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Associate Vice-President, Strategic Initiatives (University Relations)

Department: University Relations Effective Date: January, 2012

USG 17

35 hr/wk

Reports to: Vice-President, University Relations

General Accountability

Reporting to and working closely with the Vice-President, University Relations, this position is responsible for developing and implementing strategy for special and university-wide initiatives related to activities in the University Relations portfolio.  The Associate Vice-President, Strategic Initiatives (AVPSI) works collaboratively and in partnership with the functional heads of Communications and Public Affairs and Government Relations activities. The AVPSI is responsible for the University of Waterloo’s advocacy efforts with government and institutional partners. Within this portfolio, the AVPSI also has responsibility for institutional data analysis projects.  In addition, the AVPSI takes leadership and ownership of strategic initiatives and serves as the primary conduit between University Relations and the Office of Development.

The Associate Vice-President, Strategic Initiatives will work in partnership with the Vice-President, University Relations to:

Nature and Scope

1. Organizational Relationships

The incumbent will work closely with the Vice-President, University Relations, the Associate Vice-President, Communications and Public Affairs, and the Senior Director, Government Relations.

The incumbent will also work collaboratively with Office of Development staff and with faculty communication officers ensuring consistent messaging both on and off campus.

Due to the strategic initiatives aspect of the role, the incumbent will also have to work collaboratively with a variety of others including the president, vice-presidents, deans, directors of professional schools, Director of Institutional Analysis and Planning, industrial liaison officers and development officers.

2. Description of general framework and environment

The University of Waterloo has recently split its External/University Relations department into two functional groups with the addition of a new Vice-President, Advancement position. This speaks to the importance the university is placing on university relations dedicating a vice-president to those activities. The Associate Vice-President, Strategic Initiatives will play an important role on matters relating to: internal communications, external communications, government relations, community relations as well as special initiatives such as entrepreneurship activities and the Stratford campus.

3. Significant Internal Relationships

Office of the President/Vice-Chancellor

Vice-President, Academic & Provost

Vice-President, University Relations

Vice-President, Advancement

Vice-President, Administration & Finance

Associate Vice-President, Communications and Public Affairs

Director, Government Relations

Director, Institutional Analysis and Planning

Faculty deans

Directors of professional schools (e.g., Pharmacy, Accounting and Finance, Architecture, etc.)

Office of Development team

Faculty development directors

Faculty and college heads

Communications & Public Affairs team

4. Significant University Relationships

Government staff, politicians, community leaders, uWaterloo partners (e.g., Perimeter Institute re: WGSI), uWaterloo alumni, volunteers, friends, donors and prospects (individual, corporate, foundation, etc.), community organizations such as Communitech, United Way, CTT, etc.

Statistical Data

Specific Accountabilities

The role of University Relations is to foster and support strong relationships with a wide range of external stakeholders and partners for the benefit of students, faculty, staff and the community.

Strategic Planning


Relationship with VPUR and senior leadership

Fiscal Management

University Relations and Advocacy

Administration and Staff Development

Working Conditions