Executive Director
Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS) - Edmonton, AB

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Organizational Overview

The Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS) represents the interests of over 70,000 university students across Alberta.

We represent undergraduate students from the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary and the University of Lethbridge to the public, government and other post-secondary education stakeholders. Based in Edmonton, CAUS is a non-partisan and active advocacy group looking to ensure a fully accessible and high quality system of education in Alberta.

Position Summary

Serving as the council’s advocacy and policy advisor, financial and governance administrator, mentor and chief lobbyist, the Executive Director crafts and executes advocacy strategies to advance CAUS’s policies and priorities.

Reporting to the CAUS Chair, the Executive Director serves all members in a professional, respectful, inclusive, and unbiased manner. The Executive Director works cooperatively with the Council to coordinate responses to government post-secondary policies and work together on initiatives that advance the mandate and priorities of the organization.

Responsibilities and Duties

  • Develops, proposes, and updates CAUS policies on a regular basis.
  • Scans the provincial political environment for opportunities and keeps CAUS membership apprised of emerging or developing issues that affect post-secondary students.
  • Maintains both a proactive and reactive media presence by responding to government policy directions and decisions on member campuses, as they relate to the provincial priorities of CAUS.
  • Updates the CAUS website on a regular and timely basis and regularly uses social media to engage with important stakeholders and the public.
  • Prepares presentations and briefing documents.
  • Provides day-to-day administration including organizing meetings; preparing agendas; recording and distributing minutes of meetings; maintaining financial records, providing financial reports and summaries; managing payables and receivables; writing correspondence; and performing other administrative duties related to maintenance of the organization.
  • Works with staff at member institutions in gathering all pertinent information on Alberta's post-secondary policies and funding, as well as researching inter-provincial and federal issues.
  • Provides advice and assistance to elected student executives and staff at member institutions in regards to on-campus issues as it relates to CAUS’s mandate or the provincial environment.
  • Organizes meetings with and provides presentations to individuals and groups including Ministers, Deputy Ministers, and Directors, Enterprise and Advanced Education committees, opposition leaders, and MLAs.
  • Develops and maintains relationships with external organizations and stakeholders to extend the reach and influence of CAUS.
  • Recruits, hires and manages performance of other CAUS employees, with positions developed in consultation with CAUS members and within an approved budget.
  • Performs other duties related to the organization and the position as required.

Required Competencies

Research and Policy Development

  • Proven general research skills that include the ability to conduct research, analyze information, articulate alternatives and draw conclusions
  • Demonstrated advisory skills including the ability to evaluate options and advise decision makers on courses of action.
  • Possesses sound judgment, excellent political acumen and comprehensive knowledge of the public policy environment concerning PSE-related legislative and regulatory processes and decision-making.
  • Proven policy analysis and development skills.
  • Knowledge of the provincial government’s role in the post-secondary education system, including the ability to analyse trends, policies, and budget information.

Communications and External Relations

  • Professional interpersonal skills and the ability to develop and maintain relationships with CAUS members, government officials and staff, and post-secondary education stakeholder groups.
  • Actively seeks out opportunities to build and maintain a network of beneficial contacts, including political representatives, political allies, and potential information links.
  • Applies a consultative approach, in combination with knowledge and ideas, to lead to consensual solutions, and uses facilitation and negotiation skills to effect and influence change.
  • Possesses strong written, verbal and listening skills; understands different audiences and adapts communication styles and media accordingly, and demonstrates an overall collaborative and positive communication style.
  • Excellent writing and communication skills, including a demonstrated ability to produce briefings, news releases, advocacy documents and presentations.

Advocacy and Project Management

  • Displays a proven ability to manage advocacy projects and initiatives, including: conducting problem and political analysis, evaluating the probability of success, identifying change objectives, conducting stakeholder analysis and consultation, constructing messages, tactics and materials, and monitoring and evaluating advocacy initiatives.
  • Excellent organizational, project management, planning, logistical and time management skills, including the ability to balance quality and timeliness of outputs for multiple projects or files, while coping with ambiguity, uncertainty and tight deadlines.
  • Skills in event planning for both small and medium size groups related to the Council and smaller scale advocacy events, and the ability to lead a team in larger scale events.

Administration and Board Governance

  • Strong understanding of board governance and the ability to support the council’s decision-making processes.
  • Highly organized and able to effectively manage priorities, tasks and deadlines.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality of information, and display professionalism, discretion and sound judgment.
  • Skills in facilitation for Council transition materials and events.
  • Skills and experience in office administration, record-keeping, accounting, budgeting and project management.
  • Strong computer skills including: MS Office applications, website maintenance, social media and web-based project management software.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Ability to provide and accept direction.

Education and Experience
Minimum educational qualifications include an undergraduate university degree and 2 years of relevant experience. The following would be considered an asset:

  • Supervisory experience;
  • Student governance experience;
  • Experience working within the post-secondary education system; and
  • A minimum two-year commitment to the Executive Director portfolio.