This job offer is closed.

VP University Relations

Competition No.


Closing Date

Will remain open until filled.

Reporting to the Vice President, External Relations, the Associate Vice President (AVP), Marketing provides strong and consistent leadership to the University's reputation and profile through purposeful brand and visual identity management; data driven, audience-centred marketing plans; the University international ranking strategy; and the unification of marketing efforts and resources across the University.

The position provides vision and strategic leadership to the University's marketing team and is accountable for the delivery of aligned, consistent, and outcome-focused marketing strategies, plans and content through the effective operations of the following areas:

  • Marketing content (designers, copywriters, photographers, videographers, freelancers, contracts).
  • International student recruitment (demand generation).
  • Graduate and undergraduate student recruitment (demand generation).
  • Institutional marketing campaigns (international research profile, awareness, etc.).
  • Staff recruitment, donor and alumni relations, and services marketing as well as digital presence.
  • Marketing for on-campus and online educational products including continuous professional development or other short courses.
  • Market research and data analytics (business intelligence unit) including student insights unit.

Key Roles and Responsibilities

Strategic Leader:

  • Translates the Vice-President, External Relations and the University's vision and strategic plans (reputation and recruitment strategy) into understandable and achievable goals and objectives for both the Marketing Centre of Expertise and faculties.
  • Leads the creation, development, and implementation of integrated marketing plans and/or campaigns. Makes the connections for staff/university leadership between the role of the area and the success of the University.
  • Assesses marketing gaps between current and future state and creates strategies to close the gaps.
  • Designs and implements the organizational structure required to deliver on strategic priorities.
  • Monitors and ensures compliance with legislative, regulatory, policy and procedural requirements in the area.
  • Understands and leverages the strategic consequences of emergent trends, barriers, and opportunities in the internal and external environment. Synthesizes and integrates information from multiple internal and external sources in order to develop creative and successful modern campaigns as well as effective organizational response.
  • Ensures the availability of resources for key area objectives and makes adaptations to resource plans in response to changing organizational priorities. Seizes opportunities to leverage resources between area units.
  • Sets clear performance standards and expectations. Critically analyzes and evaluates the area's performance against the strategy and makes changes as required. Holds self and area accountable for meeting performance objectives. Benchmarks University's performance with other key institutions and organizations.

Decision maker:

  • Leverages past experiences and an in-depth understanding of both the University, the higher education sector, and professional best practices to make sound but bold decisions.
  • Gathers information from direct reports and Service Partners to ensure all available information is taken into consideration prior to making key decisions.
  • Balances multiple, competing requirements; makes decisions to advance some over others.
  • Assesses and balances vast amounts of information, which is sometimes poorly or partially defined, to make decisions in a volatile, ever-changing environment.
  • Makes data-driven calculated, high impact, and sustainable decisions in areas of responsibility that can influence the success of the University today and into the future.
  • Understands the broader, long-term impacts of strategic decision-making. Anticipates the impacts of these decisions on the University, other areas, or individuals. Plans for impacts. Keeps the Vice-President and other senior leaders involved and informed in decision-making.
  • Delegates or escalates decision-making where appropriate.


  • Uses newest social media platforms and marketing technology tools to achieve University and marketing goals in a more successful manner compared to traditional approaches.
  • Shapes the future of the University through personal or area leadership of key strategic initiatives.
  • Promotes innovation in own area and broadly across campus. Builds, maintains, and supports networks for staff or stakeholders to share ideas.
  • Encourages and rewards initiative and innovation, while learning from failures.
  • Anticipates barriers to change and innovation. Develops strategies to overcome challenges.
  • Recognizes the need for change. Champions change which may mean disrupting or destructing traditional delivery. Continually assesses the University's cultural readiness and capability to adopt proposed changes.
  • Creates policy and procedures to ensure University reputation and recruitment strategy success. Proactively develops policies, processes and practices that remove systemic barriers to success.
  • Sponsors key area initiatives both within and outside area of responsibility. Provides input, advice, or direction into project development (e.g., scope, performance indicators).
  • Ensures that all area initiatives advance the broader strategic goals of the University.

Talent Manager:

  • Works to shape the future of the University by creating an environment which engages current talent, as well as identifies and develops future leaders.
  • Promotes a culture which encourages development, innovation, collaboration, and continuous improvement.
  • Fosters a diverse, inclusive, and respectful work area that promotes opportunity without discrimination or harassment.
  • Attracts and engages the ?right team? to accomplish area objectives.
  • Supports and advocates for the area and its staff in all contexts.
  • Provides an appropriate level of autonomy to staff. Encourages staff to take the lead on issues, thereby developing leadership potential. Supports development opportunities for staff even if it means helping them move to other areas of the organization.
  • Coaches and mentors staff and encourages professional development and continuous learning.
  • Recognizes the achievements and contributions of staff.


  • Supports open, meaningful, positive, and useful internal and external communication. Uses a variety of communication mediums to get key messages across.
  • Builds confidence in the area and the University through personal actions and communications.
  • Effectively and tactfully discusses complex and technical concepts with stakeholders, who may or may not have the same technical understanding, in order to gain support from others who may hold competing or opposing views.
  • Negotiates desired outcomes or resolutions in sensitive or contentious situations.
  • Handles difficult on-the-spot questions related to areas of responsibility with composure and tact. Anticipates and builds on others' reactions to ensure continued support for direction/approach.
  • Ensures the continuous flow of information throughout the organization and that others receive required information from the area in a timely fashion.
  • Takes every opportunity to promote, advocate and represent the achievements and needs of the University both internally and externally to gain support for its many endeavours.

Relationship Builder:

  • Builds strategic relationships both internally and externally to the University. Identifies potential stakeholders/allies and actively seeks partnerships and collaboration for the long-term benefit of the U of A.
  • Promotes relationships with key stakeholder groups (e.g., prospective and current students, researchers and faculty members, international partners, alumni, donors, government, industry partners, university communities).
  • Recognizes the importance of cross-portfolio and cross-institutional collaboration in creating responsive solutions that meet both client requirements and University objectives. Proactively seeks out opportunities to integrate with other AVPs on key initiatives, strategies, and priorities. Promotes the sharing of expertise.
  • Develops relationships at all levels of the University. Creates awareness and mutual understanding in order to facilitate required solutions.
  • Builds strong, collaborative relationships with University leadership, faculty, staff, colleagues, volunteers, alumni, and other leaders.
  • Maintains positive working relationships with own area staff. Ensures and enables effective and open communication.

Candiate Profile

The ideal candidate will be energized by the challenge of becoming a significant member of the university community who will play a critical role in furthering the University's profile on the regional, provincial, national and international stage.

Qualifications & Experience

  • A bachelor's degree combined with broad and substantive senior leadership experience in one or multiple disciplines in the assigned area. A master's degree would be preferred.
  • Significant expertise in marketing using predictive analytics and market research, brand development and management, and international advertising campaigns.
  • Demonstrated successful use of modern marketing approached in accessing and building new markets and in growing revenue.
  • Deep understanding of all communication channels especially digital.
  • Demonstrated capability in leading self, engaging others, developing coalitions, achieving results and bringing about transformative change at a systems level.
  • Deep commitment to consultation, collaboration, and communication.
  • A team player with excellent interpersonal skills, high energy, entrepreneurial thinking, and a spirit of optimism and dedication.

Knowledge, Skills, and Attributes

Visionary Leadership Skills

  • An innovative strategic thinker who sees the big picture and is committed to achieving results with a positive, professional, and solution-oriented attitude. Can effectively communicate the vision, mission, and expectations to all levels within the organization as well as internal and external stakeholders. Able to identify and anticipate the future trends in the postsecondary sector, as they relate to the University. Maintains a steadfast culture. A mentor and positive role model who can communicate potential opportunities to departments while empowering staff and incorporating the views of others. Uses a practical and commonsense approach

Stakeholder Relations

  • Effectively builds relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders both internal and external to the institution. Flexible, adaptable and collaborative while demonstrating a positive attitude. Diplomatic with welldeveloped negotiation skills. Strong stakeholder management skills to build and maintain relationships in the community.

Customer Service

  • Helps define service delivery processes and implements changes to improve on the quality of results. Recognizes the value of operational planning and technology integration in providing customer service. Ensures customer needs are identified and addressed; ensures appropriate consultation with all stakeholders is timely.

Organizational Skills

  • Excellent organization skills to work on numerous projects and coordinate multiple activities. Meets deadlines and can prioritize a diverse workload. Has well-developed project management skills. Has the ability to plan, manage, facilitate and participate in several projects at once. Is proactive and responsive, and approaches responsibilities with a high degree of energy and passion. Sets priorities, goals and strategies to create, implement and evaluate action plans to move the organization forward. Demonstrated ability to manage multiple and conflicting priorities, meeting deadlines in a fast-paced environment.

Team Player

  • Promotes and enables cooperation across the organization; positively affects morale; facilitates/builds understanding, acceptance and support for organizational operations and initiatives; delegates efficiently; understands and appreciates the effectiveness of working synergistically with others at all levels within the organization and creates a ?team? culture; promotes cohesion and teamwork in seeking solutions and moving forward; has a willingness to listen and learn from others.

Change Management

  • Experience in effectively managing organizational change. Experienced in evaluating organizational structure and effectively implementing required changes to elevate the skill level and improve the efficiency of an organization. Is prepared to take on longer-term initiatives and does so with enthusiasm. Is nimble; has a strong ability to adapt to new and changing situations and prioritizes accordingly. Able to alter course/direction when necessary. Enjoys and embraces new challenges.

Creativity and Innovation

  • The ability to utilize theory, principles and experience to develop new and unique ways to identify root causes of organizational issues and find effective ways to address them.


  • Steps up to address difficult issues, saying what needs to be said; champions an idea or position despite dissent or political risk; faces difficult issues and supports others to do the same; translates position into actionable feedback.

Diversity and inclusiveness

  • A leader who empowers staff by respecting and appreciating what makes them different, in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, education, and national origin.

Financial Management

  • Has a proven ability to manage in all fiscal environments and leads with a strong sense of service and is efficient in budgeting, financing and information reporting.

Communication Skills

  • Possesses excellent verbal and written communication skills, as well as active listening skills. Has a professional approach and demeanour. A strategic communicator who can modify approach depending on the audience.

Interpersonal Savvy

  • Possesses well developed interpersonal skills. Open, honest and tactful with all audiences. Resolves conflicts respectfully and in a timely manner, negotiates effectively, and provides effective feedback to colleagues/employees.

Demonstrates Character

  • Displays a quality guided by noble principles with the conviction and courage to do the right thing always; demonstrates integrity, ethics, responsibility, character, and virtue; has a developed personal and progressive value system based on a high sense of integrity and desire to treat others as he or she would expect to be treated

Pragmatic Decision Maker

  • Believes in involving people in processes to establish priorities and shows sensitivity to changing approaches. Shows strong common sense and intuitive judgment abilities.

In accordance with the Management and Professional Staff (Excluded) Handbook, this position is a full-time, continuing appointment and offers a comprehensive benefits package found at Faculty & Staff Benefits and an annual salary of $123,672 to $206,120. Salary will be commensurate with experience. We thank all candidates for their interest; only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

How to Apply


via Isarta

The University of Alberta is committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce. We welcome applications from all qualified persons. We encourage women; First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all those who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and the University to apply.

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