Associate Vice-President: People and Talent

  • Brandon University
  • Brandon University, 18th Street, Brandon, MB, Canada
  • Aug 10, 2020
Full time   Human Resources/Equity, Diversity & Affirmative Action

Job Description


Brandon University is a people organization and we are seeking the right person to join us as Associate Vice-President: People and Talent.

With over 75% of our budget dedicated to salaries, BU places a strong emphasis on our employees. We are a people-centered organization that puts our students and employees first.  Managing wellness in the workplace is a high priority for the University and a key responsibility of the Associate Vice-President: People and Talent.

Reporting directly to the President and Vice-Chancellor of Brandon University, the Associate Vice-President is a member of the President’s Executive Committee and is involved in all key decisions of the institution.  The AVP provides oversight to the Human Resources Function including the management and development of HR policies and programs regarding employment, recruitment and retention, learning and development, labour/employee relations, diversity and human rights, employee wellness, compensation, benefits, job evaluation, payroll and employee services.  The AVP also serves as a resource person to the Board of Governors Human Resources Committee.

The ideal candidate will be an open-minded, active listener with a focus on mutual problem solving. They will have experience in a union environment (university experience would be a strong asset) with a track record of forging positive management/union relationships. The successful candidate will have a strong knowledge of labour laws and regulations and an appreciation of the broadening understanding of workplace accommodation and accessibility. As a member of both the President’s Executive Committee and the larger President’s Advisory Committee, the Associate Vice-President: People and Talent must be an effective team player who can read group dynamics and actively strengthen the team.  The Associate Vice-President: People and Talent will be an active participant and lead in collective bargaining with the Brandon University Faculty Association and our support staff unions.  As a new Associate Vice-President: People and Talent, the successful candidate will have an opportunity to demonstrate transformative leadership both within the office and across the campus.

Brandon University highly values diversity, inclusion and equity. We are committed to redressing the wrongs of settler colonization inflicted upon Indigenous peoples, and we aim to implement strategies to eliminate educational gaps between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians, in line with the calls to action in the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We welcome diversity in all of its forms with the knowledge that more and different voices create a better community. 

Brandon University is committed to improving equity and diversity among University employees and particularly within leadership. In accordance with the University’s Equity Plan, preference will be given to those who may contribute to the diversification of the University, especially those who are Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, women and non-binary gender expression individuals. Candidates from these groups are encouraged to self-identify.  Canadian citizens and permanent residents are given priority. Evidence of citizenship must be provided.

We are committed to providing an inclusive and barrier-free work environment.  This starts with the hiring process.  If you require an accommodation during any phase of the evaluation process, please indicate it in your cover letter.  All information received related to an accommodation is kept confidential.  To ensure this employment opportunity is accessible to all interested individuals, this posting is available in an alternate format upon request.

Key Responsibilities include

  • Foster and maintain positive working relationships with all employee groups at BU;
  • Oversee the development of a managing wellness strategy for employees of Brandon University;
  • Direct and oversee learning and development programs to promote growth and development;
  • Manage the operation, development and performance of the Human Resources Team;
  • Guide and advise senior administration and department managers on a wide variety of employment-related matters including employee discipline, dispute resolution, employment equity, succession and workplace planning, compensation and classification issues;
  • Act as the key University contact with support staff unions, and the Faculty Association regarding employment issues, grievances and arbitrations;
  • Lead the University on all collective bargaining committees (BUFA, MGEU, PSAC, IUOE (A) and IUOE (D);
  • Provide direction and guidance to ensure compliance with the collective agreements, Human Resources policies and procedures, and relevant federal and provincial legislation and regulations;
  • Direct and oversee payroll for BU and its associated entities;
  • Prepare and administer the departmental budget; and
  • Serve on a wide range of university committees.



Success is Built in Brandon

Brandon University campuses are located on Treaty 1 and Treaty 2 territories, the homelands of the Dakota, Anishanabek, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dene and Metis peoples.

Deeply rooted in our community, Brandon University continues to grow in both size and ambition, and we are poised for ongoing success that will meet the needs of a rapidly evolving future.

Our passionate alumni are the backbone of southwestern Manitoba and make us proud as ambassadors around the world. As we prepare to celebrate 125 years in 2024, we are thriving in our sixth decade since our charter as an autonomous University, and we are rededicating ourselves to building campus-community connections.

Last year, we welcomed close to 3,600 students, an increase of 20% over the past five years. With 386 dedicated faculty and staff (224 faculty and 162 staff) and many others who serve on a part-time or sessional basis, we offer small class sizes and accessible faculty. We also offer our diverse student body an integrated and aesthetically pleasing campus for their stimulating, supportive, and personalized learning experience. BU’s programs deliver rich content and educate students on how to create and apply knowledge so that they can make a meaningful difference as engaged citizens and leaders.

We are in a period of growth and renewed momentum in our research faculty with a new senate policy on research strategy, and recent investments in our research office and resources. BU is home to internationally renowned academics, collaborative projects, research groups, and research centres. We hold five Canada Research Chairs and administer close to $3 million in annual research funding from a broad range of external funding sources, including the Tri-Agency, Canada Foundation for Innovation, government, and industry. We are also home to three scholarly journals, Journal of Rural and Community Development, Journal of Graduate Studies in Education, and The Canadian Journal of Native Studies.

BU attracts students both locally and globally for an academic journey in an environment geared to the full student experience. We are strengthened by our long history of Indigenous education, and this guides our commitment to reconciliation. We continually celebrate the diversity of our students, faculty, and staff while sharing a dynamic learning and living experience. Our heritage as a liberal arts college underpins our current strengths as a progressive University where faculty balance strong undergraduate teaching with outstanding research, creative and scholarly activity. This faculty-driven growth continues today, as individual academics develop and maintain strong research careers, with a particular emphasis on inquiry through community-connected research and inter-disciplinary approaches across traditional boundaries.

Our people, facilities, programs and services set BU apart from other universities. BU offers undergraduate and graduate degrees through our Faculties of Arts, Education, Health Studies, and Science, and our renowned School of Music. Our Brandon campus is prominent in the heart of the city, where we inspire a genuine community atmosphere for faculty, staff, students, and visitors, along with a renewed commitment to university-community engagement. Consistent with our educational mission, BU continues to build lasting and important relationships across the province, including in downtown Winnipeg and several satellite locations in First Nations communities.

The newest physical addition to our campus, BU’s Healthy Living Centre features three full‐sized gymnasiums, Brandon’s best indoor walking/jogging track, physiotherapy, and a full fitness facility. Inside, Sport Manitoba’s High-Performance Centre helps Brandon University attract and train current and future Olympians. More than just a home for athletes, including our nationally-ranked Bobcats teams, the HLC hosts national athletics championships and is a valued destination for the community and for the University to build healthy lifestyles through fitness, recreation, and sport.

Our Mission

We promote excellence in teaching, research, creation and scholarship. We educate our students so that they can make a meaningful difference as engaged citizens and leaders. We defend academic freedom and responsibility. We create and disseminate new knowledge. We embrace cultural diversity and are particularly committed to the education of First Nations, Métis and Inuit people. We share our expertise and resources with the greater community.

Advancing Reconciliation through Engagement with Indigenous Peoples

We have been a leader in Indigenous education for decades, becoming in 1975 the first university in Western Canada (and only the second in Canada) to establish a Native Studies Department and soon after founded the Canadian Journal of Native Studies. Our engagement with Indigenous programming continues today, through the Indigenization of areas like our Department of Visual and Aboriginal Art as well as dedicated programs such as the community-partnered Program for the Education of Native Teachers (PENT). With a history dating back to 1971, the Program has graduated over 600 teachers, most of whom are now professional teachers in their local Indigenous communities.

As we build on our history of respectful relationships with all Indigenous groups, we are eager to continue the process of Reconciliation. Grounded in the geography, history, and culture that surrounds Brandon University, we welcome a growing number of diverse First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students, families, communities, and Nations to our campuses every year. We continue to advance Indigenous education through a committed Indigenous Education Committee of Senate as well as through our founding partnership in the Brandon Urban Aboriginal Peoples’ Council. See more at

Meeting Future Needs

Brandon University is readying for a tomorrow that will be radically different from yesterday. We are developing a comprehensive Strategic Plan to ensure that we can fully take advantage of the opportunities we see coming as well as nimbly pivot to embrace new challenges as they arise. Learn more about the process at

Looking Ahead Academically

The Brandon University Academic Plan is the strategic plan for the University’s academic program and academic service units. Approved by Senate in October 2014, the Plan continues to guide the development of academic programs, research, community engagement and partnerships. In addition to guiding teaching, research, and community action, the Plan supports us in meeting student and societal needs and fulfilling the mission and vision of the University. The full plan can be found at

Supporting Discovery

Research at Brandon University is deeply embedded in our community. Our new Strategic Research Plan continues to emphasize our tradition of collaboration and interdisciplinary work while also broadening our support for fundamental, methodological, and theoretical research. The five-year plan includes specific actions to guide our support through 2025, and can be found at

Planning for Growth

Brandon University’s Campus Master Plan will guide our growth through the 2040s and beyond. The plan, approved in June 2017, lays out a long-term vision for the physical growth and enhancement of Brandon University’s main 18th Street campus, while providing high-level direction for the planning of the University’s other campus locations. The Plan represents the collaboration and consensus of multiple and diverse stakeholder groups including staff, students, faculty, and alumni, as well as a broad spectrum of external stakeholders including City of Brandon staff, the Mayor, City Council, the School Board, Assiniboine Community College, Indigenous community members, neighbours, and community leaders. The full plan can be found at

Collaborative and Collegial Campus

Brandon University is committed to being a campus and a community that is welcoming and supportive of all, that is respectful of individual and group diversity that encourages open and civil debate, and that fosters an environment of social responsibility to encourage engaged citizens who make a difference in our world.

The Brandon University Students’ Union (BUSU) works collaboratively with Administration and BU’s governing bodies to ensure that student voices are represented and considered. Dedicated seats on both the Board and Senate, as well as many of their respective sub-committees, enable BUSU to represent BU’s undergraduate and graduate students and to effectively advocate for their interests. With a particular focus on elevating the overall student experience, BUSU works closely with BU Student Services to ensure a variety of events and services, ranging from Orientation and Mental Health Week to counselling and accessibility, are available to all students.

Brandon University continues to develop new opportunities through collaboration, most recently through the launch of a Co-operative Education Program and new agreements signed with Assiniboine Community College and the City of Brandon. These agreements build on fruitful existing relationships that have already led to new joint programming, new initiatives, and new possibilities for applied research and student experience.

A Great Life in Brandon

Nestled in the Assiniboine River valley, the city of Brandon is located in Treaty 2 territory, the traditional homelands of the Dakota, Anishinabek, Oji-Cree, Cree and Métis peoples.

As Manitoba’s second-largest city, with an eclectic and diverse population of more than 50,000, Brandon is a vibrant and growing multicultural hub for the entire southwestern Manitoba (Westman) region. Brandon is home to many thriving communities, who enrich the city’s spirit through annual festivals and cultural events, including Pride, Multicultural Festival, Winter Festival, Festival of the Arts, and many others. With a reinvigorated downtown, there are many types of cuisine as well as cultural and community centres that support our growing diverse city. An easy two-hour drive west of Winnipeg, just an hour north of the United States, and a quick, direct flight away from Calgary, Brandon boasts the civic, cultural and economic amenities of a much larger urban center, while continuing to enjoy its traditional close-knit social ties and comfortable pace of life.

In terms of Arts and Culture, Brandon has a diverse and thriving scene built around internationally acclaimed local artists and musicians, many of whom are members of the university’s faculty. With opportunities for participation at all ages and skill levels, there is an art gallery, a Conservatory of Music and several acclaimed dance schools.  Additionally, with its many festivals and fairs as well as its wide range of venues, Brandon is a destination for top level touring artists. The Keystone Centre is home to everything from the Brandon Wheat Kings WHL hockey team to the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair.

Brandon University, with its campus conveniently and proudly planted near the city’s heart, caps a robust educational sector that includes French immersion and French-language opportunities, an International Baccalaureate diploma program, and a growing community college, as well as BU’s flourishing undergraduate and graduate degrees.

The diversified and welcoming economy of Western Manitoba provides opportunities in sectors from agriculture and finance, to oil and gas, coupled with a diverse housing market and pleasantly short commutes. An hour’s drive from Riding Mountain National Park, 40-minutes from Kiche Manitou Provincial Park, and less than an hour to the International Peace Garden, Brandon is graced with ample choices for all-season recreation and an active lifestyle.

Brandon has consistently been chosen as one of Canada’s top cities in which to live. Size, friendliness, opportunity, green space, and safety make Brandon a great place to live, work and prosper.

For more information about living, working and playing in Brandon, please visit and

For much more about the opportunities and community that await you at Brandon University, we invite you to

Preferred and Required Qualifications


  • A bachelor’s degree in human resources management or related or equivalent. Master’s degree is preferred;
  • Six years of relevant senior level management experience, specifically in a complex, unionized, institutional environment;
  • An equivalent combination of education and experience will be considered;
  • Experience and willingness to lead collective bargaining for the University;
  • Experience in a university environment is preferred;
  • Certified Human Resources Professional designation is an asset;
  • Experience in allocating resources and knowledge of a large organization’s budget process;
  • Strong project management skills and experience;
  • Proficient with provincial employment, Human Rights Compliance and labour legislation;
  • Excellent spoken and communication skills;
  • Ability to exercise sound judgement, analyze and problem solve various situations;
  • Ability to have difficult conversations with understanding and empathy;
  • Ability to maintain positive interpersonal relationships at various levels;
  • Ability to work in a team environment, collaborate and adapt to competing and changing demands.

Application Details

How to Apply

An executive search exercise is being undertaken by Brandon University’s search partner Perrett Laver. Applications should consist of a full CV detailing academic and professional qualifications, full employment history, latest remuneration and relevant achievements, and should be accompanied by a covering letter describing briefly how candidates meet the criteria in the ‘position description’, why the appointment is of interest and what they believe they can bring to the role. Further information, including details on how to apply, can be found at quoting the reference number 4713. The committee will begin considering applicants on September 14, 2020.

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When inquiring or applying for this job opening, please also reference

Applicants with dual-career considerations can find university jobs such as professor jobs, dean jobs, chair / department head jobs, and other faculty jobs and employment opportunities at Brandon University and at other institutions of higher education in the region on