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University Secretary

Administrative and Support Services, Education, General Management, Human Resources, Legal and Justice


Saint Mary\'s University

Halifax City, Nova Scotia

University Secretary (APC), Office of the President               

Salary: $78,740 - $101,478 (Group 8)


Founded in 1802, Saint Mary’s University is one of Canada’s oldest and leading institutions of higher learning and has evolved into a vibrant and engaged community of students, faculty, staff, and alumni from more than 100 countries around the world.  Saint Mary’s University is home to one of Canada’s leading business schools, a science Faculty widely known for its cutting-edge research, a comprehensive and innovative Arts Faculty and a vibrant Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. Saint Mary’s University is dedicated to providing education that embraces community-engagement, discovery and entrepreneurship.

Saint Mary’s is currently seeking a University Secretary. The University Secretary reports administratively to the President and functionally the position is accountable to the Chair of the Board of Governors (for Board matters).  The University Secretary also works closely with the Vice Presidents and other members of the senior administrative team to ensure a high level of communication between the Board and University administration. The University Secretary advises the Board on the governance responsibilities and duties of the Board and its members as laid out in the Bylaws and on the best practices that will enable the Board to function effectively and efficiently.  The University Secretary acts as a facilitator and advisor on a wide range of organizational matters.

Responsibilities as the University Secretary include, but are not limited to:

In consultation with the Board Chair, Vice Chair of the Board, and the President of the University:

  • providing governance advice and guidance to the Board in service of its strategic mandate including the oversight of the University’s strategic plan;
  • providing guidance in the short and long-term planning of the Board;
  • developing and maintaining sound governance policies and procedures; and
  • advising the Board and senior university officers on governance issues.
  • Providing policy and procedural interpretation on Board By-Laws and relevant legislation, including the Saint Mary’s University Act.
  • Developing, through a consultative process with the President of the University and the Chair of the Board, meeting schedules, macro agenda and other tools to ensure that the short and long-term responsibilities of the Board and the respective committees are met and that the business proceeds in a timely and orderly manner.
  • Overseeing the development and dissemination of meeting agendas and supporting documentation to ensure timely input of recommendations and information to the Board and respective committees.
  • Ensuring the accurate recording of minutes for the Board and the committees and providing appropriate tracking and follow-up for emergent business while responsible for maintenance of corporate records, including official minutes, by-laws, procedural guidelines and other documents and records of the Board.

Responsibilities of the University Secretary are carried out in an open and consultative environment and in accordance with Board By-laws, relevant legislation, University policies, procedures and collective agreements.

To be the successful University Secretary, you will possess a University degree in a related area, preferably in law, policy or public governance and a demonstrated track record of progressive and related experience at a senior level in a confidential, complex environment. You demonstrate the ability to provide strategic advice and support at a senior level; the ability to build consensus and promote strong and effective working relationships with and among members of the Board; and proven ability to oversee records, draft complex reports and develop policy documents for senior management. You further demonstrate extremely strong, clear and concise oral and written communication skills; the ability to quickly gain knowledge of the university policies and processes that impact on governance issues; and have an understanding of the administrative and academic university cultures. Excellent knowledge of MS Office, internet and e-mail applications are also required.

Saint Mary’s University hires on the basis of merit and is committed to the principles of employment equity. Saint Mary’s University encourages applications from qualified women, visible minorities, Aboriginal people, and people with disabilities. Preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.

Apply for this opportunity online by visiting www.smu.ca/employment and use our online application system through CareerBeacon. Select the position you are interested in and apply by clicking the "Apply Online Now" button. Please include the names of three professional references. No telephone calls please.

The search committee will begin to consider applications on April 16, 2018 and continue until the position is filled.

Saint Mary’s University promotes a scent free environment and is proud to be tobacco-free as of September 1, 2013


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