Dean, Faculty of Human and Social Sciences

Date: Apr 22, 2021

Location: Brantford, CA

Company: Wilfrid Laurier University

Department: Faculty of Liberal Arts 

Job Type: Continuing

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

Campus: Brantford

Requisition ID: 1216 


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 Human and Social Sciences will be an advocate for the Faculty, an inspiring leader and mentor, a skilled administrator, a respected academic and scholar, a valued community partner and collaborator, and most importantly a dynamic and engaging institution builder with several years of significant academic administrative experience.

The Dean will build relations with key internal and external stakeholders, lead the faculty in developing innovative programming, create a sense of community in the faculty, maintain strong partnerships across the university, engage the university’s alumni, and continue to build upon its reputation as a student-centric university committed to academic and scholarly excellence as well as student experience and well-being.

Key Responsibilities


  • Provide senior academic administrative leadership and strategic direction to the Faculty at a growing and unique campus in an urban setting.
  • Build on Laurier Brantford’s success and continue efforts to expand the Faculty in a deliberate, structured and balanced way through innovative ideas and visioning, sustainable partnerships, consolidation of the successes to date, and new programming.
  • Champion, encourage and foster entrepreneurial and innovative development and delivery of new and existing academic programs including areas such as micro-credentialing and certifications, as well as serving mature learners and others in the community.
  • Supporting and enhancing online learning strategies, infrastructure, resources, and policy. 
  • Leveraging an understanding of the changing landscape within the post-secondary environment, particularly in a post-pandemic context and taking an entrepreneurial and innovative approach to addressing these changes.
  • Identify and create opportunities for the implementation of integrated and engaged learning and global engagement.
  • Identify, foster and create opportunities for enhanced research collaborations among external communities and CRSP.
  • Lead the budget planning process for the Faculty working with university administration to ensure that resources are properly secured, allocated and managed under Laurier’s new Responsibility Centre Management (RCM) budgeting model.
  • Promote and advance the strengths and needs of the Faculty to external communities.
  • Work closely with other deans, faculty, staff and administrators across the Faculties at all campuses and locations to accomplish Faculty of Human and Social Sciences and university goals.
  • Work with the partnering Faculties and deans to deliver the Brantford Foundations.
  • Build a strong brand and profile for the Faculty to attract students, faculty and donor support.
  • Work closely with regional partners, including municipal and community leaders and academic institutions on a range of academic and research collaborations.
  • Champion, promote and develop Indigenous priorities at Laurier.
  • Strengthen relationships with Six Nations of the Grand River and the Mississauga of the Credit, and expand relationships with other nations, to identify, support and strengthen efforts to achieve educational outcomes and support intellectual, social, and cultural development of First Nations students.
  • Identify and advocate for opportunities and the necessary funding to support academic and research excellence and the best student experience.
  • Foster a culture of community and cohesiveness across the Faculty and continue to increase the level of collegiality and engagement between and among faculty and students.
  • Provide academic and administrative mentorship, guidance and support to faculty and students.
  • Support the ongoing development and implementation of sound policy and procedural frameworks, at the academic and administrative levels.
  • Encourage, support and create the environment for a high level of scholarship and research productivity, support and recognition within the Faculty.


Experience and Qualifications

The next Dean of the Faculty of Human & Social Sciences will possess:


  • A PhD in a relevant discipline as well as eligibility to appointment at the Full Professor level.
  • A record of significant and successful academic administrative management experience (Dean, Associate/Vice Dean, Chair etc.) defined by decisiveness, sound judgement and the ability to make difficult choices among competing priorities in a collegial environment.
  • A demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusivity and Indigeneity
  • An innovative and strategic leadership style and entrepreneurial mindset and the ability to leverage new and creative opportunities to advance the form and delivery of academic and non-academic programs.
  • Scholarly and academic credibility in the human and social sciences, as demonstrated by a record of research and teaching excellence, that has engaged students, colleagues and collaborators.
  • Demonstrated ability to build relationships based on trust, mutual respect and accountability with a diverse community of internal and external stakeholders, including alumni, donors, public officials, and the extended community.
  • A record of administrative experience within the post-secondary environment, ideally in a multi-campus setting.
  • Demonstrated experience engaging and developing academic initiatives/programs with Indigenous communities.
  • Experience in labour relations and managing in a unionized environment.
  • Experience collaborating with and engaging a diverse set of partners, including municipal leaders, academic institutions and other community organizations.


Competencies and Personal Attributes

The ideal candidate will demonstrate the following key competencies and personal attributes:


Strategic Leadership


The ideal candidate will:


  • Be a visionary and a planner who shares and invites ideas and insights and inspires and engages others in pursuing shared goals.
  • Demonstrates a high level of personal and professional integrity and commitment to the University and its values, including equity, diversity, inclusion and Indigenization.
  • Be a champion for the value of education, scholarship, and research.
  • Develop, in a consultative style, a clear vision for the future of the Faculty of Human & Social Sciences within the context of the University’s strategic objectives and plans.
  • See opportunities outside of your own discipline and bring a truly broad interdisciplinary and collaborative perspective to the Dean role.
  • Demonstrate flexibility and adaptability in leading in a virtual environment, emphasizing innovation and modernization of teaching, research and operations in a technologically rich post-pandemic world.
  • Advocate for the mission of the Faculty of Human & Social Sciences within the University and with external stakeholders locally, nationally and internationally.
  • Lead program development and renewal that reflects innovative practices and the teaching, learning, research and student experience objectives of the Faculty and the University.


Be able to envision the opportunities and challenges that emerge from the pandemic and to identify strategies that reflect this new context.


Relationship Building


The ideal candidate will:


  • Identify opportunities to build and foster new and existing strategic relationships within the community in order to bring relevant information, resources and best practices to the University.
  • Appreciate the strengths that come from building and maintaining connections with local industry, non-profit organizations, and community groups and appreciate how these connections inform and support the academic and research work of the Faculty and the student experience.
  • Have exceptional communication and interpersonal skills and a commitment to transparency and engagement.
  • Commit to encouraging open channels of communication and consistent dialogue with members of the Faculty and will be an effective conduit of communication between the Faculty and the University’s senior leadership.



The ideal candidate will:


  • Challenge paradigms—Identify implicit assumptions in the way problems or situations are defined or presented; sees alternative ways to view or define problems; is not constrained by the thoughts or approaches of others.
  • Leverage diverse resources—Draw upon multiple and diverse sources (individuals, disciplines, bodies of knowledge) for ideas and inspiration.
  • Think expansively—Combine ideas in unique ways or makes connections between disparate ideas; explores different lines of thought; views situations from multiple perspectives; brainstorms multiple approaches/solutions.
  • Ensures relevance—Targets important areas for innovation and develops solutions that address meaningful work issues.
  • You will be an innovative and creative thinker who encourages continuous improvement amongst Faculty and across the University. 


Administrative Management 


The ideal candidate will:


  •  Be an experienced administrator with strong analytical capabilities, insight, and judgment.
  • Be able to identify and solve a range of problems, including those relating to academic, personnel, and budgetary issues.
  • Possess sound financial judgment and be able to lead the development of the Faculty’s budget and financial planning.
  • Be able to make decisions after appropriate consultation and to manage the effective execution of these decisions.
  • Be able to coach and mentor people effectively and be familiar with effective performance management processes and strategies.
  • Be comfortable leading in a unionized environment and working within a negotiated collective agreement.
  • Have an ability to mediate among competing points of view to solve problems and reach agreement.


Commitment to Equity Diversity and Inclusion


The ideal candidate will:


  • Demonstrate a proven commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and Indigeneity, and the multifaceted ways in which these play out in repertoire, programming, hiring, and the student body.
  • Builds effective relationships, promotes and advocates for the Faculty to a broad spectrum of constituents, including senior administration, faculty members, students, and other community leaders, agencies and key institutions, regionally, nationally and internationally
  • Understand that the University’s strength lies in the diversity of its student, faculty, and staff complement and be open to listening and giving weight to their thoughts and ideas for the continued growth and development of the Faculty’s programs.
  • Establishes meaningful mechanism for engaged scholarship with the community in the development of academic programming, research initiatives, and student mentorship, guidance and retention.


Commitment to Post-Secondary Education, Research and Innovation


The ideal candidate will:


  • Understand the value of research, hands-on, experiential learning, and direct interaction with subject matter experts.
  • Be deeply committed to, and supportive of, excellence in teaching, learning, and research.
  • Support faculty in maintaining and advancing the culture of innovation and excellence in research, teaching, and learning.
  • Believe in the value of an interdisciplinary education and understand and appreciate the needs of diverse populations of learners.


***DO NOT APPLY THROUGH THE CAREERS WEBSITE*** If you are interested in this opportunity, contact Katherine Frank or Beth McLennan at or Completed applications can be submitted online at


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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