Administrative Assistant



Reporting to the Department Manager, the Administrative Assistant is responsible for providing administrative support to the Department Head and Department Manager of the Department of Chemical Engineering. The incumbent will primarily maintain calendars, draft and prepare correspondence for signature, facilitate conference, event and/or meeting coordination and schedules, as well as compile, process and disseminate information to appropriate stakeholders. The Administrative Assistant ensures the timely coordination of academic appointment processes and provides support in the administration of staff appointments (casual and research), including renewals or changes. The incumbent also serves as the departmental timekeeper. The Administrative Assistant demonstrates strong attention to detail, good judgement, and efficiency, and acts with discretion, taking initiative to make decisions independently and working collaboratively with other department members as required or consulting with other administrators and / or staff when needed.


  • Provides administrative and secretarial support to the Department Head and Department Manager by initiating and/or preparing correspondence, word processing and document formatting, scheduling and maintaining appointments (e.g. managing calendar information by screening, and prioritizing appointments and meetings).
  • Arranges and organizes meetings on behalf of the Head, coordinating travel and accommodation as required. Prepares requirement materials, including researching and preparing documentation from a variety of sources. Serves as recording secretary as required.
  • Prepares agendas and takes minutes for monthly departmental meetings, transcribing minutes and acquiring/organizing essential material, distributing accordingly. Supports other departmental committees and/or work associated with large projects as required.
  • Provides administrative support for the department’s Renewal, Tenure and Promotions (RTP) and Appointments Committees. Ensures processes are done in accordance with applicable policies and/or collective agreements. Coordinates with the Faculty Office to advertise academic positions following approval, ensuring appropriate deadlines are met. Sets agendas and compiles minutes, maintains applicant databases and ensures committee and department are up to date on all aspects of the hiring process. Completes appropriate Equity forms on behalf of the Equity Representative and ensures information is provided to the University Equity Office. Prepares and distributes confidential correspondence, documents, and/or reports.
  • Supports the administration of staff and / or faculty appointments by tracking, processing, and inputting data, including processing template-based hires. Helps prepare casual employment, post-doctoral fellowships, and visiting research letters. Accurately records attendance and short-term leave for payroll purposes. Maintains and communicates information pertaining to appointment dates for casual hires, research staff and visitors.
  • Coordinates annual and special events that promote the department, or are part of the normal operations of the departmental programs, including organinizing logistics and liaising with the student committee for the annual Oil & Gas Speaker Series.
  • Tracks required training for faculty, staff, researchers, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students and records completion of required lab safety documentation. Informs Department Manager of outstanding training and follows up when directed.
  • Ensures the Head and/or Manager are advised and aware of important matters requiring attention. Liaises with others internal and external to the department. Researches or synthesizes answers to solve problems where possible and answers questions, redirecting highly unusual problems to senior staff.
  • Maintains and updates the department website, social media channels and other electronic systems content as directed, and makes recommendations to keep the website current, interesting and serve as a resource for internal and external constituents to the University. Maintains and creates graphic designs for information and publicity material to stakeholders via brochure, email website, social media, etc.
  • Performs office administration and receptionist duties (e.g. distributing mail, key distribution, space booking, answering questions from department visitors).
  • Provides back-up support to other administrative staff within the department as required.
  • Undertakes other duties and/or special projects as assigned in support of the department.


  • Three-year post-secondary diploma in relevant field. University degree considered to be an asset.
  • Several years of related experience, preferably in a university or large institution environment.
  • Consideration will be given to an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of applicable collective agreements, University policies and procedures as well as organizational structure considered to be an asset.
  • Strong computer skills (e.g. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook). Previous experience with PeopleSoft considered to be an asset.


  • Able to work independently and in a team environment.
  • Ability to adhere to strict confidentiality.
  • Ability to work in a confidential, high-pressure environment and to independently make decisions and set priorities to manage conflicting tasks.
  • Ability to respond diplomatically and tactfully, demonstrating good judgement in difficult situations, and to interact professionally with others internal and external to the University.
  • Interpersonal and communications skills (verbal and written) to deal with a wide variety of individuals in a respectful manner and to provide clear and accurate information.
  • Organizational skills to effectively manage a heavy volume of work and meet deadlines.
  • Able to demonstrative initiative and take responsibility to support ongoing projects from beginning to completion.
  • Analytical, interpretive and problem-solving skills to help resolve administrative problems and maximize efficiency.
  • Ability to learn and apply new technologies.
  • Resourcefulness and creativity, with a strong attention to detail.


  • Prioritize work and time, and decide most important tasks among several to meet deadlines.
  • Resolve scheduling concerns in the calendar of the Head by determining priorities and resolving conflicting appointments.
  • Determine the logistics, protocols and final arrangements for coordinating and promoting annual and special events.
  • Determine content and format of website and electronic display board as well as social media, consulting with Department Manager and Head as needed.
  • Decide when new information requires further action, such as distribution or verification. If appropriate, choose format and decide who should receive it.
  • Identify and make recommendations regarding office administration procedures; suggest and help implement changes.
  • Determine the nature and content of briefing notes, reports and other information used by the Head and/or Manager. Determine the nature, content and method of presenting data gathered during information searches and the nature and content of correspondence requiring signature.
  • Make decisions in support of committee work, such as determine appropriate recording at committee meetings, information and data distribution before and after meetings.


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