The University of Saskatchewan values diversity, and Aboriginal engagement is a strategic priority.

Department Assistant


Department: Plant Sciences, College of Agriculture and Bioresources

FTE: 1.0

Status: Permanent

Competition No.: 17103-M

Salary Information: The salary range is $60,410 to 94,391 (Specialist Professional, Phase 2) per annum. The starting salary will commensurate with education and experience.

Primary Purpose: In conjunction with faculty and course instructors, this position will prepare, co-ordinate, instruct and assess undergraduate and graduate laboratories in the Department of Plant Sciences, Renewable Resources Management and Environmental Sciences classes; as well; as, support research and outreach activities within the plant ecology and rangeland resources discipline within the Department of Plant Sciences.

Nature of Work: Reporting to the Department Head, the Department Assistant, cooperating with faculty and course instructors, will prepare, teach, supervise and administer laboratories. There will be a requirement to ensure that program goals are met to the satisfaction of students and faculty. The Department Assistant will organize and supervise off-campus field trips throughout the academic year. Under the guidance of faculty and course instructors, the Department Assistant will implement laboratory goals and ensure the smooth delivery of all a laboratory classes.

The Department Assistant, under the direction of faculty and course instructors, will be responsible for revising laboratories and manuals as necessary, presentation of the material in the labs, student assessment and student management. Productive and positive relationships will be developed and maintained with faculty, students and colleagues. Some situations may be stressful, requiring tact and diplomacy.

Administrative Resources
  • Class laboratories and field trips are effectively planned, coordinated, supervised and executed, ensuring that program goals are met to the satisfaction of students and faculty
  • Teaching laboratories and preparation rooms are well-maintained and equipment is fully functional
  • Emerging issues are prioritized and problem solving is applied in consultation with the department head, and faculty, as necessary
  • Effective participation as an active member of the Plant Sciences instructional staff, and representation on assigned college committees is active, effective and collaborative
  • Deadlines are routinely met
  • Enabling Research and Scholarly Work
  • Ensure successful evolution of the teaching program through recruitment, coordination, delegation of responsibilities and supervision of graduate teaching assistants
  • Timely research and development of new lab materials with inclusion of new research into course content; development of teaching methods based on best practices to meet student learning needs; development of course materials and evaluation methods to ensure students are able to grasp concepts and utilize information correctly
  • A high level of knowledge/expertise is developed and maintained in all areas of the teaching curriculum, as well as, awareness of current advances in the academic area
  • Students receive accurately marked assignments, projects and examinations in a timely manner
  • Faculty are consulted and supported in ensuring a high standard of teaching

People Resources

  • Train and effectively outline expectations to teaching assistants, provide quality coaching and monitor performance
  • Build and maintain strong working relationships with faculty and instructional staff to support a high standard of teaching and research
  • Model a high standard of performance and outcomes; ensure positive, diverse and inclusive work environments

Risk Management

  • Knowledge of University safety protocols and policies is applied appropriately and communicated to others
  • The safety and well-being of students participating in field trips is ensured
  • Provision of training for safe use of equipment
  • Ensure appropriate safety training of teaching assistants and others involved with lab instruction
  • Identify, assess and manage risk in planning projects and ongoing operations

Education:  MSc in a plant sciences or related area preferred. Lesser qualifications will be considered with substantial relevant experience.

Experience: Several years of teaching or related experience in plant sciences. Supervisory experience is an asset.  


  • Ability to work independently
  • Proven effective interpersonal and communication skills in the English language, both written and oral, including the ability to effectively communicate with faculty, staff and students, with sensitivity to cultural differences
  • Tact, diplomacy, good judgement and conflict resolution skills
  • Strong technical knowledge of all areas of plant agriculture
  • Excellent public speaking ability
  • Demonstrated commitment to continuous improvement of knowledge and skills, including the ability to accept and embrace change
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks and priorities
  • Supervisory, decision-making, organizational and time-management abilities
  • Good working knowledge of Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) as well as internet and email software applications
  • Attention to detail
  • Creative problem solving abilities
  • Proven ability to ensure deadlines are met
  • A valid Saskatchewan driver's license is required.

This position is in scope of the Administrative and Supervisory Personnel Association.

Please apply no later than February 28, 2017 at 4:30pm.

Inquiries regarding this position can be directed to Marlene Freeman at 306-966-4956.  

Be sure to apply online as emailed applications will not be accepted.

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The University of Saskatchewan is strongly committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace that empowers all employees to reach their full potential. All members of the university community share a responsibility for developing and maintaining an environment in which differences are valued and inclusiveness is practiced. The university welcomes applications from those who will contribute to the diversity of our community. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority.