Role & Major Areas of Responsibility (HR/848)
To provide academic leadership, to encourage excellence in teaching and research, manage and develop the department, its staff and its activities through the most effective and cost effective use of resources and within the framework of the University strategic plan and policies, to represent the department to the University.
Heads of Department are responsible to the Dean of the Faculty for the proper discharge of their departmental responsibilities (and, in so doing, to keep the Dean informed of relevant issues) and de jure accountable to the Senate.
Heads of Departments are encouraged to delegate appropriately to individuals or to management teams and to promote the participation of other members of staff in the management of the department.
Areas of responsibility:
- academic policy and planning for the department including the development and monitoring of a strategic plan incorporating a coherent set of objectives
- maintain and improve the reputation of their discipline and department at national and international levels
- ensure the promotion and strengthening of research culture within the department and cross-departmentally, where appropriate, including advising and supporting staff and maintaining a personal research profile
- encourage and promote effective and reflective teaching through example, support and advice
- lead entrepreneurial activity, identifying and exploiting areas of future growth and re-direction and income generation
- develop and control appropriate quality assurance mechanisms
- call and chair departmental meetings as required by Statute and ensure that effective consultation takes place with students and staff
- represent the Department's views and interests at Faculty and University level and to external bodies
- ensure that statutory requirements are met: be familiar with and ensure that the University's policies, systems and procedures are observed, including that such information is disseminated to staff as appropriate
- engage in continuing professional development to ensure adequate skills and knowledge to carry out the role
- manage deploy and develop staff of all categories , their recruitment, retention, induction, performance review, training and development, performance management, attendance (including sickness absence management and industrial action) and in the operation of grievance and disciplinary procedures
- be familiar with and implement the University's policies and procedures in relation to staff; communicate these to members of the department
- develop and promote effective communication processes between the department, students, staff and others and ensure proper information flow
- ensure that the University's Equal Opportunities Policy and its procedures (as they relate to staff and to students) are known and actively applied within the department
- manage the financial affairs of the department, ensuring that the department stays within budget: in the preparation of budgets; the monitoring and control of income and expenditure; financial forward planning, and maintaining up-to-date records
- be responsible to the Vice Chancellor and University Secretary for all legal matters concerning the department, for example health & safety at work, the renting and leasing of property
- ensure that the Financial Regulations of the University are observed.
- ensure that systems exist to collect and provide management information as required in support of the above.
Updated July 2004
Head of Department
Description of desirable skills
This document should be read in conjunction with the Job Description for a Head of an Academic Department. It identifies those skills which a HOD might be expected to deploy and therefore serves: the process of identifying potential HOD successors; as a basis for identifying staff development needs; to identify the development opportunities offered by holding this office.
It is not expected that HODs would be appointed equipped with the full range of skills, rather that they would be developed or acquired during office.
- Entrepreneurial. Identify opportunities for growth and development; negotiate acquisition of resources; foster links with actual and potential clients, collaborators etc
- Leadership. Provide a vision and foster an appropriate culture for the department; be proactive in the development of the department and its members of staff; establish departmental and individual objectives and monitor their achievement
- Communication. Act as advocate and diplomat as required; present the views/interests of the department to other parties, internal and external; actively consult with members of the department; provide free flow of information
- People management. Motivate; give clear and appropriate direction to members of staff; provide evaluation of performance; provide support and advice; handle conflict with impartiality address problems of performance promptly and positively
- Financial management. Prepare annual budgets; allocation of resources to best effect; provide effective control of expenditure
Additionally, it is essential that a Head of Department enjoys the professional respect of their peers, whether in teaching, research or administration.
See also Head of Department Review.
Updated June 2004