University of Waterloo

  • Executive Assistant to the Dean

    Requisition ID
    Job Category
    2175 - Dean of Engineering Office
    Job Status
    Regular Full-Time
    Hiring Range
    $49,965 - $62,456
  • Overview

    Reporting to the Dean of Engineering, the Executive Assistant provides confidential essential support to the Dean and acts as a liaison with senior members of the Faculty including the Vice Dean, Associate Deans, Chairs and Directors. The Executive Assistant is effective in establishing excellent working relationships within the Faculty of Engineering and University including the Office of the President, Office of the Vice-President, Academic and Provost, and other senior leaders. The Dean of Engineering is extremely active both on and off campus. The Executive Assistant provides executive level support by anticipating needs, administering calendaring and scheduling of meetings and appointments and maintains an awareness and understanding of ongoing activities. The role provides high-level administrative support to the Dean, ensuring he or she is fully prepared for all commitments. The Executive Assistant provides confidential, professional support and acts as an ambassador for the Dean’s Office to expertly manage, triage, and refer a broad spectrum of urgent and sensitive issues.


    Client service and administration

    • Represents the Dean’s Office with all contacts, ensuring the right tone and interest is projected, dealing with issues and concerns, and solving or referring problems as they arise
    • Acts as a resource on university policies and procedures and ensures all administrative activities and functions are in compliance with policies
    • Builds and maintains relationships among the academic and academic support units, and offices of other members of senior leadership team to ensure sharing of information and consistent services
    • Establishes and maintains effective interaction with staff in academic support units campus wide on all matters pertaining to the Faculty of Engineering
    • Acts as the initial point of contact for the Dean; anticipates potential problems, acts to field concerns and resolve difficult situations including sensitive issues requiring absolute discretion and confidentiality, while maintaining excellent rapport with internal and external stakeholders
    • Interacts with various external stakeholders including government representatives, other institutions, business and industry to answer questions or direct to the appropriate internal source
    • Researches, prioritizes and determines the appropriate course of action, referral or response on a variety of complex matters
    • Provides administrative direction and guidance to team members

    Scheduling, information coordination and issues management

    • Maintains the calendar and schedules all meetings and appointments on behalf of the Dean
    • Prepares an annual cycle of academic responsibilities and events for the Dean to ensure appropriate planning for future scheduling
    • Responds quickly and fluidly to the day-to-day administration and priorities of the Dean 
    • Prepares official correspondence and presentations, including drafting, proofreading and editing
    • Monitors upcoming activities and anticipates, researches, compiles and prepares documentation and relevant background information
    • Manages access to the Dean for members of the team for urgent or high priority issues
    • Coordinates travel arrangements, prepares itineraries and meeting materials
    • Prepares travel advances, travel and expense claims
    • Ensures priorities and deadlines are met, correspondence and documentation is handed efficiently, accurately and with the utmost confidentiality and discretion
    • Summarizes the needs of parties requesting time and gathers necessary material to ensure the Dean is adequately prepared for meetings
    • Manages the information flow of notes and materials resulting from meetings and organizes materials, coordinating scheduling of follow-up meetings to accomplish goals
    • Manages all print and email communications on behalf of the Dean including announcements, notifications of honours and awards, and special events
    • Selects and prepares gifts and promotional materials to be presented to visitors
    • Manages the email account for the Dean of Engineering and responds, redirects or prioritizes as appropriate
    • Reviews and filters incoming mail and handles or redirects as appropriate
    • Manages contact database for the Dean
    • Manages the office in the absence of the Dean while keeping the Dean, Vice Dean, Acting Dean and Executive Officer apprised of sensitive issues and priorities that may arise

    Committee support, projects and special events

    • Provides administrative support to the Dean and Executive Officer on Chair Nominating Committees, including scheduling meetings, coordinating logistics for rooms and catering, and assisting with the preparation and posting of advertisements and meeting materials 
    • Supports various working groups, and large projects as appropriate
    • Implements administrative systems including processes and workflows consistent with the scope and responsibilities of the role
    • Coordinates Senate nominations including Faculty representation on standing committees
    • Develops and coordinates events, meeting agendas, materials, invitations and response lists, and minute preparation as required
    • Coordinates logistical arrangements to ensure seamless presentation of meetings and events

    Governance and policy support

    • Maintains official faculty files pursuant to relevant university policies and procedures
    • Manages and coordinates file and electronic information within established retention systems and guidelines 
    • Confirms eligibility for Professor Emeritus designation in consultation with academic units
    • Communicates information on institutional and faculty wide procedures and processes to the academic and academic support units

    Office Administration

    • Manages routine IT issues and equipment for the Dean including identifying areas for improvement and efficiencies
    • Provides critical and time sensitive support to team members to ensure excellent service for all key accountabilities of the Dean of Engineering Office
    • Takes minutes from senior leadership committees as required including preparation of agendas and meeting materials
    • Provides reception to the main office as needed


    • Bachelor’s degree in business, communications, or related field or equivalent education and/or experience
    • Minimum of 5 to 7 years’ experience in a senior administrative support role with focus on calendar management, communications, events and special projects, records management and retention
    • High level of computer literacy and willingness to learn new programs
    • Demonstrated ability to work effectively and discreetly with confidential and sensitive information
    • Must possess strong client service focus and sensitivity to diversity
    • Exceptional organizational skills with the proven ability to work on multiple projects with competing demands to meet deadlines
    • Proven ability to work collaboratively with senior leadership and with team members both within the university and external stakeholders
    • Proven ability to build strong relationships and establish trust
    • Demonstrated aptitude for successfully working in a term-oriented environment
    • Demonstrated sound judgement, tact, discretion and professional integrity
    • Exemplary interpersonal and communication skills
    • Strong attention to detail, ability to work independently, take initiative and anticipate future needs, issues and events
    • Proven problem-solving abilities, conflict management skills
    • Intermediate to advanced knowledge of Microsoft Office including Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint
    • Knowledge and experience working with Concur an asset
    • Working knowledge of and a familiarity with the University of Waterloo and collegial processes and policies an asset


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