Skip to the content of the web site.

Director, Conflict Management & Human Rights

Department: Conflict Management & Human Rights Office Effective Date: October, 2009

USG 13

35 hr/wk

Reports to: Secretary of the University

General Accountability

This senior position is accountable to the Secretary of the University for providing expertise to the campus community regarding conflict resolution, Human Rights and ethics in the workplace. This is accomplished through 1) education, 2) expert guidance with respect to conflict and human rights related issues, and 3) ensuring the principles articulated in University Policy 33 and the Human Rights Code are understood and upheld.

The Director is accountable for developing and maintaining a strong and constructive working relationship with all constituent groups thereby fostering a supportive and positive environment for the entire University of Waterloo community. This is achieved through the provision of a range of support services, and working cooperatively with all employee and student groups and senior administration.

Nature and Scope

This position is one of eight reporting to the Secretary of the University; the others are the Director of Police and Parking Services, Director of Safety, Associate Secretaries, the University Records Manager and the Executive Assistant to the Secretary of the University. Reporting directly to the Director is the Co-ordinator of Conflict Management Services. The Director supervises the Coordinator and is responsible for the management of the Office, its programs and activities.


The Director [with other offices] identifies and provides guidance on the management of human rights issues that have the potential to create significant liability for the University. Under current legislation, the Human Rights Tribunal have the mandate to levy significant monetary penalties and widely publish details of cases where employers are found to be in breach of the Human Rights Code, a reality which makes the role of Director critical and vital to UW.  

The Director responds to inquiries from University complaint handlers, and provides expert guidance and advice ensuring institutional adherence to legislation, policy and principles of fairness [and a strong understanding of same]. The level of guidance and support afforded management is dynamic often requiring the development of new and immediate case management strategies. 

Facilitation of internal dispute resolution serves to limit the need to engage in costly external processes [i.e. monetary, relationship, notoriety]


The Conflict Management and Human Rights office provides a broad range of services to line managers (e.g., Department Chairs), as well as to individual staff, faculty and students, Services range from individual coaching of parties attempting to respond informally to perceived conflict to the provision of full investigation services for line management.  Accordingly, it is essential that the incumbent earn and maintain the trust and respect of academic and academic support senior management.  These relationships are the foundation for the incumbent’s effectiveness in all areas of his work.

Very often, the individuals who approach this office for assistance are in varying stages of emotional conflict which can range from fear to anger to denial.   The Director must have the skills to reach these people in order to begin to assist, as well as the emotional savvy and sensitivity to work with the parties who have to respond to / interact with / supervise these individuals. 

The Director is responsible for providing services campus wide, and with respect to human rights complaints, on a client driven basis. Service provision, which can range from one-on-one guidance to broad and active intervention, is dependent on the incumbent’s ability to analyse, assess and balance client needs and University interests.

The Director is also responsible for provision of services for resolving conflict and relationship difficulties. With an emphasis on early and informal response, office personnel respond to initial inquiries by providing information on resolution and response options, alternative resources, policies and guidelines, and CMAHRO services. Based on an assessment of client needs, office personnel will provide services which may include intervention or broader inquiry. 

The Director is also responsible for the recruitment, training and guidance to a team of volunteers representing a broad cross section of the campus, in the delivery of support services to staff, faculty and students. Through the oversight and guidance of the Director, these volunteers are trained to deliver peer support in a number of areas including individual support, meeting facilitation and mediation.


The Director plays an extensive role developing, managing and providing education programs in academic and academic support settings. These programs range from the distribution of written materials to workshops lasting several days and include Communication Skills, Understanding Conflict, Responding to Harassment Complaints, Team Building, Human Rights in the Workplace, Delegation and Diversity.

Ontario human rights educational material must meet guidelines established by the Commission with respect to content and organizational responsibility. Educational initiatives can vary with some specific to individual units or student groups while other initiatives may impact the broader campus community.

There are times where the Director is required to respond to client requests on an immediate or urgent basis given the highly emotional and unpredictable nature of the case work. The nature and scope requires the Director to be current on legislation and internal policy.

BUDGET       Staff Salaries              $140,760                                        Materials                    $4,000

Statistical Data

Specific Accountabilities


Human Rights

  • Provides expert guidance on relevant legislation and University human rights policies and procedures and maintains current knowledge of institutional practices in this area.
  • Recommends policy and procedural changes to ensure alignment with legislation, policies and mission. Coaches complaint handlers/line management one-on-one on effective case management.
  • Creates and maintains effective communications with senior administrators/department heads to ensure best efforts are made to resolve complaints informally and internally.
  •  Liaises with other university services and offices with similar mandates [e.g. Human Resources, UW Police, Persons with Disabilities, Occupational Health Nurse, Counselling Services, Ombudsperson] as a means of promoting ongoing relations thus facilitating referrals and effective management of shared cases.
  • Advises complainants and respondents as to processes and steps involved in advancing and resolving issues related to human rights.
  • Investigates complaints as appropriate; the results are relied upon by management in response to human rights complaints.
  • Oversees the creation and implementation of initiatives (e.g., processes, materials, preventive strategies) for educating faculty, students and staff on human rights issues, case management and Code compliance. Gives guest lectures within academic programs [e.g., 1st Year Engineering, St Jerome’s – Psychology, Kinesiology, Systems Design, Optometry].

Conflict Management

  • Oversees and participates as a campus expert in the provision of services to assist individuals and groups respond effectively to conflict. Coaches one on one or intervenes as a mediator, facilitator or conciliator.
  • Acts as a liaison between individuals and / or groups at all levels within UW, serving as a communicator or informed conciliator as appropriate.
  • Intervention activities range from interpersonal conflict between two parties to internal group facilitation to formal settlement discussions between the management and an individual complainant.
  • These intervention activities can individuals or groups in dispute at varying levels within the organization.
  • Designs and implements educational initiatives to assist the community in responding to /managing conflict effectively and in knowing when to seek assistance from CMAHRO in doing so

Working Conditions