Executive Director, Faculty Relations

Ref: 5234

Simon Fraser University

Vancouver, British Columbia

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Role Managed by:

Primary Practice Group: Higher Education and Research

Salary & Benefits: Competitive

Closing Date: 30/07/2021

The Executive Director, Faculty Relations provides executive leadership for Faculty Relations.  The Executive Director, Faculty Relations provides leadership in the planning, development, and implementation of programs, policies, and services for academic personnel.  The incumbent provides overall direction in the administration of the university’s faculty relations functions including processes for appointments, renewals, tenure, promotion and salary review, salary administration, and non-health/non-welfare benefits administration. The incumbent designs and implements faculty recruitment/ retention strategies as well as leadership/ professional programs to support development of Simon Fraser University Faculty Association (SFUFA) members. The Executive Director establishes and maintains effective communications with the SFUFA and serves as the chief negotiator for the university in the negotiation of the collective agreement.   Working in conjunction with the Associate Vice-President, Human Resources, the Executive Director acts as one of the university’s principal representatives to the Public Sector Employers’ Council of BC (PSEC) and maintains relationships with other external bodies such as Faculty Bargaining Services (FBS) and the Research Universities Council of BC (RUC-BC). As a member of the Vice-President’s senior management team, the Executive Director is the chief advisor to the Vice President, Academic regarding complex legal and labour relations matters relating to SFUFA members. Working in consultation with General Counsel, the incumbent identifies, analyzes, and assesses potential legal risks in the area of faculty relations and is ultimately responsible for the resolution of issues, grievances, and arbitrations involving SFUFA members. The Executive Director retains and instructs outside counsel in grievances and arbitrations, keeping General Counsel informed on these matters.  The incumbent collaborates with General Counsel on strategy, especially where issues may affect the University in a broader context. The Executive Director develops and interprets personnel policies and provides advice to the President, Vice-Presidents, Deans, Chairs, and Directors, as well as SFUFA members.

Duties and Responsibilities 

Planning, Program, and Staff Leadership

  • Provides executive leadership in the planning, development, and implementation of programs, policies, and services to support academic personnel.
  • Provides overall direction in the administration of the university’s Faculty Relations functions including processes for appointments, renewals, tenure, promotion and salary review, salary administration, and non-health/non-welfare benefits administration.
  • Develops and implements faculty recruitment/ retention strategies and leadership/professional programs to support the development of the university’s academic personnel and the achievement of the university’s strategic vision as an ‘engaged’ university. 
  • Develops and oversees the delivery of ongoing orientation and professional development programs for SFUFA members.  Oversees the delivery of orientation and professional development workshops for academic Chairs and Directors.
  • Provides overall leadership to the staff of Faculty Relations. Directly supervises three staff and indirectly supervises an additional five staff. 

Policy Interpretation & Advising

  • As a member of the Vice-President’s senior management team, the Executive Director is the chief advisor to the Vice President, Academic regarding complex legal and labour relations matters relating to SFUFA members.
  • Interprets the collective agreement and policies. Advises the President, Vice Presidents, Deans, Chairs, Directors, and faculty members on matters relating to the interpretation and the application of the academic personnel policies. 
  • Advises the Vice-President, Academic and the President in the resolution of complex faculty matters involving academic personnel.  Provides legal advice in these situations, consulting with General Counsel, when required,
  • Advises the President regarding complex discipline cases including provision of advice on procedures for suspension and dismissal pursuant to the University Act. 
  • Implements decisions made in these complex cases, including drafting letters of discipline, notices of suspension and reports of disciplinary action for presentation by the President to the Board of Governors.
  • Drafts legal documents including settlement agreements and releases after negotiations with faculty members or the Faculty Association. Responsible for explaining these documents and having them approved by the VP Academic, Vice-President, Finance & Administration, and/or the President.
  • Assumes a leadership role in the resolution of problems and grievances involving academic personnel in accordance with the collective agreement   Resolves academic personnel problems through proactive and reactive conflict resolution strategies by:
    • responding to complaints, grievances, and arbitrations;
    • undertaking investigations of issues;
    • providing advice to the Vice-Presidents, Deans, Chairs, Directors, faculty, and academic personnel, including providing legal advice related to terms and conditions of employment and statutory obligations, and the interpretation of the collective agreement; and
    • educating and coaching academic personnel and academic administrators in methods of conflict resolution
  • Represents the university in negotiation of agreements with external bodies relating to academic personnel (e.g., secondment agreements, special leave arrangements).
  • Provides advice to Deans regarding academic personnel management and proactively advising on strategies to deal with situations to avoid formal disciplinary action.

Labour Relations              

  • Serves as the chief negotiator for the university in the negotiation of the collective agreement. 
  • Working in conjunction with the Associate Vice-President, Human Resources, the Executive Director acts as one of the university’s principal representatives to the Public Sector Employers’ Council of B.C. (PSEC) and maintains relationships with other external bodies such as Faculty Bargaining Services (FBS) and the Research Universities Council of BC (RUC-BC).
  • Provides leadership in shaping labour relations strategy relating to bargaining and Faculty Relations by consulting with the President, Vice-Presidents, and Deans, and helping shape strategic labour relations goals.
  • Establishes and maintains effective communications with the staff and executive committee of the Simon Fraser University Faculty Association (SFUFA). 
  • Acts as the University’s lead administrator on labour relations joint committee with SFUFA.
  • Chiefly responsible for the implementation of the SFUFA collective agreement including training administrative personnel regarding changes to key policies and procedures.
  • Participates in regular consultations with the SFUFA executive, and represents the University on labour management committees.
  • Retains and instructs outside counsel in grievances and arbitrations involving members of the Simon Fraser University Faculty Association. Keeps General Counsel informed of these matters and collaborates with General Counsel on strategy, especially where issues may affect the University in a broader context.
  • Acts as the legal and process advisor for committees such as the Faculty Review Committee, University Salaries Appeal Committee, and the University Appointments Committee, regarding recommendations on critical tenure, promotion, salary, and appointment matters.

Senior Administration Employment Contracts

  • Drafts employment contracts for administrators (Deans, Vice-Presidents, etc.) after terms have been negotiated and agreed to by the appropriate university administrator (Vice-President, Academic, for Deans, the President for Vice-Presidents).
  • Provides ongoing advice regarding the implementation of these employment contracts, amendments and renewals.

Budgeting

  • Provides strategic direction to the Director, Faculty Relations regarding the Faculty Relations budgets.
  • Hires, trains, evaluates, disciplines, and supervises Faculty Relations professional staff.

Decision Making        

i) Give some typical examples of the most important decisions the incumbent is expected to make in carrying out the duties and responsibilities of the position.  To what extent can the incumbent rely on established policies or advice from others in making these decisions?

Makes decisions regarding:

  • Planning, development, and implementation of programs, policies, and services to support the university’s academic personnel.
  • Development and implementation of faculty recruitment/ retention strategies and leadership/professional development programs for academic personnel.
  • Interpretation of the collective agreement and policies and the provision of advice to the President, Vice-Presidents, Deans, Chairs, Directors, and faculty members including:
  • Provision of advice to the Vice-President, Academic, in the resolution of complex faculty matters involving academic personnel.
  • Provision of advice to the President regarding complex discipline cases including provision of advice on procedures for suspension and dismissal pursuant to the University Act.
  • Resolution of issues, grievances, and arbitrations involving academic personnel and instruction provided to outside counsel.
  • Negotiation of the collective agreement with SFUFA. 
  • Supervision of staff. 

ii) Give some examples of the types of decisions the incumbent would refer to his/her supervisor.

  • Final approval of matters involving Senate or the Board of Governors.
  • Final approval of decision to suspend or dismiss a faculty member       

Supervision Exercised 

Number of continuing employees reporting directly to the position: 2

Total number of continuing employees for whom the position has direct responsibility: 9

Supervision Received           

Under the authority of the Vice-President, Academic, and the President, the incumbent exercises considerable latitude while working under the general direction of the Vice-President, Academic.

Unusual Working Conditions        

The incumbent of the position is required to work hours beyond the normal work week.

Entrance Qualificartion 

  • LL.B/JD, or Master’s degree, and a member in good standing of the Law Society of B. C. with a minimum of ten years of experience including experience as a practicing lawyer in the area of labour law in a complex public sector environment, and experience in human resource management; financial management; strategic planning, program and policy development; labour relations; and collective bargaining/negotiation.
  • Excellent knowledge of employment in the public sector.
  • Excellent leadership and human resource management skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills.
  • Excellent communication skills (oral, written, and presentation).
  • Excellent organizational, analytical, and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to provide sound legal advice related to the terms and conditions of employment and the university’s statutory obligations to academic personnel. 
  • Ability to constructively engage in consultative decision-making processes.
  • Ability to establish and maintain strong and effective working relationships with others.
  • Ability to draft, review, and negotiate legal documents including collective agreements.
  • Ability to think strategically in the identification of potential legal and operational issues.
  • Excellent strategic planning skills.
  • Excellent leadership skills.
  • Ability to proactively consider implications of actions and identify practical solutions.
  • Ability to deal with highly emotional situations and individuals who are in crisis.
  • Ability to develop and maintain strong partnerships within the university community and the broader governmental and legal communities.
  • Ability to exercise diplomacy, tact, sensitivity, and discretion.

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