Job Details

  • Reference number: RefUnitAP1039
  • Province: Gauteng
  • Type of engagement: Fixed term contract
  • Posted: March 14th

Background to Position

University of South Africa (UNISA) is a publicly funded Higher Education Institution in South Africa dedicated to distance education. In keeping with its mandate as a Comprehensive, Open and Distance Learning (CODeL) Institution offering a variety of academic and career-focused programmes, UNISA is inviting applications for the position of Executive Dean: College of Graduates Studies.


Lead and champion the growth, development, quality, and continuation of graduate programs and graduate education in accordance with relevant legislation and in alignment with the Institution’s Open Distance and e-Learning (ODeL) 2016-2030 strategy. Cultivate progressive academic and administrative policies related to graduate education. Oversee operations in the College of Graduate Studies. Foster collaborative relationships with UNISA Colleges and external stakeholders serving / served by the graduate programs.

Job Description

KPA 1: Strategic Direction and Alignment

    • Positioning the College as a leading provider of quality distance education programmes in the field of Law through an academic product range that expands on its comprehensive character, growing accredited research, and increasing throughput.
    • Leading and directing the development and implementation of the College strategy and objectives in line with the Institution’s Open Distance and e-Learning (ODeL) 2016-2030 strategy and in accordance with relevant legislation.
    • Overseeing and guiding the development and implementation of the College’s operational plans and KPI’s in support of the function’s strategy and the institutions overall vision and strategy.
    • Initiating, developing, implementing and reviewing policies, processes and programmes related to instructional matters, partnerships and general activities within the College
    • Providing strategic leadership to the development of the annual performance review as is required by the Department of Higher Education Training (DHET).
    • Provides strategic direction in the College’s area(s) of specialisation.

    KPA 2: Operational Leadership and Process Management

    • Providing leadership regarding all the operations of the College from an overall perspective, which include:
    • the provision of interdisciplinary research and graduate studies,
    • the effective functioning of transdisciplinary research and institutes,
    • the effective functioning of the SARChI Chairs (Social Policy and Development Education) and the UNESCO-Africa Chair in Nano-Science and Nano-technology,
    • the registration of and administration with regard to Postgraduate Diplomas, Honours, Masters and Doctoral students (Postgraduate administration services).
    • Ensuring that plans, policies, practices, procedures and programs are aligned with UNISA-wide strategies and College-level directions.
    • Assisting programs with meeting unit-specific accreditation standards as needed.
    • Providing guidance and leadership in the formation and implementation of enrolment management strategies, policies and practices to foster growth and maintain stability depending on the needs of graduate programs.
    • Moving research towards multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary in order to increase collaboration and understanding of the social reality thereby enhancing the impact of research on society.
    • Promoting and facilitating increased focus on peer-reviewed publications and extramural grant activities by graduate students and Office of Graduate Studies in UNISA Colleges.
    • Driving actions to ensure compliance with the legislative frameworks impacting on research, including the standards set by the Council of Higher Education
    • Analysing national, international and industry trends and developments and conceptualises research and academic plans in response thereto.
    • Overseeing and actively promoting research within UNISA to increase NRF rated researchers and research grant holders.
    • Promoting academic leadership and citizenship through collaboration and sharing of knowledge within and outside of the University, and through membership of professional bodies.

    KPA 3: Forecasting, Budgeting and Financial Management

    • Formulating strategy forecast costs, which are factored into the Portfolio and Institutional budgeting processes.
    • Providing leadership regarding the compilation and management of the budget for the College.
    • Overseeing and monitoring the College’s expenditure within budgeted parameters and report on variances periodically.
    • Directing and overseeing the funding of operations and budgeted activities within the College.
    • Overseeing and monitoring the maintenance of accurate financial records of all grants and contracts at all times, as well as the apportionment and expenditure of such funds.

    KPA 4: People Management

    • Leading, mentoring and empowering employees and change within the college to promote high performance, optimal working environment, improving staff morale and cost-effective operations.
    • Guiding and influencing strategic leadership in embedding the values and desired culture of the Institution in line with the Transformation Charter and ODeL 2016-2030 Strategy.
    • Embedding sustainability through a green Institution-wide culture.
    • Driving a high-performance culture by taking accountability for an effective and well-articulated performance management process.
    • Monitoring the resourcing of the College through recruitment and filling of positions
    • Fostering an organisational culture and climate that is ethical and value driven.

    KPA 5: Governance and Reporting

    • Overseeing the operating budgets associated with the Graduate Studies Office.
    • Facilitating the productive use of any central resources allocated to support the Graduate Studies strategic plan, graduate assistants, scholarships/grants or other initiatives to further graduate studies.
    • Managing any endowments, scholarships, or other restricted funds that are designated to the Graduate Studies enterprise.

    Inherent Criteria


    • Relevant Doctoral Degree


    • Minimum 10 years’ relevant experience in Higher Education and academia of which at least 3 years must be in management.

    Application Requirement

    • A Letter of Application
    • A completed UNISA application form
    • A comprehensive CV
    • An abridged CV
    • Names and contact details for at least 3 contactable referees, one of which must be from your present employer. If currently unemployed, a contactable reference from your previous employer must be provided.
    • Certified copies of matric and degree certificates and Identity Document
    • Proof of SAQA verification of foreign qualifications, where relevant

    To apply please forward your application quoting reference number AP1039 to Genevieve Michel