Dean, Faculty of Social Work

Date: Apr 22, 2021

Location: Kitchener, CA

Company: Wilfrid Laurier University

Department: Faculty of Social Work 

Job Type: Continuing

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

Campus: Kitchener

Requisition ID: 1214 


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 Social Work is responsible for the collaborative 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. The Dean ensures a vision for the future of the Faculty, including sustainable growth, develops new partnerships, and mentors diverse full-time, field instructors, and contract teaching faculty and staff.


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 Social Work in support of Laurier’s Values and Mission and the Faculty of Social Work’s Strategic Plan.
  • 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; 
  • Builds relationships with Six Nations of the Grand River and the Mississauga of the Credit, and other nations, to identify,  support and strengthen efforts to achieve educational outcomes and support intellectual, social and cultural development of First Nations students.
  • Mentors and empowers the Faculty’s leadership team, faculty, and staff.
  • Provides 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.
  • In collaboration, 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.
  • Navigates and leads the responsibility-centred budget model (RCM).
  • Contributes to effective, collaborative relations with faculty, staff, and student associations.
  • Supports the development of leadership skills within the Faculty of Social Work.


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 Indigenous leaders and communities, 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, field placements, student mentorship, guidance, and retention.


Teaching and Learning

  • Leads the academic planning and accreditation process for the Faculty, supports curriculum development, field learning, and research initiatives.
  • 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 and creative productivity within the Faculty of Social Work by further enhancing and developing research infrastructure that supports faculty efforts to obtain and maintain sponsored research funding.


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 Social Work.


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 Social Work.



  • 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 (4)
  • Field Agencies, Instructors and Advisors
  • Department Chairs & Program Coordinators
  • Faculty
  • Staff
  • Students
  • Alumni
  • Donors
  • Professional organizations
  • Government (local, provincial, federal) and governmental agencies
  • Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE)
  • Other Deans of Social Work, nationally


Provides direction to:

  • Associate Dean, Bachelor of Social Work Program
  • Associate Dean, Indigenous Field of Study
  • Associate Dean, Master of Social Work
  • Associate Dean, PhD Program
  • Department Chairs
  • Program Coordinators
  • Senior Administrative Officer and Faculty of Social Work staff
  • Faculty


Ideal Candidate Profile


The Dean provides bold, inspiring, and collaborative leadership to the Faculty of Social Work, including leadership of accreditation, and is a community-builder for the Faculty and Laurier’s student-centred academic mandate. The Dean promotes highly innovative approaches to social work practice, education and research, partnerships, and curriculum development. The Dean and Faculty are deeply committed to decolonization and Indigenization, anti-racist and anti-oppressive social work practice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. The Dean ensures a vision for the future of the Faculty, including sustainable growth, develops new partnerships, and recruits and mentors diverse full-time, field instructors, and contract teaching faculty, and staff. 

The Faculty is eager to welcome a Dean who understands the concept of wholistic/integrative practices, appreciates the inherent relationship between micro and macro practices, and employs principles of empowerment, social justice, inclusion, and wholism in their social work research, practice, and pedagogy. Integrative practices refer to an analysis of the ways lived experience of Indigenous identity, race, class, culture, gender, (dis)ability, sexual identity, gender identity, and other social locations are produced and shaped by systemic, cultural, and interpersonal experiences and inequalities. The Dean provides authentic and thoughtful leader to support curricular initiatives, teaching, research, partnerships, outreach, and recruitment of high-quality faculty and students. Most important to the Faculty, is a Dean who puts students, faculty, and staff at the forefront of all decisions to ensure that social work programs offered by Laurier are creating the most impact. 

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 those expressed by these criteria:


  • Education and Experience Record:  A doctoral degree and at least one social work degree, along with experience in the field of social work and a scholarly record consistent with an appointment at the rank of Associate Professor or Professor with tenure. 
  • Commitment to Social Work:  Is passionate about the Faculty’s mission and mandate to advance the fields of social work practice, education, research, and social policy. 
  • Commitment to Equity and Diversity: Demonstrates a commitment to Indigenization, anti-racism, anti-oppression, equity and diversity, in scholarship, teaching, employment activities, and community engagement;
  • Commitment to Indigenous Communities and Partners:  An appreciation for how important it is to make connections and partnerships with Indigenous communities, with a desire and commitment to be a strong voice for Indigenous priorities and advancing the Faculty’s leadership position in Indigenous social work education and practice.
  • Administrative Experience:  A demonstrated aptitude for academic leadership.  Ideally brings experience with financial and HR management and comfortable with the University’s model of collegial decision-making. A positive track record as a leader in a unionized environment and for developing and maintaining positive relations with employee groups.
  • Collaborative Leadership:  Able to engage and inspire a diverse range of people in the evolution of the Faculty’s vision and develop implementation strategies for the goals in the vision. Able to provide effective, enthusiastic, and transparent leadership to a diverse organization. Is an active listener, fair, consistent, and able to delegate responsibility and make difficult decisions to move the Faculty forward.  
  • Student Focused: 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.
  • Focus on Quality:  High academic standards with a commitment to constantly improving the quality of faculty and students.  Driven to maintain academic excellence. Understands excellence in teaching, research, and service across a range of programs.
  • External Relationships & Fundraising:  A dynamic presence for the Faculty with external stakeholders, such as government, agencies, alumni, and other groups.  Strong advocate for the Faculty to the broader community. Is committed to playing an active leadership role in the development and stewardship of funds from external sources.
  • Interpersonal & Communication Skills:  A collaborator who can work in a highly interactive and productive manner with leaders within the Faculty, across the university, and externally in the support of institutional goals.  Able to listen actively and communicate effectively to individuals and groups. Is consultative with respect to energizing the leadership team. Inspires others to put forward their best effort and ideas


***DO NOT APPLY THROUGH THE CAREERS WEBSITE*** Please visit Consideration of candidates, by the search committee, will begin in late March 2021. For further information and the full executive briefing document, please contact Jessa Chupik and Michael Naufal 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.

Job Segment: Social Worker, Academic, Equity, Developer, Curriculum, Service, Education, Finance, Technology