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The role of Dean

Deans are senior members of staff appointed to provide leadership not only of their Schools but across the University.

Deans are members of the Academic Leadership Team (ALT), whose purpose is to put academic leadership at the centre of the decision-making processes in the University. Matters considered at ALT feed into the activities of the University and its main committees.

Deans report to the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor and have regular contact with other Senior Officers including the Pro-Vice-Chancellors, Director of Finance, Chief Operating Officer and Vice-Chancellor and President. Deans are also the crucial, active link between the centre and subject groupings, ensuring that each is aware of the other’s concerns and priorities and that policy is effectively developed and implemented.

1. Job purpose

  • To lead by example the University’s commitment to excellence and encourage all individuals to realise their full potential.
  • To be an integral member of the University’s Academic Leadership Team, chaired by the Vice-Chancellor, thereby contributing to the strategic leadership of the whole University.
  • To provide strategic and operational leadership for the School, responsible for maintaining and developing the School’s outstanding international reputation in research, scholarship, teaching and enterprise in line with the University’s strategy.
  • To ensure that statutory requirements are met.


2. Duties and responsibilities

  1. To lead the School, developing and delivering a rolling strategic development plan, designed to maintain and further develop the School’s excellence in research, scholarship, teaching and enterprise in line with University strategy.
  2. To represent the School in the international and national academic and practitioner communities, with the object of promoting the School and enhancing its status and esteem.
  3. To appoint (in consultation with the Provost and Pro-Vice-Chancellors) and work with the School’s Senior Management Team to foster an environment and culture that delivers excellence in all activities and which includes:
    1. Enhancement of the university’s distinctive international reputation for research,
    2. Support for a life-shaping student experience and the generation of an international reputation for undergraduate and postgraduate learning and teaching,
    3. Development of an international reputation for enterprise activities,
    4. Investment in all staff and their career development via appropriate training and through annual Performance and Development Review (PDR).
    5. The setting and achievement of targets for the School, its sections, and all staff,
    6. Promotion of collaborations in research, teaching and enterprise leading to outstanding partnerships which deliver social, economic and cultural prosperity,
    7. An inclusive and equitable environment for all staff and students and visitors,
    8. A collegial approach to delivering success.
  4. To exercise high standards of skill and care in managing the School’s finances, its organisational structures, resource allocation and deployment; staff development arrangements (including PDR and promotion); reward & incentive mechanisms; safety and risk management, in the pursuit of strategic aims and objectives.
  5. To receive and implement the approved School budget, devising appropriate arrangements for the management of resource. Whilst Deans may delegate authority for the dayto-day management of budgets, they retain authority and responsibility for them at all times.
  6. To represent the School at appropriate University decision-making bodies.
  7. To chair appointment panels for appointments within the School and to serve on other appointment panels as required.
  8. To identify and then manage underperformance.
  9. To undertake appeals/grievance/disciplinary issues as required.
  10. To contribute a School perspective to the collegial development of the University.
  11. To pursue his or her own research, scholarship and teaching and contributing to the School’s research and teaching programmes.
  12. To engage in training programmes in the University (e.g. as provided by Staff Development section), consistent with the needs and aspirations of the post holder and the University.
  13. To implement the University’s health and safety management systems and policies and ensure effective arrangements with regard to employees, students and other individuals whilst engaged in School activities.
  14. To represent the School and its interests on ceremonial and on other occasions.
  15. To undertake other duties as required by the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

3. Special conditions

The term of office as Dean of School is for a period of 5 years, at which time the position will be reviewed. The postholder will also hold the role of Professor of the University which is open-ended. While Dean of School, an honorarium is payable in addition to the postholder’s salary.

4. Organisational Responsibility

Reports to: Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor