaboration with CEE colleagues, ensures Co-operative Education is inclusive at Waterloo with strategies designed to evolve and support student equality, diversity needs and accessibility requirements, enabling student co-op success
  • Responsible for galvanizing strategy and action, across the co-op team and its stakeholders, to address co-op job shortages and requirements for new, changing programs, and for programs where employment levels are a concern
  • Acts as strategic liaison between the faculties, UW administration, student leadership and the Co-op department on all matters concerning co-operative education. Also acting as a connector for stakeholders with the CEE portfolio (CEE Services, Centre for Career Action, WatPD, WatCACE) when opportunities and relevant matters arise
  • Ensures our co-op programs fit CEWIL Canada accreditation requirements and all aspects of our programming, process, assessment, reflection and support for students are benchmarks for others
  • Provides strategic input and guidance on the direction of Co-operative Education at the University
  • Works with CEE partners in identifying opportunities to further broaden work integrated learning
  • Provides input to CEE Leadership on areas of potential research to enable the continual evolution of Cooperative Education
  • Represents co-operative education at appropriate University committees and councils as well as externally at relevant Associations, Provincially, Nationally and Internationally to help shape strategy, agenda and direction as well as enhancing our Co-op image and brand

Provides a safe, relevant and successful co-op experience for students participating in co-operative education through our co-op programs

  • Partners with the Federation of Students, Co-op Student Council, Student Success Office and Associate Deans for Co-op to effectively engage and involve students in how we support them
  • In collaboration with CEE Services creates evolving policies, guidelines, frameworks and processes required to ensure relevant, credit worthy, safe experiences are available for students, with appropriate support, evaluation and reflection aligned with competency attainment and appropriate learning outcomes
  • Defines Co-op student success criteria developing plans and actions for continual improvement and assessment against stakeholder expectations
  • In partnership with CEE and Co-op Leadership, supports the resolution of conflicts between students and employers.
  • With support, advice and input from the Centre for Career Action and WatPD, ensures Co-op students are appropriately supported in being workplace ready
  • Ensures effective escalation processes and guidelines are in place to support the resolution of student concerns, grievances, complaints and disciplinary matters by involving relevant department, faculty and on campus partners as required or in relation to Policy 70 adjudication and decision making


Leads the partnership with faculty on academic integration and all aspect of co-operative education within each faculty

  • Works with Associate Deans and faculties to jointly develop strategic co-op plans and goals to deliver on faculty expectations and enable proactive input to assist and advise on matters relating to pedagogical integration of co-op with academic programs
  • Provides guidance and support in relation to new co-op program development, co-op program changes and requirements to fit with a co-op model or involves CEE colleagues in determining another potential form of work-integrated learning
  • Builds effective partnerships with Faculty Deans, Associate Deans Co-op, faculty members and senior university administrators
  • In collaboration with CEE Services, identifies and facilitates policies and guidelines needed to support faculties and students on the successful administration of the co-op program
  • Strategizes with faculty to continually evolve our Co-op model and its academic integration by developing new formats and aspects that continue to be benchmarks for others

Leads and manages direct reports and ensure the delivery of results in support of Co-op’s mission, vision and guiding principles including:

  • Provides overall leadership for faculty relations managers and co-op student experience managers
  • Creates a stakeholder focused environment, embracing input from all stakeholders (students, faculties and employers) with vital collaboration with CEE colleagues to ensure student and faculty success
  • Provides information and context needed for employees to be effective
  • Hires, develops and retains the best qualified staff available from inside or outside UW, setting SMART goals and expectations and helping employees create clear paths to success
  • Ensures effective teamwork dynamics within SFR but also across Co-op, CEE and the University
  • Ensures appropriate back up, support and cross training to manage capacity
  • Holds SFR team members accountable for performance including consistent application of processes
  • Manages performance through both formal (performance appraisal) and informal methods such as regular feedback, coaching and one-to-ones
  • Identifies development opportunities in others and co-creating with the employee a development plan; regularly following up on the progress of development
  • Plans and manages the Student & Faculty Relations budget

Provide overall leadership to the organization by:

  • Personally championing mission, vision and guiding principles and playing a leadership role in bringing them to life
  • Provides input from the Student and Faculty perspective into strategic planning for co-operative education and contributes to the broader development of an experiential education strategic plan
  • Monitors business practices to ensure that Co-op has the appropriate practices and processes to work effectively for all stakeholders both within and external to the University
  • Leads the development of new capabilities required by the introduction of new systems, tools or processes
  • Develops productive, collaborative working relationships across Co-op, CEE and the University
  • Leads or contributes to the identification, development and implementation of projects to improve service quality, relationships, stakeholder satisfaction, timeliness, staff capability and performance
  • Develops internal/external customer service standards, monitoring satisfaction with service delivered and taking action to restore and enhance service quality


  • University degree required; Master’s or equivalent in a related field (e.g. Leadership, Higher Education, Co-op and or Experiential Education, Student Services) preferred
  • Minimum of 5-10 years of progressive experience in a people management and leadership role, including a track record of performance management with direct reports, preferably in a Higher Education environment
  • Previous strategic planning experience
  • Previous experience developing policies, guidelines and actions for continual improvement
  • Experience working within academic and academic support units is an asset
  • Program and project management experience is an asset
  • Proven ability to think and plan strategically and exercise political savvy
  • Proven skills in relationship management and achieving results using a collaborative approach
  • Demonstrated success in leading change efforts
  • Demonstrated ability to influence, negotiate, and develop relationships at multiple levels and across a wide range of personalities and functions
  • Ability to conceptualize and address current and future challenges in a logical manner
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and to implement institution-wide strategies and initiatives
  • Ability to adapt skills and experience to a new environment
  • Excellent verbal, written and presentation communication skills
  • Strength in problem solving and driving continual improvement and positive change
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively, build consensus and be sensitive to the needs and interests of various stakeholders
  • Demonstrated ability to contribute to and thrive in a collaborative environment and to apply a positive team approach to working with internal and external colleagues