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Executive Director Community Relations & Engagement

Company: University of Saskatchewan
Date Posted: May 12, 2017

Department: University Relations

FTE: 1.0
Status: Permanent
Requisition: req278

Open Date: 5/4/2017 

Salary Information: The salary range is CAD $77,890.00 - 129,736.00 per annum (Specialist Professional
/Phase 3). The starting salary will be commensurate with education and experience.

Description: There is 1 opening(s) for this posting. Located in Saskatoon.

Primary Purpose: The Executive Director, Community Relations and Engagement, works with the senior UR team and with leadership across the university including deans, directors, and colleagues in other vice-presidential portfolios, on community-based and/or community-connected initiatives and activities that ensure strong, positive, mutually beneficial relationships and community presence that enhance the university’s reputation, while building awareness of its purpose and presence.

The Executive Director understands the unique characteristics of the university’s many communities and knows that those communities may be intertwined. He or she recognizes that communities are defined by common interests – be they geography and place, purpose, practice, or common heritage or background, among many others. The Executive Director will recognize and value the diversity of these communities and take them into account in all activities and initiatives.

While the University of Saskatchewan’s traditional campus is in Saskatoon, it connects with communities throughout the province, across Canada, and around the world. The Executive Director will create and enhance those connections, build understanding, and foster good will, in order to build the profile of university in the broader community. He or she will work directly with the Office of the Vice President, Research, to find new ways to embed the academy into communities through activities, initiatives, and outreach, as well as to bring the community to the campus for the many events, activities and initiatives that are open to the broader public.

The Executive Director provides leadership and insight for integrated UR activities in communities where the U of S has established a physical presence, such as in Prince Albert and Regina, among others, as well as communities where such a presence may be established in the future. 

The Executive Director will build community pride in the University of Saskatchewan through development of an effective, contemporary and forward-thinking community relations program. The strategy will include local, provincial, and national outreach and engagement goals and objectives, as well as appropriate international goals and objectives as aligned with the institutional international strategy. Included in the role will be evaluative methods to ensure the effectiveness of community relations activities. He or she will work with the Chief of Staff in the Office of the President to contribute to a strategy related to institutional sponsorship of community organizations and activities, which are the primary responsibility of the Office of the President within the overall institutional strategic plan. He or she is a key UR liaison to the University Senate, which provides connections to communities throughout Canada.

Nature of Work: Reporting directly to the Vice President, University Relations, the Executive Director is a member of the UR senior leadership team and will contribute to budgeting, strategic planning and the overall direction of University Relations. Further, the position will serve as a confidential advisor to the Vice-President, University Relations, on community relationships and partnerships which will strategically advance the reputation and awareness of the University.

The Executive Director will build a Community Relations program, which includes a presence on campus or in designated communities, to foster and maintain relationships in those designated communities.

The position will develop and lead projects to enhance and optimize opportunities that maximize reputation, enhance awareness and lead to mutually beneficial relationships. Such activities may include:

  • Events that showcase the university’s presence in, and impact on, its communities.
  • Organizing and managing community think tanks or advisory groups that provide insight and keep the university appropriately connected.
  • Developing strategy and organizing provincial outreach travel by the President, ensuring that he is visible and connected, in conjunction with university colleagues in government relations and the Office of Research.
  • Envisioning, creating and implementing appropriate outreach activities by the Vice President, University Relations, as appropriate.
  • Working with the Office of the University Secretary on initiatives that effectively engage and include members of the University Senate.
  • Capitalizing on the remarkable talent and expertise at the university and aligning and/or connecting that talent with community needs.

The Executive Director will participate in community-based events locally, nationally, and potentially globally, where such events meet the strategic initiatives of the VP, UR. Further, at the request of the Office of the President and/or the Office of the Vice President, Research, the position will participate in community events deemed important to the respective offices. As such, flexibility of hours and the ability to travel domestically and internationally is a requirement of the position.  


Portfolio leadership and support: The Executive Director’s work will be tightly aligned with activities in units across the portfolio and will actively support and amplify those activities. In line with this, he or she will:

  • Prepare materials (such as reports or briefings), conduct or assess research, and undertake other appropriate duties to inform and enhance UR activities.
  • Ensure his or her activities are in alignment with the university’s goals as a U15 university that seeks to rise in national and international rankings.
  • Champion activities that link the university to its relevant stakeholders, and that link the stakeholders to the university, in ways that both serve communities and advance the institution.
  • Lead cross-portfolio initiatives that involve multiple stakeholders to ensure diverse interests are addressed and managed.

Reputation building and advocacy: The Executive Director, with his or understanding of communities and their perceptions, provides strategic advice to other institutional leaders on ways to enhance reputation and build advocacy in communities.  He or she develops appropriate programming within UR’s mission and mandate that helps the university achieve its goals in these areas. In line with this, the Executive Director will:

  • Through appropriate activities and programming, enhance awareness and understanding of, and support for, the university.
  • Identify opportunities to promote the university’s relationship with key stakeholder groups, including community leaders
  • Plan and implement third-party advocacy strategies in collaboration with other leaders across the institution.
  • Understand, contribute to the success of, and optimize, the many excellent community programs developed by the colleges and the Office of the Vice President, Research.

Education: Bachelor’s degree; master’s degree or other advanced education strongly preferred

Experience: Eight to ten years of significant experience in constituent relations, communications, community engagement, with an exemplary record of leadership in a complex administrative environment with multiple stakeholder groups; substantive leadership experience in a large and complex environment; public sector experience is an asset; demonstrated experience in establishing, developing and maintaining long-term supportive relationships;

Skills: A strategic thinker with a background and demonstrated accomplishments in an integrated business model; excellent understanding of local and community issues; Credibility, or the proven ability to establish credibility, within the university and the external community; strategic thinker with the ability to execute creative and conceptual plans; excellent tact and judgment; demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with people of diverse backgrounds and expertise; excellent communication skills, including the ability and willingness to speak in front of audiences of various sizes and ability and willingness to work flexible and non-standard hours when required; and the ability to forge effective working partnerships and motivate partners and colleagues to achieve a vision and outcome.

This position is in scope of ASPA.

Apply online.