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Associate Director, University Sector Engagement

16 York St, Toronto, ON M5J 0E6, Canada Req #21
Tuesday, November 14, 2023

UPP is the first pension plan of its kind in Ontario’s university sector, proudly serving over 39,000 members across four universities and 12 affiliate organizations. Our purpose is to bring greater retirement peace of mind to the university sector by investing with integrity and serving members with care. As a sector-wide plan designed for growth, our doors are open to all Ontario universities.

Together, we’re a team of progressive thinkers and agile doers operating within a fast-paced culture of collaboration and respect. We believe in bringing smart and capable people together to create, solve and grow with a clear shared vision and values of integrity, inclusivity, ingenuity, and impact.

Our culture is intentionally welcoming and purposefully rooted in equity, diversity, inclusion, and reconciliation (EDIR). We believe diverse teams, perspectives, and lived experiences contribute to better decisions and a better workplace.

As a long-term investor, we recognize that environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) factors support risk management and value creation. As stated in our Responsible Investing Policy, we are committed to incorporating ESG considerations into our investment management activities and we collaborate with other industry participants in the promotion of a sustainable economy and society.

Join us in building a bright future for our members, our organization, and each other.



We are seeking an Associate Director, University Sector Engagement to manage engagement and outreach activity with potential new participating stakeholders, while raising UPP’s profile in the sector. The Associate Director will manage day-to-day engagement operations and develop, build, and manage relationships with a variety of stakeholders in the Ontario university sector, particularly university administrators and related sector-based associations, as well as employee groups.

Reporting to the Managing Director, University Sector and Stakeholder Engagement, the Associate Director will actively build strong relationships with a portfolio of sector stakeholders, growing and nurturing their existing  broad network in the sector to help position UPP for growth and expansion.

The Associate Director will draw on experience in and/or with the Ontario university sector, and will leverage their experience and existing networks to directly support UPP’s engagement and growth strategy.


This is a fantastic opportunity for an experienced stakeholder relations professional with university sector experience to join a team of high performing professionals to make a great impact in a growing, fast-paced, start-up environment.


UPP is based in Toronto’s financial district and has a hybrid work model (~2 days / week in office), though UPP may consider a primarily remote candidate to support our Ontario university sector-wide strategy. This role will require occasional travel within Ontario.




To be successful in the role, the Associate Director, University Sector Engagement must be able to:

  • Manage day-to-day engagement operations including tracking toward project milestones, maintaining appropriate touchpoints with prospects, coordinating, tracking, and following-up on delegated tasks, and ensuring timely delivery of engagement materials
  • Bring to the role a robust and established network of university leaders, and actively engage and build relationships with administrators and related sector-based associations, as well as employee groups.
  • Highly organized, project and process oriented, with precise attention to detail
  • Think strategically about UPP engagement with the university sector and its complex network of stakeholders
  • Actively and collaboratively engage with UPP colleagues and leadership
  • Adapt to different personalities and working styles
  • Quickly create trust and rapport and work on enhancing them over time
  • Understand needs, sensitivities, priorities, drivers, and pressures
  • Dynamically adapt to changing circumstances
  • Quickly deliver valuable results


In summary, the Associate Director must strive to build their brand as a hands-on, team-oriented relationship builder, who is always ready to roll up the sleeves to help others succeed.




The Associate Director will be responsible for a variety of duties, including but not limited to the following:


  • Manage day-to-day engagement operations including tracking toward project milestones, maintaining appropriate touchpoints with prospects, coordinating, tracking, and following-up on delegated tasks, and ensuring timely delivery of engagement materials
  • Engage with a broad cross-section of stakeholders in the university sector including university administrators and related sector-based associations, as well as employee groups, and interested third parties
  • Serve as primary relationship, engagement, and outreach manager for members of:
    • Council of Senior Administrative Officers
    • Council of Senior Human Resources Officers
    • Council of Finance Officers
    • Canadian Association of University Business Officers
  • Build deep and strong relationships within a portfolio of universities/stakeholder organizations, establishing a foundation of trust and working to provide information and answer questions about UPP, to support effective decision making by the parties involved
  • Communicate and present information about UPP, how it compares with an employer’s current pension plan, and the features and benefits that may be most attractive to a particular stakeholder group in support of consideration for UPP as a possible pension solution
  • Working with UPP’s Actuarial and Pension Services teams, contribute to analysis of UPP’s fit and value proposition for prospective participating universities, using a variety of qualitative and quantitative factors
  • Grow and leverage an existing network of sector stakeholders to advance UPP’s growth agenda and keep apprised of sector developments
  • Participate in internal strategy discussions related to sector engagement
  • Contribute to UPP’s reputation as a respectful employer, partner, and participant in the financial services sector




  • 10+ years of experience in a stakeholder relations role in the Ontario university sector or sectoral association, or other role with broad stakeholder relations accountabilities
  • Deep knowledge of the Ontario university sector with a broad and active network of employer contacts
  • Knowledge of UPP’s history, develop, and context in the sector is an asset
  • Understanding of collective bargaining, labour organizing principles and approaches, and the Canadian labour ecosystem
  • Understanding of institutional decision making and governance in a university environment
  • Knowledge of the Canadian retirement security ecosystem and pension industry, or the ability to quickly get up to speed in order to effectively communicate UPP’s value proposition to stakeholders
  • University degree in a relevant field combined with broad professional experience
  • Strong working proficiency in French is considered an asset for this role



  • An open and transparent relationship builder who can forge long lasting, mutually beneficial professional relationships
  • Proven leadership skills, with ability to drive results while cultivating a culture of collaboration and teamwork
  • Self-motivated with a hands-on attitude
  • A lifelong learner with keen interest in learning, applying new business practices, and leading technologies
  • A strong communicator both in written and verbal communication
  • Strong commitment to innovation and continuous improvement
  • Pro-active problem solver
  • Ownership mindset
  • Commitment to excellence
  • Alignment with UPP’s desire to be a leader in Responsible Investing, ESG, and climate change.


Do work that matters
. We are duty-bound to serve our members’ interests, and it’s a responsibility we don’t take lightly. That’s why we’ve ingrained sustainability in our work from day one—to ensure our members have a resilient future to retire into, both today and for generations to come.

Stronger together. Collaboration is how UPP was born, and it’s how we work with each other and our partners day in, day out. No one at UPP is just a number (even if they are excellent at math) and every win is a shared win.

Grow every day. You’ll have the opportunity to work on unique, once-in-a-career projects that maximize your skill set and probably teach you some new ones—at any stage in your career.

Prioritize wellness. At UPP, wellness takes many forms. Ultimately, it’s about ensuring our people are cared for in the ways that matter to them. Check out some highlights of our inclusive employee-focused benefits program including:

  • Defined benefit pension plan
  • Flexible hybrid work model
  • Work from abroad up to eight weeks/year
  • Comprehensive group benefits including medical, dental, vision etc.
  • Extended paramedical and mental health service coverage
  • Health care and lifestyle spending accounts
  • Fertility treatments, paid parental leave, and gender affirmation coverage
  • Education Assistance program

UPP enthusiastically welcomes applications from all qualified applicants and especially invites people with lived experience as an Indigenous person, a person with a disability or as a member of another Human Rights Code protected group that faces barriers to employment to apply. Our goal is to create a barrier-free experience for every candidate throughout the recruitment process, so if you require accommodation at any point during the process, please let us know so that we can make the appropriate arrangements.  It would be our honor to work with you to adapt our processes to ensure that you can meaningfully participate.

Other details

  • Pay Type Salary
Location on Google Maps
  • 16 York St, Toronto, ON M5J 0E6, Canada