Dean, Faculty of Music

Date: Feb 6, 2021

Location: Waterloo, CA

Company: Wilfrid Laurier University



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.


Position Review


Reporting to the Provost and Vice-President: Academic, and working closely with internal and external stakeholders, the Dean is the senior academic and administrative officer of the Faculty of Music and is responsible for providing strategic direction and leadership, and ensuring the sustainability of the Faculty. The Dean is responsible for developing and executing a groundbreaking vision for the Faculty that will promote innovation and growth as the Faculty continues to assert itself as a cutting-edge industry leader in music education. The Dean is also responsible for administering the Faculty’s academic programs, administering components of the Faculty’s budget, assigning teaching duties, mentoring and evaluating colleagues, managing student issues, and serving on committees. The Dean will also play an integral role of supporting the advancement needs of the Faculty and will continue leading the Making Space for Music campaign.


The next Dean of Music will be expected to:


  • Be a visionary leader who can lead the Faculty into the future and address the changing needs in the field of Classical Music as well as the technological developments and opportunities that impact the 21st century musician, performing artists and student learning
  • Strengthen and solidify Laurier’s place as Canada’s leader in Community Music education and leadership
  • Provide supportive, consultative, inclusive, and collegial leadership to keep Laurier on the leading edge of innovative change and curriculum design, and to respond to the needs of musicians working in tomorrow’s world
  • In alignment with the University’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, recruit outstanding faculty and staff from marginalized backgrounds and foster an environment which enables them to carry out scholarship, teaching and service of the highest quality
  • Steward the Faculty’s advancement agenda and support the Making Space for Music campaign by leveraging new and existing networks of supporters
  • Respond proactively to the financial challenges that all post- secondary institutions are facing, seeking out alternate sources of funding and entrepreneurial opportunities, and building positive relationships with current and future donors
  • In consultation with faculty and the Dean of Graduate Studies, consider the introduction of further innovative and sector leading graduate programs that embrace and promote diversity, and differentiate the Faculty of Music within the broader sector and, if approved, collaboratively lead the development and implementation of said programs
  • Capitalize on the nimble nature of the Faculty and take risks that embrace the intersectionality of community, music and tradition of other interdisciplinary programs
  • Recruit international students and students who come from diverse ethnic, cultural, and gendered backgrounds
  • Ensure that students are provided with sector-leading opportunities for learning and creation, and are supported in their educational and career advancement
  • Ensure that the undergraduate Music programs at Laurier remain internationally competitive and that graduates are sought out by graduate programs and employers
  • Explore new collaborations and opportunities for partnership locally, nationally, and internationally that broaden the reach, appeal, and diversity of the Faculty of Music
  • Work collaboratively and constructively with the different unions represented in the Faculty of Music and across the broader University


Key Responsibilities


Administrative leadership:

  • Assume an active role as an effective and collaborative member of the University’s senior leadership team, working in cooperation with the President and Vice-Chancellor, Vice- Presidents, other Deans and the appropriate governance bodies
  • Advocate for the needs of the Faculty across the University and the broader community
  • Provide a friendly, healthy environment that supports faculty and staff as they carry out scholarship, teaching, performances and services of the highest quality
  • Be accessible and fair in dealing with personnel issues, and adopt effective, transparent processes
  • Plan and prioritize personnel needs for the Faculty, ensuring that viable hiring and succession plans are in place
  • Manage the Faculty’s multifaceted budget and allocate resources strategically, efficiently and equitably across all programs
  • Establish strategies that enhance the Faculty’s ability to compete in the recruitment of high caliber faculty and staff
  • Make recommendations with respect to initial appointments and applications for tenure and/or promotion of tenure-track faculty
  • Modernize all infrastructure associated with the Faculty


Academic Excellence:


  • Through consultation and collaboration, lead the academic planning process for the Faculty, initiating discussion, defining priorities, and developing and articulating a cutting-edge vision for the Faculty
  • Promote excellence in teaching, scholarly and artistic activity and research while fostering a climate that inspires faculty, staff, and students to pursue excellence and relevance to the diversity of Canada’s population
  • Enhance the creative well-being of students and faculty and ensure that the Faculty’s programming remains on the leading- edge of the sector and continues to improve
  • Oversee regular evaluation of programs and encourage improvements and innovations, including changes that will: diversify and enrich programs, reach out across faculty boundaries, provide more flexible models of program delivery, involve students in creative research and scholarly initiatives, and manage program content with student needs for future- readiness;
  • Integrate and apply new learning technologies, where appropriate, to assist the Faculty in carrying out its mandate


Community & Donor Relations:


  • Create and maintain positive relations with professional and community-based organizations to ensure that exceptional opportunities exist for students and faculty
  • Play an active role in the advancement needs of the Faculty through the Making Space for Music campaign and in additional projects and needs as identified
  • Leverage a strong, diverse and broad network of connections to increase support for the Faculty and to encourage new partnerships, donors, and opportunities
  • Work to increase funding support from private donors and provincial and federal sources, while demonstrating resourcefulness and creativity in identifying alternate funding sources and entrepreneurial opportunities
  • Have a strong understanding of provincial and federal government funding practices
  • Support where possible research contracts, creative collaborations and exchanges, and collaborative initiatives with other local, provincial, national, and international institutions and organizations
  • Advocate persuasively for funds and ensure the operating budget is balanced and managed effectively


Ideal Candidate Profile


These key selection criteria are as outlined below.


Experience and Qualifications

The next Dean of the Faculty of Music should possess:

  • A proven commitment to principles of equity, diversity and inclusion
  • An interest in and commitment to music expertise outside of the classical music canon, as well as an ability to support the Faculty’s interest in developing musical expertise outside of the Western music canon
  • Evidence of excellence in your field and an ability to command the respect of your peers for your music and scholarly excellence in your field
  • A proven record of administrative leadership experience in a post-secondary or arts/music organization, including the administration of human and financial resources, budgets and facilities
  • An exemplary presence within the arts community, nationally and internationally, and experience relating to a range of external partners
  • A demonstrated record of success in fundraising and advancement activities and an ability to cultivate positive relationships with donors
  • An ability to foster excellence in teaching, research, and artistic activity
  • A proven commitment to developing and fostering partnerships and collaborations amongst faculty, students, and the external community
  • A graduate degree would be an asset


Competencies and Personal Attributes

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


Strategic Leadership

The ideal candidate will:

  • Demonstrate a proven commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and the multifaceted ways in which these play out in repertoire, programming, hiring, and the student body
  • Be a visionary and a planner who shares and invites ideas and insights and inspires and engages others in pursuing shared goals
  • Be well informed about the latest debates regarding music education, scholarship, and research
  • Develop, in a consultative style, a clear vision for the future of the Faculty of Music 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 environment
  • Fiercely advocate for the mission of the Faculty of Music 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
  • Build and leverage relationships with internal and external stakeholders to attract and enable new and innovative research opportunities for the Faculty


Collegial Leadership

The ideal candidate will:

  • Prioritize a commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion that is demonstrated in leadership behavior and in decision-making
  • Have a mature understanding and appreciation of the collegial nature of the University and a demonstrated capacity to work within and promote a culture of compassion and connection
  • 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
  • Commit to fostering the development of all faculty and staff, and to mentoring and encouraging others to assume leadership roles in their work, within the University and in the broader community
  • Perpetuate an environment that fosters the recruitment and retention of diverse and talented faculty, staff and students
  • Assist all faculty and staff in achieving their career goals and in working collaboratively to achieve common goals
  • Value relationships within, across, and outside the organization and actively build and maintain relationships that support business goals


Communication and Relationship Building

The ideal candidate will:

  • Have excellent communication skills that allow you to build and develop productive relationships with a wide variety of internal stakeholders, including members of the Executive Leadership Team
  • Strive to build strong ties with external stakeholders in order to bring relevant information and best practices to the University
  • Be skilled at clearly communicating complicated financial information to parties with varying levels of financial expertise.
  • Prioritize a collegial and collaborative environment at the University


Community Building and Stewardship

The ideal candidate will:

  • Possess an interest in and passion for investing in relationships and people, both within the University and beyond, with the goal of building our communities and the growth of our students and people
  • Possess the ability to forge and foster connections with donors that are beyond our region
  • Identify opportunities to build and foster new and existing strategic relationships within the community including the regional community and the music community
  • Embody the philosophies of and commitment to being a community builder and steward that are intrinsic to the Faculty of Music and 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 work of the Faculty and the student experience


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 able to manage interpersonal conflict and create and model a culture of trust and transparency
  • 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 and Inclusion

The ideal candidate will:

  • Possess a strong commitment to increasing accessibility, equity, and diversity, and the ability to maintain an inclusive climate wherein every member of the community feels validated and accepted
  • Believe that diversity and inclusion are integral components of a quality University experience
  • Bring a global perspective to your work and interact effectively and respectfully with people of different backgrounds
  • 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
  • Have excellent interpersonal skills and react empathetically when faculty and staff experience unforeseen circumstances at work or in their personal lives


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
  • Understand the trends and innovations in the arts sector and music specifically and think innovatively around music performance and creation


***DO NOT APPLY THROUGH THE CAREERS WEBSITE*** To apply, please submit a Cover Letter and Resume directly to Knightsbridge 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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