Seeking candidates for a pan-University academic leadership role: Chair, Undergraduate Communications Requirements Group

Friday, October 27, 2023

The Office of the Associate Vice-President, Academic (AVPA) is seeking to fill the position of Chair of the Undergraduate Communications Requirement Group (UCRG), starting May 1, 2024 for a three-year term (with the possibility of renewal).

The UCRG includes representation from every Faculty, from the academic units most heavily involved in the delivery of UCR courses, and from relevant Academic Support Units. Its role is to sustain and expand on the success of the UCR by serving as a mechanism for the cooperative and collegial evolution of communication instruction at the University of Waterloo, advising University leadership and Senate bodies on the academic appropriateness of the various mechanisms for delivery of UCR in different Faculties and departments, and by playing an appropriate role in “governance” when required.

Responsibilities

The Chair of the UCRG reports to the Associate Vice-President Academic (AVPA) and is responsible for overseeingand, where appropriate,advisingthat steps be taken to ensure the smooth functioning of the various approaches to offering courses that ensure students satisfy the Undergraduate Communications Requirements (UCR) in place across campus. 

The fundamental responsibilities of the role are to provide leadership and coordination of the efforts of the Undergraduate Communications Requirement Group; to serve as an information conduit and liaison between the UCRG and senior University leadership; and to facilitate good working relationships between the different stakeholders involved in the delivery of the UCR courses. 

The specific roles of the Chair include:

  1. Overseeing the smooth functioning of the UCRG, including chairing meetings of UCRG and serving as an ex officio member of all subcommittees, and overseeing the smooth functioning of the Group;

  1. Serving as a primary point of contact for the UCRG and for the AVPA Office on UCR matters;

  1. Acting as a consultant and providingtimely advice to Faculties and Departments seeking a change about which approval pathway their proposal would take. This role is important because the special UCR governance processes approved by Senate dictate that proposed changes to the delivery of UCR  have different approval pathways, depending on whether proposed changesrequire consideration only of their academic merit or of both their academic merit and their financial implications, Ensuring that relevant stakeholders (AVPA, AP IPB, members of UCRG, etc.) are informed about developments relevant to their roles;

  1. Maintaining open lines of communication with designated UCR leadsin delivering units;

  1. Sharing the advice of the UCRG with the AVPA, and where appropriate with other senior leadership through the AVPA.

Qualifications

The successful applicant should have substantial experience with the UCRG’s work or other aspects of the delivery of UCR courses and hold either a tenured or continuing appointment. The following are all desirable characteristics:

  • A record as an excellent teacher, considering all aspects of teaching both inside and outside the classroom as reflected in the University’s Teaching Effectiveness Framework

  • Experience in University Service roles that require leadership and diplomacy

  • Sufficient understanding of matters such as budgets, the mechanisms of teaching assignments, the roles and expectations of different sorts of appointment categories at the University and the like, to offer suitable guidance to UCRG discussions and to discuss the logistics of the UCR effectively with Universityleadership

For the first year, the position comes with a two-course reduction in teaching load, or equivalent financial support for research and teaching projects. Compensation for subsequent years will depend on the evolution of the UCRG.

Applicants should submit a cover letter summarizing their qualificationsexplaining why they are interested in the role and a CV. Material should be submitted via email to Ruth Huard (rlhuard@uwaterloo.ca) by Friday, November 29, 2023. As part of the review process, the committee may seek endorsement from administrators who have worked with applicants.

Queries regarding this role can be directed to: David DeVidi, Associate Vice-President Academic at david.devidi@uwaterloo.ca.