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Director, Student and Faculty Relations

Date: May, 2011                             GRADE:  USG 17
Reports to (Job Title): Executive Director
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): Faculty Relations Managers                             
Academic Support Unit Relations Manager
Co-op Student Experience Manager                    
Faculty Support Administrator
Location: Waterloo Campus

Primary Purpose

The Director, Student and Faculty Relations, is accountable for the development and delivery of policies and services supporting co-op students in the employment process, for support to co-op students and their University of Waterloo work term employers, and for ensuring strong relationships among CECA staff, students, the Faculties and the Registrar`s Office.  With senior responsibility for liaison with students and Faculties, the incumbent ensures uWaterloo’s academic mission, the principles of co-operative education, and the services provided by CECA, are integrated and effectively represents the needs of each constituent group to the others. S/he ensures student engagement in appropriate CECA policy and process decisions and measures and advocates for the effectiveness of services provided to students. S/he maintains an ongoing attention to student needs and perceptions, advocates to CECA and Faculties on behalf of students and to students on behalf of CECA and Faculties, to ensure open communications and build clear understanding, and the optimal policies and services in support of students. The incumbent represents the department on various uWaterloo committees and councils, and externally in a variety of roles in co-operative education associations.

The incumbent ensures that the needs of the University as the single largest employer of uWaterloo co-op students are understood, that supervisors and students on work terms receive appropriate support, that appropriate reporting and relationship management takes place, and that the goal of uWaterloo being a model co-op employer is advanced.

Key Accountabilities:

1.Support the success of co-op students in over 120 diverse academic programs across all six Faculties by:

With the Director, Centre for Career Action, ensuring that appropriate education and orientation programs are provided for co-op students to prepare for work term success and career development

Developing practices, policies and materials to maximize student success on work terms, and preparing for careers during and following their co-op experiences

Defining expectations for student advisement and support, and tools and training to Student Advisors and Career Advisors to ensure expectations are met or exceeded

Identifying and measuring student satisfaction indicators, and building and maintaining robust, regular and innovative student feedback and communications mechanisms

Partnering with the Federation of Students, Co-op Student Council, and the Co-operative Education Council to effectively engage students

Intervening and supporting the resolution of differences in instances where there is conflict between students and related constituents
Ensure parents of co-op students receive appropriate support while protecting student privacy and program integrity

2.Ensure the integrity of the co-operative education programs by:

Developing, monitoring, maintaining, administering and ensuring appropriate consistency of policies and procedures for co-operative education programs

Adjudicating and communicating disciplinary or Policy 70 decisions

Ensuring feasibility studies and reviews for academic co-op programs are effectively executed, and that results are integrated into department plans

Building and nourishing effective partnerships with Faculty Deans, Associate Deans Co-op, and faculty members

Ensuring opportunities for information sharing and relationship building between CECA staff and faculty are provided

Responding to requirements or opportunities presented by external bodies, e.g. Ontario Council of Academic Vice-presidents requirement to measure learning outcomes

Identifying and disseminating information on innovative co-op practices from other institutions

3.Ensure successful co-op work terms at the University of Waterloo by:

Providing appropriate support for students and their uWaterloo supervisors to ensure the safety of students, a quality work experience and to deepen the learning associated with the work experience

Supporting the resolution of conflicts between students and employers

Providing advice and support on successful recruiting practices to employers in uWaterloo faculties and academic support units

Ensuring uWaterloo’s co-op employment practices are assessed, shared and leveraged to contribute to the Sixth Decade Plan goal of being a model co-op employer

4.Develop and implement employer relations and marketing strategies to ensure appropriate employment opportunities for uWaterloo students and graduates. This involves:

Ensuring plans for academic programs are understood, planned for, and job development requirements are appropriately resourced

Collaborating with several executive team members to create targets and marketing strategies

Leveraging faculty relationships appropriately outside the University for potential job development

5.Lead and manage direct reports and ensure the delivery of results in support of CECA mission, vision and guiding principles including:
Providing information and context needed for employees to be effective
Hiring, developing and retaining the best qualified staff available from inside or outside CECA.

Setting goals and expectations and helping employees create clear paths to success

Developing effective work team dynamics

Ensuring appropriate back up, support and cross training to manage capacity

Holding employees accountable for performance including consistent application of CECA business processes

Managing performance through both formal (performance appraisal) and informal methods such as regular feedback, coaching and one-to-ones.

Identifying development opportunities in others and co-creating with the employee a development plan; regularly following up on the progress of development

Planning and managing the Student and Faculty Relations budget

6.Provide overall leadership to the organization by:

Personally championing mission, vision and guiding principles and playing a leadership role in bringing them to life

Providing leadership, direction and strategic planning for CECA

Monitoring business practices to ensure that CECA has the appropriate practices and processes to work effectively internally and represent uWaterloo externally

Leading the development of new capabilities required by the introduction of new systems, tools or processes

Developing productive, collaborative working relationships across CECA and uWaterloo

Leading or contributing to the identification, development and implementation of projects to improve service quality, relationships, stakeholder satisfaction, timeliness, staff capability and performance

Developing internal/external customer service standards, monitoring satisfaction with service delivered and taking action to restore and enhance service quality

Position Requirements


University degree


Minimum 10 years management experience

Field management experience within a sales or service context

Proven expertise in developing and successfully implementing strategy including process re-design

Ability to adapt skills and experience to a new environment

Proven skill in relationship management and achieving results using a collaborative approach

Demonstrated success in leading change efforts

Excellent verbal, written and presentation communication skills

Demonstrated high level of organization and ability to manage high volumes of activity and change


MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
Average Average Average MS Project: Average ability to track or manage simple projects

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

This role requires a very high level of leadership, negotiation and influencing skills, and the ability to apply them in highly varied situations. The number and diversity of students and programs in uWaterloo’s co-operative education program result in an extraordinarily high degree of complexity and a need to balance often conflicting demands. The incumbent requires exceptional negotiating, influencing and communications skills, coupled with an ability to build strong relationships with students, faculty, staff and alumni and to represent Waterloo co-op outside the University

Level of Responsibility:

This role involves management of direct and indirect reports. In addition, the Co-op Student Experience Manager provides leadership to approximately 25 Student Advisors in Core, International and Integrated Accounts.

Problem Solving
Problems from individual conflicts to systemic process problems will be resolved by the incumbent. Potential risks include loss of employers, failed work terms for students, team member conflict and resulting lack of productivity, and reputational risk for the University.

Financial Accountability
The role is accountable for staffing, travel and associated costs for the unit. The incumbent approves staff travel expenses and signs off performance evaluations and ratings for indirect reports.

Internal and External Contacts
Faculty and College Heads, Associate Deans, Department and School Chairs, Development and Alumni Officers; Registrar’s Office; Alumni Affairs; Communications and Public Affairs staff; WatCACE Director, associates and staff; CECA Executive team; students; student representatives; senior administrators. Is a member of the Co-operative Education Council.


Co-operative education associations; co-op leaders and practitioners from around the world; academics engaged in co-op related research; employers; alumni

Decision-Making Authority:

The incumbent is fully accountable for decisions within the unit, including hiring decisions and performance evaluations, and uses judgment to determine when and how to escalate issues to the Executive Director or elsewhere at uWaterloo. The incumbent will make decisions on the appropriate support to faculty, uWaterloo employers and students on and between work terms, involving others when required.

Physical and Sensory Demands:

This role requires exertion of physical or sensory effort resulting in slight fatigue, strain or risk of injury.

Working Environment:

This role involves moderate psychological risk resulting from unavoidable exposure to hazardous, disagreeable or uncomfortable environmental conditions. This role involves exposure to emotionally disturbing experiences and/or interactions with people who are upset, angry, abusive, aggressive, unstable or unpredictable (e.g. students or parents who have escalated an issue), irregular and/or high volumes, multiple and/or tight deadlines beyond one's control, and constant interruptions (e.g. phone calls, e-mails and unplanned but urgent support requests, varying student volumes at different times of year).