University Secretary and General Counsel

British Columbia, Canada

Posted: 11/24/20
Deadline: 1/24/20
Reference Number: 01/24/2021

About This Organization

Vancouver Island University (VIU) has a rich history characterized by growth, innovation, and excellence. The University maintains strong connections to the communities it serves and plays an integral role in the educational, cultural, and economic health of the region. These connections to and support from community have enabled VIU to grow into a successful, innovative, community-based and internationally reaching educational institution.

VIU is a leader in providing high-quality learning, welcoming and celebrating 15,000 learners, from local, regional and international communities, and nontraditional students. VIU is structured to offer a compelling approach to university learning by integrating teaching excellence, internship and co-op work experiences, civic engagement, and open access and laddered educational pathways in scholarly environments that are closely connected to the Vancouver Island community. VIU serves its students across three campuses throughout coastal British Columbia with the main campus in Nanaimo and additional regional campuses in Cowichan and Powell River. As a teaching university with a complementary research agenda, VIU provides a comprehensive range of over 120 programs – preparatory and vocational through graduate – that enables all learners to pursue rewarding careers and fulfilling lives.

Job Duties

Reporting to the President and Vice-Chancellor, the University Secretary and General Counsel is a senior policy advisor, and is responsible for providing leadership, direction, and oversight related to the University’s bicameral system of governance. The University Secretary and General Counsel works closely with the President and Vice-Chancellor, the Chair of the Board of Governors, the senior administration, and Senate, to ensure timely input of recommendations and information to committees and to the Senate and Board of Governors. This individual acts as a liaison between the two governing bodies and among the governing bodies and other constituent parts of the university. The University Secretary and General Counsel anticipates substantive and procedural difficulties that may occur and recommends ways to avoid or ameliorate them. This individual also served as the university’s Privacy Officer and is responsible for matters related to privacy and access to information, policies, procedures, bylaws, and elections.

Required Qualifications

As the ideal candidate, you are focused on service, solutions, and systems and you are passionate about how you and your team can collaborate with and support others in the pursuit of the academic, teaching and research mission of VIU. You are a superb communicator and a highly seasoned professional leader who will thrive in the collegial culture of the University. With strategic advice and legal counsel, you take pride in being able to think ahead, anticipate needs, and mitigate risk.

The next University Secretary and General Counsel will possess a law degree and have the ability to be a member of the Law Society of British Columbia. Demonstrated progressive leadership experience in relevant and/or related roles is required. Experience in the higher education sector is preferred along with experience in a unionized environment. You have knowledge of, and experience with, best practices in governance, ideally in an academic or broader public sector environment. You possess maturity, competence, and confidence to operate with independence, credibility, and integrity at the executive level, as well as a professional history of maintaining objectivity while driving appropriate outcomes, managing multiple stakeholder agendas, and promoting high client service standards. Expertise in policy development and digital transformation is an asset.

Other Info

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. Vancouver Island University is committed to fostering a collegial culture grounded in diversity and inclusiveness. The university encourages applications from Indigenous persons, persons with a disability, racially visible persons, women, persons of a minority sexual orientation and/or gender identity, and all candidates who would contribute to the diversity of our community.

Vancouver Island University and KBRS will provide support in the recruitment processes to applicants with disabilities, including accommodation that takes into account an applicant’s accessibility needs. If you require accommodation in order to participate as a candidate in the recruitment process, please contact or communicate your needs to the recruitment professional named in the job description.

If you’re interested in this opportunity, contact Katherine Frank or Emma Wach at or, or submit your application online at: