Dean, Faculty of Arts

Date: Feb 6, 2021

Location: Waterloo, CA

Company: Wilfrid Laurier University

Department: Faculty of Arts 

Job Type: Continuing

Full-time/Part-time: Full Time (>=1249 hrs/year) 

Campus: Waterloo

Employee Group: Management 

Requisition ID: 883 


Wilfrid Laurier University is a leading multi-campus university that excels at educating with purpose. Through its exceptional employees, students, researchers, leaders, and educators, Laurier has built a reputation as a world-class institution known for its rich student experience, academic excellence, and global impact.  With a commitment to Indigenization and commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, Laurier’s thriving community has a place for everyone.


Laurier has more than 19,000 students and 2,100 faculty and staff across campuses in Waterloo and Brantford, as well as locations in Kitchener and Toronto. The university is committed to providing an inclusive workplace and employing a workforce that is reflective of local and national demographics. Our locations are situated on the traditional territories of the Neutral, Anishnawbe, and Haudenosaunee peoples. We recognize the unique heritages of Indigenous peoples and support their intentions to preserve and express their distinctive Indigenous cultures, histories, and knowledge through academic programming and co-curricular activities. Laurier’s Centre for Indigegogy is one example of how Laurier honours Indigenous knowledge.



Reporting to the Provost & Vice-President: Academic, the Dean of the Faculty of Arts is responsible for the leadership and administration of all aspects of the operation of the Faculty, including budget and fund development. As a member of the Vice-President: Academic’s Advisory Council, the Dean is a senior administrator of Laurier who, along with other deans, fosters an environment where excellence in teaching and research can flourish in Laurier’s multi- campus, multi-community environment. As the face of the Faculty of Arts, the Dean champions curricular initiatives, teaching, research, outreach and recruitment of high-quality faculty and students and cultivates an environment in which students, faculty and staff thrive.

Key Responsibilities


  • Demonstrates a high level of personal and professional integrity and commitment to the University and its values, including equity, diversity, inclusion and Indigenization.
  • Upholds and promotes the collectively determined vision of the Faculty of Arts in support of Laurier’s Values and Mission and the Faculty of Arts Strategic Plan (a copy will be provided to candidates).
  • Through an inclusive consultation and decision-making process, is a leader in the academic planning process for the Faculty, initiating discussion, defining priorities, and developing and articulating the vision.
  • Stimulates and supports inclusive excellence and integrity in teaching, learning, research and University service, and foster a climate that encourages faculty, staff, and students to identify and pursue innovation in these activities.
  • Communicates the Faculty’s vision to the senior administration to enhance understanding and build support for the Faculty’s unique place within the Laurier community.
  • Supports and empowers the department chairs and program coordinators.
  • Provides strong leadership within a shared-governance structure.
  • Builds trust through openness and transparency while making difficult decisions needed to move the Faculty forward.
  • Develops and leads a strong team of faculty and staff whose expertise is valued and respected.
  • Promotes the development and implementation of frameworks, policies and initiatives that foster a culture of excellence, innovation, collaboration, engagement, commitment, responsibility and accountability.
  • Promotes opportunities for collaboration with other programs and faculties at the University, tailoring multidisciplinary programs that serve student needs.
  • Navigates and leads the new responsibility-centred budget model (RCM).
  • Contributes to effective, collaborative relations with staff and student associations.
  • Supports the development of leadership skills within the Faculty of Arts.

Teaching and Learning

  • Leads the academic planning process for the Faculty and supports curriculum development.
  • Promotes excellence and integrity in pedagogical activity and fosters a climate that encourages faculty and staff to creatively identify and pursue excellence in teaching and research.
  • Promotes pedagogical innovation, supporting new initiatives.
  • Sponsors and leads projects related to teaching and learning.
  • Demonstrates a strong commitment to student success and the quality of the student learning experience.


Research and Scholarly Activity

  • Promotes excellence and integrity in research and scholarly activity.
  • Ensures a process is in place for adjudicating the academic integrity of students which is exercised fairly and in consultation with faculty.
  • Fosters a climate that encourages faculty and staff to creatively identify and pursue excellence.
  • Works to increase funding support from international, federal and provincial agencies, while demonstrating resourcefulness and creativity in identifying alternative funding sources in collaboration with the Vice-President Research.
  • Fosters and encourages a high level of research productivity within the Faculty of Arts by further enhancing and developing research infrastructure that supports faculty efforts to obtain and maintain sponsored research funding.


Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Indigenization and Advocacy

  • Creates a culture that focused on a commitment and demonstrated action to equity, diversity, inclusion and Indigenization.
  • Builds effective relationships, promotes and advocates for the Faculty to a broad spectrum of constituents, including senior administration, faculty members, students, other community leaders, agencies and key institutions regionally, nationally and internationally.
  • Establishes meaningful mechanisms for engaged scholarship with the community in the development of academic programming, research initiatives, and student mentorship, guidance and retention.


Faculty and Staff Relations

  • Plans and prioritizes human resource needs for the Faculty and establishes strategies to enhance its ability to compete in the recruitment of qualified diverse faculty and staff. Experience in unionized environments, and/or with collective bargaining is an asset.
  • Is accessible and fair in dealing with personnel issues, and follows effective, transparent processes.
  • Builds an environment of collegiality in which full- and part-time faculty, staff, students and the broader community jointly participate in and benefit from the unique nature of the Faculty of Arts.


University Relations and Advancement

  • Attracts partnerships and resources by building stronger linkages with the national and international community, education and research institutions, governments, non-governmental organizations and the private sector. Proactively looks for new funding sources to support the Faculty’s initiatives.
  • Attracts resources to the Faculty from government, philanthropy and other programs; this is a high priority for the Dean. Working with the University’s advancement professionals, leads the Faculty’s fund development activities by leveraging existing partnerships, and creating and nurturing new ones. Acts as steward of the gifts granted to the Faculty of Arts.


  • Ensures compliance with University policies and procedures.
  • Oversees the preparation, management and monitoring of the planning and RCM budgeting processes within the Faculty. Demonstrates financial acumen in preparing, managing and balancing budgets; ensures fiscally responsible use of funds and transparent financial processes.
  • Ensures the effective and efficient use of resources (human, financial, information, and material).
  • Exercises good judgment in the management of change and risk.


Key Relationships

Reports to:

  • Provost & Vice-President: Academic

Interacts with:

  • President, Vice Presidents, Assistant & Associate Vice Presidents
  • Board of Governors & Senate
  • Deans & University Librarian
  • Administrative Units, e.g., Development; Recruitment & Admissions; Registrar’s Office; Office of Research Services; Human Resources; Faculty Relations; Communications, Public Affairs and Marketing (CPAM); etc.
  • Associate Deans (2)
  • Directors
  • Department Chairs & Program Coordinators
  • Faculty
  • Staff
  • Students
  • Alumni
  • Donors
  • Professional organizations
  • Government (local, provincial, federal) and governmental agencies
  • Other Deans of Arts


Provides direction to:

  • Department Chairs
  • Program Coordinators
  • Associate Dean: Research and Curriculum
  • Associate Dean: Student Affairs and Learning
  • Senior Administrative Officer and Faculty of Arts staff
  • Faculty


Ideal Candidate Profile

The Dean, Faculty of Arts will be an accomplished and collaborative academic, and a dynamic leader with a record of building strong teams, promoting and supporting research, fostering academic innovation, managing resources, and advancing multi-disciplinary initiatives. Extensive or emerging experience as an academic leader will enable the new Dean to relate to a range of internal and external partners and promote excellence, equity, diversity, and inclusion among faculty, staff, and students, as well as support the decolonization and Indigenization goals of the university. They will possess an open and collegial style, outstanding management, communication and interpersonal skills, a creative approach to problem solving, a record of scholarly excellence, and a strong commitment to inclusive excellence in research and teaching.

While the Search Committee recognizes that no one candidate is likely to meet all the following qualifications in equal measure, they are desirable and will be used in the assessment of candidates for the position. The Committee will give the highest priority to those candidates whose profile most closely matches the ideal expressed by these criteria:

  • The academic accomplishments, distinguished record in research and teaching, and intellectual acumen to earn respect both internally and externally;
  • Demonstrated accomplishments in an academic leadership role (e.g. department chair, associate dean, or dean) with a record of superior leadership in academic planning and implementation, collegial engagement, and the ability to see the bigger picture and long-term outlook;
  • A comprehensive understanding of university academic culture, a clear vision of Canadian higher education, and a strong commitment to inclusive excellence in teaching, research, creative, and professional activity, and to encouraging academic innovation in all areas of the Faculty, recognizing the distinct and dynamic nature of the disciplines;
  • A solid understanding and appreciation of the broad range of subfields of the Faculty;
  • The ability to represent, advocate for, and publicize the achievements and strengths of the Faculty of Arts within the university, and to develop collaborative initiatives with other Faculties;
  • A high standard of personal integrity and a leadership style that recognizes, empowers, and supports faculty, students, and staff, and respects their talents, professionalism, and experience, combined with a record of building strong teams and a proven capacity to work constructively as a team member and team leader, with both internal and external constituencies at all levels of the university;
  • A demonstrated commitment to equity and diversity, decolonization and Indigenization, academic freedom, collaborative processes, and the principles of collegiality;
  • The ability to inspire informed discussion that encourages the expression of divergent opinions and mutual acceptance, combined with the capability to balance the autonomy of faculties and faculty members with the need for an overall shared vision, identity, and commitment;
  • Proven capabilities in resource management (personnel, budgets, space, and academic technology), with the ability to ensure transparency and clarity in the budget process and to appreciate the use and impact of new technologies and to assess their value;
  • A positive track record as a leader in a unionized environment and for developing and maintaining positive relations with employee groups.
  • Within the Faculty of Arts, a commitment to cultivating a strong research culture, to developing and rewarding outstanding teaching, and to the continued recruitment and retention of high-calibre faculty members;
  • A genuine interest in and commitment to students, combined with the ability to work with them, particularly through the intermediary of their elected representatives, to properly understand how the Faculty’s current programs are meeting student needs and realities, as well as working alongside them in the development and implementation of innovative curricula and cross-disciplinary programs;
  • The capacity to listen well, enable others to see opportunity where initially they saw constraint, and make sound, fair, and sometimes difficult decisions, combined with the ability to communicate such decisions openly and implement them firmly.
  • A commitment to engaging social and cultural diversity while fostering access and success, and a willingness to become personally and visibly involved in the Faculty community;
  • Outstanding communication skills, with the ability to interact successfully with multiple constituencies and stakeholders, and to promote the Faculty’s academic priorities and interests to a variety of internal and external communities, including fundraising and government relations;
  • Effective managerial skills, including the ability to utilize highly developed skills in motivating, planning, problem solving, communicating, and building consensus; and,
  • The resolve, flexibility, patience, and enthusiasm to deliver innovative and relevant academic leadership, to foster academic innovation, to promote multi-disciplinary initiatives, and to bring about change, with all the required consulting, listening, planning, persuading, explaining, and implementing skills.


***DO NOT APPLY THROUGH THE CAREERS WEBSITE*** To apply, please submit a Cover Letter and Resume directly to Boyden outlining your interest, qualifications and experience.


Wilfrid Laurier University endeavors to fill positions with qualified candidates who have a combination of education, experience, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position while demonstrating Laurier's Employee Success Factors.


Equity, diversity and creating a culture of inclusion are part of Laurier’s core values and central to the Laurier Strategy. Laurier is committed to increasing the diversity of faculty and staff and welcomes applications from candidates who identify as Indigenous, racialized, having disabilities, and from persons of any minority sexual and gender identities. Indigenous candidates who would like to learn more about equity and inclusive programing at Laurier are welcomed to contact the Office of Indigenous Initiatives at Candidates from other equity seeking groups who would like to learn more about equity and inclusive programing at Laurier are welcomed to contact Equity & Accessibility at We have strived to make our application process accessible, however if you require any assistance applying for a position or would like this job posting in an alternative format, please contact Human Resources at 519.884.1970 x2007 or


Should you be interested in learning more about this opportunity, please visit for additional information and the online application system. All applications must be submitted online. Please note, a CV and letter of introduction will be required in electronic form.

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