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Leadership selection for academic posts: Heads of Schools

Selection and appointment

The Vice-Chancellor makes recommendations for appointments to Head of School to the Council, following the steps outlined below:

Stage 1: Establish whether the incumbent Head of School wishes to continue in post, ideally in the Spring of their penultimate year of office. Agreement to serve a further term will be made where there is consensus from the incumbent Head, the School, and University leaders. Where it is agreed the existing Head of School should continue in post they should be offered the same leadership development review as new appointments.

Stage 2: If there is a vacancy, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor - Academic Planning and Resource will prepare a job description and person specification, utilising the leadership behaviours embedded in Values for Working Together and Professional Behaviours. Expressions of interest should be sought via the University of Reading jobs page, allowing any academic from across the University to apply.

Stage 3: Expressions of interest should be submitted to the HR Department and will be passed to the Selection Panel who will consider the applicants. Views would be sought, as appropriate from the Professors, Readers, Senior Lecturers and Lecturers from within the School prior to interviews with candidates considered appropriate. Interviews will be chaired by the Vice-Chancellor and include the Dean, the HR Partner, a Pro-Vice-Chancellor, and a current Head of School.

Stage 4: The Vice-Chancellor makes a recommendation to Council.

Developmental input

In conjunction with a revised selection process there will also be a structured individual developmental input provided to new Heads of School to commence after the appointment is confirmed, in the form of a Personal Development planning session with the HR Partner, working with the Centre of Quality Support and Development. It is likely that this initial session will focus on a combination of the leadership development requirements (using diagnostic tools such as 360 reviews as appropriate) and the managerial knowledge base required (principally on University processes such as budgeting, insurance, workload management, change management, recruitment etc).

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