Queen's University Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Aug 19, 2018Full time
About Queen's University Queen’s University is the Canadian research intensive university with a transformative student learning experience. Here the employment experience is as diverse as it is interesting. We have opportunities in multiple areas of globally recognized research, faculty administration, engineering & construction, athletics & recreation, power generation, corporate shared services, and many more. We are committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcome applications from individuals from equity seeking groups such as women, racialized/visible minorities, Indigenous/Aboriginal peoples, persons with a disability, persons who identify in the LGBTQ+ community and others who reflect the diversity of Canadian society. Come work with us! Job Summary Reporting to the Dean, the Programs Counsel is responsible for providing a full range of legal and policy advice to academic decision-makers, including appeal committees, academic integrity panels, academic program leaders, senior management, and other Smith School of Business faculty and staff. The Programs Counsel is a key member of the senior management team and responsible for developing, implementing, and ensuring adherence by Smith to its academic policies and procedures, and to the University’s overall legal responsibilities. The incumbent ensures that Smith academic program policies incorporate principles of administrative law and procedural fairness in relation to academic regulations, academic appeal committees’ terms of reference, and throughout the academic appeal process. Programs Counsel is an expert advisor, making effective recommendations regarding issues of jurisdiction, academic program policies and procedure, and university policies. Programs Counsel provides strategic legal advice and guidance to committee chairs and committee members. The incumbent may attend committee appeal hearings as appropriate to advise the committee chair on procedural issues that arise during the proceeding, allowing committees to assess the relevance and significance of the evidence presented. Programs Counsel ensures that their client (i.e. committee, academic integrity panel, etc) operates in such a manner as to ensure processes are fair to all those who appear before it. Programs Counsel collaborates with the University Secretariat, Legal Counsel, the Office of the University Ombudsman and other Queen’s units, as required, to ensure a successful resolution of issues. Job Description KEY RESPONSIBILITIES: Provides sound legal advice to decision-makers at Smith by investigating the background to the issue, providing information and/or possible solutions, making recommendations on remedies the situations, and identifies any policies, rules or procedures that appear unclear, equitable, or unfair. Provides advice, direction and representation on procedural and substantive matters to support Smith decision-makers. Identifies and mitigates risks based on comprehensive knowledge and experience with Smith and University policies and procedures, as well as previous cases. Conducts thorough and objective investigations regarding both individual and systematic issues with a focus on rigorous fact-finding, fairness, timelines, and attention to detail. Program Counsel drafts, reviews and advises decision makers on all legal matters as they pertain to contracts and agreements. Advises and educates decision-makers on the rules of procedural fairness and application of Smith and university policies. Advises and supports decision-makers, including ensuring all documents that are to be provided to all of the parties appearing before the decision-making body (as indicated by the appropriate policies and/or procedures) are distributed, and advising the decision-maker (i.e. a committee chair) in the event that some information is subject to claims of confidentiality. Reviews the decision-maker’s drafted decisions to provide some assurance that the decision made by the committee complies with Smith’s policies or academic regulations, or those of the university, and that the decision remains within the committee’s jurisdiction. Acts as a resource regarding consistency between decisions. Notifies on the extent of the committee’s participation in an appeal of its decision. Prepares documents, attends appeal proceedings, and advises on restricting comments to the committee’s jurisdiction, the standard of review, and its policies and procedures. Assists in the preparation of appeal materials submitted in response to a student appeal to the University Student Appeal Board or assists in the presentation of the program’s response to the appeal. Programs Counsel serves as the Smith “FIPPA Contact”, working with the University’s Chief Privacy Officer to ensure Smith complies with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). Plans, prioritizes and manages the work of the Programs Counsel’s employee(s), providing strategic and tactical advice, guidance and coaching. Identifies the need for staff resources related to this position, participates on staffing committees, and makes effective recommendations regarding employee selection. Also responsible for managing performance of their employee(s) by establishing performance standards, reviewing and evaluating performance and conducting formal performance reviews on an ongoing basis. Assesses staff training and development needs, and ensures that direct reports receive training required to improve and sustain successful performance. Investigates, addresses and resolves employee/labor relations issues involving their employee(s), including making disciplinary decisions regarding disciplinary and discharge matters. REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS: LL.B/J.D. from an accredited law school in Canada; membership in the Law Society of Ontario, licensed to practice in Ontario and in good standing, combined with a minimum of 10 years of legal experience in delivering legal services to or within a complex organizational structure is required. Education, training, and experience in a discipline related to dispute resolution, mediation, and negotiation. Knowledge of administrative law, tribunals, and procedural fairness. Ability to provide procedural advice to decision-makers where the parties are represented by lawyers. Experience in the development and/or review of policies and procedures/guidelines to enhance operational effectiveness, limit legal exposure, and manage institutional risk. Knowledge of labour relations, grievance procedures, and employment-related legislation, human rights legislation/requirements; familiarity with the University’s human resources policies and procedures. Extensive knowledge of University structure, governance, policies, academic programs, regulations, and appeal procedures, as well as student governance and student services. SPECIAL SKILLS: Excellent communication (oral and written), conflict resolution, mediation and negotiation skills including the ability to listen, articulate, and advocate effectively, and problem-solve creatively. Must have the capacity to listen, understand, assimilate and reconcile complex situations and divergent perspectives, usually in situations where some level of conflict is present. Ability to work collaboratively, and to communicate effectively, with multiple and diverse constituencies, such as students, staff, executive level professionals, senior academics, and external lawyers. The Programs Counsel owes an ethic of care to the student, program administrators, and the Smith School of Business. Proven success in providing legal guidance in the context of complex organizations and a deeply held commitment to the value of collaborative decision making. Incumbent must be objective, fair, impartial, and flexible without compromising standards and established policies of the Smith School of Business. Ability to assist in or provide advice, expertise, consultative services in managing complex disputes, and communication activities to inform, educate, obtain feedback on and gain support for the resolution of complaints and appeals. Empathy and understanding to address complex student concerns and issues related to program delivery and service. Ability to work with diplomacy in resolving interpersonal conflicts. Demonstrated commitment and contribution to fostering and advancing equity, diversity and inclusion. Report writing, which includes identifying the issues raised during discussion or investigation, making findings of fact in respect of those issues based upon the evidence, determining policies or law that applies to the facts, and applying these to the facts to reach a decision. In other instances, the incumbent may be required to draft a memorandum of agreement/understanding. Ability to move from high level conceptualization to detailed and thorough implementation with the ability to engage in both independent and consultative decision-making so as to move issues forward and build necessary consensus around a resolution. DECISION MAKING: Facilitates complex decision-making processes, leveraging all identified decision makers and stakeholders. Makes effective recommendations on policies and procedures for Smith School, including authoring rules, drafting forms, participating in discussions of draft decision. Provides expert advice to decision-makers in interpreting Smith and University policy and regulations. Makes independent decisions to identify alternatives or a range of solutions to a particular problem or set of interrelated problems through discussion with the parties to the dispute. Determines the viability of negotiated resolution or whether to proceed to the Smith School’s formal process. Determines appropriate positioning, tone, and content for communications and reports to various audiences depending upon the need for advice, advocacy, writing, or training. Provides procedural direction to decision-makers during proceedings where the parties are represented by lawyers. Determine and recommend solutions to risk management problems. Decides when to alert the Dean or senior administrators to an emerging situation or where to direct a recommendation for implementation or review, and to formulate recommendations for remedial actions. Makes decisions on strategy and revisions to existing policies, rules, or procedures and offers legal advice on the development of new policies, rules or procedures to ensure efficient and effective application and functioning. Evaluates job candidates and makes effective recommendations on suitable hires for jobs reporting to this position. Makes decisions and/or effective recommendations regarding transfers and promotions. Evaluates their employee(s)’ performance and decides on appropriate training or coaching to address lack of proficiency in carrying out responsibilities, or remedial action for staff disciplinary situations. Assesses investigation outcome of grievances and makes effective recommendations on appropriate course of or next steps on grievances. Makes effective recommendations about their employee(s) on level of discipline up to discharge and probationary termination. Closing Statement The University invites applications from all qualified individuals. Queen’s is committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcomes applications from women, visible minorities, Aboriginal Peoples, persons with disabilities, and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity. In accordance with Canadian Immigration requirements, priority will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. The University provides support in its recruitment processes to applicants with disabilities, including accommodation that takes into account an applicant's accessibility needs. Candidates requiring accommodation during the recruitment process are asked to contact Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org.