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Communications and Web Co-ordinator

Department: Faculty of Science Effective Date: January, 2012


35 hr/wk

Reports to: Executive Assistant

General Accountability

The Communications & Web Co-ordinator reports to the Executive Assistant for the Faculty of Science is responsible for managing various external relations, communications, technology, and web activities as they relate to the Faculty of Science. The incumbent will serve as a primary resource to the Dean of Science office and the Departmental units within Science in the development and management of websites and the co-ordination of certain print and e-communications.

This role involves communications (print, web, and electronic), marketing, and external relations functions. While the position would include the co-ordination of print publications, web communications do play a pivotal role within the scope of responsibilities of the Co-ordinator. It will be necessary to collaborate extensively with the Co-ordinator, Recruitment & Marketing who will provide direction on standards and guidelines for UW and the Faculty of Science to ensure consistency. The incumbent will need to be versatile, adapting to various communications needs as they arise within the Faculty of Science.

This is a 1-year contract position, renewable contingent upon funding.

Nature and Scope

The Faculty of Science includes a Dean of Science office and 5 departmental units; Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Physics, and Optometry. With a population of 3,400 undergraduate students and 425 graduate students, it is one of the larger faculties on UW’s campus. Approximately 145 faculty members and 170 staff members administer the teaching, research, and administrative responsibilities within the faculty. The Communications and Web Co-ordinator would be responsible for co-ordinating communications and web activities for the Faculty of Science with the goals of delivering information, building awareness, reaching various audiences within and external to science, and raising the profile of the Faculty, both on campus and within the local community.

In recent years there has been a drive towards creating a distinctive "look" for UW's presence on the web. Guidelines have been set up to help departments and individual users achieve this look. It is anticipated that the incumbent would become familiar with and adhere to UW’s web standards and guidelines when creating and implementing new websites in science.

“The University of Waterloo's web presence continues to gain in importance as the central vehicle for conveying essential information to the campus community, for carrying out some business transactions, and for projecting the university's image to the world.”

The Communications and Web Co-ordinator is responsible for the development and updating of websites using current market research in web design and online writing principles. The goal of such development would be the creation of engaging content targeted to specific audiences that succeeds in driving return visits to the sites while building relationships with those audiences. As such, the incumbent will need to write, self-edit, and copy edit the content for various websites within the Faculty, applying the specific principles of writing content for online publications. A firm grasp and understanding of these principles is key to being successful in this function.

Due to the strong writing component of this role, the incumbent will require an expert eye for grammar and language usage along with well-developed proofreading abilities. The ability to write dynamic, creative copy with a marketing flavour is also highly desirable for the ideal candidate.

The Communications and Web Co-ordinator optimally possesses a working knowledge of web-based technology strategies including website development and content management using Dreamweaver MX and Fireworks MX. The incumbent is responsible for creating new or redesigned professional sites as well as bringing innovative ideas and new content solutions to the sites. The Co-ordinator must be aware, through market research, of issues relating to online readability and functionality and possess a strong understanding of the Internet user experience.

The incumbent will need the skills required to analyze, organize, and integrate technical and marketing information into an intuitive information architecture and classification system. In this capacity, attention to detail and thoroughness are key for the incumbent. The Co-ordinator will be responsible to team lead others within the faculty, providing direction for the functionality and content of new websites. This will require clear analytical thinking, the ability to conceptualize deadlines, and the ability to work within a production process, as well as give clear directions and produce high-quality work under tight deadlines.  

The incumbent must maintain productive working relationships with the Dean of Science office, departmental units within science, and relevant administrative units across campus. The Communications and Web Co-ordinator must possess excellent judgement and the ability to build consensus and foster teamwork among the variety of stakeholders in the faculty. The ability to act as an advocate for the web, technology, and consistent communications within the faculty are highly desirable. The Co-ordinator must also serve as an advocate within the Faculty for the user experience ensuring easy, clear functionality, and consistent tone and manner.

Skills and Aptitudes

This position requires a candidate who has very strong interpersonal and oral and written communication skills. The Co-ordinator needs to be comfortable working in both print and web media, therefore, a marketing background would be considered an asset. A strong customer service orientation, audience-driven position, and desire for innovation are ideal qualities in the Co-ordinator. This incumbent will also need to have a keen eye for detail with an ability to organize and classify information.

The incumbent will be required to work with a variety of different units within the Faculty of Science and across the UW campus, thus strong leadership skills, a commitment to collaboration and teamwork, and a consultative approach are necessary. The Co-ordinator will also be required to co-ordinate and manage multiple projects, sometimes under tight deadlines, thus strong organizational skills are a definite asset.

Optimally, the ideal candidate would be experienced in organizing, creating, and editing content for the web, using their familiarity with web users and the user experience to guide their activities. A technical aptitude with a working knowledge of Dreamweaver and cascading style sheets are desirable, thought not essential. More importantly are an eagerness and ability in learning and applying web technolology.

Statistical Data

Specific Accountabilities

Working Conditions