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Associate Director, Systems

Department: Office of Development and Alumni Affairs Effective Date: November, 2007

USG 13

35 hr/wk

Reports to: Senior Director, Advancement Services

General Accountability

The Associate Director, Systems is accountable to the Senior Director, Advancement Services for the delivery and oversight of computing services and the IT environment for the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs (ODAA)  including; an enterprise classed Advancement System, all software applications, department websites, hardware, training as well as end  user computing support provided to internal staff and related external staff in the faculties, colleges and other administrative departments. The Associate Director manages a staff of 4 regular and 2 contract positions who are responsible for providing a range of technical/reporting tasks for the department.

Nature and Scope

The ODAA is a fast paced business oriented environment within the External Relations department of the University and supports multiple demands including fund raising activities and the delivery of alumni programs. The department is responsible for planning and execution of a variety of University fund raising campaigns, the most recent major being Campaign Waterloo which has raised over $450 million dollars, and expects to raise 100 million dollars per annum in the future. In addition, with over 135,000 alumni, the department plays a key role in connecting alumni to the university and presently delivers a variety of services to over 40,000 graduates.

The  Associate Director, Systems’ primary role is to provide oversight and delivery of quality computing services to the department and has a leading role in defining projects and providing services in response to department priorities and the university environment.

The department  has a staff complement of over 120 people that are distributed among several operational units that handle major gift fund-raising, government relations, stewardship, record keeping, prospect research, donor cultivation, gift and pledge processing, event planning, annual fund programs and alumni service delivery.


Organizational Relationships:


There are multiple consumers of computing services, both within and outside the Department due to the matrix organizational structure of Development and Alumni Affairs. The Advancement System which is a centralized computing application and database stores  significant personal and business relationships, and is used broadly by  External Relations staff in the Faculties, Colleges and administrative departments.


Provision of services and support also depend on relationships and participation in teams and projects with several IST groups. The Advancement System has data relationships and interfaces with the Student Information System (SA), the Human Resources/Payroll systems (HRMS) and the OGF Financial System (FS), requiring corresponding organizational relationships between ODAA and other departmental computer support groups.


General Framework:


The Associate Director, Systems and the IS Team provide first line support to the department and work closely with IST to resolve computing problems as required. In general there are three broad areas of computing services provided; Information Technology, Information Systems (applications) and Web technologies.


Information Systems (IS) services  includes maintenance and support for;


Information Technology (IT) support and services includes;


Web Technology support and maintenance includes;


Working Environment:


The business environment of the Department is complex, with many business processes and procedures to be supported.  There are several competing functions requiring high levels of support, creating a challenge for balancing and managing priorities .


The computing environment is constantly changing as new technologies are adopted, requiring continuous adaptation and the development of new skills.  Additional complexity and difficulty results from the diversity of the environment as many old and unique technologies remain in use and require continued support.


Work ranges from solving day-to-day problems that affect continuing operation of the business, to long term complex system, data, and integration projects designed to improve the computing and business environments.


The Associate Director, Systems provides supervision and guidance to the members of the IS Team and works independently, as part of the team and other UW project teams. He/she is required to be at the expert level technologically to provide support, direction, as well as delivering individual projects of the most advanced complexity




The computing environment consists of a mixture of MS Windows and UNIX based systems, applications and a variety of websites. The department’s central computing system is an enterprise classed Institutional Advancement System that is a critical component to the operation of the ODAA. It hosts the central databases that store alumni and donor biographical data, research data, event information as well as gift, pledge and financial information.


The current Advancement system being used is Datatels’ BENEFACTOR which operates within an IBM Unidata database environment running on an IBM AIX platform. This system is being replaced by Blackbauds’ Raisers Edge Enterprise which runs on a series of Windows 2003 servers with a MS SQL Server 2005 database backend, including a test environment, production environment, reporting services and web servers. The centralized application will be accessed by 75 concurrent end users and over 200+ over the next 5 years.


There are also a number of in-house developed databases, applications and web sites which support the department’s business activities, including;  a number of customized data exchange interfaces to Enterprise classed systems in other administrative departments that facilitate the electronic exchange of human resources, financial and student information, a Microsoft Access database that is populated nightly and is used to support advanced reporting needs for cultivating major prospects, and a internet based collaborative shared workspaces (i.e. Sharepoint, UWink) that is used to facilitate document sharing among internal and other faculty or college staff located outside the core office.


In the central office there are over 100+ Windows XP desktop and notebook computers,   networked printers, PDA’s and 15+ Blackberry devices, a variety of FreeBSD UNIX based servers and Windows 2003 servers. The network infrastructure is supported by IST and is based on the universities ADS domain. Wireless access is also available throughout the building via 4 wireless access points.


There are currently 5 FreeBSD servers that provide; Alumni Email and Email forwarding (main and redundant), web space for a variety of websites and host a number of PostGresSQL databases.


The websites are supported internally including the public websites for Alumni Affairs, Development Services and the in-house developed Alumni E-community. In addition, there are internal websites for the department and in-house work request tracking system. There are also two eCommerce websites that are hosted on UW production IIS servers to support our Homecoming and general Alumni event registrations as well as the merchandizing of diploma frames.


The desktop environment has been standardized to use the Microsoft Office suite, Internet Explorer and Outlook.


Finally, the departments’ annual giving program is supported through a call centre that allows for year round telephone based appeals. The call centre uses RuffaloCody’s Campus Call web based software that is hosted on a Win 2003 server and deployed to 23 Windows XP PCs on an independent network.

Statistical Data

The department is responsible for the development, planning and execution of University wide campaigns and is expected to raise $100 million annually in the future.


There are over 300,000 constituent records for corporations, alumni and donors stored in the departments’ core Advancement database with an annual growth of 25,000 records per year.


There are over 135,000 UW alumni, with  40,000+ actively involved with the department’s E-Community. On average there are 85,000 successful web page hits per month against the departments’ web sites and historically there have been over 120,000 unique visitors. The Alumni E-Community web site offers a variety of e-services to UW alumni including our email forwarding for life service.


The end user base is comprised of over 120 internal and external staff with a wide variety of computing skills. The core central office has approximately 75 staff that deliver  a variety of backend support functions (i.e. data entry, record management, research, gift processing, etc.)


The IS Team is made up of six positions; four Systems Support Analysts and two contract IT positions. Three are dedicated to delivery of informational and database requests in support of the central Advancement systems. Two are dedicated to delivery of IT related requests for end user support and one is focused on server monitoring and web applications. Work study and co-op students are hired as needed, on a term by term basis, to fill temporary roles within the team


On average the IS Team processes approximately 1300 major work requests per year and is engaged in variety of major project initiatives ranging from acquisition of new systems to the development of enhancements to improve the business process.

Specific Accountabilities

The Associate Director, Systems is responsible for the oversight, planning and delivery of computing services to the ODAA, including systems requests, projects and tasks carried out individually and by the IS Team. He/she acts as liaison between the department and other computing units across the university, represents the department on university-wide projects and committees, and promotes effective co-operation with staff in IST and other computing units. Specific accountabilities include;


Department Computing Strategy and Policy





Project Management                         






Management of departments IS Team




Acquisition and Technology Assessment




Support and maintenance of Advancement System



Oversight and delivery of on-going computing services







Other tasks and responsibilities as assigned

Working Conditions