Director, Workplace Culture

OCAD University

OCAD University acknowledges the ancestral territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Haudenosaunee, the Anishinaabeg and the Huron-Wendat, who are the original owners and custodians of the land on which we live, work and create.

Reporting to the Executive Director, People & Culture, and working closely with other senior administrators, the Director, Workplace Culture is primarily responsible for supporting a strong and positive work culture in keeping with OCAD University’s (OCAD U) strategic and academic plans and values.

The Director is responsible for OCAD U’s employee relations, organizational change, performance management, and learning and development. This role ensures successful team development, providing direct support for issues requiring escalation. Responsibilities also include overseeing the development and upkeep of relevant workplace policies and procedures with specific regard for the success of equity-deserving groups.

This position is subject to budgetary approval.  

Summary of Responsibilities:

  • Provide leadership around equity-focused people and culture initiatives, developing strategies that address systemic issues and promote diversity, equity, inclusion and community-building throughout the organization
  • Oversee the development and implementation of organizational change strategies, effective performance management, organizational learning and development, and employment equity plans
  • Oversee the positive resolution of and communication regarding workplace issues
  • Lead the preparation of relevant policies, programs and procedures, including the preparation of briefing notes.
  • Establish relevant metrics and benchmarks and review annually to assess and improve processes and initiatives
  • Maintain currency and knowledge in all relevant areas of Human Resources
  • Responsible for planning, talent acquisition, onboarding, performance management, care and development for direct and indirect employees
  • Participate on the Labour-Management and Joint Committees as appropriate
  • Participate in the University’s grievance procedure, workplace investigations or collective bargaining as required
  • Support the development of the unit’s budget submission
  • Occasionally act for the Executive Director or cover other management duties as needed
  • Assist with special projects and initiatives, contributing to the successful operation of the People & Culture office


  • A graduate degree in Labour Relations, Human Resources, Business or a related field, or an equivalent combination of education and experience with special consideration for the professional and community-based experience of equity-deserving groups
  • A Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) professional designation or equivalent
  • A minimum of seven (7) years of progressive experience working within a relevant Human Resources function, preferably within a unionized environment.
  • A minimum of two (2) years of experience providing leadership in Human Resources within a unionized environment, preferably in a public sector or post-secondary educational institution.
  • Experience advancing work culture and enhancing employee engagement an asset.
  • Experience in accommodations, return-to-work, and managing leaves of absence an asset.
  • Experience in alternative dispute resolution techniques, including mediation, facilitation and fact-finding an asset.
  • Sound knowledge of HR policies and practices, collective agreements, and relevant employment legislation, such as the Employment Standards Act (ESA), Ontario Labour Relations Act (OLRA), Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC), Occupational Health and Safety Act, and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
  • Knowledge of the collective bargaining process.
  • Knowledge of academic issues and trends is preferred.
  • Ability to both think and act strategically.
  • Ability to be a team player and mentor, with an ability to motivate, coach and inspire others.
  • A collaborative and consultative working style with an ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships in a manner that gains trust, respect and cooperation.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills and judgement, with a demonstrated ability to deal with sensitive or confidential matters with discretion.
  • Qualities that include integrity, openness, fairness, resourcefulness, and confidence, coupled with high emotional intelligence.
  • Demonstrated commitment to the principles of equity and diversity.

Compensation: Commensurate with experience. 

Hours of Work: Total of 35 hours per week.

This is a hybrid opportunity, with the flexibility to report to work on campus and remotely.

Interviews: Interviews will be scheduled during the week of April 24, 2023. 

Please review the OCAD University’s Safety Measures for all up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 protocols. 

OCAD University’s vaccine mandate will be in abeyance until further notice. However, to ensure continuity of teaching, learning and campus activities throughout the year, the University expects all students, staff and faculty to maintain up-to-date vaccination records. 

Application Deadline: Interested applicants are invited to submit an updated resume, with a cover letter by selecting “Apply Now” below, no later than Wednesday, April 19, 2023.

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 People & Culture 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. While we thank all candidates for their interest, only those short-listed will be contacted.

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