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Administrative Assistant



Effective Date: September 2002
Grade: USG 07 Reports to: Financial and Administrative Officer

General Accountability

The Administrative Assistant reports to the Financial and Administrative Officer and is responsible for management of the administrative, admissions and undergraduate and graduate offices in the school.  The incumbent supervises the staff in these areas including the technical typists, professional services coordinator and coordinator for graduate studies/continuing education.  The position requires frequent interaction and consultation with the admissions and graduate officers as well as faculty and other key school staff.

Nature and Scope


The School of Optometry is the only English speaking School of Optometry in Canada and receives requests.  As such, it receives requests for admission from all provinces in Canada and other parts countries.  The School of Optometry is the only department at the University of Waterloo that is responsible for admitting its own students.  The admissions procedure is complex and demanding for both applicant and the Admissions committee.  As many as 350 applications are received for sixty five (increasing by to ninety by 2006) first year positions.  The incumbent is responsible for being fully cognizant of all of the admission requirements, rules and procedures.  While admission officers change regularly, the administrative assistant provides continuity for the admission process ensuring that admissions officers are aware of all requirements and procedures.  The administrative assistant is responsible for ensuring the smooth and effective organization of the entire admissions process that includes compiling and organizing all applications for processing in the School’s own admissions computer system.

 As the only English speaking school of optometry in Canada agreements have been made between the province of Ontario and the governments of western and Atlantic provinces.  The administrative assistant is involved in the implementation and renewal negotiation of these agreements that provide funding to the province and university for limited numbers of students from signatory provinces to offset some costs for out-of province students.

 Undergraduate Studies

In addition to admissions, the administrative assistant is responsible for undergraduate studies activities management and coordination.  The incumbent is familiar with all policies and procedures related to the undergraduate program enabling the incumbent to advise students and faculty.  The administrative assistant is often the first contact for students providing counseling or referring students to the most appropriate university and community resources. The incumbent is frequently called upon to act as an intermediary with faculty and is responsible for the decision to refer serious problems to the school administration, university counseling or health services.

 The administrative assistant schedules all undergraduate courses.  This is a complex process requiring the coordination of classes, laboratories, tutorials with the available physical and human resources ensuring conflict free schedules.  The administrative assistant recruits and assigns undergraduate teaching assistants and coordinates the graduate student teaching assistant assignments. T/A coordination includes the monitoring of the T/A budget of ~$180,000.

 Secondary Responsibilities

The administrative assistant directly supervises the administrative office staff (technical typists and professional services coordinator) and the coordinator for graduate and research studies.  Budget monitoring of office part-time salary and non-salary expenses is required.  These expenses are approximately $150,000 annually.

 The administrative assistant organizes and attends career information seminars, symposia and other student recruiting activities assisting the High School Liaison Officer.

Statistical Data

Specific Accountabilities

Working Conditions