Job Details

  • Reference number: RefUnitAP1041
  • Province: Gauteng
  • Type of engagement: Fixed term contract
  • Posted: March 14th

Background to Position

University of South Africa (UNISA) is 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 Human Sciences


To conceptualise, design and facilitate the execution of the College’s strategy and architecture in line with the UNISA 2016-2030 Strategy and ODeL Business Model with the aim to provide high quality academic services in the field of Human Sciences (inclusive of tuition, learning, research, community engagement and student support) to all clients of UNISA

Job Description

KPA 1: Strategic Direction and Alignment

  • Conceptualising and designing the departmental strategy taking cognisance of the Institutional strategy and ODeL Business Model.
  • Conceptualising, designing operational plans and KPIs in support of the portfolio’s strategy and the institution’s overall vision and strategy.
  • Leading the implementation of the departmental strategy, plans and procedures to support the ODeL 2016-2030 Strategy.
  • Positioning the College as a leading provider of quality distance education programmes in the field of Human Sciences through an academic product range that expands on its comprehensive character, growing accredited research, and increasing throughput

KPA 2: Conceptualisation, Leadership and Execution

    Providing strategic and thought leadership regarding all operations of the department from an overall perspective, which include:

      • Promoting multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary research in order to increase collaboration and understanding of the social reality and enhancing the impact of research on society.

      • Conceptualising, designing, and implementing effective group and intergroup work and information systems.
      • Managing the strategic relationships and networks with internal and external stakeholders.

      • Promoting community engagement initiatives to the mutual benefit of communities and the university.
      • Promoting academic leadership and citizenship through collaboration and sharing of knowledge within and outside of the University, and through membership of professional bodies.
      • Overseeing and monitoring the course offerings of the College and ensures effective and efficient resource allocation and scheduling.
      • Ensuring compliance with the legislative frameworks impacting on teaching, learning and research, including the standards set by the Council of Higher Education.
      • Researching and analysing national, international and industry trends and developments and conceptualises research and academic plans in response thereto.
      • Overseeing and actively promoting research within the College to increase NRF rated researchers and research grant holders.
      • the provision of support with the management of ODeL-focussed tuition, learner support and community engagement in the College through the Office: Tuition and Learning Support,
      • the strengthening of the UNISA as a leading research institution and as the leading provider of post graduate programmes through the Office: Graduate Studies and Research,
      • the effective functioning of the Schools in the College and ultimately the College's provisioning of academic formal and short learning programmes,
      • the ensuring of high standards of excellence in all aspects of academic work through appropriate quality assurance and enhancement processes,
      • the effective functioning of the Institute for Gender Studies,
      • the effective functioning of the Research Institute for Theology and Religion,
      • the effective functioning of the Art Gallery,
      • the effective functioning of the Anthropology and Archaeology Museum.
      • Proactively identifying, developing and deploying new, viable programmes in line with identified needs.
      • Exploring and promoting the development of multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary programmes with other Colleges, departments and stakeholders within the University.
      • Conceptualising the designing/development of innovative teaching strategies, open distance e­learning methodologies and curriculum development and evaluation.
      • Conceptualising, designing and implementing measures to ensure the optimum accessibility of programmes and services with available resources.
      • Overseeing and monitoring the effective development of study material and guides the development of self-study programmes.
      • Ensuring the quality and relevance of study material by reviewing the Programme Qualification Mix (PQM) and all qualifications within the framework of changes/developments in legislation and government policy requirements.

      KPA 3: Forecasting, Budgeting and Financial Management

      • Managing the department’s resources efficiently, effectively, economically and in accordance with the relevant principles and policies of UNISA.
      • Compiling and managing the departmental budget in line with the portfolio and Institutional budget.
      • Overseeing and monitoring departmental expenditure within budgeted parameters and reporting on variances periodically.
      • Directing and overseeing the funding of departmental operations and budgeted activities.
      • Managing the function’s resources sustainably in accordance with financial principles.

      KPA 4: People Management

      • Ensuring and monitoring that all staff in the department are orientated to the organisation, trained, skilled, retained and that their expertise is optimally applied.
      • Formulating the people agenda in conjunction with the Department of Human Resources.
      • Managing overall performance which includes conducting annual performance reviews of staff in accordance with the performance management process.
      • Directing implementation of training and development programmes for staff, including personal development plans (PDPs). 
      • Establishing a positive, healthy, and safe work environment and culture in accordance with the Transformation Charter.
      • Directing implementation of the human resources policies, procedures, and practices.
      • Shaping staff requirements for the department which includes resourcing of programmes and initiatives.
      • Fostering an organisational culture and climate that is ethics and value driven.

      KPA 5: Governance and Reporting

      • Monitoring and reporting on progress against departmental strategic initiatives.
      • Monitoring and reporting on legislative and statutory compliance. 
      • Promoting sound institutional governance and participating in Institutional governance structures (Professional Citizenship).
      • Guiding the development and implementation of policies and procedures. 
      • Compiling regular reports to Council, its committees and other relevant structures.
      • Providing strategic leadership to the development of the annual performance review as is required by the Department of Higher Education Training (DHET). 
      • Identifying risks relating to the field of responsibility and develop mitigating strategies. 
      • Documenting and reporting on departmental specific matters to internal and external stakeholders.

      • Ensuring proper record keeping of all aspects within field of responsibility

      Inherent Criteria


      • A relevant Doctoral Degree.


      • Minimum 10 years’ relevant experience in Higher Education and academia with at least two (2) years’ experience in middle management (Director role P4) preceded by at least three (3) years’ experience in First Line Management (COD role).

      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 AP1041 to Genevieve Michel