Senior Director, Student Engagement

University of British Columbia

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September 2, 2020
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Job Type
Annual Salary
100K and above
Closing Date


Job Summary
The Senior Director, Student Engagement (SD SE) provides strategic leadership to the student engagement units in the Vice President Students (VPS) portfolio. The SD SE is responsible for the strategic direction and oversight of a wide range of units and programs that are responsible for building, transforming, and enhancing UBC student engagement and experience on the Vancouver campus. The SD SE provides strategic leadership and expertise pertaining to administrative management, instilling best practices, policies, procedures, and processes that supports and meets the evolving needs and diversity of our student population, through effective collaboration, practices and programs, and strategic partnerships to provide students with an unparalleled experience.

Organizational Status
Reports to the Vice President, Students.

The SD, SE oversees a number of senior positions in the Student Engagement Unit including: Centre for Accessibility, Centre for Student Involvement and Careers, International Student Development, and Centre for Community Engagement Learning. The role also has responsibility for maintaining relationships with student government groups including the Student Senate, Alma Mater Society, Graduate Student Society, Student Union of UBC Okanagan and Greek-letter governing bodies.

The SD, SE is a member of the VPS Senior Leadership Team. The SD, SE works closely with VPS Senior Leaders and contributes to the development of VPS portfolio-wide strategic priorities. Collaborates with other University units and external organizations as required.

Knowledge and Skills

Minimum 12 years of senior level leadership experience, preferably in an academic setting. Senior level experience in planning, directing and managing a complex services program, including five years in a senior management capacity in a complex public or educational environment. Must have an outstanding record of professional accomplishments in one or more of the following areas: student engagement, student services, communications, post-secondary educational programming. Must have excellent leadership skills, and proven communication, consultative and interpersonal competencies. The position requires a unique combination of skills and management knowledge and requires an individual of great energy, creativity and integrity. Must be able to perform role of executive sponsor by driving large complex projects. Must be able to formulate broad strategic plans and set direction. Requires a thorough understanding of and commitment to the values of a research university. Must have the ability to exercise a high level of diplomacy and discretion in both internal and external interactions. Must be able to effectively meet deadlines and time constraints. Requires excellent writing and communications skills, excellent organizational skills and the ability to work well under pressure. Must effectively demonstrate team leadership and participation skills. The ideal candidate will be energetic, visionary and have a strong commitment to exceptional customer service.

Duties and Responsibilities

Work Performed
Provides leadership and sets the strategic direction pertaining to the student engagement units including: Centre for Student Involvement and Careers, International Student Development, and Centre for Community Engaged Learning.

Creates and leads the strategy that directs comprehensive and systematic campus engagement programming and activities that provide students an unparalleled experience throughout their student career.

Leads and establishes the strategic direction of the development, transformation, enhancement, and delivery of numerous student engagement programs, such as the UBC Collegia program, the UBC Work Learn Program and other new programming that enhances the student experience.

Provides strategic direction and oversight of the development and implementation of systems for monitoring and evaluating student engagement programming, student service programs, engagement and connectivity for continuous improvement.

Advocates for students at the undergraduate and graduate levels; monitors policy and accountability standards to ensure that all students and communities thrive; ensures that student support processes are responsive to the unique needs of diverse student populations; and maintains high standards of student and student-organization conduct.

Provides strategic leadership and expertise in the development of the appropriate individual or campus-wide response to individual students or student groups experiencing life situations and crisis impacting their UBC experience.

Cultivates, fosters, establishes and maintains relationships with student government groups including the Student Senate, Alma Mater Society, Graduate Student Society, Student Union of UBC Okanagan and Greek-letter governing bodies, as well as other student groups in order to advance the standards of leadership and conduct that are consistent with UBC values and community standards.

Provides leadership and expertise to the strategic development of program objectives including learning objectives, performance objectives, financial, staff development and coordinates the overall annual action plans for student engagement.

Provides strategic leadership and analysis to identify and measure opportunities, new and creative program and approaches based on demographic information of students in the broader community, research trends and best practices at peer institutions.

Champions and ensures best practices are maintained and continuously updated.

Responsible for the annual review/evaluation of each of the units under supervision and makes recommendations for improvements and ensures mechanisms are developed and implemented to annually review and evaluate the learning objectives and other measures of success.

Ensures student leadership opportunities align with the VPS student leadership model and that student leadership opportunities are maximized and contribute to student learning.

Accountable for the sound management of the Student Engagement unit's annual and long-range budgets including the development of specific program budgets and the allocation of resources. Ensures budget aligns with the unit's and the VPS portfolio's strategic priorities and directions.

Represents the VP Students portfolio on a number of University committees and matters related to student engagement and experience.

Supervision Received
Reports to the Vice President, Students.

Supervision Given
The Senior Director, Student Engagement directly supervises the Director Centre for Student Involvement and Careers, Director, International Student Development, and Director Centre for Community Engaged Learning.

Consequence of Error/Judgement
This position is critical to the long-term success on a broad base of functions as the responsible resource to provide expertise on continually improving organizational capabilities. The consequence of decisions may have catastrophic financial, operational and reputational impact for the VPS and UBC.


A university degree in a related field, Masters degree preferred.

How to Apply

*Please apply to job opening ID 38156 on the UBC Careers site by September 22, 2020; 11:59pm PDT*


Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence.  An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged.  We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.