Skip to the content of the web site.

Manager, WatCard

Date: June 2012
Reports to (Job Title): Associate Provost, Students
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): Technical Specialist, Customer Care Representative, Administrative Assistant
Location: Main Campus
Grade: USG 11

Primary Purpose

The Manager, WatCard is accountable to the Associate Provost, Students to strategically lead the WatCard system to achieve its overarching priority of being the identification system for the University.  The Manager guides, directs, and ensures oversight of operations widely distributed on-campus (food service outlets, bookstore, computer store, vending machines, parking lots, etc.) and off-campus.  Having a secure and integrated identification card system for students, staff and faculty on campus for multiple crucial day-to-day functions facilitates the mission of the University.

Key Accountabilities:

1. Strategic Direction - Responsible for the department’s computing environment, both physical and information systems, providing direction and supervising support staff, financial planning, fiscal viability, marketing strategies, client service, application growth, system design and implementation, system integrity and technical support for all WatCard operations.

Provide leadership and coordination for a comprehensive long-term strategy for all matters relating to the services that WatCard provides. This includes the terminals in many areas on campus – food services outlets, residences, libraries, bookstore, parking lots, etc., and off-campus.

2. Business Management - Ensure the development and implementation of marketing strategies, service innovations and business plans. These enhance campus life, facilitate the mission of the University, conform to institutional needs, reflect well on the institution, and project a positive image of the University of Waterloo.

Develop effective and efficient workflow, business rules and procedures within the WatCard Office and make appropriate decisions and recommendations regarding the use of available technologies to enhance functionality.

Coordinate with other facilities and services provided by university departments and off-campus enterprises and develop productive working relationships with various members of the university community and external vendors.

Monitor the performance of the WatCard with respect to all financial, human resource, and physical facilities aspects.

Promote the advantages, services, benefit, and efficiencies that come with the use of the WatCard.

Ensure proper use of the system by producing promotional material to outline WatCard systems capabilities.

Ensure processes are in place to police the system for fraud, illegal activities or otherwise unlawful user conduct that would prove detrimental to the network and its other users.

3. Technical Management – Ensure the provision of a leading-edge technical environment.

Ensure that the WatCard is an effective uWaterloo ID and financial instrument with appropriate security, safety, authentication and authorization features.

Ensure card system integrity 24 hours per day / 365 days per year and ensure security of all client records, customer files and financial data.

Establish procedures and systems to deal with emergencies.

Maintenance of technical expertise in the WatCard system, its underlying infrastructure, and awareness of opportunities to enhance existing technology for the university community.

4. Operations Management - High performing service delivery of a campus card solution including the operation of student identification, dining services, vending, copying, printing, library access, retail sales and taxi service.

Management of WatCard terminals, many of which are secure point-of-sale terminals located at on- and off-campus vendors.

5. Fiscal Management - Due to the ancillary nature of the department, must ensure appropriate financial accounting, purchasing and stewardship of assets; the department must generate its own income and maintain its fiscal viability.

The WatCard handles more than $12M of transactions for on-campus departments and off-campus vendors.

Responsibility for the annual department budget.

Ensure the financial viability of the department by establishing and monitoring all accounting procedures for the operation using appropriate budget and expenditure control of all assets and associated maintenance.

Accountable to control and balance the University Liability account for all WatCard transactions. Activity in this account is ~ $13M annually.

6. External Relations - Develop and leverage relationships with external vendors in the community with the goal of increasing usage for students when they are outside of campus. 

Engage other universities to ensure best practices are adopted and proactive strategies are developed.

Liaise with 3rd party information system provider to ensure proper oversight is maintained on information systems technology, enhancements, upgrades and troubleshooting.

7. People Management - Recruitment, development, training and performance of staffing in department.

Position Requirements


Completion of a Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent experience), Master’s degree in a related field beneficial.


Progressive management experience in a student-focussed environment with a background highlighted by business administration/management. Experience with administration of a universal card system.

Competencies will include strategic planning, integrating services across reporting lines, financial management, as well as interpersonal, organizational, technical and communication skills.


Awareness of various technical communication methods, web related communication tools and operational as well as strategic knowledge of information systems.

In particular, familiarity with:


MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
word excel powerpoint other

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

Internally, this position interacts regularly with many areas across campus.

Externally, this position will share expertise with equivalent counterparts at other universities. There are significant external relationships with many off-campus vendors and the 3rd party system provider.

Level of Responsibility:

This position is responsible and accountable for the development and execution of all WatCard usage strategy, operations and evolution related to the university community. This includes on and off-campus developments for all stakeholders.

Decision-Making Authority:

This position has final decision-making authority for all items outlined above.

Physical and Sensory Demands:

Minimal demands typical of a senior position operating within an office environment.

Working Environment:

Exposed to stress and pressure associated with senior level responsibilities. Involves moderate psychological risk resulting from unavoidable exposure to hazardous, disagreeable or uncomfortable environmental conditions. There may be unusual hours or schedules, 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).