Director, Financial Services


Founded in 1970 as North America’s first online university, Athabasca University is a public, board-governed, open and distance education university which serves students throughout Alberta, across Canada, and around the world. With their unparalleled capacity to elevate the social good through inclusive education and open scholarship, Athabasca University’s open and flexible environment is built on leveraging technology to enable learning and remove barriers to education.

Athabasca University is a Comprehensive Academic and Research Institution with some of Canada’s finest professors, operating under the authority of the Alberta Post-secondary Learning Act as well as working as a partner within Campus Alberta. Athabasca University is committed to collaborating with other key stakeholders to ensure a seamless and responsive advanced education system that provides high-quality learning opportunities in support of lifelong learning.

Athabasca is reimagining its founding spirit with new investments in digital education and will never stop striving to perfect it.

•  AU serves over 40,000 students (over 7,800 full-load equivalents).

•  AU offers over 850 courses in more than 55 undergraduate and graduate programs in a range of arts, science and professional disciplines.

•  AU has a $160 million annual operating budget.

•  AU employs over 1,000 team members across our administrative locations in Athabasca, Edmonton and Calgary.

•  AU maintains over 350 collaborative agreements with other Canadian and international post-secondary institutions, with professional associations and employer groups and with First Nations institutions and communities.


With a passion for change and transformation, the Director, Financial Services drives improvements in the design and efficiency of business processes that support financial services, finding optimal solutions and creating processes to deliver ongoing value. As Athabasca University (AU) continues to implement its strategic plan Imagine: Transforming Lives, Transforming Communities, across all aspects of the University, the Director, Financial Services will perform an essential role in enabling this transformation.

Working from Edmonton, Athabasca, or Calgary and reporting to the Vice President, Finance and Administration, the Director, Financial Services (Director) is a member of the Senior Financial and Administration Management Team. The Director is responsible for the effective leadership and management of all Financial Services functions in the areas of financial planning, budgeting, operations, reporting and financial systems management. The Director provides critical financial advice and information to the University community including the executives, management, employees and students. In addition to managing the daily operation of the Financial Services Department, the Director is responsible for leading the development, implementation, and monitoring of financial policies and procedures in alignment with applicable regulations, legislation, public-sector accounting standards, best practices, and industry trends. They are instrumental in the development of financial plans and financial strategies that support the University’s strategic goals and mandate.


Qualifications & Education Requirements

Chartered Professional Accounting designation (CPA), undergraduate degree in management, commerce, accounting, or related field plus ten years related experience, with at least five years at a senior management level. Master’s Degree in Business Administration an asset. Experience managing within a post-secondary and unionized environment an asset.

Knowledge of financial services practices in all areas is required, with the proven ability to apply that knowledge to meet the needs and challenges of the University. Strong business acumen with demonstrated experience in technical financial concepts, best practice financial processes and financial information systems, financial and managerial accounting, financial planning and budgeting and financial reporting is required. Change management experience is essential. Experience working with, and/or implementing, an Activity-based Cost Model considered an asset.

An equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered.