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Our Faculties

As of September 2022, our academic structure comprises three faculties; building on our academic strengths.

They are

  • Faculty of Health and Life Sciences (HLS)
  • Faculty of Environment, Science and Economy (ESE)
  • Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS)

On this page you can read about the governance and management structure in our faculties. 

Each faculty has a Faculty Executive Board (FEB); led by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, who reports to UEB and the Provost. All senior staff in each faculty are members of the Faculty Executive Boards (FEB), ensuring academic intellectual visions inform Faculty and University Strategies and vice-versa. They are also members of any University-wide engagement networks such as Senior Leadership Forum which includes senior colleagues from different domains. This ensures that all key leaders understand University priorities and their role in contributing to them. There is provision for agile decision making in between FEB meetings as required, consisting of a smaller sub-group of faculty leaders. 

Leadership groups in faculties

Group Who is involved Role / function
Faculty Executive Board (FEB)

Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean (PVC)

Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellors

Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor & Dean (where a University Accredited School is present)

Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellors

Heads of Departments

Institute Directors

Director of Faculty Operations

Senior Professional Services staff, representation from Cornwall

FEB may designate an agile senior team to take decisions in between formal meetings.

The Faculty sets its own strategic plan, priorities, and objectives aligning all its constituent parts to University strategy and ensures delivery of its key performance indicators (KPIs) subject to agreement with the SIPC and UEB. It considers and approves the plans of its departments. Each Faculty is led by a Pro-Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean (PVC), reporting to the Provost. Each faculty has Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellors who support the PVC in running the Faculty and also support a group of Departments. The University of Exeter Medical School or Business School (University Accredited Schools) will be led by a Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean (DPVC/Dean) who reports to the PVC.

The PVC is also supported by Associate Pro-Vice-chancellors who are responsible for delivering the University’s sovereign strategies working with the Faculty’s departments. They report to the PVC with a dotted line to the relevant DVC. Professional Services strategic advice and support to the Faculty is provided through a Director of Faculty Operations and an administrative team who jointly line manages embedded Professional Services Partners underpinned by named experts who support departments. The Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean is responsible for overall coordination of faculty activity agreeing arrangements for managing the faculty’s day-to-day business through the Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellors and Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellors.

The Faculty is governed by the Faculty Executive Board (FEB), chaired by the PVC and is accountable to the Provost for performance, a positive inclusive culture and staff/student experience and for the delivery of the 2030 Strategy. The Faculty Executive Board provides collective decision-making for the faculty and membership includes all the senior officers of the faculty including Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor & Dean, Heads of Departments and Directors of Institutes.

The FEB decides strategic priorities, policies and targets within a common framework set by UEB. The FEB determines strategic investments to deliver priorities and gains agreement to these through SIPC. It promotes interdisciplinarity and an international mindset in research and education, identifies opportunities for development through external and internal partnerships, and supports well-being and inclusion of its staff and students in line with University values. The Faculty Executive Board sets the priorities for embedded and aligned professional services teams who will work to create a ‘one faculty’ approach in support of the faculty and its departments.
Faculty priorities requiring cross-Faculty support can be agreed between faculties. If University-level financial support is required, proposals will go to UEB for consideration before consideration through normal SIPC channels.

Department Leadership Team (DLT)

Heads of Departments

Deputy Heads of department (in larger depts.)

Directors of Research and Impact, Education and Student Experience, Global Engagement, Business Engagement and Innovation.

Subject leads, Site Leads and other senior academic leaders

Department Managers (PS)

Aligned Professional Services support

DLT may designate an agile senior team to take decisions in between formal meetings.

Departments are at the heart of the delivery of an inclusive culture and vibrant student and staff experience. The Departments are empowered to manage their activities and develop their own intellectual vision to deliver research and education academic programmes and the staff and student experience within the strategic and policy framework as set and agreed by the Faculty/ School or University. Within the department there may be several distinctive disciplines or major programmes/ research centres. They are led by a Head of Department.

It is the responsibility of the Head of Department to provide leadership and community support to the various elements of the department.

This could be provided through subject or site leads and other senior academic leaders who undertake line management of groups of people and ensure that disciplinary communities are maintained.

Professional Services support is provided through embedded Department Managers and administrative teams underpinned by named HR, Finance and Planning support and further aligned, named support from other Divisions.

School Leadership Team (SLT)

Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean

Associate Deans

Heads of Department

Lead PS Support for the School

SLT may designate an agile senior team to take decisions in between formal meetings.

The School develops its strategy to deliver school priorities within the faculty framework. Manages external accreditation processes and the staff and student experience. Manages external relationships.

Accredited University Schools (Medical School and Business School) are led by Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellors and Deans who chair the School Leadership Team.

In Accredited University Schools more decisions and actions in thematic areas are undertaken on a cross-departmental basis led by an Associate Dean with fewer academic leadership roles in departments.

Faculty thematic groups

Each faculty will have faculty-level groups covering:

  • Global Engagement
  • Education and Student Experience
  • Business Engagement and Innovation
  • Research and Impact
  • Wellbeing, Inclusion and Culture
  • Health & Safety
  • Research Ethics
  • Sustainability
  • Professional Services Leadership Team

Thematic groups will also report to University level thematic governance groups, chaired by the appropriate DVC or Senior University Officer. There will be variations in frequency, membership, and administration across each faculty.

Principles of governance

1. Broadly consistent structures: Faculties will have broadly consistent governance structures and committees that underpin decision-making, but will have variation in frequency, membership and administration to ensure they are appropriate for the Faculty’s internal and external context. School and Department Leadership Teams will report into FEB, via the HoDs and School DPVC and Dean. The PVC, DFO and DPVCs will agree with each HoD the most appropriate local approaches at the department and School levels.

2. Local decision-making: Faculties will review existing institutional, and component College policies, processes and approaches and consider where there are opportunities for enhanced Faculty or departmental accountability (in line with SRG principles) whilst maintaining clear reporting lines to relevant governance groups Faculties are developing frameworks for decision making at FEB, School and Department level which include appropriate engagement with colleagues at key points in the business cycle.

3. Streamlining: Wherever possible Faculties will take the opportunity to look at whether governance structures are still required or need to be operated in the same way as previously. Faculties will focus on removing duplication and ensuring collective and joined up governance. This will include the most appropriate mechanisms for reporting across the governance structures to reduce bureaucracy and ensure effective decision-making. Faculties will target and report a measurable reduction in the number, frequency and/or length of previous College level meetings.

4. Engagement, Transparency and Equal and Inclusive culture: Governance structures will ensure a breadth of representation from across the Faculty. Our ways of working will require fairness, equality of opportunity and inclusion for all.