University of Waterloo

  • Executive Officer

    Requisition ID
    Job Category
    3000 - Dean of Math Office
    Job Status
    Temporary Appointment (Contract)
    Hiring Range
    $83,875 - $124,661
  • Overview

    Term: 12-18 months


    The Senior Director of Faculty Operations is responsible for operational decision making in the Faculty to support the institution’s teaching and research missions. This includes providing strategic advice and support to the Dean, Associate Deans, Directors and Chairs in the Faculty. The Senior Director works in partnership with other senior University staff to deliver on key performance indicators and ensure implementation of policy, processes and procedures, providing a seamless high quality service across all areas of the administration.   This includes managing process and organizational change in response to institutional priorities across the following areas: Human Resources; Planning, Compliance (Health and safety), and Finance (risk management); Space and resources, Information Technology.


    Governance and Leadership

    • Work in partnership with Associate Deans, Department Chairs & School Directors and senior staff within academic units to ensure implementation of University policies, procedures, processes across the Faculty

    • Provide strategic advice to the Dean, Associate Deans, Department Chairs and senior staff within the Faculty on operations management including change management, process issues, staffing, project management and problem solving within a complex and changing environment (example: communication of new budget model framework, assessment of implications and planning and management of faculty rollout)

    • Align strategic objectives with staffing and processes to maximizing the effectiveness of resources

    • Within the Faculty context, manage organizational processes and structures such as performance reviews, position descriptions, job evaluations, reclassification requests, and compensation levels

    • Ensure staffing structures match strategic needs including prioritization of task to accommodate temporary absences, reductions or shifting priorities

    • Work with managers to provide systems and processes for recruitment, professional development and retention of staff; serving as a mentor/coach and guide to managers to ensure successful operation of the academic units and research centres

    • Provide oversight, counsel and act as a key liaison with Human Resources in escalated human resource issues related to staff and in some situations, faculty (role may vary by Faculty) and work with staff and faculty in management roles to identify and access conflict resolution strategies

    Strategic Planning and Analysis

    • Provide operational assessment of academic program decisions and implications for implementation and resource allocation (staffing, space, non-salary expenses)

    • Provide analytical and strategic assessment of the business case for new academic degrees. Engage with Faculty Financial Officer for financial assessment of business cases

    • Manage and assess requirements for new research initiatives including recommendations on reporting structures and accountabilities for research groups/centers, service facilities, and resources and facilities shared with other Faculties

    • Develop Faculty operational plans and budgets with Associate Deans, Chairs and other Academic leaders to support the execution of their administrative roles

    • Identify best operational frameworks for new external partnerships (not for profit and business partnerships)

    • Lead continuous analysis of operational performance and ensure regular management reporting to inform performance against strategic and operational plans

    • Monitor key performance indicators (e.g. recruitment, retention, inter-departmental teaching, class size, etc.) to maximize revenue potential

    Financial and Risk Management

    • Provide guidance to the Dean and senior administrative team on Faculty academic and financial plans in pursuit of the Faculty and University goals; including budget planning and related analysis for operating funds; administration and oversight of trust and endowment, and research funds

    • Work in conjunction with the Faculty Financial Officer to develop and implement budgets for Faculty operating funds, trusts and endowment funds

    • Work with the Faculty Financial Officer to develop, improve and promote strong internal financial controls in academic units and research centres to ensure that funds are available to support operations in accordance with University policies and procedures

    • Implement procedures and workflows to ensure guidelines are followed for all research funding (Tri-council), endowment funds (work with advancement) and ethical standards (human and animal subjects)

    • Implement procedures and workflows to ensure employment and contract management standards are followed

    • Ensure space and resources are shared equitably and used efficiently across the Faculty – in conjunction with space management committees

    • Engage regularly with partners in academic support units (Finance, Human Resource, Space Resources, Safety Office, etc) to keep up to date on new standards and practices

    • Manage health and safety, risk management and other compliance related accountabilities such as data protection across the Faculty, to ensure compliance with all internal and external requirements. Serve as a point person for related audit processes

    Communication (Activities may vary by Faculty)

    • Identify and promote best practices for Faculty-driven communications (internal and external) with respect to both medium and content

    • Lead, manage and direct internal communication from the Dean’s Office. Provide direction and/or supervision of communications team

    • Identify and promote a cohesive approach to external communications, including Outreach initiatives

    • Ensure alignment with institutional brand and Faculty priorities by providing oversight and guidance to communications managed through joint accountability with ASUs (Registrar/MUR, ODAA)

    • Provide oversight and guidance to Outreach initiatives across the Faculty to ensure alignment with Faculty strategic direction and priorities Lead and manage Faculty level Outreach staff


    • Bachelor's degree required in a discipline related to Business Administration or Finance or equivalent combination of education and experience in an academic setting
    • Master’s degree or additional education or training in business and human resources administration preferred
    • Experience in roles of progressive management/operational responsibility and extensive experience in a senior administrative capacity
    • Experience overseeing budgets of substantial size and complexity
    • Demonstrated success in the evaluation of process and protocol with the proven ability to recommend and implement strategic initiatives
    • Proven successful change management skills and experience
    • Extensive experience supervising, guiding, coaching and mentoring staff and fostering constructive team relationships
    • A sound understanding of legislation and best practices related to hiring, managing and mentoring academic and staff employees
    • Proven leadership skills, including the ability to promote cooperation and commitment within a team to achieve desired outcomes; ability to build agreement without relying solely on authority
    • Ability to proactively anticipate potential challenges and take the initiative to rectify situations at the earliest point of intervention
    • Tact, judgment, and diplomacy are essential
    • Demonstrated independent judgment in areas of time and project management, task prioritization and decision-making; proven ability to manage a large volume of work, conflicting priorities and deadlines within a busy and dynamic environment
    • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills; ability to break down complex information into component parts, and to apply logic and rules to analyze and categorize and report on information
    • Experience interpreting policies, procedures and guidelines strongly preferred
    • Excellent computer skills with Microsoft Office Suite required
    • Knowledge of Oracle Financials an asset
    • Strong knowledge of university policies and guidelines as they pertain to staff, faculty and operations; knowledge of faculty programs is an asset
    • Knowledge of marketing and recruitment procedures an asset
    • Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint
    • Proficient in Sharepoint is an asset
    • Occasional travel is required
    • Regular working hours, some evening/weekend work required


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