Job Details

  • Reference number: RefUnitAP1043
  • Province: Gauteng
  • Type of engagement: Permanent appointment
  • 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 Deputy Executive Dean: College of Science, Engineering and Technology.


  •  Provide input to the College strategy and work closely with the Executive Dean to develop and oversee the implementation of College plans. 
  • Work closely with the Executive Dean to achieve the set performance targets of the College.

Job Description

KPA 1: Strategic Direction and Alignment

  • Provide strategic advice on own area of responsibility to the Executive Dean and the UNISA Management as well as other areas as requested, through relevant consultation, conceptualisation, formulation and tabling of proposals and recommendations for decision-making. 
  • Support College plans and implement strategies ensuring alignment with university objectives in the primary focus areas of
  • Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies,
  • Teaching, Learning and Student Support,
  • Community Engagement.
  • Develop strategies for implementing plans ensuring alignment to the university objectives.
  • Develop and constantly monitor strategic direction of own area of responsibility ensuring portfolio and college goals are achieved. 
  • Provide innovative and fresh input to the area of responsibility to support the implementation of objectives.
  • Develop college plans with substance to support the achievement of own area strategies.
  • On approval of college plans by relevant structures, manage the implementation in accordance with policies and procedures and provide feedback.
  • Assist the Executive Dean to oversee implementation in accordance with policies and procedures and provide feedback.
  • Assist the Executive Dean to oversee implementation of academic plans in the College.

KPA 2: Oversee the implementation of the Annual Performance Plan

  • Review infrastructural facilities to create and maintain an enabling environment.
  • Review academic processes to ensure student centredness.
  • Develop an integrated strategy for corporate social responsibility in respect of economic, social and environmental areas in line with King III and UNGC principles.
  • Regularly review and enhance organisational  architecture  in line with institutional strategy and the Comprehensive Open Distance e-Learning (CODeL) model that charts synergies between technology, human capacities, processes, infrastructure and organisational culture.
  • Promote technological capabilities alignment with the CODeL business model.
  • Foster a culture of continuous improvement in all institutional processes and systems through a ‘learning organisation’ paradigm.
  • Assist the Executive Dean to:
  • Simplify, streamline and optimise the college Programmes Qualification  Mix (PQM),
  • Regularly review/develop relevant curricula to promote innovation, and invigorate ‘graduateness’,
  • Implement and maintain the integrated student support model,
  • Review assessment processes for greater balance between formative, summative and alternative assessment,
  • Implement the ODeL model,
  • Increase innovative research, research capacity and postgraduate supervision capacity,
  • Inculcate Multidisciplinary, Interdisciplinary and Trans disciplinary (MIT) research, epistemologies, methods and programmes,
  • Cultivate an ODeL research culture,
  • Sustain a supportive, enabling research environment,
  • Redefine the scope and extent of community engagement in the context of ODeL,
  • Leverage strategic partnership to increase capacity in support of the Academic Plan,
  • Build an enabling environment for community engagement,
  • Create an enabling environment for persons with disabilities,
  • Elevate interests and concerns of persons with disabilities in policy formulation, planning and management practices
  • Assist the Executive Dean to initiate and develop integrated communication and marketing activities to position the college as a leading comprehensive ODeL college by means of the Communication and Marketing Strategy

KPA 3: Develop and manage Technology, Processes and Systems in line with UNISA’s organisational Architecture

  • Participate in finalising and aligning the college Organisational Architecture (OA) with the approved ODeL model.
  • Foster a culture of continuous improvement in all institutional processes and systems through a “learning organisation” paradigm.
  • Ensure sound resource management in the College.
  • Enhance the use of technology in the College

KPA 4: Forecasting, Budgeting and Financial Management

  • Formulating strategy forecast costs, which are factored into the Portfolio budgeting processes.
  • Assist in preparing the College budget for Institutional approval (including funding budgets and Initiative budgets).
  • Assist in directing and overseeing the funding of College operations and budgeted activities.
  • Overseeing and monitoring College expenditure within budgeted parameters and reporting on variances periodically.
  • Providing direction to the College regarding the compilation and management of the budget for the College.
  • Embedding financial sustainability through a green Institution-wide culture.

KPA 5:  Governance and Reporting

  • Monitoring and reporting on progress against Department strategic initiatives.
  • Monitoring and reporting on legislative and statutory compliance as defined by government and relevant professional bodies.
  • Promoting sound institutional governance principles through effective planning, maintenance of operations and service standards, management of compliance and risk and participating in Institutional governance structures.
  • Managing the strategic relationships and networks with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Compiling reports on the Department’s performance at the required intervals reflecting all relevant statistics

KPA 6: People Management

  • Leading, mentoring and empowering employees and change within the College to promote high performance, optimal working environment 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 a well-articulated performance management process.
  • Monitoring the resourcing of the department through recruitment and filling of positions.
  • Ensuring and monitoring that all staff in the department are trained, skilled, retained and that their expertise is optimally applied.
  • Fostering an organisational culture and climate that is ethical and value driven.
  • Providing strategic guidance in the implementation of the human resources policies, procedures and practices.
  • Building a robust, effective leadership pipeline, succession and capacity

Inherent Criteria


  • Relevant Doctoral Degree within a related discipline in the College


  • Minimum 8 years relevant experience in Higher Education.
  • Minimum 4 years relevant management experience, at least as a Head/ Chair of Department (CoD) level.

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 AP1043 to Genevieve Michel