Top Management
Bloemfontein Campus
Vice-Chancellor and Principal (Peromnes Level 1 – Contract appointment: five years, with the possibility of reappointment for a further term)

The University of the Free State’s Vision 130 aspires for the UFS to be a research-led, and regionally engaged University that contributes to development and social justice through the production of globally competitive graduates and knowledge.  With this Vision, the University of the Free State commits to continuously renew itself to ensure the retention of our vitality and relevance, beyond merely seeking to survive current and future change, the UFS aims to continue to grow and extend its influence and impact locally, regionally and globally.

The University of the Free State has seen outstanding leadership, leaders who have, embraced, managed and dynamically led the University through the issues of the day.  The University is seeking to appoint a new Vice-Chancellor and Principal who has a clear understanding of teaching and learning excellence, supported by impactful and wide-ranging research, underpinned by innovation, collaboration and inter-disciplinarity.

The Vice-Chancellor and Principal is the head of the University, responsible for the academic stature of the institution and its effective and efficient management. The Vice-Chancellor and Principal is accountable to the University Council and is assisted in the management and administration of the University, by the members of the Executive and the senior management team.

Duties and responsibilities

The Vice-Chancellor and Principal assumes overarching responsibility for:

  • driving Vision 130 and the University’s strategic plan with courage, integrity and a deep commitment to teaching and research excellence, social justice and the achievement of a transformed institution;
  • managing the University to ensure that it is locally and globally competitive, financially sustainable, and environmentally and socially responsible;
  • implementing the University’s strategic, change, and operational initiatives;
  • facilitating and promoting external fundraising;
  • facilitating and managing sound policies and practices for the functioning of the University;
  • establishing, maintaining, and promoting sound relations with staff and students and with key stakeholders locally, nationally and internationally;
  • identifying and managing the strategic and operational risks to which the University may be exposed; and
  • ensuring local, regional, and international participation by the University.

Inherent requirements

A doctoral degree would be generally required and the ideal candidate will be someone who fulfill the following criteria:

  • Has a distinguished academic and research record.
  • Recognised academic standing as a Professor or eligibility for appointment to the rank of Professor.
  • A minimum of ten years of proven high level leadership success at an executive level having progressed through the academic/management hierarchy.
  • Proven leadership, management and communication skills at senior management level in higher education.
  • An ability to successfully manage leadership teams, and to empower, motivate and unite staff, students and other stakeholders to achieve the shared objectives of the institution.
  • Track record of visionary, innovative, and strategic leadership, and commitment to excellence in the successfully developed and overseen the implementation of fundamental change in complex spaces.
  • Experience of human resources and financial management appropriate to the level of appointment.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the funding arrangements for higher education and a deep understanding of the financial health and sustainability of universities.
  • Proven record as a fundraiser.
  • Proven understanding and appreciation of the pressures and opportunities in the higher education sector, locally and globally.
  • A commitment to harnessing technology to achieve the strategic objectives of the University and to support the University in preparing graduates fit for the workplace of the future.
  • A commitment to sustaining and a track record for further developing a student-centred, transformed, inclusive and multilingual culture for all stakeholders, especially students.
  • A proven record of well-developed national and international networks that will support growth for the University and its stakeholders.

 

As part of the interview process, provisionally shortlisted candidates will be expected to deliver a short presentation to the Selection Committee and the community of the UFS

Term of Office:  The appointment is for a five-year term with the possibility of a reappointment for a further term.

Commencement Date:  1 January 2025

Remuneration:  A competitive remuneration package is offered commensurate with similar positions in South African universities.

Closing date for applications:  31 July 2024 at 17:00

Enquiries:  Please send enquiries to Susan van Jaarsveld at vjaarsj@ufs.ac.za

Complete applications, comprising the documentation as set out below, must be sent via email to VC.Vacancy2024@ufs.ac.za before the closing date.  Incomplete applications will not be considered.

  • A covering letter indicating how you meet the requirements.
  • A comprehensive curriculum vitae.
  • Your vision for the UFS.
  • Certified copies (not older than six months) of qualifications and certificates.
  • A certified copy (not older than six months) of your identity document (ID or passport in the case of foreign nationals).
  • Details of at least five referees.

Details about the University of the Free State can be found at https://www.ufs.ac.za/about-the-ufs

By applying for the position, you acknowledge that you have read, understand, and accept that the recruitment, selection, and appointment process for the position will be conducted in accordance with the University’s Regulations for the Appointment and Reappointment of a Vice-Chancellor and Principal, and you affirm your commitment to adhere to the Regulations and to engage constructively in the selection process.

By applying for the position, you consent to any background checks relevant to your application on your academic background (including, but not limited to your qualifications and verification of your publications). You also consent to checks on your disciplinary record, criminal history, and insolvency status. By providing this consent, you understand that the University may verify the accuracy of the information provided in your application and that any discrepancies discovered may impact your candidacy for the position. Candidates are required to provide a list of referees who can speak to their qualifications, experience, and suitability for the position of Vice-Chancellor and Principal.  Candidates may be required to make themselves available for extensive leadership assessments. 

The University is committed to the advancement of diversity and to employment equity. Our Employment Equity Policy is available at: EEA13_EE Plan UFS 1 March 2022 (003)

The University reserves the right not to make an appointment.  The University reserves the right to extend the closing date if deemed appropriate.

The University processes personal information in line with its obligations under the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) and any personal information provided to the University will be treated as confidential and processed in accordance with the rights provided to data subjects under POPIA.