Reporting to the Executive Assistant, Office of the Vice-Principal (Research), the incumbent provides organizational and administrative support to the Vice-Principal (Research) and other senior members, including the Associate Vice-Principals (Research), and contributes to the smooth and efficient operation of the Office of Vice-Principal (Research) in support of the mission of the university. This is a multifaceted, high volume and demanding role, requiring an individual who thrives on a wide variety of detail oriented administrative work, including primary responsibility for planning and maintaining the Vice-Principal (Research) schedule. Given the complexity of managing time and priorities of the Vice-Principal (Research), the incumbent must function with strict adherence to confidentiality, an exceptional level of accuracy, sound judgment requiring minimal direct supervision, and a high degree of efficiency.
• Leads the planning, maintaining and managing of the Vice-Principal (Research) schedule to optimize use of time during an extended workday. Plans schedule with a view to prioritizing events and meetings; rearranges and defers meetings as required when urgent matters arise; refers requests to other offices when needed. Ensures the Vice- Principal (Research) receives all relevant materials and is prepared for all meetings to be attended (internal and external to Queen’s).
• Frequently interacts with the Office of the Principal, the Provost, the Vice-Principals, and other executive offices.
• Coordinates highly confidential material for the Vice-Principal (Research), and Associate Vice-Principals (Research), as required.
• Determines the distribution, delegation and/or action required for incoming mail, telephone and e-mail messages. Identifies and prioritizes what needs to be directed to the Vice-Principal (Research) or others’ attention, requires further research, or response.
• Fosters a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere in the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research).
• Provides high-level executive support to the Vice-Principal (Research), and the Associate Vice-Principals (Research) as required. This includes, but is not limited to, gathering and compiling information; preparing correspondence and files, reports, presentations, and
briefing notes; drafting communication, and coordinating meetings and follow-up; organizing portfolio meetings and senior executive retreats.
• Coordinates and prepares the Vice-Principal (Research) briefing files for daily meetings, which include background notes, biographical information, speaking notes, schedule of events, etc.
• Provides input and produces sensitive, confidential correspondence. Composes original correspondence and drafts documents for the Vice-Principal (Research) when requested, or on own initiative.
• Maintains an effective system to bring forward documents and correspondence for reply, agenda items for meetings, reports for comment, etc.; reply’s on behalf of the Vice- Principal (Research), or composes/transcribes correspondence for signature by the Vice- Principal (Research) to ensure action items are acted upon within set deadlines.
• Reviews travel expenses and financial claims from Vice-Principal’s (Research) direct reports for approval.
• Arranges and coordinates travel and accommodations to national and international destinations in connection with the variable activities of the Vice-Principal (Research). Interprets and ensures adherence to travel and finance policies and procedures. Prepares itineraries, and initiates timely travel reimbursements for expense claims and travel advances.
• Liaises frequently with the Office of the Principal and other senior administrative offices, as well as various external stakeholders. Coordinates follow-up actions and thank you notes.
• Coordinates and provides support for meetings including preparing and circulating notices, agendas and background materials; books rooms; sets-up equipment.
• Provides back up to the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research) Administrative Assistant.
• Manages key distribution to Office of the Vice-Principal (Research) employees to access Richardson Hall.
• Develops and maintains a Records Management System for both electronic and paper filing systems within the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research) in compliance with Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) requirements, as well as university policies and procedures. Looks for opportunities to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of filing systems, canvassing input from Information Technology Management, and implementing changes to filing systems as needed.
• Monitors current procedures and endorses administrative practices to ensure the smooth and efficient function of the office. Recommends revisions and amendments to administrative practices in consultation with the Executive Director. As necessary, implements all aspects of changes in practices and procedures and informs staff.
• Undertakes other duties as assigned in support of the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research).
• Three-year post-secondary program.
• Several years of experience providing executive level administrative support in a high profile area at the university or an institutionally relevant environment.
• Extensive knowledge of senior level office practices and experience managing the schedule of an individual in a high profile, executive position.
• Ability to work effectively and successfully with diverse stakeholders to achieve shared priorities.
• Proficiency using Microsoft Office products and the ability to acquire proficiency with PeopleSoft and the Expense Reimbursement System (ERS). Ability to adapt to emerging technologies and a changing work environment is considered an asset.
• Sound knowledge of the university structure, administrative and academic policies and procedures, and financial systems; familiarity with a university research environment considered an asset.
• Understanding of the workings of Senate and Board of Trustees is considered an asset.
• Promotes diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
• Consideration may be given to an equivalent combination of education and experience.
• Strict attention to detail with exceptional accuracy and is thorough when performing tasks, ensuring quality of work.
• High level of reliability, discretion and good judgement with the ability to deal with sensitive and challenging issues.
• Ability to prioritize time demands for an executive with a high degree of independence and judgment.
• Exceptional interpersonal skills to work effectively with a variety of stakeholders, both internal and external, including senior administrators, faculty, staff, students, government representatives, etc.
• Ability to work in a confidential, fast-paced, high-pressure environment, and to independently set priorities and juggle many conflicting tasks.
• Diplomacy, maturity and tact interacting professionally and effectively with diverse internal and external audiences.
• Foster a climate of inclusion, where diverse thoughts are freely shared and integrated to develop plans and solutions that are best suited to circumstances.
• Strong communication skills, both oral and written, with the ability to respond with sensitivity and good judgment to many difficult and controversial situations. Excellent writing skills to draft and edit correspondence and reports.
• Excellent time management skills to cope effectively with a consistently high volume of work and to provide support for numerous ongoing projects, ensuring deadlines are met.
• Exceptional organizational/administrative skills to coordinate and maintain progress on many diverse tasks and carry them to completion simultaneously, without supervision, and with many interruptions.
• Strong ability to problem solve, exercise discretion and determine when to involve senior staff in decision-making.
• Initiative and self-motivation; experience organizing and coordinating efforts with diverse stakeholders and multiple objectives.
• Frequent decisions regarding management of the Vice-Principal (Research) schedule, including determining the urgency of a request, the feasibility of delegating the request to another unit, prioritizing meetings and calls, rescheduling appointments, etc.
• Determines and plans the necessary requirements, which best support the Vice-Principal’s (Research) diverse activities.
• Prioritizes short-term and long-term task lists for completion by the Vice-Principal (Research) to ensure both internal and external deadlines are met for key deliverables.
• Handles incoming correspondence and phone calls for the Vice-Principal (Research), particularly those that may be sensitive or controversial. Determines when appropriate to consult with the Vice-Principal (Research) or Executive Director.
• Determines nature and content of briefing notes, files, reports, and other information used to advise and prepare the Vice-Principal (Research).
• Decides the most appropriate and efficient arrangements for travel, maximizing the time of the Vice-Principal (Research) and ensuring the best use of university funds.
• Determines the best approach in meeting non-negotiable deadlines including who should be called upon to provide timely supplemental support. Verifies accuracy of information, and for sensitive or confidential information, who should receive it, and in what format.
• Provides advice, support and recommendations on a variety of matters related the management of the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research); this advice may be used as the basis for decisions made by the Vice-Principal (Research) and other senior staff within the office.
• Selects best means to find needed information; determine when and to whom to delegate enquiries.
• Determines optimum practices, systems and procedures needed to support the administrative needs of the office. Recommends efficient administrative procedures, determining process and activities that enhance the department’s function; seeks approval and implements.
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