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Chief of Staff (req4969)

The University of Saskatchewan values diversity, and Indigenous engagement is a strategic priority.

Department: Office of the President
Location: Saskatoon
Status: Permanent
Employment Group: Exempt
Full Time Equivalent (FTE): 1.0
Salary Information: The salary range, based on 1.0 FTE, is $87,000.00 - 145,750.00 per annum (Exempt/Salary Band 4). The starting salary will be commensurate with education and experience.
Posted Date: 9/9/2019
Closing Date: 9/22/2019
Number of Openings:

Applications from current University of Saskatchewan employees are encouraged, and qualified internal applicants will be given strong consideration.

Primary Purpose of the Position

The Chief of Staff (COS) is a trusted advisor and member of the president’s executive team.  The COS’s primary role is to enable the President to focus on the university’s vision, mission, and strategic priorities.  The COS supports the President across all of their responsibilities and ensures that the rest of the leadership team is collectively acting upon a prioritized agenda and focusing on the most important issues and opportunities.

Strategic Advisor

As a member of the President’s executive, the COS acts as an advisor to the President and other members of the executive with regard to reputational, emerging governmental, political, environmental, campus or other matters as appropriate based on an extensive understanding of the university’s formal and informal structures and processes.

The COS is responsible for supporting Presidential level strategies that guide the president’s time and focus.  This would include:  identifying audiences and activities to emphasize in order to ensure the President builds, maintains, and enhances relationships needed to achieve the University’s goals.  Connected to this, the COS is responsible for working with relevant individuals to develop strategies for the President’s institutional, local, provincial, and national engagement.

The COS is responsible for, in consultation with the Associate Vice-President Communications and his team, strategic communications from the President to both internal and external stakeholders.  

It is the responsibility of the COS to ensure the President is properly briefed and advised on all issues that relate to the University’s mission as well as any public affairs or emerging issues that may be of relevance.  The COS may be required to provide data, research, and analysis in achievement of this responsibility.

Represent and Liaison

The COS regularly works behind the scenes to solve problems, mediate disputes and address emerging issues before they require the involvement of the President.   This will require the COS to speak for the President and President’s Office during one-on-one interactions, meetings, and public events.

The COS works with Vice-Presidents and other relevant internal staff to track decisions and action items to ensure implementation and follow up as appropriate.

The COS ensures effective communication and liaising between the President’s Office and external offices such as the Board of Governors of the University of Saskatchewan, government offices, band and tribal leadership offices and with the offices of AUCC and Executive Heads of the U15.  

Director of the Office of the President

The COS oversees the staff in the President’s Office, including the hiring, evaluation, and direction of staff. In this capacity, the COS is the senior staff member in the President’s Office, assigning duties as required to ensure effective, efficient and professional operation of the office. The University of Saskatchewan values diversity and Indigenous engagement is a strategic priority.  In support of this priority, the COS will provide leadership in an inclusive team environment which recognizes and supports the importance and value of diversity in achieving the mission of the University, and actively seek out those with diverse cultural backgrounds, perspective and experiences to support the mission.

The COS is responsible for the management of senior compensation files for the President’s direct reports and manages processes for all vice presidential searches and evaluations.

The COS develops strategies to support internal committees run by the President, such as the President’s Executive and the Senior Leadership Forum.  This includes ensuring meetings are effective and contributing to the strategy of the President and institution.  This would include; developing agendas, tracking agenda items, ensuring materials are prepared by deadlines, and ensuring follow through on action items.

It is the responsibility of the COS to facilitate and streamline the effective information flow to and from the President’s office..  The COS will hold the responsibility to channel information as an amplifier and a choreographer – bringing forward the right issues at the right time.  

The COS is responsible for all budgeting and finances of the President’s Office, including developing and implementing strategies to distribute internal and external sponsorship or activities and events.


The COS will be expected to lead and sometimes guide projects that are of particular relevance to the President and that do not necessarily fit within any single part of the organizational structure. This may require the COS to work across institutional boundaries with internal and external stakeholders.  These projects can range in scope and circumference from the very public and institutionally significant to projects focused on internal, day-to-day administration.


Education:  A degree from a recognized post-secondary institution is required. A graduate degree in a relevant field would be considered a strong asset. 

Experience:  Seven (7) to ten (10) years working in progressively senior administrative roles is required. 

An equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered. 


  • The demonstrated ability to support senior level administrators and to work effectively and discretely with confidential and sensitive information is essential.
  • The position requires a high degree of understanding of the culture indicative of universities --including collegial processes -- and a keen understanding of the post-secondary education landscape.
  • Significant experience in project management or business process with a track record of delivering successful strategic planning, process improvement, organizational redesign, change management and performance analysis.
  • A solid track record of leading by example in the delivery of high impact projects with multiple work streams.
  • A skilled oral communicator.
  • A demonstrated high level of skill in written communication and report writing.
  • The ability to move from a detailed operational focus to a strategic focus.

The University of Saskatchewan is strongly committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace that empowers all employees to reach their full potential. All members of the university community share a responsibility for developing and maintaining an environment in which differences are valued and inclusiveness is practiced. The university welcomes applications from those who will contribute to the diversity of our community. The University must, however, comply with federal immigration requirements. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority.