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Associate Director, Systems

Date: June 1, 2015
Reports to (Job Title): Director, CEL
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): Manager – Software Development, Business Analyst/Project Manager, Learning Technologies Consultant, Data Analyst –Student and Course Information, Computing Support Technician
Department: Centre for Extended Learning


Kitchener - Waterloo


USG 15
35 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

  The Associate Director is responsible for planning, design, development, implementation and support of sustainable and secure information systems and technology services for CEL and other service and academic units who support online and technology-enabled learning for the University. The Associate Director demonstrates leadership in the successful deployment, support and evolution of academic and business process systems and services. S/he is responsible for defining, providing, refining, improving, and modifying the services provided in response to changes in business processes, technology, the University environment, and University priorities related to online and technology-enabled learning.  The Associate Director develops and maintains key relationships with other service department stakeholders.

Key Accountabilities:

1.  Critical voice in setting the direction and priorities for the University’s digital learning environment:



2.Establishes priorities for Systems team and ensures the effective utilization, deployment and development of human and capital resources.

• Oversees CEL’s IT Service and Project portfolios
• Develops the Systems group’s annual plans and priorities
• Oversees hiring and development of the Systems team
• Deploys staff to most productively meet goals and objectives
• Coaches, trains and develops employees to enable their professional development
• Conducts annual performance plans with direct reports, and ensures adherence to annual performance planning and review process within the department


3.  Core Services



4.  Applications Implementation




5.  Systems Integration




6.  Infrastructure

Position Requirements


University degree or equivalent post-secondary education and/or experience required.


10-12 years of experience with a proven track record of achievement and success within Information and Learning Technologies.  Competencies: Ability to foresee application-based services that meet needs and solve business issues of the University.  Strong leadership and project management skills essential.  Excellent verbal and written communication skills.  Ability to effectively present strategies and plans to management.  Ability to communicate technical concepts to technical and non-technical audiences. Demonstrated ability to influence, negotiate, and develop relationships at multiple levels and across a wide range of personalities and functions.  Strong organizational and problem solving skills combined with analytical and planning abilities. Flexible and adaptable management style.  Ability to conceptualize and address current and future challenges in a logical manner. Very results oriented. Demonstrated reasoning and decision-making ability at a management level. Innovator with a high energy level.


MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
Basic Basic Basic

Project Management


MS Office & SharePoint


Development Methodologies and Frameworks


Application Architecture



Learning Management Systems



Student information Systems



Content Management Systems






Web development tools, integration technologies, media development and delivery


Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

Proficient presentation, facilitation, negotiation, communication. Liaises with several units across campus and must build trust relationships to enable effective approaches for secure data exchange and support. Presents information and update to groups within IST and beyond, including occasionally the AVP-A and the Provost.

Level of Responsibility:

 Responsible and accountable for the overall results of the Systems team within CEL (10 specialized technical staff), including 5 direct reports. Manages department-wide functions and processes that are highly specialized and provide support and guidance to other stakeholders across campus. Because of the CEL role in advancing technology enabled learning for the campus, the CEL team is frequently an early explorer and adopter of new technology that is then rolled out to meet the needs of the entire campus. The Associate Director Systems has a significant role in partnering with other units on campus to create integrated solutions for online learning as well as professional development.

Decision-Making Authority:

Responsible and accountable for establishing and executing the priorities for the Systems team that align with and support the University’s strategic directions for online and technology-enabled learning and professional development.  Provides direction and guidance to the Director and beyond (internal and external groups) regarding the future evolution of technology to support learning. Is seen as a thought-leader in this regard.

Physical and Sensory Demands:

Minimal physical demands typical of a manager position operating within an office environment. The Associate Director deals with a multiplicity of conflicting priorities and demands on time.

Working Environment:

Minimal exposure to disagreeable workplace conditions typical of a manager position exposed to stress and pressure associated with senior level responsibilities.