Vice President, Academic

Northern Lakes College

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le Aug 30, 2020
Slave Lake, Alberta, Canada
Type d'emploi
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Northern Lakes College (NLC) serves a vast region in Northern Alberta with 24 campuses and CAP sites located from Athabasca to Chateh.  The Hub Campuses for Northern Lakes College are Slave Lake, High Prairie, Peace River and High Level, with spoke campuses in a number of other communities.  NLC also has numerous collaborative initiatives with other Campus Alberta partners to offer programs in their communities or to support their programs in our communities.  NLC offers a wide range of dual credit opportunities and has over 20 active partnerships with school boards throughout the province.

NLC is a distance learning college with 90% of our programs available to students using our innovative Supported Distance Learning model (SDL).  NLC serves approximately 1600 credit students and 6000 non-credit and we are continually growing.  The College offers a wide range of programs in the Health Sciences, Human Services, Business and Information Technology, Administrative Studies, University Studies, Basic and Preparatory, Trades and Technology as well as Continuing Education and Corporate Training.  NLC will be adding Information Technology programming in the 2021 academic year.

NLC has a close relationship with our stakeholders.  We have created a Community Education Committee structure that is the primary advisory body to the Board of Governors of NLC.  These committees and the Council of Community Education Committees are an important part of the fabric of NLC.  As well, NLC has developed a strong governance model to support the operations of the College and ensure that our Mission, Vision, and Values guide our operations.

NLC is seeking a Vice President, Academic who will lead the Learner Services division with integrity, in a collaborative and transparent manner. This senior academic officer will support and advance our Supported Distance Learning and Support Distance Teaching models. The VPA will develop and nurture existing relationships with our stakeholders and Ministry representatives.

The success of NLC is a result of collaboration between the College and community stakeholders working to strengthen individuals, families and communities through learning.


The area served by Northern Lakes College is a vast expanse of boreal forests, sweeping grasslands, and endless lakes and rivers. This place is ripe with history, offering spectacular landscapes, incredible recreational opportunities, and a resource-based economy.

A Wide Range of Offerings

Northern Lakes College maintains a focus on labour market demands in our region and responds by offering academic programs that meet the needs of our region.  Currently, NLC offers certificates and diplomas leading to careers in Health, Education, Human Services, University Studies, Business and Administration, Information Technology, Professional Skilled Trades, and Resource Technology.  NLC also collaborates with Athabasca University and the University of Calgary to provide degree completion opportunities, and other Comprehensive Community Colleges including Grande Prairie Regional College, Medicine Hat College, and Lakeland College to provide enhanced programming opportunities for our students.

NLC offers a wide range of non-credit courses and programs leading to a number of professional accreditations and certifications in health and allied health, safety, cultural programming, general interest and also forestry, through our partnership with the Woodland Operations Learning Foundation. In partnership with multiple school boards throughout the province, NLC also provides a wide range of dual credit programming.

All of our programs are accessible from any location through our Supported Distance Learning (SDL) model.

NLC also sponsors a number of Indigenous cultural events each year as well as cultural programming through our Museum, at the Grouard Campus.

Supported Distance Learning

Committed to the local and regional needs of its residents, Northern Lakes College focuses on providing opportunities for our students to enter the local and regional economy.  The programs offered by Northern Lakes College meet the labour market demands in our region and the College is continually ensuring that we are responsive to those needs by addressing program gaps through new program implementation and collaborations with another Campus Alberta partner.

Local needs are identified at the community level.  NLC supports Community Education Committees in each community to identify local program and service needs for their community.  The Chairs of these communities comprise a Council of Community Education Committee that meets regularly with the President and the Chair of the Board of Governors. This ensures the College is contributing to community growth, development, and leadership capacity through strong partnerships.  Student success is enhanced through a Supported Distance Learning framework with local and regional supports that are readily available for all students in all communities.  As an early adopter of Distance Learning, the College now has 50 years of experience utilizing technology to make post-secondary education accessible.  In 2020, Northern Lakes College has been identified as a Distance Learning College.

Making an Impact

NLC remains pivotal to the growth of the region and the vibrant lifestyle of its residents.  The College is proud of the ongoing relationship with our communities and the positive impact that it makes on the lives of its students and their families.

In a 2017 study, Northern Lakes College, its students, and alumni added 104.7 million to the NLC service region.


Northern Lakes College is seeking a visionary, strategic and innovative leader to join the President’s Executive Team as Vice President, Academic (VPA), who will operate within the context of respect for culture and the needs of communities. Reporting directly to the President, the VPA is the senior academic officer of the College and has overall responsibility for providing leadership, management, and strategic planning for a broad range of academic programming and personnel, and ensuring alignment with the College mission, vision, values, and goals. The incumbent will be an active participant in the overall management of the college as a member of the Senior Leadership Team, and is responsible for a wide range of academic areas that support the College’s teaching and learning purpose.

The VPA is responsible for all credit programming including Academic Upgrading, Business, Community Adult Learning Programs, Health, Human Service Careers, Trades and Technology, and University Studies. The incumbent’s academic leadership must have a view to maintain excellence while encouraging improvement, innovation, and interdisciplinary collaboration, all within the mandate of serving students and communities within their context.  The VPA chairs the Deans’ Council and the Core Business Committee, and has oversight for the Advisory Committee on Educational Technology, and other groups and initiatives as required.

This leader is a strong communicator and relationship builder who is enthusiastic and able to inspire and generate excitement around current and future college programming.  They foster a climate that encourages faculty, staff, and students to identify and pursue innovation, and promote excellence and integrity in teaching and learning.

The VPA will have the capacity to listen and make decisions grounded in a commitment to equality, diversity, inclusion, collaboration, and to providing relevant and timely programming in our changing world.

The office of the VPA is based at the Slave Lake Campus.  Frequent travel throughout the region will be required.

Connaissances et compétences

Strategic and Business Planning: Provides leadership in planning initiatives and ensures accountability for achievement of results throughout the division. Able to maintain focus on the strategic direction and long-term vision while balancing the need to address immediate and emerging needs.

Institutional Research: Maintains knowledge of institutional research requirements, practices and trends. Also, oversees program accreditations, paying attention to standards and learning outcomes.

Service Excellence: Ensures student satisfaction while effectively managing customer expectations in context of the College’s priorities, policies and delivery standards.

Relationship Building: 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 well- developed negotiation skills. Strong stakeholder management skills to build and maintain relationships in the community.

Communication Skills: Open, honest and tactful with all audiences. Demonstrates respect to all in a clear and straightforward manner.

Creativity and Innovation: The ability to utilize theory, principles and experience to develop new and unique ways to address existing issues and / or increase efficiency and effectiveness.

Leadership Skills: Collaborative, progressive and visionary. Develops and mentors others to be leaders. Creates, supports and leads by example to build a high-performance team and a positive and safe work environment. Is appreciative in practice, understanding, and knowledgeable of issues and concerns. Identifies opportunities, inspires action and achieves results. Able to prioritize competing demands.

Integrity and Trust: Honest, sincere, dependable, authentic and trustworthy. High ethical standards and integrity is to be the consistent approach to working with all stakeholders and staff.

Politically Astute: Knows and understands legislative and regulatory processes and has an intuitive ability to read the political implications of recommendations and actions. Makes solid and informed recommendations.

Management Skills: Encourages and inspires new ideas and approaches. Ensures timely and efficient budgeting, and financial reporting. Uses resources effectively and efficiently; sets clear expectations and ensures accountability through the performance management system.

Make Decisions: Assess complex/sensitive situations to determine the importance, urgency and risks and, after considering all sides of an issue, is able to make difficult decisions that are in the best interests of the organization

Financial Management: Leads with a strong sense of service, efficiency, integrity, communication and transparency in all budgeting, financing and management reporting.

Tâches et responsabilités


The successful candidate will have a completed master’s degree in a related field and have six or more years of related experience preferably in a post-secondary environment with a broad understanding of institutional and academic leadership strategies and functions, and an outstanding record of academic success. The incumbent must have demonstrated success in administrative leadership and experience in working within a public governance structure. Required is an ability to create a sense of common purpose amongst faculty, staff, students and stakeholders, and the capacity to instill a sense of enthusiasm and confidence while fostering a climate of innovation. In depth knowledge of funding opportunities and success in proposal and grant writing is essential. Demonstrated proficiency in strategic planning, implementation and integration across multiple portfolios is required, as is superior skills in working collaboratively, communication, planning, analysis, problem solving, decision-making, and in presenting ideas. The VPA must be adept at conflict resolution, leading change, willing to take on challenges, and comfortable in an environment of change. Familiarity and experience working in a unionized environment and the ability to travel within the province is required.

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