OCAD University – Executive Director, People & Culture

OCAD University , Toronto, ON

Closing Date September 24, 2021 Location Toronto, ON Work Type


Salary Range   Experience Level  - Job ID  
Job Description
OCAD University acknowledges the ancestral and traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Haudenosaunee, the Anishinaabe and the Huron-Wendat, who are the original owners and custodians of the land on which we live, work and create.

Close to the heart of Turtle Island—in the vibrant and diverse City of Toronto—is OCAD University, Canada’s ‘university of the imagination’. Holding a commitment to supporting diverse, inclusive, and equitable spaces, OCAD University is honoured to help build a world where people can audaciously and responsibly pursue the questions of our time, through the powerful experiential interplay of art, design, social sciences, humanities, technology, and science. At a time where human-centred leadership is paramount and where people are actively seeking work environments that encourage people to bring their whole selves, OCAD University is accepting applications and nominations for the role of Executive Director, People & Culture. This is an exciting opportunity for a dynamic leader to grow their career within a vibrant institution reputed for its commitment to equity and inclusion.

Reporting to the Vice-President, Finance & Administration, and working in partnership with the President & Vice-Chancellor, the Vice-President, Academic & Provost, OCAD U’s Deans and other senior administrators, and academic units and departments across campus, the Executive Director is a member of the senior management group and is responsible for ensuring the University’s Human Resources strategy and practices align with the institution’s values and strategic direction. The incumbent is accountable for the development, implementation and evaluation of HR policies, programs and practices across the institution; provides the University’s executive team with advice and counsel on employee-related issues; and, fosters positive and constructive working relationships with all employee groups and Union/Faculty Association representatives. In addition to leading a range of HR services, including employee/labour relations, compensation & benefits, recruitment & selection, HRIS & payroll, and organizational development, the Office of People & Culture brings a deep and abiding commitment to tackling systemic issues affecting historically marginalized employees and communities; helps to build an environment that reflects OCAD U’s student population and the broader community; and, promotes a culture of respect, equity, and fairness. 

The person most likely to realize success in the role brings: several years’ experience in a senior Human Resources position, preferably in higher education or the broader public sector; experience working in a unionized environment; and, experience advancing work culture and enhancing employee engagement. The incumbent will be a strategic and forward-thinking leader, someone able to balance big-picture thinking while leading the more tactical elements of the position including budgetary management, optimizing technology and systems as they relate to HR and legislation compliance. Proven success in developing and maintaining positive working relationships is sought, as is someone who works collaboratively and in consultation with colleagues. The Executive Director, People & Culture must possess: excellent verbal and written communication skills; superior familiarity with human rights legislation; and, experience designing and/or engaging in recruitment processes that lead to further attracting and retaining a vibrant, intersectional, and top performing work environment. Applicants should have a Masters degree in Labour Relations/Human Resources Management as well as a CHRL (Certified Human Resources Leader) designation, or the equivalent combination of education, professional certification, and professional work experience.

How to Apply

Located on a twelve-building campus, OCAD University offers a vibrant and stimulating work environment for over 600 faculty and academic staff, more than 4,400 undergraduate students, and over 300 graduate students. Committed to high-quality and contemporary approaches to education, research, and creation, OCAD University offers 18 undergraduate programs; seven graduate programs; continuing and executive education courses in art, media, and design; and, has new programs in development including an experimental animation program, and a practice-based PhD program. The University is an active city-builder in an increasingly cosmopolitan Toronto, and is deeply committed to decolonization and supporting Indigenous knowledge and culture

As an employer committed to employment equity, we encourage applications from members of equity-seeking communities including women, racialized and Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, and persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities/expressions.

We encourage members of designated equity-seeking groups to self-identify within the voluntary Applicant Questionnaire.

In order to alleviate the under-representation of racialized and Indigenous administrators, priority in hiring will be given to qualified racialized and Indigenous persons who self-identify as such in the application process. This initiative is a special program under the Ontario Human Rights Code.

OCAD University is committed to providing an inclusive and barrier free experience to applicants with accessibility needs. Requests for accommodation can be made at any stage during the recruitment process. Please contact Human Resources for more information or refer to OCAD U’s Policy of Accommodation in Employment for Persons with Disabilities

All qualified persons are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents of Canada will be given priority. OCAD University is partnering with BIPOC Executive Search to ensure an applicant list that has greater representation from Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour, thereby reflecting Canada’s diverse population. All interested applicants can send their resume to Melissa Sumnauth or Jason Murray by e-mailing msumnauth@bipocsearch.com, or can apply through the BIPOC Executive Search mobile app.

We thank everyone for their expression of interest—and are truly appreciative of the time individuals put into applying—but with the limitations of time only those selected for an interview will be contacted.