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Director, Athletics and Recreational Services

Date: April, 2014
Reports to (Job Title): Associate Provost, Students
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles):

Associate Director, Campus Recreation and Business Development; Associate Director, Varsity Athletics; Manager, Marketing/Promotions and Athletic Alumni Development; Manager, Facilities and Business Operations (joint); Facilities Manager; and Coordinator, Aquatics and Risk Management (joint)

Location: Athletics and Recreational Services

USG 17

35 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

The Director of Athletics and Recreational Services is accountable to the Associate Provost, Students to strategically lead the development, management, administration, operation, rationalization, assessment and viability of all uWaterloo athletics, facilities, amenities and programs.  The position is accountable for providing an integrated student service which impacts student learning and success.

Key Accountabilities:

1.  Strategic Direction – Provides leadership and coordination for a comprehensive long-term strategy for all matters relating to student interuniversity and recreational activity. This will include ongoing assessment of the competitive and recreational environments as they relate to enhancing the student experience and ensuring a long-term sustainable plan for the provision of the services. 


2.  Business and Operations Management – Develops and maintains a coordinated, integrated and high performing service delivery within the Department, particularly ensuring constant evaluation and redevelopment of practices to maximize contribution to the student experience. The Director guides the Associate Directors and Managers of the Department in the effective management of their areas. He/she assists the overall management of uWaterloo by participating in the decision-making processes of the other units reporting to the Associate Provost, Students and of other appropriate management bodies of the university.


3.  Fiscal Management – Provides financial oversight of all resources available to the Department, and is responsible for strategic and appropriate use of the overall budget.  The Department is primarily funded through student ancillary and user fees.  The Director will work to identify and evaluate existing and incremental funding opportunities (including government and private sector funding) to ensure the Department is positioned to meet its identified long-term goals.


4.  Relationship Management – Develops and leverages relationships with appropriate stakeholders who can positively impact the ability for the Department to meet its goals.  This will include students and student governments/associations, academic and academic support units on campus, recreational and varsity governing bodies in Ontario and Canada, alumni, various levels of government, etc. 

The Director is the university’s spokesperson and gatekeeper for its philosophy on university sport/activity.


5.  Facility Development and Management – Oversees the conception, development, implementation, risk management, management and maintenance of facilities and equipment.  With 326,000 square feet of (indoor) athletic and recreational space, the Director will ensure a long-term sustainable plan exists for optimizing the physical space utilization of the Department.


6.  Human Resource Management – Ensures effective tools are developed and practiced for full and part time staff management.  Overall responsibilities include hiring, training, salary administration, promotions, reclassifications, and all other matters related to performance management.  The Director will exercise skill in managing people and ensure a departmental culture that enhances productivity, professional development and career opportunities.  The Director will also ensure staff resources are utilized in alignment with the university’s strategic direction.

Position Requirements


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


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
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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, 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 the general community as well as alumni, governing bodies (as applicable) and various levels of government.


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 athletics related strategy, operations and evolution related to the uWaterloo 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).