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You are here College Governance > Faculty/School Governance - Appointments and Elections > Procedures for Appointment to Headship of School

Procedures for Appointment to Headship of School

Head of School are appointed by, and are formally accountable to, the Board.
The process of election to Headship of School is supervised by the Faculty Dean1

The Head of School may be appointed by

  • Election (see below)
  • Selection by internal or open competition (see below)
  • Combined Nomination and Election (see below)

At least three months before the expiry of the term of appointment of the existing Head of School2, the Dean will seek advice from the School Executive on the mode of appointment and the term of office of a new Head of School.

The term of office of those appointed to Headship of School will be a three to five year period, with the possibility of renewal for a total period of no more than eight years. Appointment will normally be taken up on the day following the end of Trinity Term of the relevant year.

Appointment by Election

Eligibility

  1. Nominations for Head of School should be from academic staff from within the School concerned, and be proposed and seconded by a member of the academic staff from within the School electorate. Nominations for Headship of School should be received by the stated deadline.
  2. Candidates for election must be on the Associate Professor gradeor above and must consent to their nomination.3
  3. The Dean will advise the Provost of the name(s) nominated and, on receiving the Provost’s consent, will conduct an election by secret ballot.
  4. If no candidate or only one candidate is nominated, the Provost may require that the process as set out for appointment by combined nomination and election below is followed.

Electorate

  1. The electorate for Head of School shall be:
  • Academic staff, part-time and full-time
  • Research staff, part-time and full-time
  • Support-staff, part-time and full-time

according to the definition of those eligible to be on the electoral register, and using the most recent electoral register.

  • Undergraduate and postgraduate student representatives4

The academic staff vote should count for at least 70% of the total eligible vote and the vote of the other three groups will collectively account for no more than 30%.

Ballot

  1. Where there is only one candidate for election, s/he must secure 55% or more of the total votes cast to be elected Head of School and at the same time secure 50% or more of the academic votes cast.
  2. Where there are more than two candidates for election, single vote transfer will operate. A candidate must secure 50% or more of the academic vote cast to be deemed successful.

Conduct of Ballot

  1. Ballot papers and return envelopes will be forwarded to all members of the electorate by the Faculty Office and a deadline set for return of papers of not more than three weeks.
  2. Voting is anonymous and ballot papers must have a feature to guarantee authenticity.
  3. Ballot papers must be returned in the envelopes provided and must be received by the specified deadline. Return envelopes must be date stamped on receipt to ensure they were received within the timescale. Any ballot papers not returned in the envelopes provided or received after the deadline will not be counted.
  4. All ballot papers must be opened at the same time in the presence of an adjudicator from outside the School.
  5. The votes are counted and the successful candidate is nominated to the Provost

Nomination to Board

  1. The Provost will present the name of the person elected for nomination to the Headship to Board for approval and to Council for information.

Appointment by Internal or Open Competition

The Head of School, following consultation with the School Executive and having received the advice of the Faculty Dean, may propose to the Provost that the School wishes to proceed to select a new Head of School by internal competition only, or by open competition.5

In the case of internal competition this should take place at least three months before the expiry of the term of appointment to the existing Head of School. In the case of open competition, the process should commence 12 months prior to the expiry of the current Head’s appointment.

Process

  1. The Faculty Dean1 will form a search committee and will submit its membership to Council and Board for approval.
  2. The membership of the search committee will normally include the
    • Faculty Dean (Chair),
    • two or three members of the School
    • two senior members of academic staff (one from within the Faculty and one from outside the Faculty); one of whom is a nominee of the Provost
    • an external assessor
  3. An advertisement and further particulars will be drafted and approved by the search committee and circulated internally and externally as appropriate.
  4. Candidates must hold the position of Senior Lecturer grade (or its equivalent) or above, and meet other requirements as may be determined by the search committee.3
  5. Applications will be handled by Human Resources which will liaise with the Faculty Dean as Chair of the Search Committee.
  6. Applications shortlisted by the search committee will be invited to attend for interview and to make a presentation. All members of the School Committee will be invited to attend the presentations.
  7. The search committee shall nominate a candidate for appointment as Head of School and the Dean will forward this nomination to the Provost.

Nomination to Board

  1. The Provost will present the name of the person elected for nomination to the Headship to Board for approval and to Council for information.

Appointment by Combined Nomination and Election of Head of School

The process of nomination and election to Headship of School is supervised by the Faculty Dean.1

  1. Three months before the expiry of the term of appointment of the existing Head of School, the School Executive will propose the membership of a nominating committee.
  2. The membership of the nominating committee should not normally exceed four, including the Dean as chair.
  3. The Dean will submit the membership of the nominating committee to Council and Board for approval.
  4. The nominating committee will propose up to three candidates, whose names will be forwarded by the Dean to the Provost for approval.
  5. A candidate must be an elector and be on the Senior Lecturer grade or above and must consent to their nomination.3
  6. The approved shortlist of candidates will proceed to election by secret ballot, in accordance with 5-13 above.

1 Where the Dean of the Faculty is also a member of the School concerned, a pro-Dean shall be invited to act as Dean for the purpose of conducting the election.
2 Should the School wish to proceed with an open competition an earlier timescale will be required. In such a case the School Executive should consult the Faculty Dean and present a proposal to the Provost approximately 12 months before the expiry of the term of appointment of the existing Head of School.
3 In specific exceptional circumstances it would be appropriate for an Assistant Professor to stand for a Head of School election. See BD11-12/069 for further details.
4 The number of representatives to comply with the principles laid down in the Senior Lecturer’s memo to Council, ‘Student Representation on School, Vice-Deanery and Faculty Committees’, 4 October 2005
5 Within the resources available to the School.