May 01, 2020

Head of Political Studies and Governance Department

  • University of the Free State
  • Bloemfontein, South Africa
Full time Education

Job Description

Department of Political Studies and Governance
Academic Head of Department (contract appointment: 5 years)
Job ID: 3375


KINDLY TAKE NOTE: Applications may only be submitted online through the official UFS vacancy website. Applications submitted through any other platform will not be considered

Please ensure that all relevant documentation is attached to your application. INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED. Please note: Combine all the below documents as one document (PDF or Word), when uploading it on the online applications system.

• A detailed curriculum vitae and cover letter (please note that the first three (3) referees on your CV will be contacted with regard to reference checking);
• Certified copies (not older than 3 months) of all academic records;
• Certified copies (not older than 3 months) of qualifications (please provide the SAQA accreditation in the case of foreign qualifications);
• A certified copy (not older than 3 months) of your identity document (ID);
• Proof of registration with a Professional Body (if applicable);
• A copy of your driver’s license (if applicable).

Duties and responsibilities:

• Provide academic leadership by creating and executing strategies to establish the department as a leader in the field of Political Studies and Governance.
• The AHD is directly responsible for:
o Directing the academic debate in the department;
o Influencing the department's overall climate and culture;
o Energising everybody in the department and beyond; and
o Shaping the future of the department.
• Contribute to the overall leadership in the faculty.
• Responsible for frequent and continuous planning and execution of plans, general organising and coordinating of staff, students and activities, mentoring and motivating staff, structuring, and exercising overall control.
• Create an atmosphere of collaboration among staff.
• Responsible for effective internal and external communication.
• The AHD is pivotal in linking the department‘s staff and students with the University's management and administration through communication, negotiation and consultation.
• Active participation and involvement in faculty management structures, attending meetings, leading project teams, representing the department and faculty, and fulfilling the roles of liaison officer and marketer, when necessary.
• Active participation and involvement in applicable UFS management structures, e.g. Senate.
• Initiate, formulate and implement a visionary academic strategy for the department that is aligned with and supportive of the guiding strategic documents of the UFS and faculty.
• Ensure –
o The provision of top-quality, research-informed facilitation of learning at all levels of teaching in the department;
o Relevance of content, material and presentation in all modules;
o The enhancement of student experiences and their continuous engagement in academic debates;
o That adequate rules and regulations are in place to optimally deliver high-quality teaching and learning programmes on both undergraduate and postgraduate levels;
o Adherence to all the rules and regulations of the UFS, faculty and department;
o Quality and timely feedback on student work;
o Proper and quality-driven academic advice and support to all under- and postgraduate students in the department; and
o The revisiting and development of fresh learning programmes that will help to position the department as a leader in its field.
• Create and maintain a(n) –
o Visionary research strategy for the department; and
o Environment that encourages research, leading to strong and active research habits and a culture of inquiry.
• Ensure that –
o Every academic staff member is engaged in quality-driven and discipline-specific research;
o Postgraduate students are recruited to broaden the research base of the department; and
o Ethical requirements are met.
• Guide and support senior academics towards acquiring NRF ratings.
• Engage actively with the faculty research committee and the UFS Directorate of Research Development in order to ensure sustainable financial support for departmental research initiatives.
• Build an effective team of scholars through:
o Planning and implementing a fair and reasonable dispensation regarding the workload of staff members in the department;
o Planning and implementing a clear and reasonable career path for every staff member in the department, taking account of the strategic plans of the University, faculty and department;
o Appropriate mentoring interventions where and whenever needed;
o Managing staff performance in accordance with existing university policies and procedures;
o Recruitment and selection of scholars in the case of vacancies and/or specific strategic needs, whenever strategic repositioning requires expansion of academic endeavours;
o Creating and maintaining a scholarship-friendly environment in the department; and
o Planning and overseeing effective and relevant staff development.
• Responsible for the ultimate responsibility in terms of financial management which culminates in:
o Annual budgeting;
o Financial planning;
o Allocation of funds; and
o Financial control.
o Adherence to the UFS’s financial policies and procedures.
• Encourage and actively support academic staff members to apply for external research and other grants.

Inherent requirements:

• PhD-degree in Political Science or International Relations.
• Any full-time, permanent member of the academic staff of the Department of Political Studies and Governance at the University of the Free State (UFS).

Required competencies:

Result Orientated
o The ability to set high standards, establish tough goals, and to work to achieve success.
o The ability to cope with a frequently changing environment and to adapt to evolving situations.
Strategic thinking
o The ability to deal with several activities at a time.
o The ability to be creative and open-minded when addressing work issues.
Business Acumen
o The ability to adhere to rules and strictly follow work regulations.
o The ability to lead, take charge of situations, and offer opinions and directions to others.
o The ability to be cooperative with others, display a good-natured attitude, and encourage people to work together.
Building coalitions
o The ability to negotiate, sell, influence and to persuade others.
o The ability to interact with others and establish personal connections with people.

Term of office:

Five (5) years contract appointment as Academic Head of Department, with the possibility of reappointment for a further term.

Assumption of duties:

1 July 2020.

Closing date:

4 May 2020.


The allowance is available on request.


The University reserves the right not to fill the post. The University subscribes to and applies the principles prescribed by the Employment Equity Act. Preference will be given to candidates from the designated groups, in accordance with the principles of the aforementioned act and the employee profile of the specific department/division.

The UFS is committed to the pursuit of excellence, diversity and redress in achieving its equity targets.For this post, we seek particularly to attract black (i.e. African, Coloured and Indian) and disabled South African candidates.

Applications that are incomplete will not be considered. The UFS will only consider applications of candidates who meet all the inherent requirements of the position. Communication will be limited to shortlisted candidates only. Should you not be contacted within six weeks of the closing date for applications, you may assume that your application was unsuccessful.

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