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Queen's University

Director, Design and Construction


Queen's University Campus1513654

Company Information

With close to 24,000 students and more than 7,000 faculty and staff, Queen's is a place where passion, innovation, and imagination are nurtured and prized.

As an employer of choice, Queen's offers a supportive community of learning and rewarding work through which people can fully realize their professional and academic aspirations.

Queen's offers competitive salaries and a full range of benefits and pension coverage.

Queen's is committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcomes applications from women, visible minorities, aboriginal people, persons with disabilities, and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity.

Come work with us!

Job Description


Reporting to the Associate Vice-Principal (Facilities), the Director, Design and Construction is responsible for managing, directing and coordinating the strategic capital asset management program on behalf of Queen’s University. The Director, Design and Construction is the primary lead in the provision of design and construction services for new buildings, renovations and alterations as well as major repairs and infrastructure upgrades. Overseeing and coordinating a multi-million dollar construction program, including supporting the development of feasibility studies and capital plans, the incumbent is accountable for project delivery, project scheduling, liaising with a diverse range of stakeholders, developing and reporting on budgets, tendering and awarding contracts as well as coordinating activities with external stakeholders (i.e. City of Kingston).

As an integral member of the senior management team, the incumbent works closely with the Director, Engineering and Operations and the Director, Finance to support the Office of the Associate Vice-Principal (Facilities). The Director, Design and Construction also assumes leadership responsibilities for the effective day to day operations of the Project Management Office and works in conjunction with the Campus Planning and Development department to ensure the capital projects are carried out in accordance with the policy framework for campus development and design guidelines for space and facilities on the University campus. 

The Director, Design and Construction acts on behalf of the Associate Vice-Principal (Facilities) regarding issues related to projects, project management and / or funding, and delivers presentations to senior administrative groups and / or committees as required. In addition, the Director may also represent and / or act as delegate for the Unit and attend meetings on behalf of the Associate Vice-Principal (AVP).


  • Directs and manages the strategic direction and execution of the University’s major capital program. Makes recommendations on and manages the capital program of new construction, as well as major repairs and renovations.  Makes recommendations on, and manages the development of, major capital project plans.  Prepares presentations and submissions for government funding programs as well as approvals by senior administrative committees and Board of Trustees governance committees.
  • Leads construction review of completed projects, prepares recommendations / reports for AVPs review, identifies opportunities for improvement and implements approved changes accordingly.
  • Consults with client(s) on major construction projects, taking into consideration the University’s interests and needs by performing or requesting studies. Provides recommendations in the selection of consultants, and determines and/or recommends project budgets. Works to proactively resolve issues with contractors regarding work sites and projects, including recommending the need to initiate legal action if required.
  • Establishes and maintains strong working relationships with internal and external stakeholders including (but not limited to) municipal offices, community associations, colleagues, Queen’s governing bodies, vendors, architects, and contractors regarding project management issues.
  • Provides advice, guidance and decisions to other directors and managers. Ensures developed Construction Standards are current, defined, documented and communicated to all architects and contractors who are awarded projects at the University. Confirms compliance with building codes and professional standards by reviewing all designs, working drawings and tender calls.   Ensures proper project management processes and procedures are in place within Physical Plant Services (PPS) and also ensures that all required staff understand and can apply these.
  • In consultation with the Director, Engineering and Operations, reviews and prepares proposals for capital, deferred maintenance, and renovations, including alteration projects in support of the University’s strategic priorities.
  • Provides effective and efficient design and construction services to the University. Assigns and monitors project execution by Project Managers to ensure the necessary approvals are obtained, a high quality of workmanship is attained and that all projects have a risk mitigation and management plan to ensure completion on time and within budget.  Initiates corrective action when appropriate and monitors the quality of construction and installations by conducting site reviews with Project Managers, inspectors and contractors. Reviews, develops and alters standards and / or operating procedures for the University to be able to meet changing needs. Liaises with internal and external stakeholders including architects and contractors regarding project management issues.
  • Ensures all project management services are provided in accordance with the Broader Public Sector (BPS) Procurement Directive issued by the Ontario Ministry of Government Services
  • Establishes, maintains, and communicates, project management Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for project delivery to the campus community.
  • Possesses knowledge of programs, policies and best practices that ensure equity and achievement of organizational diversity and inclusion objectives in a variety of human resources areas. Plans, prioritizes and manages the work of employees, providing strategic and tactical advice, guidance and coaching.  Identifies the need for staff resources, participates on staffing committees, and makes effective recommendations regarding employee selection.  Manages performance 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 employees receive training required to improve and sustain successful performance.   Investigates, addresses and resolves employee/labour relations issues, including making decisions regarding disciplinary and discharge matters.


  • University degree in related field combined with a minimum of fifteen years of senior management experience leading and directing capital design and construction initiatives.
  • Master’s degree, registered architect or Professional Engineering (P.Eng.) designation preferred.
  • Previous experience in project and risk management with demonstrated knowledge of all aspects of building design and construction (including architectural and / or engineering principles, construction codes) industry required.
  • Demonstrated experience in project finance control, reporting, construction required. Experience in the development and implementation of institutional policies and procedures regarding project management preferred.
  • Business and budget management experience is essential.
  • Advanced training in project management preferred.


  • Excellent communication (oral and written) skills combined with strong presentation skills and a capability to persuade others, adjusting style when faced with myriad dimensions of culture in order to be effective across cultural contexts.
  • Acts as a voice for perspectives, levels, and cultures that are not otherwise represented.
  • Capable of establishing and maintaining professional working relationships with widely diverse groups, including individuals at all levels internal / external to the institution
  • Strong influencing and consultative skills to handle potentially sensitive situations and to manage competing stakeholder interests
  • Excellent attention to detail with a strong commitment to quality and best practices.
  • Ability to work in a complex environment, in a collaborative and collegial manner, using highly developed relationship building, influencing, and negotiating skills to facilitate through cultural differences, conflicts, tensions, or misunderstandings to secure commitment and achieve results.
  • Superior leadership ability to effectively inspire, develop and retain a team of highly skilled professionals, focusing on creating a culture of service.
  • Excellent problem solving abilities to identify and resolve issues or concerns, directing contractors, architects and / or consultants as required or when specifications and/or standards are not being met.
  • Highly motivated and a strong willingness to make decisions. Proficiency in using a variety of information technology tools and the ability to understand and adapt new tools to business operations
  • Strong judgement and analytical ability with the capability to grasp concepts and ideas quickly and to always work effectively with the context of the “big picture”, demonstrating integrity, professionalism, confidence, tact and discretion.
  • Highly developed planning, organizational and project management skills
  • Ability to write strong business cases.
  • Determines and communicates how diversity and inclusion contributes to core business strategy and results and is a role model for inclusive and culturally competent behaviour.


  • Determines and/or makes recommendations on the management and direction of the planning, operations and strategic directions of the University’s construction projects. Makes recommendations and manages the capital program of new construction, alterations and major repairs and renovations including planning and budget considerations.
  • Advises the AVP (Facilities) in the development of major project lists and delivers associated presentations to committees to facilitate funding, approval and / or support for capital planning projects.
  • Makes recommendations or decisions on selection of consultants and project budgets.
  • Makes decisions on behalf of the AVP (Facilities) to assist other directors and managers with the management of their areas including people and facilities.
  • Reviews and prepares proposals for capital, deferred maintenance, and renovations and alterations projects in support of University strategic priorities,  in consultation with the Director, Engineering and Operations,
  • Ensures the effective and efficient delivery of, design, planning, and construction services to the campus. Determines work loading assignments and monitoring of project execution by Project Managers.  Provides processes to ensure adequate project management resources are available to support the project activities within PPS.
  • Determines when/if to initiate corrective action when appropriate to achieve project goals. Determines when to review, develop and alter standards and operating procedures for the university to be able to meet changing needs. Determines when and what construction policies need to be developed or amended. Decides how to rectify major technical or procedural problems. Determines when it is necessary to seek legal counsel.
  • Evaluates job candidates and makes effective recommendations on suitable hires. Makes decisions and/or effective recommendations regarding transfers and promotions. Evaluates employee 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 action or next steps on grievances. Makes effective recommendations on level of discipline up to discharge and probationary termination.  All HR decisions are taken with the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion in mind.

To Apply:

Please click and apply to position number 2017-100.  Please be sure to follow the instructions under the ‘Application Procedure’ link.

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 people, 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

To comply with Federal laws, the University is obliged to gather statistical information about how many applicants for each job vacancy are Canadian citizens/ permanent residents of Canada. Applicants need not identify their country of origin or citizenship, however, all applications must include one of the following statements: I am a Canadian citizen/permanent resident of Canada; OR, I am not a Canadian citizen/permanent resident of Canada. Applications that do not include this information will be deemed incomplete.

Contact Information

Queen's University
Posting Date: 29-May-2017Engineering Permanent, Full-Time Open 1 ASAP
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