The University of Waterloo invites applications, nominations, and expressions of interest for the position of Vice-President, Finance and Administration (VPFA), with the appointment to be effective September 1, 2022. This is an important opportunity to lead a dynamic, complex, and newly expanded portfolio that will help to change many aspects of university operations.
The University of Waterloo is a leading academic institution that drives local and global prosperity. It is home to a renowned talent pipeline, game-changing research and technology, and an unmatched entrepreneurial culture. Together with the world’s largest co-operative education program, these differentiating strengths allow its students and faculty to create solutions that tackle today’s challenges and transform our future. The University has built an extensive network of industry collaboration, generated nearly 20 percent of tech founders in Canada and delivers a dynamic learning experience for more than 42,000 undergraduate and graduate students. For more information, please visit www.uwaterloo.ca/about.
Reporting to the President and Vice-Chancellor, the Vice-President, Finance and Administration provides strategic advice and insight to support the President, Vice-Presidents, and university leaders to develop and implement long term operating budgets and plans to promote the University’s mission and goals. The VPFA is the chief financial and administrative officer of the University of Waterloo, providing visionary leadership, oversight, and stewardship over its talent management and human resources, financial and physical assets, investments and endowments, and digital assets. The VPFA will work collegially and collaboratively with faculty leadership within a bicameral governance model that includes a Board of Governors, Senate, and a high degree of public scrutiny and accountability. A leader capable of anticipating responses to rapidly evolving needs and technologies is required, with talent strategies that will ensure Waterloo continues to evolve and innovate.
Given the scope of the portfolio, the new Vice-President, Finance and Administration must delegate effectively and ensure an atmosphere of empowered teamwork amongst all units. Additional areas of responsibility may become part of this portfolio and the successful candidate will participate in the further development of the role. The new VPFA must implement an annual operating budget of more than $1B, $247M in research funding from public and private sources, and endowment and registered pension holdings of $3B. The University of Waterloo owns 8.9M square feet of building space on 1,125 acres of land on campuses in Stratford, Cambridge, and Kitchener, along with its main campus in Waterloo, Ontario.
The successful candidate will have senior leadership experience, preferably with experience and/or understanding of the broader public sector, that could include finance, administration, human resources, facilities management and/or information services and technology, backed by the education and professional credentials, or equivalent experience, to ensure credibility and accountability. The VPFA will have successfully played a major role in a complex organization of similar diversity and scale. Exceptional interpersonal and communications abilities with outstanding judgment, problem-solving, and decision-making skills are essential, as is the ability to inspire a professional and dedicated staff while supporting the University’s academic mission. The VPFA will be committed to equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism. The incumbent will be committed to overseeing the implementation of decisions that will help ensure a sustainable future as part of Waterloo’s shift to carbon neutrality. Candidates will possess outstanding leadership expertise, the capacity to develop and lead strategic plans, and a demonstrated commitment to team-building, change management, innovation and collaboration, staff development, and stakeholder management.
The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of its work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Its main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. The University’s active work toward reconciliation takes place across its campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is centralized within the Office of Indigenous Relations.
The University values the diverse and intersectional identities of its students, faculty, and staff. The University regards equity and diversity as an integral part of academic excellence and is committed to accessibility for all employees. The University of Waterloo seeks applicants who embrace its values of equity, anti-racism, and inclusion. As such, we encourage applications from candidates who have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, including applicants who identify as First Nations, Métis and/or Inuit/Inuk, Black, racialized, a person with a disability, women and/or 2SLGBTQ+. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. The University of Waterloo is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. If you have any application, interview, or workplace accommodation requests, please contact WaterlooVPFA@lavernesmith.com.
The search committee will begin consideration of candidates immediately and will continue until the role is filled. Applications should include a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, and the names of three references (who will not be contacted without the consent of the candidate), and be submitted electronically, in confidence, to: