06 March 2020


Opportunity Description

Executive Dean (5-year fixed-term contract)
Recruiter: University of Johannesburg
BEE: Applicable
Contract : Temporary / Contract
Location: Gauteng
Available: As soon as possible
Category: Academic
Offer: Market Related

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) is a vibrant and cosmopolitan university anchored in Africa and intent on global excellence and stature. With an emphasis on independent thinking, sustainable development and multiple partnerships, UJ is an international university of choice.

Minimum Requirements

  • Substantial academic stature commensurate with an appointment at Professorial level, with a PhD or an equivalent qualification.
  • An excellent academic reputation evidenced by a sustained record of research and/or creative output.
  • Excellent strategic leadership skills and excellent knowledge, insight and vision with regard to the creative disciplines within the context of the higher education sector both nationally and internationally.
  • Proven resource, strategic and people management skills, with exceptional ability and resilience to function under pressure.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Excellent conflict management and administrative skills, along with the ability to develop and maintain collaborative networks.
  • Unquestionable professional integrity and stature.


  • Where applicable, professional registration with a relevant South African statutory body;
  • Rating with the National Research Foundation (NRF) in South Africa or the potential for rating within a one/two-year period.

Terms of appointment:

The position of Executive Dean is a 5-year contract appointment, with an executive-level remuneration and benefits package commensurate with experience and qualifications. The appointment may be renewed for a further term of office subject to performance.

Retirement age:

The normal retirement age for members of the Executive Leadership Group is 65. Consideration will be given to candidates who would able to serve for a 5-year term.

Job Specification
The Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA) at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) is a dynamic hub of creativity, offering a mix of degree and diploma programmes from undergraduate to PhD level in architecture, fashion design and clothing manufacture, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, jewellery design, multimedia design and visual art. It is also home to the Graduate School of Architecture, Africa’s youngest and most dynamic school of architecture, and UJ Arts & Culture, which offers an array of award-winning, public-facing performing arts events. The Faculty has two research centres, Visual Identities in Art and Design (VIAD), and the NRF SARChI Chair in South African Art History and Visual Culture; a DESIS Lab; and a community of practice focused on the scholarship of teaching and learning in art and design. The Faculty also houses two art galleries.

The University is seeking to appoint an exceptionally motivated, qualified and energetic leader of high professional and academic standing as the new Executive Dean of FADA. Reporting to the Deputy Vice-Chancellors Academic and Research & Internationalisation, the Executive Dean is a member of the Executive Leadership Group of the University and is responsible for shaping, leading and delivering world-class, transformative design and arts education, with a strong focus on research. The Executive Dean has primary operational, administrative and strategic oversight of the Faculty, effectively and collegially stewarding the faculty to achieve excellence in all aspects of teaching, research, innovation and community engagement.

UJ is a vibrant and cosmopolitan university, anchored in Africa and driven by a powerful strategy focused on attaining global excellence and stature. With an emphasis on independent thinking, sustainable development and multiple partnerships, UJ is an international university of choice. The University is guided by the Vice-Chancellor’s vision of “Positioning UJ in the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) within the context of the changing social, political and economic fortunes of Africa.” In the context of FADA, this is framed in terms of ‘Society 4.0’ which recognises the dynamic potential of a multi-disciplinary, creative environment in finding socially responsible, creative solutions to the challenges of our time.

The Executive Dean will be expected to:

  • Determine, articulate, implement and lead faculty-based strategic initiatives to enhance the Faculty’s reputation and performance in accordance with the University’s 2025 Strategic Objectives, viz. attaining Global Excellence and Stature (GES) in the context of 4IR;
  • Maintain and promote excellence and innovation in teaching and learning;
  • Maintain and promote excellence in research, innovation and creative outputs – both in quality and quantity;
  • Manage a complex multi-campus, multidisciplinary enterprise;
  • Oversee an effective, competitive and responsive Programme Qualifications Mix, which includes the full spectrum of training from undergraduate to PhD level, and ensure academic programme accreditation;
  • Develop and implement relevant online, inbound/outbound and/or joint short-learning programmes and qualifications;
  • Work in conjunction with various institutional stakeholders towards the decolonisation of knowledge within a framework of local relevance and international competitiveness;
  • Manage academic, administrative and professional support staff, including development (recognition, retention and recruitment);
  • Ensure the highest level of Faculty governance, administration and systems functioning, including enrolment planning for the Faculty and management of the students’ academic life cycle;
  • Ensure the effective and efficient delivery of the Faculty’s programmes across academic departments and disciplines;
  • Ensure effective and efficient management of the Faculty’s finances and other resources, subsidies, art galleries, and research centres;
  • Promote the reputation and standing of the Faculty and generally in broader civil society, industry and government in order to attract external funding for creative work, research and innovation;
  • Develop and promote an ecosystem for innovation in the design disciplines, including documented patents, entrepreneurial incubators and start-ups;
  • Strengthen relationships with the public and private sectors, and in particular with industry, professional societies/councils, and academic partners in South Africa and internationally;
  • Promote and sustain excellence, and to manage risk within the portfolio.

How to Apply

To apply, please send a detailed Curriculum Vitae and a letter of motivation outlining a possible vision and strategic direction for the Faculty. The names and full contact details (including telephone numbers and e-mail addresses) of at least 3 traceable and credible referees, should accompany applications.

Applications should be marked “Confidential” and addressed to the Executive Director: Human Resources, University of Johannesburg, PO Box 524, Auckland Park 2006 or e-mailed to: Ms. B Dumezweni at e-mail: bdumezweni@uj.ac.za

ENQUIRIES: Ms. Tokoza Kwinana, tel. +27 (0)11 559-2654