The Opportunity

Halifax, NS
Full-time - Permanent

Position: Executive Assistant to the President (APC)

Department: Office of the President

Annual Salary: $55,726 - $71,815 (Group 5)

Under the supervision of, and working in partnership with the President, the Executive Assistant to the President provides confidential administrative assistance to the President. The Executive Assistant should be a seasoned executive administrator who can quickly acquire thorough knowledge of University policies, procedures, and operations. In particular, the incumbent will be familiar with the various collective agreements, and respect the deadlines within collective agreements that have a direct bearing on the scheduling requirements of the Office. The position provides high-quality, confidential, day-to-day executive/administrative support services for the Office of the President, and supervises the Administrative Assistant. This position plays a key ambassadorial role for the President, University and Board of Governors when dealing with students, parents, alumni, staff, board members, the media, the general public, key stakeholders and all levels of government. The Executive Assistant ensures the smooth functioning of the office and the President's schedule by having the ability to work independently and strategically and to remain well organized. The Executive Assistant produces and maintains documents of a highly confidential and sensitive nature and coordinates activities with other administrative units of the University. This position requires the incumbent to be organizationally astute, above reproach, and able to maintain the complete trust of the Board of Governors and the President.

What you'll do


Portfolio of the Executive Assistant includes, but is not limited to:


  • Supervises one administrative assistant/receptionist and student assistants, from time to time; Assigns tasks and/or delegates responsibility; Monitors performance and provides day-to-day and periodic formal performance feedback.
  • Counsels and provides training and development opportunities to enhance performance levels and team participation.
  • Selects and recommends direct reports, confirms selection and transfer of indirect reports.
  • Resolves employee concerns either directly or through established grievance/complaint procedures.
  • Initiates disciplinary action, recommends and justifies discharge where warranted.

Liaison and Communications:

  • Provides information regarding University policies and decisions; liaises between the President and other University Administrators, members of the Board of Governors, public officials, various boards, 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 President with information needed to make informed decisions.
  • Reviews correspondence for distribution or approval and signature, checking the documents for completeness and accuracy, including letters of offer to new faculty, letters of promotion and tenure, offers to Department Chairs and Program Coordinators, and letters resulting from meetings of the University Review Committee with respect to standard and non-standard teaching load
  • Assists the President in functions by reviewing, and editing drafts of presidential and university messages, speeches, reviewing/editing correspondence and documents prepared by other offices for the President's signature, and compiling the monthly Board Report.
  • Organizes, attends and supervises formal events hosted by the President or the Chair of the Board of Governors. Liaises with internal and external parties to ensure flawless execution.

Represents the Office

  • Represents the Office in the absence of the President; keeping the President accurately informed of university business; working with the President, and in tandem with the Executive Team, to ensure that the needs of the university community are met while the President is absent.

Budget responsibility:

  • Assists with development and organization of the budgets under control of the President's Office by maintaining budget records, being familiar with budget requirements and expenditures and assisting in the budget development cycle. Reconciling and verifying vouchers and receipts for accuracy, approving expenditures, and completing budget transfers.
  • Oversees the general management of the President's Office.
  • Reviews expense reports submitted of staff who report to the President; forwards to the President for signature.

Scheduling responsibility:

  • Manages the President's schedule, which involves independent and strategic decision making as relates to competing and emerging priorities:
  • Accompanies the President to meetings where a confidential record of the discussion is required; attends meetings and serves on committees as a representative of the President.
  • Serves on various ad hoc committees, task forces, and projects, both internally and externally, as needs arise.
  • Organizes meetings chaired by the President; oversees distribution of meeting materials.
  • Attends meetings with the President; takes and transcribes minutes.
  • Maintains records for the Office of the 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.

Strategic responsibilities:

  • Alerts the President to issues of potential importance; liaises with constituents to provide background information allowing the President to make informed decisions, and advises the President of deadlines.
  • Maintains contact with the President during the President's absence from campus.

What you'll need


To be the successful Executive Assistant you will possess a related degree or diploma with a minimum of five (5) years' of progressive experience at a senior administrative level in a fast-paced, highly confidential office environment. You will demonstrate the ability to handle and maintain confidential information and exhibit professional judgement and discretion. Proven experience with organizing and prioritizing a demanding workload while meeting deadlines is essential to the role. Your ability to translate information into clear and concise objectives that can be communicated to different audiences within all levels of an organization; knowledge of business writing and strong editorial skills; and excellent written and oral communication skills will further your success in this position. Shorthand will be considered an asset. You are able to work both independently and in a fast-paced team- oriented environment while maintaining exceptional organizational skills and utilizing your above average skills in Microsoft office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access). University experience and/or extensive experience in an academic setting, proficiency in a second language and Banner experience will further be considered assets. This is truly an exceptional opportunity to bring your career to the next level and to become an integral part of the team that is simultaneously advancing the profile of Saint Mary's University, regionally, nationally and internationally. 

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 Online Now" button. Please include the names of three professional references. No telephone calls please.

The search committee will begin to consider applications on November 6, 2019 and continue until the position is filled.

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