Associate Vice President People & Chief Human Resources Officer

University of Saskatchewan

le May 19, 2023
Saskatoon, Canada
Type d'emploi


The Role

Reporting to the Vice-President, Administration & Chief Operating Officer, the Associate Vice-President People & Chief Human Resources Officer (AVP People & CHRO) is the most senior human resources (HR) professional at the University of Saskatchewan, whose role is to provide leadership, strategic counsel and oversight of people strategies in support of the institution’s overall mission, values and strategic priorities. The incumbent provides senior-level oversight to policy, procedures and programs supported by exceptional governance practices, and ensures operational effectiveness and compliance with relevant legislation, regulations, and collective agreements. Working in a highly decentralized environment, the AVP People & CHRO is a key strategic partner and trusted advisor to senior administrators (including the president, vice-presidents, deans, executive directors, and other associate vice-presidents). This role also serves as a member of the university’s crisis management team (CMT) and as a resource officer to the Board of Governors.

Leading an HR team committed to the success of over 6,000 faculty and staff and approximately 1,000 people leaders, the AVP People & CHRO ensures the portfolio is collaborative and responsive to the needs of its many clients and stakeholders. Working across a shared services delivery model, the HR portfolio delivers best practice policy, programs and solutions to the university community in the areas of: total rewards (compensation, employee benefits and wellness, pension); talent management (complement planning; talent pipelines, strategies, and acquisition; succession planning and retirement planning; employer brand and employee value proposition; onboarding; learning and development and leadership development; career engagement and mobility; lead and direct equity, diversity, inclusion and indigenization initiatives; employee and labour relations; and safety resources.

USask's vision is to be an outstanding institution of research, learning, knowledge-keeping, reconciliation, and inclusion with and by Indigenous peoples and communities. The AVP People & CHRO is an active leader in the growth of a more diverse and inclusive campus community and in advancing the university’s Indigenous and EDI strategies.

Reporting Relationships
Reports to:

• Vice President, Administration & Chief Operating Officer

Direct Reports:

• Interim Director, Talent, Recruitment and Total Rewards
• Director, Employee and Labour Relations
• Manager, Safety Resources
• Executive Officer
• Manager, HR Advisory Services (dotted line report to AVP People)

Internal Interfaces:

• President
• President’s Executive
• Board of Governors, Human Resources Committee
• Vice-Provost, Faculty Relations
• Senior Leadership Forum (Deans, AVPs and President’s executive)
• Union/Association Executives for seven bargaining units
• Legal Services
• Strategic Business Advisory Services
• Office of the Vice-Provost Indigenous Engagement
• ConnectionPoint

External Interfaces:

• External Consultants and Service Providers such as Wellness, Benefits, EFAP, and Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Services (DHPS)
• Government of Saskatchewan
• Saskatoon Health Region
• City of Saskatoon
• Indigenous organizations
• Saskatoon Police, Fire and Protective Services
• Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO)
• Chartered Professionals in Human Resources (CPHR) Saskatchewan

Connaissances et compétences

The AVP People & CHRO is critical to the development and implementation of the mission, vision and strategic initiatives of the university, particularly as they relate to the University Plan 2025.  In this role, the AVP People & CHRO is accountable for the following outcomes:

Strategic Human Resource Leadership

  • Lead the development and implementation of a USask people strategy that will support university leaders, colleges and units in achieving university plan aspirations and aligning with USask principles and values.
  • Design and implement people strategies through collaboration and consultation with senior leaders and other people leaders in support of teaching, learning and research.
  • Lead a central and distributed human resources team towards a superior service environment that encompasses best HR professional practices.
  • Lead major transformational initiatives in the HR functional area, including integrated services renewal program (ISR) and administrative services renewal (ASR), for example, position standardization and the creation of a strategic talent acquisition model, ensuring alignment of outcomes with overall institutional strategy.
  • Champion the shared services delivery model across colleges and units with a view to further expanding and maturing the model across the entire institution.
  • Lead the implementation of a sustainable collective bargaining strategy to support the University’s Plan.
  • Integrity, transparency, and accessibility of the university’s people information, systems, processes, and policies.
  • HR data integrity and analytics that inform organizational decision-making and workforce optimization.
  • Annual and long-term budget planning and development for the HR portfolio.

People and Environment

  • Promote practices and behaviours across the university that contribute to a positive, safe, diverse, and inclusive work and learning environment.
  • Build and role-model strong relationships across colleges, units, and centres and institutes.
  • Champion an interdependent safety culture and safety management systems in all aspects of working, teaching, learning and research.
  • Improve organizational capacity for change through strategic collaboration across a diverse set of portfolios.
  • Promote rewards and recognition programs that celebrate staff and faculty achievements and growth while ensuring equitable distribution/recognition
  • Promote professional development and career engagement programs to improve employee engagement and growth.
  • Within Human Resources:
    • foster a culture of service excellence
    • develop a strategic and productive leadership team
    • prepare staff for future key leadership roles
    • hold people accountable for high standards of performance and outcomes.

Tâches et responsabilités

USask has developed competencies that support its strategic directions and people values. Competencies are the attributes, behaviours, manner, and style of how skills and knowledge are applied to the job. Each person brings different combinations of competencies to their position and all competencies are applicable in varying degrees depending on the expectations of the job. There are four competencies that are core to jobs at the university.  They are:


  • Committed to advancing the aspirations of the people of the university, province, and beyond.
  • See the alignment of your own success with the achievement of USask’s strategic goals and priorities.
  • Bring your best ideas and self to our common success; support others to do the same.
  • Honour the people around us.
  • Explore different ways of knowing, learning, and being.
  • Facilitate a growth mindset.


  • Building a welcoming and accessible place where diverse students, faculty, and staff feel a sense of belonging.
  • Foster a welcoming environment for all.
  • Value meaningful relationships with Indigenous people and communities grounded in the principles of reconciliation.
  • Committed to more inclusive scholarship and governance practices.
  • Invite a wide variety of people and ideas.
  • Enable all of us to do our best work and be our best selves.


  • Intentionally seeking relationships across teams, disciplines, and capacities to achieve results.
  • Invite and connect others formally and informally in pursuit of common goals.
  • Draw on the strengths and knowledge of others within and beyond the university, including our traditional territory.
  • Identify opportunities for synergies across disciplines and teams.
  • Work respectfully and productively with others to achieve results.
  • Harness our diversity and strengths to build greater capacities and ideas.


  • Developing and supporting each other, innovative ideas, and Indigenous knowledge in pursuit of the USask’s strategic priorities.
  • Contribute to fulfilling the university’s vision.
  • Keep relevant in our evolving environment.
  • Contribute to the kind of place we want to be.
  • Inspire others to support change.
  • Advocate for new perspectives.


Education and Experience

The ideal candidate for the role:

  • holds a post-secondary degree, ideally at the graduate level, accompanied by a Chartered Professionals in Human Resources (CPHR) designation.
  • is an accomplished, visionary leader with relevant and progressive human resources experience within a university, or other large and complex multi-union organization.
  • has experience and a track record of success working across a shared services model within a complex, multi-stakeholder, decentralized organization.
  • possesses a combination of generalist and specialist experience having gained a broad exposure to most human resource disciplines.
  • has advanced knowledge and senior-level experience in implementing progressive HR policies, practices and procedures.
  • is experienced in championing transformative change initiatives and processes, from beginning to end, that contribute to strong results.
  • is experienced in advancing equity, diversity and inclusion principles, Indigenization, and concepts in and across human resource initiatives, policies, processes, and practices.
  • experience collective bargaining would be considered an asset.
  • demonstrates patience, resolve and flexibility to deliver leadership by example, build consensus, diffuse escalating situations, and bring about constructive resolution with all the required negotiating, consulting, listening, planning, persuading, explaining and implementing skills.
  • consistently demonstrates a sense of fairness and unwavering commitment to inclusivity, diversity and equity, some knowledge and understanding of anti-racism concepts, combined with sensitivity to the broad range of personalities, backgrounds and viewpoints.
  • possesses superior leadership, people management, and coaching/mentoring skills with the ability to provide work direction and expectations, performance feedback and recognition, and assist staff with development.


Comment candidater

To Apply

To apply for this significant leadership opportunity with the University of Saskatchewan, send a cover letter and detailed curriculum vitae in confidence to Allan Nelson, Shalini Bhatty or Heather Fookes

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