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Administrative Assistant to the Chair

Date: January 1, 2014
Reports to (Job Title): Administrative Officer, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): Department Secretary (1541)
Location: E2 - 2336


35 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

The Administrative Assistant to the Chair is responsible for: providing executive level support to the Chair of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering; managing the Department’s Main Office, including supervision of the Department Secretary; and assisting the Administrative Officer with the financial monitoring of the Department’s Operating Budget and special projects, as required. This position reports to the Administrative Officer and is directly accountable to both the Administrative Officer and the Department Chair.    


The Administrative Assistant must handle the activities of the Chair, and his Office, in a timely and professional manner, ensuring all the while that confidentiality and discretion is maintained. The incumbent is responsible for ensuring that the Chair is able to handle duties that require his or her immediate attention and is able to plan and prioritize to ensure the Chair’s Office operates seamlessly. He/she is responsible for coordinating academic recruitment, tenure, promotion and retention processes, and serves as a primary resource regarding administrative issues for these procedures. The incumbent ensures that the process of recruiting new faculty is performed according to established University policies and procedures, serves as secretary to all Department Advisory Committees on Appointments (DACAs), and ensures a smooth transition and orientation into the Department, Faculty, and University academic and research culture for new faculty. The Administrative Assistant is responsible for the preparation and processing of CEE faculty and non-faculty appointments (e.g., visiting scholars, post docs, adjuncts, sessionals, administrative and cross-appointments), sabbatical and other leave requests, and the merit process. She/he serves as secretary to Department meetings, coordinates the annual submission of faculty professional expense reimbursement claims, and updates the faculty duty cycle.


Working closely with the Administrative Officer, the Administrative Assistant monitors Department operating accounts; has responsibility for monthly reconciliation of said accounts; provides routine financial instruction and advice to faculty and staff; manages and monitors the Work Request system; has signing authority on Department operating accounts, with authority to authorize day-to-day purchases. The Administrative Assistant has responsibility for the Department’s financial records, and is the Administrative Officer’s delegate for financial issues in her absence.  The Administrative Assistant is called on a regular basis to identify and recommend process improvements, both financial and administrative, has responsibility for the coordination of material for accreditation purposes (CEAB at the undergraduate level and Academic Cyclical Review at the graduate level); and assists with special projects as assigned.

The incumbent must have the capability to handle multiple tasks independently and with minimum supervision, and be well organized with sound judgment and attention to detail in order to establish priorities and meet deadlines effectively. Demonstrated ability to handle confidential and sensitive information with discretion is required. The incumbent must have excellent computer proficiency using MS Office and associated applications. The incumbent must possess a good working knowledge of financial processes and excellent computing, organization, analytical and problem-solving skills. The incumbent must also have excellent knowledge of University policies and Faculty and department practices and procedures, and be able to liaise in a professional manner with other University departments and administrative offices.

Key Accountabilities:

Administrative Assistance to the Chair


General Departmental Responsibilities:


Financial Duties:

Position Requirements


undergraduate degree preferred or equivalent education and experience.


extensive administrative experience in an academic environment

exceptional verbal and written communication

excellent customer service skills

knowledge of University policies and procedures



intermediate experience with Microsoft suite of products (e.g., Word, Outlook, Excel);

intermediate experience with SharePoint and FORE

data base experience an asset

aptitude for attention to detail and accuracy


MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
Intermediate Intermediate Intermediate other

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

Department Chair and Associate Chairs (CEE and other departments both within and outside the Faculty of Engineering); faculty, staff and students; Dean of Engineering Office; Provost’s Office; Human Resources; Finance; Safety.

Level of Responsibility:

the incumbent must possess good judgment, initiative and flexibility to adapt to competing tasks with minimal supervision; works with a high degree of autonomy and be able to handle highly confidential matters with discretion.

Decision-Making Authority:

the incumbent has decision-making authority within certain parameters; the incumbent provides the Chair and the Administrative Officer with guidance and confidential support to meet the department’s strategic objectives.

Physical and Sensory Demands:

minimal; typical of an administrative position within an office environment.

Working Environment:

Travel: None

Working Hours:  regular working hours.




Risks  – physical and psychological:

physical risks

 psychological risks