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Administrative Assistant

Department: Chemistry Effective Date: December 1, 2010
Grade: USG 7 Reports to: Department Chair

General Accountability

The Administrative Assistant reports directly to the Chair and is responsible for the effective and efficient day-to-day operation of the department in administrative matters.

Nature and Scope

The Chemistry Department includes 37 full-time faculty, 5 distinguished professors emeritus, 6 professors emeritus, 49 adjunct faculty/cross appointees, 21 staff (including 6 senior laboratory instructors), 34 postdoctoral fellows/research associates, 15 visiting scientists/researchers, 116 graduate students and provides courses to more than 3300 undergraduate students. 

 The Administrative Assistant relieves the Chair of the many administrative details and deals with problems involved in the effective day-to-day functioning of the Department, in addition to monitoring the overall activities of the Department.  An appropriate level of confidentiality and trust with all members of the Department must be maintained at all times.

Statistical Data

Specific Accountabilities

1. Familiarity with University Policies and Procedures: A thorough knowledge of University of Waterloo policies and procedures, including the ability to interpret them as required in order to serve as a resource to faculty, staff and students.

2.(a) Supervisory Responsibilities: The Administrative Assistant is responsible for the day-to-day supervision of three full-time office staff members (Undergraduate Coordinator, Graduate Coordinator, Chem 13 News Secretary, and one half-time office staff member), including the day-to-day establishment of workloads and responsibility for the evaluation (including the preparation and assignment of grades for Staff Performance evaluations as well as meeting with the staff members to discuss their evaluations) of and discipline for the administrative staff, as well as the initiation of organizational changes as needed. A highly sophisticated knowledge of departmental function is essential to ensure efficient operation of the main office and the Department on a day-to-day basis.

2.(b)* Supervision of Technical Staff: The Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Mass Spectrometry, and X-ray Crystallography Technicians, and the Departmental Glassblower (shared jointly with the Department of Chemical Engineering) all report through the Administrative Assistant. The Administrative Assistant is also responsible for preparing the annual merit evaluations for these individuals in collaboration with the instrument User Committees.

3. Maintenance of files for staff members in the Department of Chemistry (vacation allowances, performance evaluations, and all other documentation).

4. Maintenance of accurate and updated files for faculty members, research associates, postdoctoral fellows, adjunct/cross appointees, and visiting faculty members; preparation of contracts for postdoctoral fellows, research associates, new faculty hires, and for sessional and visiting scientists appointments.

5. Responsibility for recruitment, specifically for interviewing and selecting replacements for the main Department office as the need arises, initiation of faculty recruitment files (including the placement of ads, the maintenance of accurate files on each candidate, coordination of appropriate search committee meetings, composition of all correspondence to referees, and the coordination of all aspects of each candidate’s visit to the Department): once a candidate has been selected, all the necessary documentation as required (UARC, HRDC) for the appointment to be made. All recruitment is carried out according to the University of Waterloo Policies and Procedures which the Administrative Assistant is required to be well versed with.

6. Responsibility for administering salary payments: This includes salary payments to teaching assistants as necessary, summer research associates and postdoctoral fellows, quasi-faculty appointees, and sessional appointments, as well as ensuring that salary information from all sources is properly submitted to the Payroll Department.

7. Ordering of Textbooks: Responsibility for all U/G textbook ordering as required by the Department. The Administrative Assistant also serves as liaison person to the Bookstore.

8. Course Evaluations: Oversight of the administration of course evaluations for all Chemistry courses; liaison with the Faculty of Science Undergraduate Office.

9. Exam Proctoring: Organization and coordination of proctors each term (approx. 120-150 proctors required) for final examinations as per the UW examination regulations, including the making of arrangements for additional proctors as needed and the administration of payment as required.

10. CHEM 494 Project: Organization and maintenance of the CHEM 494 website; establishment of deadlines for interim/final reports, plus organization of the CHEM 494 Orientation Session held in September and the CHEM 494 Seminar Day and reception each March; responsibility for administering all CHEM 494 grade sheets and for the collection and compilation of all grades for the submission of final grades to the Registrar's Office. Typical enrolment numbers fluctuate between 30-40 undergraduate students.

11. Committee Meetings: Organization of Departmental Executive, Promotion/Tenure and regular Department meetings, and of any special meetings as requested by the Chair; this includes the issuance of agenda, preparation and distribution of minutes for these meetings. The Administrative Assistant is also responsible for the running of elections for various committees, as requested by the Chair. This includes the coordination, distribution, and counting of ballots for all mail ballots from Faculty for various polling initiatives. Maintains list of faculty and staff committee assignments.

12. Faculty Promotion and Tenure: The collection, organization to a specific format, and compilation of data for faculty promotion and tenure cases. Note that in this context, all data assembled are highly confidential (CV, teaching evaluations, confidential letters of recommendation, colleagues opinions of incumbent's teaching abilities, and so forth).

13. Calculation of teaching evaluation ratings for faculty members for use in faculty merit reviews; arrangement of meetings between faculty members and the Chair to discuss reviews as necessary.

14.* Management of petty cash for the Department: signing authority on all 3325 and 3327 accounts.

15. Faculty Professional Allowance Claims: Coordination of all aspects of the Faculty Professional Allowance claims.

16. Liaison: Act as a liaison with Dean of Science Office, Office of Research, Finance Office, Payroll Department, Human Resources, Bookstore, Scheduling, Registrar's Office, Telephone Services and HRDC.

17. Special Projects: Collection and organization of information as requested by the Chair, or by external agencies, such as NSERC, CCUCC (Canadian Council of University Chemistry Chairs) and CCDCOU (Canadian Chemistry Department Chairs of Ontario Universities).

18. Appraisal Documentation: Responsibility for collecting and organizing detailed information on behalf of the Department of Chemistry for the Guelph-Waterloo Centre for Graduate Work in Chemistry and Biochemistry ((GWC)2) "appraisal" document. This involves the provision of accurate details on faculty research funding, teaching loads, research equipment, library resources, as well as ensuring that all documentation and CV's conform to the guidelines established by the appraisal committee. An accreditation is also carried out for the chemistry undergraduate programs which also requires a high level of detail and accuracy.

19. Responsibility for the material mounted and maintained on the Department of Chemistry website.

20.* Co-editing of the Departmental newsletter “Chemistry Matters”: This task includes involvement in the compilation of articles, arrangement/provision of photographs, newsletter layout, and so on, with anticipated publication during each academic term.

21.* Responsibility for the coordination of Departmental functions (e.g., Christmas events, receptions, dinners), and any other special Departmental events such as visiting foreign delegations.

22. Serving as the Grants Coordinator for the Department of Chemistry: This task involves the distribution of grant information, checking applications for completeness prior to signing by the Chair, obtaining appropriate signatures for annual financial statements, and so forth). This task requires liaising with the Office of Research.

23. Oversee all telephone services within the Department of Chemistry.

24. Serve as secretary to the Chair and the Associate Chair. Provide essential continuity to the department, and stability during the transitional periods of a new Chair/Associate Chair. Each Chair/Associate Chair has a different management style and as a result, specific duties and the working environment may change as the Chairs change. Provide informed support on Departmental, Faculty and University procedural practices as well as detailed historical context which is important in providing appropriate background knowledge to the Chair to make informed suggestions and decisions.

25.* Maintains and updates Donor list. Provides support with various correspondence between the Chair and Donors. Arranges for complimentary gifts to former alumni and Departmental Donors. A very important initiative.

26.* Safety: Create and maintain appropriate information and verification documentation with respect to training and compliance. This would provide enhanced knowledge of safety training to new faculty, staff, students, visiting scientists and postdoctoral fellows. Maintenance of departmental safety inspection database and to arrange for follow-up as required.

27.* New Faculty Orientation: To develop and maintain an orientation program for new faculty in the Chemistry Department which will outline policy and procedures as they pertain to the proper functioning of the Department as a whole, faculty teaching and the research environment. Act as a resource person to newly-hired faculty members to answer questions and provide resources related to the Department, Faculty and University.

Special Requirements

- Ability to interact with faculty, staff, students and off-campus contacts.

- Supervisory experience.

- Proven written and oral communication skills.

- Thorough knowledge of University of Waterloo policies and procedures.

- Familiarity with various computing packages (Microsoft Office, Wordperfect, Windows XP, Excel, Oracle Calendar (BookIt), Eudora, Quest, UWAce, Cognos Cubes, Adobe Acrobat, and the WorldWideWeb).


Working Conditions