Director, Operations and Finance


Monday to Friday, 35 hours per week – hybrid

Education Level

Bachelor’s degree in business, finance, or a relevant field of study

Professional Accounting Designation

Career Level

Minimum of 10-15 years of professional management experience in an academic or research-intensive environment

Target Hiring Range

$134,474 - $168,093 annually





About the University:

Ranked among the top engineering schools in Canada and worldwide, the Faculty of Engineering has a reputation for innovative programs, cutting-edge research, leading faculty, and aspiring students. It has earned a strong reputation as a centre for academic excellence and innovation. Comprised of three schools that offer a diverse range of programs and degrees, the Faculty of Engineering offers multi-faceted educational experiences that help create global-ready, socially-aware citizens through project-based classes, flexible co-op work terms, research opportunities and over 60 clubs and teams.

The Faculty has approximately 220 faculty members, along with over 7,600 undergraduate and a little over 1,300 graduate students. The Faculty attracts approximately $46 million in annual research funding. Engineering faculty, staff and students at McMaster pursue research and learning in more than 20 research centres, institutes, and networks whose interdisciplinary pursuits cross departmental and Faculty boundaries. Outside the University, we collaborate regularly on research projects with partners in universities, government and more than 120 companies in Canada and abroad.

About the Position:

Reporting to the Dean, the Director, Operations and Finance is a forward-thinking and results-driven chief of staff responsible for providing leadership and strategic direction to the Faculty for all non-academic functions in support of the Faculty of Engineering's vision and mission. The role is responsible for planning, implementing, overseeing, and assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of the Faculty’s key operational areas, including finance, human resources, information technology, buildings and operations, capital projects, health and safety, and risk management, ensuring their alignment with the Faculty's strategic objectives. They lead the development and implementation of comprehensive operational plans, fostering a culture of innovation and excellence within the Faculty.

As the most senior staff member in the Faculty, the Director collaborates with internal and external stakeholders, leveraging their expertise to drive policy adherence, streamline processes, and enhance administrative operations. The Director serves as chief advisor and strategic thought partner to the Dean, on a wide range of confidential, complex, and sensitive matters, and in consulting on the Faculty’s vision and goals. They actively engage in crisis management, change leadership, and proactive decision-making to bolster the Faculty's resilience and adaptability. The Director’s commitment to integrity and inclusivity creates a productive and respectful environment, where trust is paramount, and all members of the Faculty are empowered to contribute significantly to the realization of its mission.

The Director also provides advice and direction to the Associate Deans, Chairs, Directors, Managers, and Principal Investigators as they lead their respective portfolios. The Director plays an important role in the broader University, advising on initiatives that have University-wide impact, through committee representation and various collaborative projects/initiatives.

Key Accountabilities:

  1. Strategic Leadership:
  • Collaborate with University leadership and the Dean to align the Faculty's strategic operations and academic mission with the University's overarching strategic and academic plans. Drive the development and realization of the Faculty’s vision and goals, fostering a culture of innovation and excellence. Lead the ideation and implementation of strategic administrative plans, leveraging insights on the Faculty's priorities, research initiatives, and growth opportunities to inform decisions. Provide expert, data-driven strategic guidance and oversight across the Faculty to enhance administration, policy adherence, and operational excellence. Navigate crises, drive change, and provide forward-thinking leadership to enhance the Faculty's resilience and adaptability. Serving as a Chief of Staff, provide strategically aligned and integrated risk management and resource prioritization advice to the Dean, on all matters that have administrative implications. Organizes and prioritizes critical issues and required information for the Dean to facilitate efficient decision-making. Build relationships with internal and external stakeholders and represent the Faculty in University committees.  Champion and serve as the senior liaison for the Faculty, ensuring that Engineering’s interests are well represented. Negotiate contracts to advance administrative operations and strategic goals.
  • Financial Strategy & Oversight:
  • Spearhead the development and execution of comprehensive financial strategies that align with the Faculty's and University's goals, addressing priorities such as research initiatives, capital projects, and growth opportunities. Lead financial planning and management processes, advising on enrolment targets, budget and identifying new revenue streams, ensuring financial sustainability and supporting the Faculty's strategic ambitions.  Responsible for determining budget allocations for all units in the Faculty, based on strategic priorities and available resources. Accountable for the development and delivery of procedures, management controls and services to ensure the effective management, audit, accounting, control and reporting of the Faculty’s funds All budget units in the Faculty of Engineering are accountable to the Director in matters pertaining to financial management, regardless of funding source (operating, trust, research, capital, government, and other external agency grants). Direct the collection, analysis, and reporting of performance metrics, providing data-driven insights that inform strategic decision-making and continuous improvement. Direct the annual operating budget processes for the entire Faculty. Oversee all fund types within the Faculty envelope, encompassing research, operating, scholarship, and endowment funds, ensuring strategic financial management and accountability. Engage in high-level negotiations with other Faculties and institutions to foster joint initiatives, leveraging opportunities for collaboration that benefit the Faculty financially and strategically. Reviews all proposals for new initiatives including education programs, interdisciplinary initiatives, research centres, etc., to assess fiscal impact.  Reviews and approves all contracts and agreement involving operating or trust funds. Formulate and approve financial plans for all Faculty capital projects, leveraging expertise in project requirements and budget management to guide facility issue resolutions with building management and Facilities Services. Promote a culture of fiscal responsibility and efficiency, allowing for investment in areas that move forward the strategic priorities of the Faculty.
  • Operational Leadership:
  • Set the administrative goals, policies, systems and procedures of the Faculty and ensures their appropriate implementation. Lead Finance, HR, IT and Service, and Buildings and Operations units, aligning their operations with the Faculty's and University's strategic goals. Establish and maintain appropriate administrative and reporting controls to safeguard assets, minimize risk, and ensure compliance. Provide strategic advice on emergent issues and review operational results to ensure alignment with teaching and research missions. Works with the Associate Dean, Research, to align resources in support of core facilities, research centres and research groups to support the research directions of the Faculty. Works with the Associate Dean, Research to develop policies and procedures impacting research in the Faculty. Reviews and approves all MILO forms so the Faculty has a full understanding of resources required and liabilities created by research projects and grants. Leads risk management and business continuity planning for the Faculty, including all emergency and disaster planning.
  • Human Resource Management:
  • Provides strategic vision, leadership and management of the overall human resource planning structure of the Faculty. Leads the development of policies, structures, programs and processes that enable exceptional people practices, and the Faculty’s ability to recruit and retain a diverse pool of talented faculty and staff.  Direct comprehensive HR planning and management, including staffing, performance reviews, and organizational development, ensuring alignment with the Faculty's strategic objectives and compliance with HR policies. Strategically manages the labour relations implications of business disruptions, and participates in broader strategic management initiatives related to risk assessment, planning for business disruptions in the Faculty/University. Oversees, in partnership with University Human Resources Services, any Faculty restructuring required to achieve Faculty goals.  Ensures internal equity for remuneration of staff and Faculty.
  • Information Technology:
  • Provides strategic leadership and direction in the planning, development and management of the Faculty’s IT strategy and services in support of the Faculty’s objectives.  Ensures effective support of IT applications throughout the Faculty to ensure the timely and effective delivery of IT-dependent solutions.  Lead the Faculty's IT strategy, collaborating with the central University, and managing the IT staff and resources to enhance Engineering's academic, research, and administrative operations. Directs investment in this area including hardware, software and staffing. Seeks and reviews all proposals for investment in IT for the Faculty.  Ensures links with central University (UTS, AVP Teaching and Learning, etc.) where appropriate
  • Space and Capital Project Management:
  • Manage capital projects and renovations, space allocation, and facility operations, ensuring projects and renovations meet strategic needs and desired outcomes. Responsible for short and long-term space planning for research, teaching, administration, faculty, student activity and other Faculty activities utilizing spaces. Anticipates new space requirements based on enrolment, research initiatives and Faculty priorities.  Develops financial plans based on assessment of financial viability of capital projects, including new building construction and major renovations.  The DOFA approves renovation and construction plans and requests.
  • Health and Safety:
  • Oversee Health and Safety protocols and Risk Management strategies, ensuring compliance with legislation and University policies, and developing security measures for a safe working environment. Ensures that Faculty Joint Health and Safety Committee processes are in place for compliance with all Health and Safety legislation and with University policies and procedures, including Risk Management.  Manages the development of all planning processes required by the University, including but not limited to Emergency Planning, Business Continuity and Crisis Management Planning.



  • Bachelor’s degree in business, finance, or a relevant field of study Professional Accounting Designation


  • Minimum of 10-15 years of professional management experience in an academic or research-intensive environment Experience in leading multiple, diverse functions is preferred. Experience in leading initiatives through a collaborative and integrated approach Proven financial forecasting, analysis and control of a complex and a varied portfolio. Proven human resource management in a multi unionized environment. Demonstrated experience in the development and monitoring of large complex budgets

Knowledge & Skills:

  • Broad-based knowledge in budgeting, financial management, financial reporting, accounting theory and financial strategy Comprehensive understanding of the administrative, academic and governance structures of post-secondary institutions Highly self-directed with exceptional independent decision-making skills Proficient in data analysis with a deep understanding of technology tools for effective data analysis. Strong understanding of the postsecondary education environment Demonstrates excellent understanding of organizational design and planning and change management. Ability to manage risk in a complex environment. Exceptional interpersonal skills, skilled in relationship building and coaching employees. Strong communication skills and a facilitative, collaborative approach. Demonstrated ability to find solutions to complex problems. Strong strategic and financial planning and management expertise. Possesses a sophisticated understanding of administrative services including finance, human resources, facility operations, and more. Proficient in project management and negotiation. Capable of managing multiple conflicting priorities and handling unexpected emergencies. Proficient in managing sensitive and urgent issues and responding appropriately to crisis situations Demonstrates a strong and effective ability to work with all organizational levels, fostering confidence, building consensus and delivering results Decision-making approach based on principles of fairness and equity, and in alignment with strategic priorities. Strong leadership skills and the ability to inspire a culture of authenticity and respect among staff. Experience with a variety of financial and budgeting systems and software A high degree of comfort with ambiguity, complexity and uncertainty

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