Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA) seeks a new Assistant Vice-President

Friday, November 6, 2020

Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA) is seeking to fill the position of Assistant Vice-President, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs starting January 2021 for a two-year term.

The Assistant VP (GSPA) is part of the senior leadership team that supports excellence in graduate education, a thriving graduate student and postdoctoral fellow community, and related initiatives that align with the University Strategic Plan.

The activities of the Assistant VP are varied but fall within broader GSPA goals:

  • Enhance the experience of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows

The Assistant VP contributes to initiatives that promote research communication (e.g., GRADTalks, GRADflix, 3MT, Postdoc lightening talks), orient and inform students (e.g., Waterloo Grad Ready), develop academic and professional skills (e.g., scholarship information sessions, GRADventure), and build community amongst graduate students and postdoctoral fellows (e.g., PhD candidacy event, Postdoc appreciation week). The Assistant VP balances graduate student and postdoctoral fellow advocacy with fair application of University guidelines, demonstrating that care and rigour co-exist.

  • Strengthen relationships and provide leadership to academic partners

The Assistant VP provides strong representation for graduate studies and works to create connections across academic and support units. The Assistant VP supports training and mentorship in graduate supervision (e.g., Graduate Supervision Series), collaborates with, and provides consult to, faculties and other academic support units, and ensures that the perspective of the graduate and postdoctoral community is heard during institutional decision-making.

  • Facilitate graduate experiential learning and interdisciplinary activities

The Assistant VP is involved in initiatives that identify and build experiential learning opportunities for graduate students both within the university and external settings (industry and community partnerships) – as well as developing and facilitating opportunities for graduate students from varied disciplinary backgrounds to work together collaboratively.

  • Cultivate a strong and diverse graduate community

Recognizing a need to evaluate and challenge existing processes, the Assistant VP collaborates with the Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion and AccessAbility Services units to ensure that graduate student-related processes are equitable and inclusive. Moreover, the Assistant VP supports graduate student-related initiatives that reflect the University’s commitment to inclusivity and reducing bias (e.g., mentorship, training, representation).

  • Ensure proficiency within internal graduate processes

A number of Assistant VP activities support the ongoing processes within GSPA, such as adjudicating graduate awards and scholarships, coordinating the graduate student petition process, providing of academic oversight to admissions, and identifying ways to streamline or innovate current procedures. 

Applicants to this role should be faculty members who have Approved Doctoral Dissertation Status (ADDS), who have held administrative leadership roles and have experience in the graduate arena. As the position involves representing graduate studies and postdoctoral affairs in diverse contexts, applicants should be comfortable being in a visible role, providing leadership within and beyond the University community. This position comes with a stipend and it is also common for faculty members in this role to review their commitments – in teaching, research, and other service – with their Chairs and Faculties as well as GSPA.  The University of Waterloo has and continues to lead in educating global citizens, with current efforts focusing on promoting Indigenous scholarship, and creating opportunities with and for racialized campus community members. The University celebrates diversity through intersectionality informed initiatives for students, faculty and staff who identify as racialized, Indigenous, women, a person with a disability and/or LGBTQ2+.  GSPA seeks candidates to its Assistant VP role who embrace these goals of diversity and inclusion; the selection committee will be especially attentive to and respectful of the lived experiences of applicants. 

To apply: Applicants should submit a cover letter, CV, and a one-page articulation of the role graduate studies plays within the academic community and their vision for graduate studies at the University. Material should be submitted via email to Laurie Larochelle by Friday, November 20, 2020. As part of the review process, the committee may seek endorsement from administrators who work with applicants. Interviews for selected applicants will be conducted November 26 to December 5, 2020. 

Applications will be reviewed by a committee comprised of Jeff Casello (AVP GSPA), Marianne Simm (Director GSPA), Adam Kolkiewicz (Associate Dean, Graduate Studies, Faculty Math), Jennifer Gillies (Associate Director, AccessAbility Services), and Rita Cherkewski (Graduate Studies and Research Officer, Faculty of Arts).

Queries regarding this role can be directed to: Kirsten Müller, Assistant Vice President (GSPA).

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