Manager, Academic Operations
Queens University - Kingston, ON
- University degree with a minimum of 5 years’ experience in a progressively responsible management and leadership role in an academic environment and/or post-secondary education sector
- Broad knowledge of university structure, policy and administrative systems, as well as thorough knowledge of Faculty academic programs, regulations, policies and procedures
- Demonstrated knowledge of best practices regarding academic integrity, principles of procedural fairness, application of regulations or standards as they relate to academic or professional conduct
- Demonstrated experience in strategic planning, providing support for policy development or analysis, and project management
- Experience providing executive support in the capacity of trusted advisor
- Satisfactory Criminal Background Check and Vulnerable Sector Check
- An extensive understanding of the various student services available at the University is considered an asset
- Familiarity with university-based systems (PeopleSoft) is an asset
- Consideration may be given to an equivalent combination of education and experience
Reporting to the Director, Student Services Division, the Manager, Academic Operations is responsible for providing executive level strategic advisory and consultative support to the Associate Dean (Academic), Director, Student Services and the Student Services Division, in a variety of operational areas to respond to changing needs, and ensure critical and sensitive matters are prioritized and handled expeditiously based on in-depth knowledge of the Associate Dean (Academic) priorities, and the overall division’s priorities. This position provides briefings, analysis and guidance on emerging academic operational issues impacting the division, facilitates effective communication and an appropriate flow of information amongst the Student Services leadership team and between university partners.
The Manager, Academic Operations is responsible for leading a faculty-wide critical culture change in regards to academic integrity through engagement and direct consultation with faculty, departments, instructors, Undergraduate Chairs, and the Office of the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) to develop an integrated Academic Integrity plan in FAS and implement strategies for educational student support initiatives promoting Academic Integrity policy, procedures, best practices according to the university’s essential values and principles. Serving as the primary contact for students with difficult or complex student academic integrity issues, the Manager, Academic Operations oversees the escalation of case management, academic integrity processes, and advises on matters of policy interpretation regarding academic student conduct to support the Associate Dean (Academic) with timely and effective investigations into, and adjudication of, departures from academic integrity. The incumbent takes a holistic, systematic approach to analyze academic integrity data, statistics and reporting, while remaining informed about current and emerging trends, challenges and issues, standards, new and/or changing methodologies, technologies and processes related to academic integrity. This position advises the Student Services leadership team on the current state of academic integrity within the Faculty, university and post-secondary sector regionally, and recommends alternative strategies and solutions.
Committed to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigeneity (EDII), as a member of the leadership team within the division, the Manager, Academic Operations, actively participates in strategic, human resources and operational planning for the division. In collaboration with the Director, Student Services and other leadership team members, the Manager, Academic Operations ensures EDII considerations are embedded within effective resource management initiatives, including professional development plans for staff and process improvements to administrative support services in support of the Faculty’s strategic plan and division’s objectives.
Strategic Advisory Support
- Manage, plan, and coordinate diverse activities involving highly confidential and sensitive subjects/issues, including those related to labour relations on behalf of the Associate Dean (Academic) and Director, Student Services. These duties include performing research and analysis to prepare briefing documents, reports, presentations or other forms of confidential correspondence, in addition to following up or resolving issues to ensure commitments and objectives are met. Coordinates the involvement of the Associate Dean (Academic) on critical and sensitive matters concerning various areas, with a primary focus on grades, academic progression, and exam office liaison.
- Manages various special projects that deliver enhanced quality of student support services. Consults, advises and leads team members, develop project plans, and monitors progress towards desired outcomes. Establishes project schedules; discusses, advises and suggests appropriate modifications; interprets policy and recommends changes or clarifications; and ensures expectations are met.
- Ensure highly complex, unusual and/or difficult to resolve student queries or issues received from the Associate Dean’s public e-mail account are properly and effectively addressed when escalated by the Administrative Assistant (Academic).
- Ensure the efficiency and efficacy of a variety of academic processes (grades, change of grades, syllabus templates, confidential exams, exam process) through review and evaluation of operational processes and effectiveness. Identifies opportunities and leads processes improvements ensuring all initiatives, policies and recommendations are grounded in evidence and embedding the values, principles and best practices aligned to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigeneity.
- Develops and maintains privacy guidelines for the maintenance of student files in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). Ensures consistent treatment of student files within the Student Services Division. Maintains the records retention schedule for the Faculty Office and advises on student records management issues.
- Gathers feedback from key stakeholders, including faculty instructors, Undergraduate Chairs, departments, the Office of the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) and analyzes data from a variety of sources to prepare reports for decision making by the division.
- Advises the Faculty on the interpretation of regulations and policies in the context of evolving trends and challenges, emerging issues and practices involving academic processes. Analyze needs and make recommendations to the Student Services leadership for changes in staffing, technology and/or administrative functions. Recommend new internal guidelines and procedures.
- Builds relationships and works closely on an on-going basis with instructors, Undergraduate Chairs, departments, the Office of the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) and FAS Marketing and Communications to develop strategic and integrated approaches and resources to promote a culture of academic integrity including alternate assessment methods and education programs fostering academic integrity literacies for students. This includes engaging faculty in developing assessments that are robust in preventing departures from academic integrity, educating students regarding expectations of academic integrity and ensuring departures from academic integrity are addressed in an effective and timely manner.
- Develops and maintains effective working relationships with the Office of the University Ombudsperson, Legal counsel and other faculties to ensure Academic Integrity policy, procedure and practices are administered on a consistent, fair and equitable basis across the Faculty.
- Organizes an annual academic integrity symposium for Undergraduate Chairs, instructors and staff working in the academic integrity related roles.
- Prepares a monthly newsletter on academic integrity issues.
- Through supervision of the Academic Integrity Coordinator and the Administrative Assistant (Academic), takes a leadership role in ensuring the effective coordination and resolution of investigations by the Associate Dean (Academic) into cases of departures from academic integrity.
- Conducts assessment and processing of complex student appeals of academic integrity related decisions to the Associate Dean (Academic), including drafting decision letters for complicated cases. Acts as liaison with legal counsel in academic integrity appeal matters. On behalf of the Associate Dean (Academic), drafts response letters to the Academic Integrity Conduct panel (AICP) for student appeals of denials.
- Actively participate in the Academic Integrity Roundtable, the Academic Integrity Council of Ontario and the International Centre for Academic Integrity. Collect, review, prepare, and report on faculty-wide academic integrity data/statistics to identify trends, insights, and developments on best practices at the university and across the post-secondary education sector. Recommend amendments and additions to faculty academic integrity regulations as required.
Academic Operations Liaison and Engagement
- Represents the Faculty on the Senate Committee on Academic Procedures (SCAP) Exams Subcommittee and liaises with the Exams Office. During the final examination periods, acts as the after-hours contact with the Exams Office, reviews and follows up on exam incident reports, requests for early exams and exam location changes, and resolves other exam problems.
- In support of the Associate Dean (Academic), acts as primary contact for students with difficult or complex issues, and their parents, providing initial and ongoing advice and support triaging requests appropriately. Liaises with instructors, academic departments, and other student services to inform, clarify, confirm and explore alternative solutions, consulting with the Associate Dean (Academic) as necessary to facilitate fair and equitable outcomes. Advises the Associate Dean (Academic) on the appropriate method of resolving student concerns.
- Provides on-going support and acts as first point of contact for Undergraduate Chairs and Assistants. Coordinates monthly meetings, develop agendas and materials and organize annual retreats. Provides orientation, training and support to new Chairs of Undergraduate Studies and their Assistants.
- Manages the annual review of student performance each May. Works with the Office of the University Registrar (OUR) to set the timeline for the review. Assesses and revises the process for identifying students of their academic standing, including updates to the letters notifying students of their academic standing. Adjusts academic standing for individual students resulting from grade changes and appeal decisions, and communicates changes to the OUR.
- Prepares the annual Academic Progress Report for Faculty Board.
Human Resources Management
- Administers various human resources functions including, but not limited to, tracking of requests for time away for the division, supporting/coordinating performance dialogue meetings, administering documentation for submission to human resources, screening and interviewing job candidates, and providing input into staff selection, etc. Acts as the Staff Equity Representative for the division.
- Plans, prioritizes and manages the work of employees, providing strategic and tactical advice, guidance and coaching. Manages performance by establishing performance standards, reviewing and evaluating performance and conducting formal performance reviews on an ongoing basis.
- Working with the Director, Student Services, develops a strategic plan to professional development for the division to increase staff competencies and knowledge to address an increasingly diverse and complex student demographic, with a focus on ensuring professional development for staff is aligned with faculty and division priorities.
- As a member of the Student Services Leadership Team, participates in the planning and development of staffing and human resource plans. Identifies the need for staff resources, participates on staffing committees, and makes effective recommendations regarding employee selection.
- Promotes a culture of inclusion, with a commitment to the university’s Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigeneity initiatives designed to foster an inclusive, supportive, and welcoming work environment for individuals with diverse backgrounds and identities.
- Investigates, addresses and resolves employee/labour relations issues, including disciplinary matters. Makes decisions or effective recommendations on matters involving possible discipline, discharge and probationary termination.
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills enabling effective interaction with diverse students, staff, faculty, and external offices at every level; ability to communicate tactfully and diplomatically, and handle confidential material with discretion.
- Superior writing skills with the ability to produce correspondence, policy documents and proposals in a clear and concise format.
- Strong organizational and planning skills with demonstrated ability to prioritize multiple and potentially conflicting goals in order to make maximum use of resources and to coordinate and maintain progress on a number of diverse tasks and carry them to completion with little supervision
- Knowledge of, and enthusiasm for providing student services with the ability to deal considerately with anxious and upset students and/or parents, with an appreciation for the concerns and anxieties faced by undergraduate students striving to complete a degree.
- Strong analytical and problem solving skills demonstrated through researching and analyzing complex problems involving multiple relationships and interactions, where information is incomplete, missing or ambiguous, with the ability to synthesize information from a variety of sources, define and provide possible solutions to resolve problems, set goals and carry ideas to completion.
- Ability to motivate and to create a strong work environment. Sensitivity to issues affecting staff and students, maintaining a high degree of confidentiality, tact and discretion and functions with an exceptional level of professionalism.
- Advanced administrative skills, including a broad range of knowledge and aptitude for computer based information systems and internet-based tools; proficiency with word-processing, spreadsheet and database applications and the ability to identify and adopt new tools to support effective administrative operations.
- Sound project management skills with the ability to plan and coordinate multiple project/work initiatives effectively simultaneously.
- Initiative and self-motivation; ability to participate in and lead teams; experience organizing and coordinating efforts with many stakeholders and multiple objectives.
- Ability to identify areas of development within the administrative support team, as well as create an action plan and deliver results.
- Demonstrated ability to work in a complex environment, in a collaborative and collegial manner with a service orientation, using highly developed relationship building, influencing, and negotiating skills to secure commitment and achieve results.
- Good judgement and instincts, combined with the ability to grasp concepts and ideas quickly and to always work effectively with the context of the big picture, integrity, professionalism, confidence, and compassion.
- Assess implications of changes in the student services landscape that will have bearing or impact on the division and the division’s strategic direction and operation; recommends changes to policy or the introduction of new policies and procedures to address administrative issues and changing needs of students as appropriate.
- Determine most effective approach for complex administrative planning and management, and work in consultation with the Associate Dean (Academic) and the Director, Student Services on matters relating to administrative strategy and practices.
- Decide on best alternatives or a range of solutions to a given problem, identifying potential risks and benefits to each.
- Determine appropriate research approach and relevant information to include in reports and briefings, including determining the extent of documentation and information necessary to conduct investigations related to departures from academic integrity.
- Interprets university guidelines related to the processes for student appeals of academic decisions and student requests for academic consideration, and recommends changes to the online Faculty systems as necessary.
- Assesses exam incident reports to determine whether an examination attempt is valid or whether an investigation into a departure from academic integrity is warranted.
- Determines the appropriate academic standing for a student following a grade change or appeal decision.
- Recommends fair and consistent judgements about policy, regulations and exceptions in response to individual student situations to the Director, Student Services.
- Interprets Faculty policies and regulations for students, parents, staff and faculty, and in particular for Chairs of Undergraduate Studies.
- Diagnoses complex student issues, determining the urgency of student needs, and judges when to refer a student to other units for departmental advice, financial assistance or personal counselling.
- Determines when to refer to or consult with the Director, Student Services, and/or Associate Dean (Academic).
- Makes judgments about who should receive confidential information (e.g. parents, financial agencies, other students).
- Identifies the need for changes to the programming used to identify students in academic difficulty.
- Decide how to proceed and who to work with for each project or initiative.
- Decide on work prioritization and time-management.
- Evaluates job candidates and makes effective recommendations on suitable hires.
- Makes decisions and/or effective recommendations regarding transfers and promotions.
- Evaluates employee performance and decides on appropriate training or coaching to address lack of proficiency in carrying out responsibilities, or remedial action for staff disciplinary situations.
- Assesses investigation outcome of grievances and makes effective recommendations on appropriate course of action or next steps on grievances.
- Makes effective recommendations on level of discipline up to discharge and probationary termination.
Type of Job: Full Time,
Hourly Wage/Salary: To Be Discussed
Hours: 35 hours week
Closes: Mar 14, 2021
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