Senior Director (post level 4)

South Africa
Jun 13, 2018
Jun 29, 2018
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
Vacancy: 2384: Senior Director (post level 4) (contract appointment: 5 years) Faculty: Department: Directorate for Institutional Research and Academic Planning Division: Type: Support Description:

Directorate for Institutional Research and Academic Planning (DIRAP)

Senior Director (post level 4) (contract appointment: 5 years)

Job ID:  2384

This job was previously advertised as job id 2312.  All applications received in response to the previous advertisement, will automatically be considered again. Previous applicants therefore do not need to reapply.

Main purposes of the Job:

  • Coordinate and monitor the output of the Integrated Transformation Plan (ITP), the Strategic Plan, the Vice-Chancellor's Strategic Projects and the Institutional Multi-Stakeholder Group.
  • Produce the University of the Free State’s Annual Report.

    Duties and responsibilities:

    Institutional Planning

    • Leadership of DIRAP to enable effective linkages between planning and quality with appropriate management information support.
    • Participate in institutional decision-making by representing DIRAP in executive management structures (e.g. Executive Committee of the Senate, University Management Committee, Higher Degrees Committee, Academic Planning and Development Committee).
    • Facilitate evidence-based decision-making at UFS senior management level.
    • Provide inputs for the formulation of the organisational strategy of the University.
    • Coordination of Higher Education policy analysis, advice, advocacy and institutional capacity-development in liaison with executive management.
    • Produce and regularly monitor strategic and institutional plans at institutional and faculty level.
    • Implement institutional development and change interventions for realisation of institutional goals and effectiveness.
    • Develop institutional policies and procedures that effectively address quality requirements in respect of core academic functions and support services.
    • Facilitate and implement change management activities.


    Academic Planning

    • Implement an academic programme planning framework that positions the UFS to achieve an optimal programme and qualification mix and to provide meaningful learning pathways.
    • Ensure that the University’s academic structure and the PQM document correlates, investigate any differences and make the necessary corrections.
    • Provide training to line managers, academic support staff and academic programme managers to enhance the knowledge of the impact of the HEMIS regulations, HEMIS classification systems and the new funding framework for data quality and programme development.


    Quality management of institutional data

    • Develop and monitor a data policy for the University of the Free State.
    • Implement procedures to ensure data quality and the production of validation reports to timely identify incorrect/missing data.
    • Implement data quality control checks and alerting the relevant responsible staff on problem areas.
    • Build a network structure between DIRAP and the different faculties and non-academic departments to streamline procedures for data requests that feed into an institutional data warehouse


    External liaison

    • Liaise with regulatory bodies (HEQC; DoE; Professional Bodies; SETAs), and other external bodies such as USAf.
    • Responsible for fully understanding the university’s external and internal operating environments, and for mobilising the Executive Management to respond to key stimuli.
    • Development, implement and maintain an indicator framework to monitor the performance of the UFS against benchmarks set for the institution.


    Management Information

    • Design, implement, maintain and continuously improve a management information system (MIS) for the UFS to interpret and process raw data and transform it into a business asset.
    • Produce management information that is accessible and provides effective decision-support.
    • Produce and distribute regular reports to deans and heads of department reflecting relevant information for a four-year period (FTE and headcount enrolments, graduates, qualification breakdown according to student performance).
    • Optimise information queries and analyse current and historical data that helps management to analyse and improve performance via forecasting and trend analysis.
    • Design and implement an at-risk system to assist the timely identification of at-risk students at an early stage so as to allow relevant academic and learning support and in particular.
    • Establish a single unifying architecture that helps ensure reporting data consistency across all levels of the organization.
    • Design, implement and maintain website content as part of the UFS Intranet that deals with information pertaining to DIRAP.
    • Liaise with ICT Services to resolve any technical problems experienced by the use of ITS, Ienablers or the Management Information system.
    • Advise the Vice Rector (Academic) and Senior Director: Information and Communication Technology Services on future developments needed to ensure that the UFS uses state-of-the-art technology and software solutions for purposes of efficiency in DIRAP.


    Statutory reporting

    • Full oversight on extraction, validation and correction of HEMIS submissions according to the specifications stipulated by the Department of Education.
    • Full oversight on the correct classification of data elements for adherence to HEMIS and subsidy regulations and reporting any non-adherence to the HEMIS officer, responsible for academic structures for follow-up.
    • Ensure that the HEMIS submissions adhere to the auditing requirements determined by the Department of Education and answering all auditing queries regarding the HEMIS submissions.
    • Monitor and track data element trends and ratios in the HEMIS data to identify investigate and explain marked variations.
    • Full oversight on advice provided to Deans and Academic Managers by DIRAP on the correct classification of data elements in line with the HEMIS rules and make recommendations pertaining to business processes and procedures to improve data quality.
    • Extract, analyse and prepare statistical reports on staff, student, academic and resource information after HEMIS submission and coordinate related capacity-development activities that may be initiated as a result of this.
    • Compile reports on required for subsidy purposes.


    Decision support

    • Provide data analysis support to the processes involved in the development of institutional allocation, budget, cost and enrolment planning models.
    • Render of advice, recommendations and support regarding the use of information for decision making and planning.
    • Responsible for all the mathematical statistical analyses to support model development and to inform policy development and strategic interventions.


    Space coordination

    • Work closely with the relevant divisions to report on space allocation and usage for the whole institution.
    • Work closely with the relevant divisions to ensure seamless timetabling and examination scheduling of the UFS.


    Enrolment Planning

    • Interpret the impact of the changing higher education environment on the institution.
    • Continuously monitor the impact of the Higher Education changes on the planning process.
    • Produce the annual enrolment plan and equity targets.
    • Develop and implement an enrolment management model and process.


    Managerial functions

    • Serve on all forums of the institution that deal with planning.
    • Assist Rectorate in interpreting academic and non-academic proposals to put forward recommendations around the UFS operating environment for executive action.
    • Receive all ad hoc requests for data from staff and management and to evaluate the feasibility of the DIRAP responding positively to such requests in the light of the availability of person power and other resources.


    Leadership and management within the Business Unit

    • Translate UFS strategic plans into DIRAP’s strategic and operational plans, thereby operationalising organisational strategy.
    • Implement and manage DIRAP’s operational plans, goals and objectives and ensures the achievement of DIRAP’s overall key outputs.
    • Maximise staff performance within DIRAP through, for example, mentoring, performance appraisal and succession management.
    • Manage administrative processes related the DIRAP staff members, for example recruitment and leave processes.
    • Manage the DIRAP budget allocation, including the SLE budget.


    Inherent requirements:

    • A relevant PhD.
    • Seven (7) years’ experience in a management level in a higher education environment; with at least five (5) years’ experience in a similar high level position.


    Knowledge and skills required:

  • An advanced level of computer literacy.
  • Knowledge of the South African higher education policy environment and the global knowledge economy.
  • Knowledge of all aspects of the scholarly research process, including research capacity development.
  • Knowledge of strategy development, including the ability to use and interpret data to inform planning.
  • Knowledge of communication and negotiating, including high level presentation (oral and written), relationship management and facilitation skills.
  • Knowledge of people and process management.


  • A degree in computer science or information systems or an equivalent related qualification is strongly recommended.

    Assumption of duties:

    As soon as possible.


    Closing date:

    29 June 2018.


    Candidates must be prepared to participate in the approved appointment procedure which can comprise the following:

  • An interview conducted by a selection committee.
  • Management profile evaluation.
  • Other written or oral assessments.
  • Confidential reference checking.


    The remuneration package is available on request. For any further enquiries, please feel free to contact 051 401 9383/9339.


    Fringe benefits:

    (Subject to specific conditions): pension scheme, medical aid scheme, group life insurance, housing allowance, leave and sick leave, service bonus and study benefits.



    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.


    Applications may only be submitted online. All applications must be accompanied by the following:

  • a detailed curriculum vitae (please note that the first three (3) referees on your CV will be contacted with regard to reference checking);
  • Declaration of intent (vision for the position);
  • copies of qualifications (please provide the SAQA accreditation in the case of foreign qualifications);
  • a copy of your identity document (ID).

    The UFS will only consider applications of candidates who meet all the inherent requirements of the position.  Applications that are incomplete, or sent by fax or e-mail, will not be considered. Communication will be limited to shortlisted candidates only.

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