Search

Home > Recruitment > Executive appointments > Appointment of new Deans

Appointment of new Deans

Appointment of new Deans

Policy information | Policy summary | Purpose | Applicable to | Not applicable to | Policy details | Related links | Roles and responsibilities

Policy information

Approved by Council June 2012
Reviewed by VCMAG, ERMC, UHRC, Senate, IF, Council (view acronym list)
Updated ERMC, VCMAG August 2014
Further updated VCMAG, Senate, IF, Council June 2015
Policy owner Staff Recruitment Office
Enquiries Manager, Staff Recruitment Office (view contacts)

Policy summary

  • The initial term of appointment of a Dean is for five years, unless there are special circumstances.
  • There is a limit of one contract renewal, subject to performance assessment.
  • Any renewal will be for a period not exceeding five years, thus limiting the tenure of the Deanship to no more than ten years, but could be longer if Council decides, particularly where this would take the incumbent to normal retirement age.
  • A Dean recruited from within the University will have the right to return to his or her substantive academic post, in the event of the Deanship contract not being renewed.
  • A Dean recruited from outside the University may be eligible for a substantive post-Deanship position, subject to a selection committee process. In the case of the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, any post-Deanship appointment to joint staff must be in consultation with the Western Cape Government's Department of Health (WCG-DOH), or other employing authority (the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS)).
  • Specific criteria, after consultation, are used in the selection of Deans.
  • In constituting the selection committee, the Vice-Chancellor or a nominee from amongst the Deputy Vice-Chancellors (DVC) consults with key constituencies across the University.
  • Terms of reference of the selection committee include specific voting rules.
  • The quorum for all meetings of the selection committee is half of its full composition.
  • Recruitment and selection procedure:
    • A selection committee meets to decide on the search methods.
    • Applications are received and candidates shortlisted.
    • An open faculty process takes place where appropriate.
    • Shortlisted candidates undergo final interviews.
    • The selection committee makes a final recommendation.
  • Approval procedure:
    • The Faculty Board votes on a final candidate.
    • The Institutional Forum (IF) verifies the selection process followed.
    • Council makes the appointment.

Purpose

  • This policy is intended to ensure that the University identifies and appoints the best available candidate, and that he or she has the support of executive staff including fellow Deans, Heads of Departments and members of the faculty concerned.
  • Please read together with the University's general Academic Recruitment Policy.

Applicable to

  • The recruitment and selection of new Deans.

Not applicable to

Policy details

  1. Appointment conditions
    1. 1.1. The initial term of appointment of a Dean is for five years, unless there are special circumstances.

    2. 1.2. There is a limit of one contract renewal, subject to performance assessment and the policy on Re-appointment of an incumbent Dean.

    3. 1.3. Any renewal will be for a period not exceeding five years, thus limiting the tenure of the Deanship to no more than ten years, but could be longer if Council decides, particularly where this would take the incumbent to normal retirement age.

    4. 1.4. Where a Dean is recruited from within the University, the successful candidate will have the right to return to his or her substantive academic post, in the event of the Deanship contract not being renewed.

    5. 1.5. Where a Dean is recruited from outside the University, the Vice-Chancellor (VC) may, after consulting the successful candidate, recommend to a duly constituted Professorial selection committee that the Dean-designate be offered a substantive academic position which he or she would be entitled to assume after successfully completing his or her term(s) as a Dean, should this occur prior to retirement age.

    6. 1.6. In the case of the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, any post-Deanship appointment to the joint staff must be in consultation with the relevant joint staff employer (WCG-DOH or NHLS).

  2. Specific criteria are used in the selection of Deans
    1. 2.1 In appointing Deans, the University must seek individuals who:
      1. are scholars of note and have credibility among their academic peers;
      2. will offer academic leadership in the faculty, it being understood that this will include:
        • being able to plan effectively and to inspire and innovate;
        • having a strategic vision for the faculty, and for the role of the faculty in the institution;
        • having proven leadership and management skills.
      3. have a proven transformation skills record and will strive to transform the faculty in ways that achieve social justice in South Africa, which must include meeting staff and student equity targets.
    2. 2.2 The VC or DVC consults with the Dean's Advisory Committee (DAC) on faculty-specific needs and criteria for the selection of the new Dean.

    3. 2.3 The VC or DVC, with the assistance of the Human Resources department (HR) drafts the advertisement and position description taking into account the criteria identified in 2.1, and puts these to the selection committee for approval.

  3. In constituting the selection committee, the Vice-Chancellor or Deputy Vice-Chancellor consults with key constituencies across the University
    1. 3.1 As the process of constituting the selection committee is lengthy, it should begin twelve to eighteen months before the post becomes vacant.

    2. 3.2 In the case of the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, HR assists with obtaining the necessary approval for filling the post from the WCG-DOH.

    3. 3.3 HR, together with other administrative departments, assists the VC or DVC in compiling the selection committee.

    4. 3.4 The VC or DVC consults the DAC on the election of faculty members to serve on the selection committee.

    5. 3.5 The DAC then recommends the structure of the selection committee to the Faculty Board, which conducts a ballot and reports back to the VC.

    6. 3.6 The selection committee must include:
      1. The Vice-Chancellor or nominee (Chair);
      2. At least one from each of the following categories:
        • Executive Officers (DVCs), appointed by the Vice-Chancellor;
        • Deans, elected by the Deans;
        • Professors in the faculty, elected by the Faculty Board;
        • Non-professorial academic staff of the Faculty Board, elected by that constituency;
        • PASS staff in the faculty, elected by that constituency;
        • Student nominees elected by recognised student groups in the faculty concerned;
        • Representatives of the faculty's Transformation Committee (preferably two);
        • External members of Council, appointed by Council.
      3. Further members appointed by the VC in consultation with the DAC to provide balance to the composition of the committee.
      4. Where appropriate, external members (non-voting members) may be appointed by the VC for their professional or other relationship with the faculty.
      5. In the case of the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, representatives of the Western Cape Government's Department of Health (WCG-DOH) and the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS).
    7. 3.7 Representation from each of the categories in section 3.6 is not prescribed and the number of people from each category must be decided by the VC or DVC in consultation with the DAC. In doing so the size of the committee must be kept reasonable while at the same time ensuring diversity in its composition.

    8. 3.8 No member of the selection committee may apply for, or accept nominations for the position of Dean.

  4. Terms of reference of the selection committee include specific voting rules
    1. 4.1 The selection committee must attempt to reach consensus on a shortlist and a final candidate, voting only when this is not possible.

    2. 4.2 Where it votes, a two-thirds majority of those present will be required for a candidate to be recommended.

    3. 4.3 No member of the selection committee may vote on the final candidate if he or she was not present at an interview of all of the candidates who are considered in that vote.

  5. Quorum
    1. 5.1 The quorum for all meetings of the selection committee is half of its full composition, which must include an employment equity representative.

  6. Recruitment and selection process
    1. Search method

    2. 6.1 The selection committee meets first as a search committee, to ensure that it has a common understanding of the criteria for appointment and to determine the search methods and the timeframe for the recruitment and selection process, and to finalise the advertisement and position description.

    3. 6.2 The University's Employment Equity Policy applies at all levels within the University and recruitment decisions at the senior level must show commitment to the policy. Every effort must be made to draw on the widest pool of talent available in filling the post of Dean.

    4. 6.3 The search methods may include advertising publicly, a direct search for an internal or external candidate, or any other appropriate course of action. In deciding on which search methods to use, the committee may consult the Executive, the Deans, and the Heads of Department in the faculty (who will be expected to represent the views of the staff in their departments).

    5. Shortlist

    6. 6.4 The selection committee receives applications and creates a shortlist of candidates for further assessment and selection.

    7. 6.5 The selection must be based on the normal requirements of an application form, a letter of motivation, a curriculum vitae, referees' reports and any other information which the selection committee determines, but must maintain the privacy of individuals and the confidentiality of its proceedings until a decision has been made on the final shortlist for interviews.

    8. Open faculty process prior to interviews

    9. 6.6 In an open faculty process, faculty staff are given the opportunity to meet the shortlisted candidates, after which feedback is provided to the selection committee.

    10. 6.7 The form of the process will be determined by the selection committee and could entail:
      1. A public presentation to staff and students of the faculty (which will be advertised internally in the faculty); and/or
      2. Visits to departments within the relevant faculty; and/or
      3. A meeting with the Dean's Advisory Committee.
    11. 6.8 At this point the names of the shortlisted candidates will become public and each candidate on the shortlist must confirm his/her candidacy and agree to participate in the open process.

    12. 6.9 If a candidate wishes to maintain confidentiality at this stage the selection committee may decide to forgo the open process for all candidates, or to proceed in which case the candidate concerned is free to withdraw his/her application before the shortlist is made public. If however, the selection committee does decide to forgo the process and the candidate is selected as the preferred candidate, he or she will be required to present to the Faculty Board.

    13. Final interview and recommendation

    14. 6.10 The selection committee must interview each candidate on the final shortlist. The structure of the interview is determined by the selection committee and HR may advise the selection committee on appropriate selection methodologies to use.

    15. 6.11 The selection committee then makes a recommendation. It must make every effort to reach its decision by consensus. Failing this, a recommendation requires at least two-thirds of the members present to be in favour of the decision.

    16. 6.12 In the case of the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, the two-thirds majority must include the support of the most senior representative from the WCG-DOH or NHLS. This support will be on behalf of the WCG-DOH or NHLS and no further approvals for the appointment will be required.

  7. The approval process
    1. Faculty Board

    2. 7.1 The selection committee submits a full report on the recruitment and selection process to the Faculty Board, for consideration at a special meeting. The name and curriculum vitae (but no referees' reports) of the recommended candidate must be made available to the Faculty Board members.

    3. 7.2 In the case where first and second choice candidates are identified (i.e. where the second choice candidate is recommended for appointment should the first choice candidate decline the offer), normally only the name of the first choice candidate will be submitted to the Faculty Board. However, in highly exceptional circumstances and where manifestly justified, the selection committee may decide to submit the name of the second candidate as well.

    4. 7.3 The special meeting is chaired by a Deputy Dean. The Vice-Chancellor or nominee who chaired the selection committee presents the report and recommendation. This is done orally and a written report may be circulated in advance. Where the selection committee decides, the candidate may make a presentation and answer questions from the Board.

    5. 7.4 The purpose of this meeting is for Faculty Board members to make a decision on whether they would have confidence in the candidate.

    6. 7.5 The quorum for a Faculty Board is as decided by Senate from time to time, but may not be less than one third of the total membership of the Faculty Board where the total membership is reduced by:
      1. The number of those who are on approved leave at the date of the meeting, and
      2. The number of those who have missed the last three ordinary meetings of the Board prior to the meeting in question.
    7. 7.6 Members of the Faculty Board vote by secret ballot. Only members of the Faculty Board who are present at the meeting may vote and no proxy, email or postal votes may be accepted.

    8. 7.7 The outgoing Dean and any member of the Faculty Board who was an applicant for the post, may not attend the Faculty Board meeting and may not vote.

    9. 7.8 Before the recommendation can be taken forward, a 60% (sixty percent) majority of those voting must be in support of the candidate. This majority excludes those who abstained.

    10. 7.9 Should the candidate not receive the above majority vote, the selection committee must reconvene to make a decision on whether to submit its recommendation to the Institutional Forum (IF) and Council, or to return to the selection process.

    11. 7.10 If the selection committee decides to proceed with its recommendation, the Faculty Board will be entitled to submit a co-report containing the views of its members to the IF and Council.

    12. Institutional Forum

    13. 7.11 The selection committee reports on the procedures followed to the Institutional Forum (IF) including steps taken to meet equity targets, but not the names of any candidates or the recommended candidate. The IF then submits its report to Council validating the process that has been followed, with any further recommendations.

    14. 7.12 If the IF is not satisfied that the correct process has been followed, it must state its reasons and make suggestions as to how any actual or perceived deficiencies should be resolved as part of a dialogue with the selection committee. These matters, including outcomes, must be reported to Council, which makes the final decision on how to proceed.

    15. Council

    16. 7.13 The selection committee submits a full report on the recruitment and selection process, together with the Faculty Board outcome and the IF report, to Council. This report includes an abbreviated curriculum vitae of the recommended candidate, the selection committee's reasons for recommending that candidate and the names of the other short-listed candidates.

    17. 7.14 Every Council member has the right to inspect the full selection committee record (including all applications and referees' reports). This is made available to Council members by the HR department.

    18. 7.15 Council is entitled to take a decision in this matter by simple majority, but it may determine that a greater majority is required with respect to this particular matter. Should Council not approve the recommendation, it refers the matter back to the selection committee for further consideration.

    19. 7.16 Ordinarily, Council will decide the matter by ballot.

Related links

Process flow

Internal administrative procedures for Faculty Managers

Academic recruitment policy

Re-appointment of an incumbent Dean

Employment equity policy

Roles and responsibilities

This is a guideline to the internal UCT roles and responsibilities involved in the appointment process for new Deans.

Read in conjunction with HR Delegated Authorities.

Role Responsibilities
Human Resources (HR) Client Services Manager
  • Informs VC/DVC of vacancy twelve to eighteen months prior.
  • In the case of the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, the Client Services Manager assists with obtaining the necessary approval for filling the post from the WCG-DOH.
Staff Recruitment Advisor
  • Assists VC/DVC with constituting selection committee.
  • Assists VC/DVC with completing selection committee form HR165 and obtains VC signature.
  • Assists VC/DVC with drafting of advert and position description.
  • Provides full support for recruitment, selection and approval processes.
  • In addition, provides full support for any additional faculty selection committee meetings to consider any post-Deanship appointments.
  • Writes up all reports and recommendations.
  • Forwards relevant appointment documentation, (including appointment form HR100c), to Appointments Office for preparation of letter of offer.
  • Forwards documentation to Appointments Office relating to any post-appointment agreements.
  • In the case of the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, any post-Deanship appointment to joint staff must be in consultation with the Western Cape Government's Department of Health (WCG-DOH), or other employing authority (the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS)).
Appointments Office
  • Prepares offer to successful candidate and obtains VC signature.
  • Liaises with Remuneration Committee on Cost Of Employment.
  • Liaises with candidate, VC and other key stakeholders on issues pertaining to Deanship offer and any post-Deanship appointments.
  • Completes any other relevant HR forms pertaining to offer, e.g. additional allowances/post-Deanship appointments.
  • Copies offer letter to Recruitment Advisor and relevant HR Practitioner.
  • Conducts background checks on candidate.
  • Sends relevant HR forms to HR Administrator once candidate has accepted.
HR Administrator
  • Captures appointment on SAP.
Vice-Chancellor (VC) or nominee
  • Consults with DAC on elections to selection committee and position criteria.
  • Chairs selection committee or nominates a Chair.
  • Speaks to reports and recommendations at special Faculty Board meeting, IF and Council.
  • Contacts all candidates after interviews with outcomes.
  • Checks content of letter of offer to successful candidate and signs letter.
  • Liaises with candidate on any special issues pertaining to offer.
Dean's Advisory Committee (DAC)
  • Liaises with VC on faculty elections to the selection committee.
  • Recommends faculty membership structure to Faculty Board.
Selection committee
  • Conducts full recruitment and selection process in accordance with policy and procedures.
Faculty Manager

See Internal administrative procedures for Faculty Managers
  • Provides support for:
    • faculty elections to the selection committee;
    • open faculty process with candidates during selection process;
    • special Faculty Board meeting meeting to consider selection committee's recommendation.
Faculty Board
  • Recommends faculty structure for selection committee.
  • Considers selection committee's final recommendation and conducts voting process.
  • Reports outcome to faculty, HR and IF.
Institutional Forum (IF)
  • Verifies process report from selection committee and recommends to Council.
Council
  • Considers reports and recommendations from the selection committee, Faculty Board and IF.
  • Makes the appointment.
Western Cape Government Department of Health (WCG-DOH). In the case of the appointment of a Dean of Health Sciences, the WCG-DOH:
  • approves the filling of the post;
  • has representatives serving on the selection committee;
  • approves the appointment through the support in the selection committee of their most senior representative.
National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) In the case of the appointment of the Dean of Health Sciences, the NHLS:
  • has representatives serving on the selection committee;
  • approves the appointment through the support in the selection committee of their most senior representative.

Page last updated: 25 June 2015