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Director, Retail Services

Date: October, 2016
Reports to (Job Title): Associate Provost, Students
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles):

Administrative & Marketing Officer   

Financial Officer

Book Store Course Materials Manager

CampusTech, Fleet Copier & UPrint  Manager

Operations Administrator

Waterloo Store & Write Stuff Manager (position vacant)

Department: Retail Services


Main Campus


USG 16
35 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

The Director, Retail Services is accountable to the Associate Provost, Students for successful leadership in business, financial and operations management, and ensuring the financial viability of Retail Services at the University of Waterloo.  This position is accountable for strategic planning, financial planning, and marketing strategies that align with the departmental goals and objectives.

Key Accountabilities:


Strategic Leadership

  • Provides strategic direction and leadership for the Retail Services management team and provide structure, business process for assessment, benchmarking, planning and initiatives in support of the University of Waterloo campus community.
  • Provides retail services and merchandise that will enhance campus life, facilitate the mission and support the academic programs of the University, raise the level of student, faculty, staff awareness, conform to uWaterloo institutional needs, and project a positive image of uWaterloo  that reflect well on the institution. 



Operational Planning and Management

  • Maintains quality and organizational stability through development and implementation of standard operating practices, controls, systems and procedures.  
  • Provides general oversight and guidance for the managers of each business unit and shared resource units (Accounting, IT, Marketing). This includes all physical retail space and ecommerce business.
  • Ensures business unit managers develop an annual operational plan that supports the objectives of the department and university-side goals.
  • Ensures the department is providing a high level of service, product quality, cost effectiveness and financial viability.



Financial Planning and  Management

  • Provides oversight of fiscal activities of the department including budgets, reports, inventory management and turnover.
  • Oversees the Retail Services Financial Officer’s timely preparation of a comprehensive budget for each business unit and for the overall department. 
  • Achieves and meets expectations for ancillary operations financial goals and objectives.    



Business Development

  • Researches and has awareness of new products, services and emerging technology that will enhance the student learning experience, cost effectiveness, improve service efficiency, productivity and return on investment.
  • Develops business case for assessment including analytical data, market research and pilot projects.
  • Develops strategic business development for ecommerce, renovation of existing business space and future retail opportunities.



Human Resources Planning and Management

  • Establishes a positive, healthy and safe work environment meeting University of Waterloo HR Policies, Health & Safety Standards in accordance with legislation and regulations.
  • Overall responsibility for hiring, training, coaching, mentorship, salary administration, promotions, reclassification, performance appraisal and all matters related to performance management.



Campus Relationship Management

  • Establishes and maintains collaborative working relationships with academic and academic support units, student organizations, and affiliated and federated institutions of Waterloo.
  • Seeks input and feedback to improve services and generate campus engagement with key campus stakeholders.


Position Requirements


Completion of a Master’s degree in business (or related field) is preferred.


Progressive management experience, preferably in a student-focussed environment with a background highlighted by student development expertise and strategic human resource management.  Budget management/funding model experience necessary.  Competencies will include strategic thinking and integration of services, change management, interpersonal, organizational and communication skills.


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


MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
Intermediate Intermediate Intermediate other

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

Internally, this position interacts regularly with senior administrators in all academic support departments, including Registrar’s Office, IST, Student Success Office, Watcard, CECA, Campus Wellness units (including Health Services and Counselling Services), Campus Police, Food Services, Human Resources, Housing and Residences, etc.  This position will also interact with staff and faculty in the Faculties to ensure it is positioned to support and enhance academic success. Also, this position interacts with the two student bodies – Graduate Student Association (GSA) and Federation of Students (FEDS).


Externally, this position interacts with ancillary directors/officials in Canadian and American Universities/Colleges, campus industry association (e.g. CCRA, CSC, NACS, NACS-LSG) and affiliated business corporations.


The Director is responsible for developing and maintaining strategic working relationships in all these areas in order to fulfill the primary purpose of the position.

Level of Responsibility:

This position is responsible and accountable for the development and execution of all retail services-related strategy, operations and evolution related to the University of Waterloo community as outlined above.

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).