The Opportunity

Halifax, NS
Full-time - Permanent

Position: Administrative Assistant to the Vice-President, Advancement (APC)

Department: Office of Advancement

Annual Salary: $49,252 - $63,471 (Group 4)

Under the supervision of the Vice-President, Advancement, the Administrative Assistant to the Vice-President, Advancement provides confidential administrative and secretarial assistance to the Vice-President in their operational responsibilities as well as their role as a member of the Executive Management Group of the University. The Administrative Assistant to the Vice-President, Advancement is a key ambassadorial role for the University when dealing with Board of Governors, current and future donors, alumni, staff, the media, the general public, key stakeholders and all levels of government. 

What you'll do


Duties as the Administrative Assistant to the Vice-President, Advancement include, but are not limited to:

  • Provides information regarding University policies and decisions; liaises between the Vice-President, Advancement, and other University administrators, members of the Board of Governors, public officials, faculty, staff, students, and other various stakeholders served by the University. 
  • Coordinates the flow of incoming and outgoing communications by receiving, routing, and/or responding to incoming communications; creating new distribution procedures where necessary, and determining the appropriate office, department or institution for outgoing documents.
  • Conducts research assignments, compiles data for special reports and projects and summarizes results to provide the Vice-President, Advancement with information needed to make informed decisions.
  • Represents the Office in the absence of the Vice-President, Advancement; keeping the Vice-President accurately informed of university business; working with the Vice-President to ensure that the needs of the university community are met while the Vice President is absent.
  • Acts in the capacity of on-boarding resource for new staff in the Office Advancement. Beyond the administrative onboarding components, assists incoming staff members in reading and understanding the institutional culture, serving as a confidential advisor and sounding board during the crucial acclimatization period.
  • Proactively prepares agendas for the Vice-President for regularly scheduled meetings. Additionally prepares correspondence on a variety of matters, for the both internal and external audiences, on behalf of the Vice-President for signature.
  • Reviews correspondence for distribution or approval and signature, checking the documents for completeness and accuracy; Drafts replies to e-mails and other forms of correspondence on behalf of the Vice-President. 
  • While adhering to established Financial Services' processes, assists with development and organization of the budgets under control of the Vice-President's Office by maintaining budget records, reconciling and verifying vouchers and receipts for accuracy, approving expenditures, and completing budget transfers. Monitors the budget, providing variance reporting, and completes budget reforecasting.
  • Processes cheque requisitions, manages donation requests made of the Vice-President from external organizations, sponsorship requests from faculty, staff and student associations as well as external constituents, providing both historical context as well current implications which may impact decision.
  • Deals with complaints from the University community and external constituents; liaises with University departments in an effort to remedy.
  • Acts as an Ambassador for both the Institution and the Vice-President with internal and external constituencies. Develops independent relationships throughout the University, offices of the Saint Mary's Board of Governors, and with external peers in government, sister institutions, business contacts, alumni, donors and friends of the University. 
  • Accepts responsibility for the planning and execution of small conferences and workshops undertaken by the Vice-President or designate including: correspondence, invitations, travel bookings, accommodations, social activities, catering, facilities/audiovisuals, receptions and follow-up.
  • Maintains the Vice-President's complex schedule
  • Accompanies the Vice-President to meetings where a confidential record of the discussion is required; attends meetings and serves on committees as a representative of the Vice-President, as required.
  • Protects the confidentiality of University Administration by exercising discretion in communicating information to faculty, students, staff and the various stakeholders served by the University and in handling administrative records, personnel actions, performance evaluations, promotion, and similar confidential items.
  • Assists the Vice-President in functions by reviewing, and editing drafts of university messages, speeches, reviewing/editing correspondence and documents prepared by other offices for the Vice-President's signature.
  • Organizes, attends and supervises formal events hosted or as directed by the Vice-President or the President. Liaises with internal and external parties to ensure details are handled.
  • Facilitates the success of events hosted by the Vice-President or the University by scheduling events with appropriate offices and agencies, advising/contacting participants or invited guests, preparing agendas and programs, arranging for audiovisual and associated support equipment, using independent judgment regarding event alternatives, modifications, or last-minute changes, and coordinating or providing support during the events.
  • Serves on various ad hoc committees and projects, both internally and externally, as needs arise.
  • Maintains the record management for the Office of the Vice-President; includes overseeing the filing system, creating files and records as necessary, using judgment and knowledge of office requirements, updating files and records, determining retention and purging schedules, and retrieving files and documents as needed.
  • Assists in domestic and international travel; schedules meetings, ensures travel documents are in order and immunization requirements are met.
  • Advises the Vice-President of deadlines, and actively works to ensure deadlines are met.
  • Maintains contact with the Vice-President, keeping the Vice-President updated during an absence from campus, enabling remote decision-making, and the ability to keep files and projects running smoothly and on time.
  • Other duties as required

What you'll need


To be the successful Administrative Assistant to the Vice-President, Advancement you will possess a two (2) community college diploma and a minimum of five (5) years of progressive experience at senior administrative levels in a fast-paced highly confidential office environment. University experience and/or extensive experience in an academic setting considered will be considered an asset. You have proven experience with organizing and prioritizing a demanding workload while meeting deadlines; knowledge and experience in business writing; demonstrate professional judgment and discretion; and have excellent communication skills (written and verbal) with the ability to translate information into clear and concise objectives that can be communicated to different audiences within all levels of an organization. Your excellent computer skills, with a high level of proficiency in Microsoft suite of Office software and Outlook; strong editorial skills; strong organizational and interpersonal skills; and the ability to work independently will round out your success in this position.

A little bit about us

Saint Mary’s University

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 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. Visit our web site at

Are you interested?

Work With Us

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

Competition Opens: August 13, 2019 Competition Closes: August 23, 2019

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.

Saint Mary's University thanks all applicants for applying. Only those selected for interviews will be contacted.

Saint Mary's University promotes a Healthy Campus including a Scent-Free environment and a Smoke-Free Campus