Executive Breakdown: VP Academic

As you might know this term we have elections for all of the Executive positions in the Society! This includes President, VP Academic, VP Student Life, VP Communications, and VP Finance and Operations. Leading up to the nomination period each of the current Exec will be posting a blog post detailing what each of our positions actually does, what an average day is like, where we see the portfolio going, and why we love our jobs. Watch out for all our posts and get in touch if you want more information!

As you might have noticed, we’re changing our exec structure. However, VP Education is only undergoing a name change. I’m the last VP Education, and the incoming Academic will be the first on ASoc. Don’t let the name change confuse you!

The Role of VP Academic

The VP Academic role is a little bit of a different position compared to the other VPs. The primary responsibility of the position is to represent students on academic issues across the faculty and university. This can range from co-op, to work term reports, to course scheduling and more. Additionally, the VP Academic is responsible for communicating with Academic Reps in each class, the facilitation of the Course Critique process with the faculty, debt load surveys, and organizing a bi-annual Career Fair.

The VP Academic sits on a lot of committees throughout the university, faculty and Feds. These involve everything from approving curriculum changes for programs at the faculty and university level, to finding new ways to improve co-op, to WatPD improvements. Additionally, the VP Academic chairs the EngSoc Teaching Excellence Award Committee each term to celebrate excellence in teaching within the Engineering Faculty.

An average day for the VP Academic usually involves representing students at various monthly meetings and/or meeting with students to get feedback on academic issues. Week to week, the VP Academic works with Academic Reps, Associate Deans, CECA and others to ensure students have a voice when it comes to decisions being made about their education.

A lot of what the position does is behind the scenes and gets solved in meetings. This means you usually won’t hear from the VP Academic unless there is an issue that directly affects your program.

More recently, the Student Services Commissioner (SSC) was moved under Academic, so the role also oversees the services we offer as well. This includes professional workshops such as resume critiques and interview skills, as well as more educational workshops such as Matlab and hardware workshops.

Overall, I’ve enjoyed my year as VP Education, and would say if you want to represent students at a higher level than say, an academic rep, VP Academic is a great choice. It allows you to meet a lot of faculty members you might otherwise not interact with, and hear about issues first as the student voice. If you have a passion for advocacy, and are a clear communicator, you’d probably be a good fit for the role.

I can ramble on more, but that’s enough for now. If you are interested in running for VP Academic or any of the other positions, don’t hesitate to ask the current exec about their positions. Also, as always, feel free to send me an email or stop by the orifice to chat at any time.


Jeff Gulbronson

VP Education Engineering Society ‘A