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Manager, Undergraduate Studies

Date: May, 2016
Reports to (Job Title): Administrative Officer
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles):

Undergraduate Advisor/Co-ordinator - Computer Engineering

Undergraduate Advisor/Co-ordinator - Electrical Engineering

Assistant to the Director of Software Engineering

Accreditation Assistant

Department: Electrical & Computer Engineering


Main Campus


35 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

The Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) Undergraduate Office serves approximately 2,000 undergraduate students and contributes to student success, satisfaction, and retention by providing academic program advising. The Manager, Undergraduate Studies (Manager) is responsible for the administration of the department’s undergraduate programs and is accountable to the Associate Chair, Undergraduate Studies for delivering services to support undergraduate learning.  The scope of the position encompasses oversight of undergraduate academic counselling and advising, academic progression, enrollment management, undergraduate calendar changes, course scheduling, and student communications.  This position requires a high degree of knowledge of the requirements for two core programs, four interdisciplinary programs, and 10 specialization areas to resolve difficult situations. 


The Manager plays a key role in the development of new transition, student outreach, and retention initiatives. As leader of a team, in cooperation with other University services and with direction from the Associate Chair, this position fosters and promotes a student-centric climate, service excellence, and continuous enhancement of student services and improved retention.

Key Accountabilities:

1. Management of Undergraduate Studies Programs:

  • Oversees the provision of academic advisement to all undergraduate students, including supplemental  services for exchange and international students;
  • Provides guidance on policy and procedural matters to students including advice on how to prepare academic petitions or grade appeals effectively;
  • Administers undergraduate student appeals, petitions, and academic discipline cases in accordance with UW policy;
  • Contacts students who are identified as academically at risk; 
  • Provides confidential advising , which may require immediate action to connect students in crisis or with personal difficulties with university resources e.g. Counselling Services;
  • Acts as a resource for the interpretation of undergraduate policies and administrative procedures to maintain consistency and work with faculty to ensure uniform application;
  • Provides guidance or solutions to problems beyond the scope and authority of the Advisors;
  • Implements departmental initiatives for new students regarding their transition to university, including support services for first year to facilitate their learning and academic success;
  • Liaises with Associate Chair on undergraduate concerns or identified anomalies;
  • •     Oversees and monitors the submission of grades to the Registrar’s Office;
  • Conveys new policies and procedures to instructors;
  • In conjunction with the Associate Chair and First Year Coordinator, implements retention initiatives and activities to improve retention outcomes and the first year experience;
  • Manages a strategic outreach program for undergraduate students to provide learning support to students and facilitate engagement in learning experiences;
  • Coordinates Undergraduate event planning and oversee special events related to community building;
  • Collaborates with academic and student service departments and student organizations to implement services and processes to support student learning and the student experience.


Teaching Operation Administration:

  • Member of the UG Studies Committee providing reports, information, and recommendations;
  • Coordinates Undergraduate Studies Committee meetings, records decisions/changes, and tracks the completion of action items resulting from the meeting;
  • •     Acts as the department’s undergraduate calendar representative, submits course changes in the SA catalogue and curricular changes for review, edits and proofreads undergraduate calendar entries;
  • Provides updates to the Faculty and Registrar Office undergraduate calendar maintenance team;
  • In conjunction with the Senior Associate Chair, create a conflict-free schedule of undergraduate and graduate course offerings, including pre-slotting;
  • Identify instructor/timetable/room conflicts and monitor registration and room limits to resolve problems;
  • Coordinate requests for extra lectures, tutorials or review sessions;
  • Coordinates midterm and final exam schedule each term;
  • Coordinates proctors assignments for midterm and final exams using the graduate student pool of TAs in accordance with UW policies and procedures, summarizes assignments, and monitors department’s required proctoring hours;
  • Oversee supplemental or alternative exam arrangements as required;
  • Supports the teaching operation of the undergraduate program through coordinating sessional hiring interviews and synchronizing all instructor teaching assignments;
  • Collaborates in the Teaching Assistant assignment process and all last minute TA swapping and hiring;
  • Compiles information on enrolments and analyzes reports on programs and teaching histories to facilitate the decision-making process regarding teaching assignments;
  • Develops and implements new procedures and processes to improve service quality and stakeholder satisfaction.



Supervision of Undergraduate Administrative Staff:

  • Monitors daily activities and workload demands of the team, reassigns work or assign special projects;
  • Determines deadlines, schedules, and priorities, balancing operational requirements and strategic considerations;
  • Trains new staff and initiate cross-training as appropriate to balance workload;
  • Mentors and identifies staff capability, promotes skills development and training for career development and advancement;
  • Completes and conducts performance evaluations;
  • In conjunction with the Administrative Officer, participates in the hiring of undergraduate staff.


Scholarships and Accreditation:

  • Coordinates undergraduate scholarship applications including NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award and UW Undergraduate Research Internship program;
  • Coordinates the selection process of various awards e.g. Alumni Gold Medal, etc.
  • Provides statistical information, background information and special project support to Associate Chair;
  • Oversees administrative support for the outcomes based assessments and quality assurance as required by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board;
  • Oversees administrative support for the program accreditation review process to ensure ECE programs provide the academic requirements for licensure as a professional engineer in Canada.


Other Duties:

  • Reviews and provides updates for the undergraduate section of the ECE website and member of the ECE Communications Committee;
  • Member of the senior staff operations committee giving planning, vision and issue resolution;
  • Recommends and facilitates the introduction of new technologies and methods to enhance efficiency and streamline procedures;
  • Special project analysis, reporting and other duties as assigned by the Associate Chair or Administrative Officer.


Position Requirements


Bachelor degree or equivalent combination of education and experience.


Three years of experience academic program advising such as interpreting, applying and relaying complex policies. Several years’ supervisory experience or experience managing teams.


MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other


Intermediate Intermediate

QUEST: Intermediate

Infosilem: Intermediate
FileMaker-Pro: Intermediate

Drupal: Intermediate
Outlook/email: Intermediate
Internet: Ability to navigate web resources and use online applications/tool


Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

Internally, communicates with ECE administrative staff, faculty, undergraduate students and course instructors, First Year Engineering Office, Registrar’s Office, Scheduling Office, and timetable representatives from across campus to obtain, clarify and discuss information to resolve issues.

Externally communicates with incoming students and parents to provide information on undergraduate student services.

Level of Responsibility:

This position has significant decision making responsibility when it comes to routine course/exam scheduling, student enrollment, undergraduate event planning, undergraduate records management, and E&P case processing. Providing incomplete or inaccurate information to students can have a strong adverse impact on students’ ability to achieve their academic goals. Incorrect actions or decisions may lead to appeals which would adversely affect the reputation of the department and ECE’s ability to recruit students.

Decision-Making Authority:

Works independently with a high level of initiative and flexibility. The job requires the regular exercise of independent action within defined policy parameters to provide informed advice and instruction to students. 

Consults with Associate Chair regarding complex or escalated advising cases. The impact and scope of these duties requires the use of discretion and judgement. The incumbent must be able to make quick, rational decisions to resolve issues or problems that arise.
Responsible for staff supervision and workload balancing, including assessing work performance and taking corrective action. 

Physical and Sensory Demands:

Must possess mental fortitude and patience in cross-cultural and inter-personal relations with an international clientele. Must listen carefully to client concerns or circumstances and reading into and between the lines of emails or correspondence to identify the issue/problem daily.

Working Environment:

This role involves minimal psychological risk resulting from unavoidable exposure to disagreeable or uncomfortable situations, including difficult interactions dealing with distressed clients.  Provides information or explanations that may not be well received by recipients who may be upset or angry.  Some internal clients may be demanding or request breaking policy. This role involves constant interruptions (e.g. drop in students, phone, and email queries). Interacts with people who may be difficult or dissatisfied, and some situations may require escalation. Responds to emergency situations where there is a lot of pressure to find a solution quickly. The incumbent works in an environment where there is frequent process/procedural change.