Chair, School of Leadership and Human Resources

Toronto (Region), Ontario
June 15, 2018
August 14, 2018
Job Level
AVP, Director
Employment Type
Full time
Designations Required/Preferred

Position Overview  

Reporting to the Dean, the Academic Chair (Chair) is responsible for providing academic leadership and management to a school or multiple schools within the Faculty. The incumbent works as part of the administrative leadership team in the development and implementation of the schools’ strategic initiatives that are aligned to and aimed at achieving the college’s long term objectives (SMA, Academic and Business Plans) while ensuring quality program delivery and student success and achievement are at the forefront of decision making.

Specifically, the Chair is responsible for providing academic leadership in all areas of the school(s) operation including: quality program development and delivery, fiscal, financial and human resource management, project leadership, research and innovation, student-related supports and any college-wide initiatives that involve staff, faculty and students from the incumbent’s school(s) and have an impact on the achievement of School(s), Faculty and College’s long term goals. The Chair also plays a lead role in the negotiation of academic partnerships and pathways, including those with international academic institutions that serve to support further study for students and graduates.   

The Chair is accountable for the quality delivery of all programs within the school and leads his/her team in the development and continuous improvement of a strong school identity, a positive reputation and a clear mandate and direction through the achievement of shared educational objectives that are current and relevant to students' needs and workplace expectations. The Chair is also accountable for ensuring their programs meet external accreditation and/or regulatory requirements where they exist.

In all areas within their portfolio, the Chair ensures that their team is responsive to Seneca’s mission, vision and values, while achieving the expectations defined within the Faculty and School(s). As a member of the Faculty administrative team, the Chair works closely on the development and implementation of annual and longer-term academic and operational plans, and leads their team to ensure that activities address both immediate and future priorities of the program(s), Faculty and College.

The Chair is also accountable for leading, designing, and managing change leadership strategies for all key initiatives impacting their School(s). This involves supporting major initiatives originating within their school(s) as well as the Seneca-wide undertakings that must be interpreted and adapted to their unique school requirements. The Chair will develop and maintain strong working relationships across other Faculties and work collaboratively with colleagues from other academic divisions (i.e.: Learning Services, ARIE, Student Services, etc.,), non-academic divisions (i.e.: Recruitment, Finance, Facilities, HR, etc.,) as well as industry/community partners, professional and international associations. 



Academic Leadership in program and strategic planning

Responsible for the achievement of high quality results by offering industry / community relevant, student-centered programs

  • Primary contact for college departments and community partners on day-to-day operations of the School(s) in order to achieve both operational and strategic effectiveness.
  • Sets high standards by working collaboratively with staff and faculty and chair colleagues on the development and implementation of the School(s)/Faculty’s 3 – 5 year strategic plan as part of the College’s SMA and academic planning processes.
  • Oversees the planning, generation and accuracy of curriculum development for course/program planning and delivery.

Fosters individual and team development and communicates effectively

  • Facilitates effective communication within the School/Department, encouraging active participation in decision-making and support for School/Department, Faculty and College initiatives.
  • Takes measures to create and support an equitable and positive work and learning environment for staff, faculty and students.
  • Support Seneca’s commitment to diversity by recognizing and celebrating varying experiences, beliefs and traditions and to immerse them into the academic curriculum, student life and employment practices of our institution.

Ensures that current and future educational needs of students / industry / community are met

  • Overall academic accountability for program development and delivery including continuous improvement and quality assurance.
  • Focused attention on the development and promotion of student success and achievement strategies, faculty professional development, program planning, implementation and evaluation.
  • Evaluates and recommends the need for modification of existing courses/programs and the introduction of new courses/programs to reflect market influences, employment opportunities, changing technology, economic and student demand.
  • Ensures that all programs conform to Seneca, MAESD and industry / accreditation standards which involves ensuring that teaching faculty are reviewing course content and are remaining current in their subject knowledge.
  • Negotiates, develops and maintains external partnerships with industry and other academic institutions to investigate future development/educational opportunities for both faculty and students.
  • Functions as a strategic partner with key industry and government organizations.

Resource Management: Human, financial and physical

Thinks strategically and innovates to achieve effective human resource management

  • Recruits, develops and performance manages staff/faculty including conducting performance reviews, professional development plans, implementing related employment laws such as; Employment Standards Act, Human Rights Code, Students’ Rights and Responsibilities, etc.
  • Supports, coaches and mentors full and contract faculty and support staff to achieve the School’s operational and long term plans.
  • Mediates first-level disputes involving faculty, staff or students and/or ensures students receive effective advisement and support appropriate to their needs.
  • Fosters individual and team development and ensures the effective use of staff and faculty to meet the dynamic needs of the Schools’ programs.

Human, financial and physical resource management

  • Organizes, plans, distributes and manages faculty and staff workloads in accordance with College policy, collective agreements and operational needs.
  • Ensures the effective use of financial and physical resources, reallocating as appropriate by forecasting current and future workforce needs based on available data, trends, enrolment and anticipated new course offerings.
  • Oversees integrated planning and budgeting processes for their School(s) in collaboration with Dean and Chair colleagues.

Student Success and Related Supports

Ensures that decisions made support a commitment to student success and achievement

  • Principal contact for problem solving and / or mediating academic level disputes involving faculty/staff and students that are not resolved at the faculty/staff level.
  • Facilitates the resolution of faculty/staff - student conflict issues in collaboration with Student Conduct and/or Human Resources as is appropriate.
  • Supports access to services for students with health and/or other related issues that impact student learning and success.
  • Fosters positive, ongoing relationships with students and alumni.

Research and Innovation

Provides leadership in School/Department research and innovation to support students, business and industry, and community development.

  • Establishes and partners with business/industry and associations related to the School’s/Department’s offerings.
  • Stays abreast of new developments in teaching and learning and emerging educational technologies as well as advancements in their program field(s) of study.
  • Facilitates an applied research culture within the School and supports faculty and student participation in activities related to applied research.

College-Wide Requirements

Change Management

  • Facilitates linkages between Schools, other Faculties, other College departments, and other institutions that serve to enrich program offerings, including cross disciplinary learning, supporting new initiatives for students, the programs and the College overall.
  • Participates in external events and outreach activities that will benefit both the School and the College.
  • Leads and/or serves on cross College, industry and/or provincial committees, as appropriate in support of achieving the School/Faculty/College’s long term goals.


  • Ensures occupational health and safety requirements are implemented and maintained.
  • Ensures departmental adherence to all legislative requirements and College policies are understood and followed; where issues arise, works collaboratively with appropriate departments to develop and implement resolutions.


  • Other duties as may be assigned for time to time.



  • Master’s degree or equivalent education in an appropriate discipline.


  • 9 years related administrative experience, preferably in the School’s discipline, or a combination of post-secondary teaching experience, and progressive work experience.


  • Demonstrated commitment to fostering academic excellence and student success.
  • Demonstrated leadership competency within a diverse, unionized work environment.
  • Effective communication, listening, and interpersonal skills.
  • Well-developed public relations and relationship-building skills.

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