Associate Vice President, Human Resources

Mount Royal University
Calgary (City), Alberta
Further details will be discussed in a personal interview.
May 24, 2018
July 23, 2018
Job Level
AVP, Director
Employment Type
Full time
Designations Required/Preferred

The Organization

Mount Royal University

Founded in 1910 and located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Mount Royal University has built a reputation on a strong, liberal education foundation. MRU’s vision is to provide an exceptional undergraduate educational experience for students.

Mount Royal University presently offers 12 four-year baccalaureate degrees with 32 majors, with a view to grow this mix to 15 degrees and 60 majors by 2025. MRU also offers robust continuing education programming as well as an internationally-renowned music conservatory.

More than 13,000 credit students (9,500+ FLE) attend Mount Royal University annually, with more than 90,000 alumni contributing to their communities worldwide. Faculty provide a teaching and learning environment that welcomes challenging ideas and staff are dedicated to supporting the MRU campus so that students are provided with an exceptional educational experience.


The Opportunity AVP, Human Resources

Reporting to the Vice-President, Finance and Administration, with indirect reporting to the Provost and Vice President Academic, the AVP, Human Resources leads the Department of Human Resources and provides institutional strategic leadership, development, direction, and support to the Board of Governors regarding human resources strategies and operations. This leader works closely with all members of the Executive team and develops the strategic vision and execution of HR policies, programs, and initiatives for the institution.

The AVP, HR has 4 direct reports under the current organization structure:

  • Consultancy Services Director
  • Payroll Manager
  • Employee Wellbeing Team Lead
  • Talent & Information Management Director

The broader MRU HR team consists of 26 employees. This team is responsible for carrying out the day to day operations of the HR department including employee relations and conflict resolution, organizational development, recruitment and selection, payroll and benefits administration, learning and development, classification and compensation, wellness and disability management, ergonomics, and performance management.

The responsibilities of the AVP, HR include:

  • Providing strategic leadership, development, direction and support to the University Executive, the Board of Governors and the Department of Human Resources in all human resources matters, including all matters related to collective bargaining with the University’s two labour associations.
  • Defining and executing the overall HR strategy to drive a culture of high employee engagement in alignment with MRU’s strategic plan.
  • Strengthening overall employee culture and fostering change management at all levels throughout the institution.
  • Leading the team of professionals through an evolution of the HR function starting with fortifying foundational elements and moving towards delivering an integrated suite of services to employees and leaders across the organization.
  • Providing senior leadership and expertise in the development of policy and strategies related to employee and labour relations at the University, as well as senior management of complex institutional matters impacting employees.
  • Developing and implementing short and long- term programs and initiatives to drive organizational effectiveness and foster a work culture based on empowerment, collaboration, client-focus and innovation.
  • Actively participating in the development of the negotiation strategy for collective bargaining with both Associations as well as grievances and arbitration.
  • Providing expertise, guidance and direction to the Department of Human Resources in their support of operational managers on a wide range of matters.
  • Directing short-term and long-term strategies for continuous improvement in payroll operations.
  • Providing strategic oversight to employee payroll functions as well as employee benefit programs.


The Person

  • Master’s degree in a related discipline preferred, or an equivalent combination of education and experience, CPHR designation an asset.
  • Minimum of 10 to 15 years of senior management experience within human resources, including experience and expertise in both labour and employment.
  • Experience working in a post-secondary environment with both Faculty and Staff and/or a large, complex public-sector environment.
  • Strong background in all areas of human resources with at least 7 years of direct experience in leading a labour relations function, including collective bargaining and managing the administration of collective agreements within a complex unionized environment.
  • Demonstrated record of successfully developing and executing strategic human resources strategies and plans.
  • Excellent leadership, communication, decision making, problem solving, conflict resolution and planning skills.
  • This role is highly visible within the institution and requires a collaborative professional able to lead strategically with initiative and tenacity.


Competencies and Personal Characteristics

The successful applicant must be able to demonstrate the following competencies:

Strategic Leadership – Proven ability to understand and interpret human resources issues in a complex environment.  A strategic thinker and planner who can bring out the best in people. Cognizant of factors that will influence the success of strategies and policies. Makes things happen and gets things done. Known for their ability to accomplish objectives.

Leadership Skills – A strong participative management style and an ability to advocate open, honest, and consistent communication. A “walk-the-talk” approach to encourage positive and constructive feedback. A consultative leader who can identify deficiencies and address them with pragmatism and professionalism. Balances expert technical know-how with an awareness of connecting with people in a way that motivates them to be part of the solution.  

Team Player/Builder/Coach – Ability to establish and maintain effective, positive relationships quickly and work with people in a motivational manner. Excellent interpersonal skills with an inclusive, personable, empathetic style. A professional who is approachable at all levels of the organization and who is committed to developing their team to achieve their potential.

Interpersonal Relations – Interacts effectively with all stakeholders. Interactions are based on respect and an appreciation that people with varying backgrounds and viewpoints enrich the organization. From a team work perspective, solicits others to offer their ideas or opinions, and works with partners to create and support an integrated delivery of service. Utilizes a high degree of collaboration and diplomacy to make decisions.

Communication – Communicates in a compelling and articulate manner that instils commitment and confidence. Uses a variety of communication vehicles to foster open and honest communication. Able to effectively deliver complex messages and communicate the value of HR to a variety of audiences.

Ethics and Values – Treats people fairly and with dignity. Is willing to admit mistakes. Their principles act as an internal compass to guide their behavior, allowing them to uphold the personal, social, and ethical norms of the organization.


For Information Please Contact:

Allan Nelson or Shalini Bhatty

Davies Park

530, 1000 – 7 Avenue SW

Calgary, AB  T2P 5L5

Phone: (403) 263-0600


Additional information can be found at:

To apply: