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Associate Vice President, Integrated Planning, Development & Partnerships | University of Alberta

The Organization

Founded in 1908 along the North Saskatchewan River, the University of Alberta (U of A) is a world-class institution for post-secondary education, with excellence in the areas of teaching, research, humanities, sciences, creative arts, business, engineering, and health sciences. The University of Alberta is at the forefront of innovation in our province by providing a vibrant, accommodating learning environment to ensure student success and a bright future for all.

After over a century of providing high-quality education, the University of Alberta has found that the post-secondary sector is transforming, with new challenges and pressures facing the institution. To meet these challenges, the University of Alberta has implemented the U of A for Tomorrow project. The project’s vision is to centralize and re-structure administrative and academic services. By taking these actions, the university has been able to align all faculty and staff with a clear vision while eliminating duplicated services. Key to this project, the university established three colleges: the College of Health Sciences, the College of Natural and Applied Sciences, and the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. The three colleges contain several faculties that retain their identity and history. These colleges enrich teaching, research, and community engagement. Moreover, these colleges boost human health and wellness by conducting research to improve our quality of life, and build a just, equitable society.

In addition to academic restructuring, the University has implemented an approved administrative operating model. The new administrative model consists of two separate service centres that focus on staff and student needs, Centres of Expertise (CoEs) that provide specialized services, Service Partners that provide functional support to a faculty, and a Shared Services processing hub that streamlines transactional services and processes concerning the University. While the functional logistics of this model are still in process, the university believes this model will improve efficiency among staff and ensure a commitment to service excellence.

Companion to the model is an imperative that the university optimize its building infrastructure in a way brings its inventory of buildings closer to the average of its Canadian U-15 peers but not at the expense of providing the spaces for continued excellence in teaching, research, and student experience nor accommodating growth in its student population.

For further information about the University of Alberta, please visit their website at


The Opportunity

Reports to:Vice President, Facilities and Operations
Direct Reports:4: Associate Director, Integration & Service Excellence; Director, Asset Information & Analytics; Director, Strategic Infrastructure Planning & Partnerships; Director, Infrastructure Development
Location:Edmonton, Alberta


The Mandate

Reporting to the Vice-President, Facilities and Operations, the Associate Vice-President, Integrated Planning, Development and Partnerships (AVP) is accountable for providing a long-term vision for Facilities and Operations, its cascading plans and actions aligned to the vision, inspiring leadership, productive relationships, deep internal and external engagement, sound financial and risk management practices, achievable implementation plans, and prudent business acumen to steward the institution’s infrastructure assets – lands, horizontal, and vertical infrastructure – in accordance with university and government policies, legislation, and procedures. A critical foundation to the role is aligning current and emerging needs related to excellence in research, teaching and student experience and the physical spaces of the campuses. In particular, because the AVP is leading a combination of strategic thinkers and technical experts, the incumbent must be comfortable operating in a place where critical thinking is constantly deployed to strategically identify and solve complex problems. Integrated Planning, Development, and Partnerships (IPDP) can only be successful if it is singularly focused on bridging the gap between the infrastructure imperatives of today and the university’s continued desire for excellence tomorrow.

To be successful, the AVP requires a broad understanding of the relationship between buildings, people, and outcomes in a post-secondary setting. In particular, the incumbent must have proven experience in developing and executive strategic plans in a complex organization with deeply ingrained governance structures.

Financial acumen, augmented with a commitment to managing risk, permeates integrated facility planning, development, and operations. Within IPDP, the AVP is responsible to ensure that all areas of responsibility operate consistently within the university’s vision and goals and F&O’s mission, vision, values, and behaviours. Cascading these guiding principles throughout IPDP is paramount to the role’s success.

Externally, the incumbent is required to develop quality relationships with key stakeholders (college and faculty deans), government officials (provincial, municipal, and federal), other public sector organizations, and industry associations to represent interests across all campuses. These relationships are crucial in guiding integrated strategic planning and future funding requirements. Benchmarking with peer institutions and the private sector will provide administration and government with quality comparators and continuous improvement opportunities.


Key Accountabilities

Strategic Visioning

  • Lead the development of institution-wide strategic plans impacting the entirety of the university’s infrastructure holdings that are consistent with the vision and goals of the Vice-President, Facilities and Operations;
  • Allocate human and financial resources in a way that best assures department, portfolio, and institutional objectives are met; and
  • Promote continuous improvement processes, clarity of roles and responsibilities, identification of new initiatives, and benchmarking comparators for services.

Strategic Leadership

  • Evaluate how to uniquely position F&O within the University of Alberta, amongst post-secondary institutions, and, where appropriate, relative to other public sector organizations;
  • Anticipate trends in industry and, through best practice reviews, and implement initiatives for continuous improvement across operations and services;
  • In collaboration with faculties and administrative units, build business cases to gain the necessary buy-in for initiatives that support the strategic long-term outcomes of the University;
  • Collaborate with deans and other leaders on requirements and advises on practical solutions as appropriate;
  • Seek opportunities to integrate with AVPs from across the institution on key institutional initiatives, strategies, and priorities and, where practical, explore matrix leadership opportunities for staff and dual reporting on key outcomes;
  • Take a leadership role across the post-secondary sector in support of Campus Alberta initiatives;
  • Respond to calls from government to exploit funding opportunities or other programs to support the long-term objectives of the University;
  • Lead special initiatives assigned by the Vice-President that span F&O and/or the institution and may include interface with the university’s governing bodies;
  • Develop concepts to break process barriers with faculties to support academic course delivery and research, particularly with respect to institutional priorities and funding;
  • Engage external communities (e.g. CAUBO, FAC, APSN, ECA, etc.) to aid the university in presenting messaging on pressure points that affect service delivery; and
  • Partner with key stakeholders (internal and external to the institution) to help realize the institution’s vision, goals and priorities.

People Management

  • Establish the foundation for a positive culture across F&O and present an excellent model of its mission, vision, values, and behaviours;
  • Develop and model a people strategy aligning leadership depth and sustainability with the institution’s needs now and over the long-term;
  • Develop a human resource plan in alignment with the F&O Workforce Strategy addressing current challenges and opportunities and promotes an overall positive image of competency, collaboration, and trust for the department;
  • Develop a vision of the organizational structure on a forward-looking basis for five years in terms of succession planning;
  • Develop a leadership growth program for all direct reports and ensure the team is motivated with opportunities for training and continuous improvement;
  • Develop succession plans and ensure suitable staff mentoring / training programs are in place to support professional development and long-term growth;
  • Personally undertake mentoring for a number of select individuals across the portfolio at various levels of career progression;
  • Actively engage with staff associations on initiatives to improve organizational models;
  • Implement mechanisms to measure staff engagement and satisfaction; and
  • Collaborate early with our Senior HR Partner and allocated HR Partners regarding staff performance management, coaching, and conflict/discipline issues.

Financial management

  • Ensure responsible annual budgets are developed and, further, that disciplined forecasting for both operational expenditures and all projects, occurs throughout the budget cycle;
  • Analyze variances each quarter, identify opportunities for flex funding, and raise risks when expenditures exceed forecast;
  • Lead the preparation of the university’s annual capital plan and resulting budget;
  • Provide data and narratives to support the development of the university’s annual report;
  • Support the AVP (Asset Management and Operations) in the preparation of the three-year CMR program investment plan that aligns with the Integrated Asset Management Strategy; and
  • Participate as appropriate in presenting to the Board Finance and Property Committee, Board of Governors, and the Government of Alberta.

Risk Mitigation and Management

  • Demonstrate unwavering commitment to protecting the health and safety of all staff, contractors, faculty, students, and the public in all aspects of campus construction;
  • Support front line, management, and leadership personnel in being well versed in safety including all legislated requirements;
  • Actively support staff at all levels in participating in safety committees, audits, and evaluation of F&O’s health and safety management system;
  • As necessary, engage HRHSE and Office of the General Counsel on risk and safety matters;
  • Cooperate with Internal Audit Services for periodic risk assessments of the projects, functions, budgets, grants, and units under this mandate; and
  • With the Senior Communications Partner, proactively develop communication plans for key initiatives or programs that could affect campus activities.

Project Responsibilities

  • Remain current on principles, best practices, and protocols related to engineering design, planning, architecture, resource management, and project management; and
  • As appropriate, provide input, advice, or direction regarding project development including budget, funding sources, scope development, risk regulators, and other key milestones and performance indicators.


First Year Deliverables / Measures of Success

Success in the first year will be determined by the candidate’s ability to:

  • Build strong and trusted relationships throughout the University of Alberta and a fulsome understanding of internal stakeholders requirements;
  • Steer to completion the university’s first Asset Management Master Plan, which will become the sentinel document to which all annual (tactical) infrastructure plans are appended;
  • Confidently deliver the inaugural execution of the University’s Land and Asset Review Protocol through which lands are considered for transfer to the University of Alberta’s Properties Trust;
  • Cultivate a sound, deep understanding of the scope and projects within the Integrated Planning, Development and Partnerships (IPDP) portfolio;
  • Confidently provide accurate and timely reporting to the Board of Governors on the status and progress of projects within the portfolio;
  • Successfully execute the strategic direction of the Institute, as well as provide recommendations on future directions to pursue; and
  • Finalize, in conjunction with the AVP (AMO) the ‘Facilities Optimization Plan’ to reduce physical space on campus by 15%.


Candidate Profile

The successful candidate will have the following:


  • A graduate degree in engineering, business administration, or another related area is required.


  • 15-20 years of progressively responsible management experience that includes experience with challenging initiatives/projects, leadership of complex teams, proven experience with selling of concepts (strategic plans) and demonstrable experience with conflict management as it relates to human resources and contract claims;
  • Demonstrated ability to analyze data and draw insights to inform decision-making and, in particular, to nurture a team to do this instinctively;
  • Proven skills of broad organizational oversight at a senior level in a complex and diverse organization, most poignantly, one in the public sector with a robust governance structure;
  • Proven track record with forming and sustaining a diverse high performing team and implementing key programs and change initiatives. This requires skill in mediation and negotiation of conflict as a means to converge on key outcomes and strategic directions;
  • Demonstrated ability to create a working environment in which subordinate leaders achieve results and build organizational capacity for the future;
  • Successful oversight of multiple budgets, government funding, and legislated and regulated code issues;
  • Demonstrated success in managing performance and organizational change within a unionized environment;
  • Demonstrated success in leading improvement initiatives within a complex environment;
  • Working knowledge of best practices and experience with technical and regulatory codes and automated tools common in infrastructure management;
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate with all levels of staff and promote positive relationships – strong listening, collaboration, and relationship skills;
  • Comfort in presenting in public forums both as a matter of communicating information or providing a response on behalf of the university; and
  • Previous experience in construction, project management or operational management as it relates to large service-driven organizations delivering services to support complex infrastructure needs and to a demanding customer base would be an asset.

Competencies and Attributes:

  • Proven collaborator and relationship builder with abilities to lead teams whose primary responsibility is to think critically to identify solutions to problems that were invisible to others;
  • Talented in the realm of creative problem solving for both project and internal organizational technical and relationship issues;
  • Success in leading technical and professional staff in creating a positive and productive work culture;
  • Ability to work in a diverse, fast-paced environment with competing demands for expeditious decisions; and
  • Self-driven with a penchant for identifying and taking on greater responsibility.


The Compensation

An excellent compensation package awaits the successful candidate.


Equal Opportunity

The University of Alberta is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion and recognizes that a diverse team benefits and is essential to service excellence. The University of Alberta welcomes applications from all qualified individuals and encourage women, members of racialized communities, indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity to confidentially self-identify at time of application.  In accordance with the provincial legislation, accommodation will be provided by Gallagher and the University of Alberta throughout the recruitment, selection and/or assessment process, upon request, to applicants with disabilities. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply.

How to Apply:

Please send your resume in Word or PDF format to: Copy and Paste the following job title and code and place it in the subject line of your email so we can identify the job and confirm receipt of your application:
AVYN-520186 Associate Vice President, Integrated Planning, Development & Partnerships | University of Alberta - AB - Edmonton and Area (OTIAPPLY)

Please note that only those candidates meeting the selection criteria, established by our client, will be contacted further. Although we may not contact you directly for this particular role, all applications will be reviewed as we would like to consider you for future opportunities that may be appropriate. We encourage you to continue to visit our website at as our opportunities are updated on a regular basis.