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Academic structure

What does our new academic structure look like?

We have evolved our six colleges into three faculties, building on our academic strengths. Faculties comprise of departments, subjects, university research institutes and the Business School and Medical School. Each faculty will support a broad range of academic activities including elements of all three University strategic goals‌ (Environment and Sustainability, Health, and Social Justice) and each will act as the champion for one of these. This approach safeguards our current diversity and promotes our longer term future. Our interdisciplinary strength will continue to be built on strong disciplines and discovery research.

Find out how our new structures support our strategic goals

The names of the new faculties are as follows:

The Taught Faculty and Doctoral College were out of scope in the initial consultation, however, now the structures are agreed, work will commence to ensure the relevant boards and committees can respond appropriately to the new academic structure.‌

View our new senior leadership chart

The new faculties will have greater strategic and financial autonomy, and will support empowered academic departments. They retain all the subjects and programmes contained in previous departmental structures, but in some cases reconfigured in new ways. Each faculty hosts at least one of our University Research Institutes although Research Institutes retain their unique cross-faculty interdisciplinarity. All faculties are represented in Cornwall.


  • Bring related departments, accredited University Schools and Institutes together to create a more coherent vision and higher impact for University activity across our key strategic areas.
  • Develop their own strategic and intellectual plans within a framework set by the University.
  • Set faculty priorities for the core academic portfolios of research, education, and global.
  • Drive policy for staff recruitment and student number planning and delivery.
  • Invest strategically in areas of opportunity, while being more resilient to financial challenges.
  • Enable the development of ambitious initiatives at scale.
  • Encourage more interdisciplinary research across faculties supported by University research institutes and networks.
  • Make it easier to create new interdisciplinary education programmes across disciplines.
  • Use their powerful position in the University to inform and help shape institution-level strategy and policy and to pursue the ambitions of colleagues and students.
  • Reduce the complexity and cost of governance for academic units.
  • Align professional services’ skills and expertise to the delivery of academic strategies.

Faculty Leadership Structure

Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Exeter’s Humanities ranks in the world top 100 and our Social Sciences ranks 125th. Bringing together such highly ranked Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences into a connected, open and resilient faculty will inspire students and colleagues to think creatively and critically. In a time of volatility, complexity and uncertainty, research and education across the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences are critical to unlocking human creativity, to engaging in a human-centred way with the world around us, and to building the inclusive understanding that will help us to co-create a better future. Bringing these groups together will enable us to grow specialist areas across a broad range of disciplines and strengthen our commitment to world–class scholarship, education and student experience. By combining our strengths in evaluating the past, our understanding of societies and cultures, our distinctive methodologies and our curiosity and application, we will bring human, social, cultural and professional considerations together to deepen disciplinary and cross–disciplinary understanding, to identify and address important future challenges and unlock opportunities.

This faculty will champion our work on ‘making progress towards creating a fair, socially just and inclusive society’.

view the Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences chart


Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

The health, wellbeing and life sciences agenda continues to grow rapidly in regional, national and global importance. Research, education, philanthropic and commercial funding are all increasingly directed to this field and we must clearly signal our intention to address the challenges and opportunities this presents. The faculty reinforces our identity in this area and sets us up to tackle not just the traditional health, biological and medical sciences agendas, but signals our existing excellence and intent on the broader but increasingly important areas of social and environmental aspects of human health. We are strong across public health, physical health and mental health agendas and can build a distinctive profile for integrating health, wellbeing and the broader life sciences. Although we have experienced huge growth in the scale of our submission for REF2021 compared with REF2014, we are still relatively small. Critical mass with quality will be important in determining where major funding is directed in future. This faculty will champion our Strategy work on ‘making key breakthroughs to transform human health and wellbeing’ within the context of strong fundamental health and life sciences.

view the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences chart‌


Faculty of Environment, Science and the Economy

The creation of sustainable futures is a key pillar of Strategy 2030, arising from our institutional strength in environment and sustainability research and education, and a recognition that this is now a regional, national and global priority. We are one of the world’s best universities in environment and sustainability-driven science, engineering and business, founded on strong fundamental disciplinary research and education. We excel in areas allied to environment and sustainability both within and between disciplines. For example; climate change science and policy is a core strength across Mathematics, Geography, Biology, Economics and Management; sustainable engineering and technology solutions run across Engineering and the Business School; ecology and natural capital across Biology, Geography, Geology and Mining, Economics and Management; environmental management and solutions runs across Geography, Biology, and Engineering; environmental intelligence is at the forefront of our Computer and Data Sciences activity; and the Business School is possibly the leading environmental economics and sustainability management business school in the UK. Bringing the previous colleges together into this faculty strengthens the synergies, highlights our brand identity and helps drive the interdisciplinary approach needed to tackle future challenges and opportunities in environment and sustainability, under a broad-based set of disciplinary strengths in Environment, Science and the Economy. This faculty will champion our work on ‘taking meaningful action against the climate emergency and ecological crisis’.

view the Faculty of the Environment, Science and Economy chart

The academic core of a faculty is the departments. Departments bring related subjects or activities together to create a more coherent vision and higher impact for department activity.

There were previously 30+ departments and the proposal was to move to 23. The position after the consultation was for 25 departments. Our aim is to put departments at the heart of the University with them becoming much stronger drivers of university and faculty strategy and activity. The scale and focus of departments vary but they will be empowered with greater financial and strategic accountability than previously. Departments are led by a Head supported by academic Directors of Research, Education, Global, and others aligned to the academic portfolio, with support from embedded and aligned professional services teams. In large departments there may be a Deputy Head associated with a key subject area or campus location. Faculties support their departments in the best ways for their context, thereby increasing agility and ensuring that our departments are able to focus on their research and education cultures and communities rather than governance or administration. In departments that have reimagined their shape, further work and resources is needed to ensure that individual subject areas in the new departments are supported effectively and can project and strengthen their reputations through these arrangements.


  • Develop their strategic and intellectual plans to deliver faculty priorities.
  • Support disciplinary strength while enabling interdisciplinarity in both education and research.
  • Manage their faculty-assigned budgets and academic strategy, including staff recruitment and support for planning.
  • Deliver excellent education and research programmes, more student involvement, more inclusive learning communities and vibrant research cultures.
  • Provide a strong and coherent community of learning and scholarship and build a sense of identity with training, advice and support.
  • Provide opportunities for students and colleagues to work across traditional boundaries.
  • Facilitate a team approach between colleagues in all job families and students at all levels.
  • Remain a key feature of external assessment such as Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), Research Excellence Framework (REF), Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) and league tables.
  • Have embedded Professional Services Department Managers (at levels appropriate with their size and complexity) and operations support.

View current and previous departments for each faculty.

Clearer focus for Cornwall

Strategy 2030 clearly states our commitment to our place and building an exceptional education and research ecosystem in Cornwall. The three-faculty model enables a distinctive offer and clearer identity around which a renamed University of Exeter, Cornwall can base its future ambitions for growth and contribute to the major opportunities for development and collaboration in Cornwall including sustainability, marine, space, technology metals, renewable energy, culture and environmental and public health.

Key features for University of Exeter, Cornwall include:

Elements of all three faculties will be located in Cornwall, ensuring a whole-university approach to our Cornwall activity with a distinctive offer and clearer identity including maintaining the brand of Camborne School of Mines (CSM).
Where possible, departments located in Cornwall will have clear leadership and clear professional services support. We also encourage the appointment of some Heads of cross-campus departments to be located in Cornwall.
Faculty Executive Boards will be strongly connected to Cornwall issues with shared representation.
The University of Exeter, Cornwall will fully encompass our communities in Penryn and Truro.
There will be a new role of Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) Cornwall driving a strong strategic plan, accountability and budget with a major focus on external engagement; they will be based in Cornwall supported by a Director of Cornwall Operations (DCO).
There will be an academically-driven plan enabled by local leadership, local service delivery and strong campus partnerships.
The group of departmental leaders will form a Cornwall Leadership team, chaired by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Cornwall and including the relevant Faculty Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellors. Heads of Cornwall Departments will also be members of the Faculty Executive Board of the relevant faculty. Professional services teams in Cornwall will continue to provide flexible support to Cornwall-based academic teams.
We will grow the standing, political influence and reputation of University of Exeter, Cornwall, enabling strong partners, like Cornwall Council, the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust and the region’s communities to have a clearer understanding of the University of Exeter, Cornwall and see the value that a research-intensive university can contribute to the county’s future.
See the diagram showing the configuration of faculties in Cornwall.

See the diagram showing the configuration of faculties in Cornwall.

Cornwall Departments

Cross faculty and university-wide initiatives
It is critical that these new structures make cross-faculty working easier. Governance structures and working culture will promote, encourage and highlight collaborative working.

a) University-wide priorities and strategies
University strategies and associated priorities and goals (for example, strategic investments, improvements to National Students Survey (NSS),Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), Research Excellence Framework (REF) or Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) scores or global engagement) are collectively owned by University Executive Board and led by an identified member, normally a Deputy Vice-Chancellor/ Pro-Vice-Chancellor or senior Professional Services Director. They will work with Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellors to ensure effective delivery of priorities. The Pro-Vice-Chancellor is accountable for the delivery of the priority in their faculty and the Head of Department is responsible for delivery in their department. Issues or new ideas raised in departments can quickly be considered by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor and escalated to University Executive Board in the new structures. Proposals for innovation and improvement will be taken through the Pro-Vice-Chancellors/Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellors/Head of Departments to identify leads in relevant departments (often a Director of Research/Education/Global etc.) and professional services support for implementation.

b) Cross-faculty collaboration

  • Having three faculties (rather than six colleges) will enable closer collaboration between the academic leaders in each domain (Pro-Vice-Chancellors, Deputy Vice-Chancellors / Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellors etc.) reducing complexity and barriers and making large-scale University-wide initiatives easier to achieve. Deputy Vice-Chancellors will continue to facilitate cross-faculty work by using their strategic budgets.
  • A key role for the Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellors will be to foster interdisciplinarity within and between faculties and they will meet regularly to facilitate this and to remove barriers to achieving success.
  • Cross-faculty research initiatives are also supported through Research Institutes and Research Networks and the proposed Exeter Futures Initiative. A key benefit for interdisciplinary working will be the development of education programmes that cross departmental or faculty boundaries and which open new areas of opportunity for students, partners and colleagues. These will be supported through the Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor network and increasingly through the new Exeter Education Innovation Institute.
  • We expect to see new approaches to managing research technology facilities through a Research Technology Hub with shared governance for the major research facilities, with terms of reference and clear roles and responsibilities. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Impact is working on proposals to develop this.

The faculties will be responsible for ensuring that the following types of cross-faculty activity are enabled:

  • Major cross-University initiatives and big ideas.
  • Shared modules offered to all Exeter students reflecting the three themes– e.g. sustainability, climate, proficiency in entrepreneurship, management or law, healthy living, gender rights, social justice.
  • Enabling cross-institutional teaching delivery (financial, resource management).
  • Growth of Degree apprenticeships, online/Continuing Professional Development/Exec Education, shared and delivered across faculties.
  • Growth of Interdisciplinary PhD themes that cut across faculties.
  • Greater visibility of core facilities at faculty level to support the overarching strategy themes.
  • Sharing best practice in education and research.
  • Joint faculty international student recruitment activities.
  • Building existing and new relationships with partners within the context of the new strategy themes and establishing cross-faculty groupings to engage with key partners or particular business sectors.


Where groups of departments together manage complex, high-value programmes and have a distinctive outward-facing role or accreditation, they may be known as a School. This is the case for the Business School and the Medical School. Both Schools are large management entities, with clear external-facing responsibilities e.g. the Medical School’s requirements for engagement with the NHS and the wider health service, as well as formal roles such as facing the GMC and the Medical Schools Council. We recognise the need for the Business and Medical Schools to retain important elements of autonomy related to their distinctive accreditation processes and branding, with the need for clear external presences (e.g. for GMC and Business School Triple Accreditation).

They require slightly different arrangements to other groupings of departments within their faculties. Schools are led by a Faculty Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the School, who reports to the Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean. The Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean oversees strategic direction for the overall portfolio of the school and interaction with other departments as part of their Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor role. They identify new opportunities for wider faculty and university innovation and, in consultation with school staff, Heads of Departments, Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellors and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean, determine and implement plans to meet school, faculty and institutional objectives. The Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean is responsible for ensuring the school meets its financial targets. The Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean also plays a key role in developing external relationships, including corporate or clinical relationships, and with fundraising. The Heads of Department will work closely with the Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean to deliver the school strategic goals.

A key feature of schools is that considerable activity is undertaken and coordinated across departments rather than directly within them, with effective management required to reflect this. Therefore, in the schools, we have embeded a set of Associate Dean roles to support the Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean with these functions; the roles also support the Faculty Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellors (APVCs) with specific knowledge and expertise of practice in the school sector. These roles have two reporting lines: i.e. to the Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean and a dotted line to the appropriate Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor in the faculty. The post holders will coordinate the functions across the departments working with departmental counterparts as required. As a result of these roles, there are fewer department-based ‘Directors of’ in the Business and Medical Schools.

If single departments require a school designation for marketing or reputational reasons each will be considered on its merits (e.g. the Exeter Law School, Graduate School of Education). It has been agreed that the Camborne School of Mines will retain its title.


Each faculty will also act as the host for at least one interdisciplinary university research institute. Institutes will have a stronger connection into their host faculty with their strategies closely aligned with academic and financial planning. Bringing institutes into faculties will have practical benefits e.g. strategic and budgetary planning, streamlining appointments processes, supervision of Postgraduate Research (PGR) students and development of education programmes.

The institutes will continue to play a key role in fostering cross-University research and education initiatives. They will also further build and develop their external partnerships. Institute Directors will report to Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellors and Executive Deans and will be members of Faculty Executive Boards. The position of the Directors on the Faculty Executive Boards is designed to help them have more input to University strategy and achieve their institute’s ambitions but institute interdisciplinarity will be maintained and fostered through their own Steering Groups. Institute Steering Groups chaired by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Impact will ensure their research will continue to span across faculties.

The leadership structures are summarised in the table below. NB. The Taught Faculty and Doctoral College are not in scope for this reorganisation, but once any new structures are in place we will assess the best way to fulfil their functions in the new context.


Who involved 

Role/ function  

University Leadership


University Executive Board (UEB) 



Deputy Vice-Chancellors

Pro-Vice-Chancellors & Executive Deans


Deputy Registrar

Executive Divisional Professional Services Directors and Chief Digital Officer

The University Executive Board (UEB) sets strategic priorities in agreement with the University Council and with input from the Senate.  UEB shapes, monitors and ensures delivery of our institutional strategic plan, our sovereign strategies covering research, education, global and business engagement, major strategic investments and resources (through its Strategic Investment and Planning Committee – SIPC and its portfolio boards), and institutional performance against strategic targets. 


UEB is chaired by the Vice-Chancellor and includes the Provost, Registrar and Secretary, Deputy Registrar, the Deputy Vice-Chancellors who oversee major strategic priorities, the Pro-Vice-Chancellors who are accountable for delivery of strategic priorities, the Chief Digital Officer and senior Professional Services Directors who manage underpinning systems and processes and support major priorities.

Faculty Leadership

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 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


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 etc.

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

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 (the University of Exeter Medical School and Business School) will be led by a Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean (DPVC/Dean) who reports to the PVC. They 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.

Professional Services Leadership

Professional Services Divisional Leadership team (PSDLT)

Professional Services Leadership Team (PSLT)


Registrar and Secretary

Deputy Registrar and Secretary

Executive Divisional Directors

Divisional Directors

Directors of Faculty Operations

Director of Cornwall Operations

The Professional Services supports faculties and departments to develop and deliver their plans and enables the smooth operational management of the University. Professional Services Directors are committed to close engagement with academic leaders to support the academic endeavour. Some Professional services staff are embedded in and aligned to faculty structures working hand in hand with academics to support our ambitions in a ‘team ethos’. This supports rapid issue resolution and the co-creation of operational solutions. The Directors of Faculty Operations are jointly line managed by the Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor and the Deputy Registrar and in turn they jointly line manage their senior professional services partners team with the Directors of the relevant Professional Service. Academic Heads of Department will jointly line manage their Professional Services Department Manager with the Director of Faculty Operations or their Deputy.

The Registrar and Secretary chairs the Professional Services Divisional Leadership Team (PSDLT) and the wider Professional Services Leadership Team (PSLT) which coordinate activity across the Services.

Senior Leadership Forum

UEB members

FEB senior academic members and DFOs, PSLT members.  Chief Execs of the Students’ Guild and Student Union

The Senior Leadership Forum (SLF) advises the Vice-Chancellor on matters relating to the strategy and management of the University, considers key policy issues affecting the University and provides an informal forum for the exchange of ideas, opinions and good practice.


View the Education Governance modeL.

Faculty leadership arrangements are designed to ensure that colleagues with responsibility for delivery are able to do so with appropriate authority and clear lines of accountability. Line management will be undertaken by trained individuals covering appropriate spans of control. Overall, the number of leadership roles will decrease, reducing governance overhead. However, we will be establishing some new leadership roles which will create new opportunities for colleagues. The roles featured in the new arrangements are summarised in the Faculty Structure chart and described in the table below.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean

The Pro-Vice-Chancellor & Executive Dean (PVC) is a full member of the University’s Executive Board and will play a key part in the continued success of the University. They share collective responsibility for the development and achievement of University Strategy and associated plans and will have a key external facing role representing the University and the faculty.

The Pro-Vice-Chancellor & Executive Dean is accountable for the achievement of the University’s objectives and KPIs in relation to research, education, global and regional engagement for their faculty. They are responsible for the strategic vision, development and operation of the faculty’s education, research, global engagement, and business engagement through the effective leadership of staff and management of resources in pursuit of the strategic goals of both the University and the faculty. The Pro-Vice-Chancellor & Executive Dean has accountability for ensuring that their faculty achieves its academic and financial objectives. Each Pro-Vice-Chancellor & Executive Dean has executive responsibility in relation to the development and implementation of one of the three strategic cross-institutional themes (Wellbeing, Sustainability and Inclusivity). (Reports to the Provost)

Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean job description

Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean

Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor

As a member of the Faculty’s Executive Board, the Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (DPVC) will contribute to the effective leadership and management of the faculty and play a full role in its executive functions, delivering the strategic goals of faculty and departments and promoting interdisciplinary academic excellence.

Working closely with and in support of the Heads of Department, the Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor is accountable for the delivery of key departmental KPIs (for example, in finance, student numbers, education outcomes and research and business funding and outputs). They are jointly responsible for shaping and successfully delivering the strategic direction of the academic disciplines within their remit, aligned with the strategic imperatives of the faculty and the University.

Working with other Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellors and Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellors within their faculty and across faculties to promote interdisciplinarity.

As a member of the Faculty Executive Team, they will provide clear and effective leadership to the faculty, promoting a sense of collegiality, ambition, inclusion and a vibrant culture, encouraging productivity and ensuring the faculty delivers its agreed business plan.

In agreement with the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, they will develop and deliver cross faculty (and potentially cross University) initiatives. They will deputise for Pro-Vice-Chancellor as required.

Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor job description

Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean

In the case of the accredited Schools i.e. the Business or Medical School, the Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor is responsible for providing leadership and support to Heads of Department based in the school and will be known as the Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean. The Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean will be known as the Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of X and Dean of the Y School. The Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean also line manages the Associate Deans. (Reports to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor)

Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor and Dean job description

Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor
(Education, Research, Global, Business Engagement and Innovation)

The Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor (APVC) plays a key role in supporting the Pro-Vice-Chancellor /Executive Dean in setting the direction of the faculty, providing faculty vision, direction and inspirational leadership for the academic development and delivery of the relevant strategy:

The Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellors working together, and with their Deputy Vice-Chancellor have a key role in ensuring engagement with, shaping and delivery of the University’s relevant strategy and KPIs and will represent their specialism in external fora.

Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellors will be supported by the team of “Directors of” in departments. Full proposals for these teams will be developed in discussion with Deputy Vice-Chancellors and new faculty teams once they are appointed. These will include senior leads for PGR support at faculty level and PGR leadership in departments.

(Reports to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor with a dotted line to the relevant Deputy Vice-Chancellor)

Associate PVC for Education job description

Associate PVC for Research & Impact job description

Associate PVC for Global Engagement job description

Associate PVC for Business Engagement and Innovation job description

Faculty Director of Postgraduate Research

The Faculty Director of PGR plays a key role in supporting the Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research and Impact in leading on all aspects of PGR provision, policy and strategy within a faculty and contributing to the University strategy for Doctoral provision.

Faculty Director of Postgraduate Research job description

Associate Dean

In the Business and Medical Schools, more of the activity of the departments will be coordinated at school level. There will therefore be new Associate Dean roles reporting to the DPVC and Dean and with a dotted line to the Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor. The Associate Dean roles are:

Business School
Associate Dean of Education
Associate Dean of Research and Impact 
Associate Dean of Global Engagement and Masters’ Programmes
Associate Dean of Business Engagement, Innovation and Professional Education

Medical School
Associate Dean of Education
Associate Dean of Clinical Relationships

Business School:

Associate Dean for Education job description

Associate Dean for Research and Impact job description

Associate Dean for Global Engagement and Masters Programmes job description

Associate Dean for Business Engagement, Innovation and Professional EducationJD

M‌edical School:

Associate Dean for Education job description

Associate Dean for Clinical Relationships job description

Director of Faculty Operations

The Director of Faculty Operations will provide strategic leadership for all professional services within the faculty to ensure it meets its strategic objectives and that the embedded and aligned PS support creates the conditions for academic and student success. The Director of Cornwall Operations will work with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Cornwall to ensure the effective management of the University of Exeter Cornwall.

Director of Faculty Operations job description

Deputy Director of Faculty Operations

The Deputy Director of Faculty Operations  will provide clear strategic and operational leadership across the faculties and schools and will support the wider teams in these areas.

Deputy Director of Faculty Operations job description

Head of Department

The Head of Department (HoD) will provide leadership for the department and develop its strategy in line with University goals and aspirations. As a member of the Faculty’s Executive Board, they will also contribute to the effective leadership and management of the faculty, working collaboratively across departments and with other faculties.

Larger departments may need Deputy Head roles, depending on their size/complexity. These could reflect major disciplines in the department, or campus location, and could take on elements of the Head of Department portfolio in agreement with the Head of Department and relevant Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor, deputising for the Head of Department as necessary. If a department has two main Subject areas the Head of Department may take the lead for one and a Deputy Head of Department for the other.

The Head of Department is responsible for the delivery of key departmental goals (for example, in finance, student numbers, NSS, completion, graduate outcomes, education gain and research and business funding and outputs). They are jointly responsible for shaping and successfully delivering the strategic direction of the academic disciplines within their remit, aligned with the strategic imperatives of the faculty and the University. Part of their role will be to represent the department outside the University.

As a member of the Faculty Executive Board, they provide clear and effective leadership to the department, promoting a sense of collegiality, ambition, inclusion and a vibrant culture, encouraging productivity, promoting interdisciplinarity and ensuring the department contributes to the delivery of the faculty’s agreed business plan. (Reports to Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor) Term 3(+2) years.

Head of Department job description

Director of Research and Impact/ Director of Education and Student Experience/ Director of Global Engagement/ Director of Business Engagement and Innovation/ Director of Postgraduate Research

Works with the Head of Department to ensure that faculty strategies in their respective area are delivered. Depending on the department’s strategy, departments may want to strengthen some of these roles with deputies and in some cases one or more of these roles may not be needed. (Note that the role of Directors of Business Engagement and Innovation is still under discussion). (Reports to Head of Department)

Director of Research and Impact job description

Director of Education and Student Experience job description

Director of Global Engagement job description

Director of Business Engagement Innovation job description

Director of Postgraduate Research

Department leadership structures

Leadership structures within the department will be designed by the Head of Department and approved by the DPVC and Faculty Executive Board with the intention of making sure that appropriate line management and support is provided for all colleagues and in line with what is needed for that department.
Roles might include Deputy Heads of Department, Campus Leads or Subject Leads. Some of these senior academic leaders will support the Head of Department in providing line management and community engagement for a group of academic colleagues (these staff will report to Head of Department).

Deputy Head of Department job description

Functions of senior academic leaders with line management responsibility

Strategic Professional Services Leads (HR, Finance, Research, Innovation, Philanthropy and Digital) Embedded in the Faculty, Senior Professional Services Partners will provide strategic advice in their specialist areas to the Faculty Executive Boards, and coordinate activities and professional services teams in their specialisms aligned to departments/ disciplines/ clusters. Working closely with Faculty Executive Teams, Heads of Departments or their delegates. They also coordinate major University and faculty initiatives linked to their specialisms. Directors of professional services divisions will review current Business Partner arrangements and other aligned or central services to ensure they effectively support the new faculty structures and delivery of the University Strategy.

*Time to be agreed on appointment, to include consideration of contractual hours and other support that can be made available to facilitate this role within the JDs.

We have looked at all structures through an Equalities Impact lens so that our structures do not lead to inequalities. We aim to create an inclusive culture, environment and sense of belonging, so that for example:

  • There is an increase in diversity of perspectives in decision-making, including local decision-making structures.
  • Larger units will have fewer barriers and enable more interaction between our people, and more support and mentoring around EDI.
  • A number of new roles will enhance opportunity for career development and pathways to promotion.
  • Leadership roles can be offered as job share and part-time arrangements.
  • One of the Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor/Executive Deans will be responsible for championing the strategic cross-institutional theme around inclusivity and social justice; we will have a new management structure to support faculties – The Wellbeing, Inclusion and Culture Board.
  • Faculty Executive Boards, chaired by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean are accountable to the Provost for the creation of a positive, inclusive culture.
  • Careful consideration will be given to mix of characteristics and skills on faculty boards.
  • Full leadership development will be provided for staff taking on new leadership roles.

The specific rationales for establishing faculties and allocating individual departments or groups within them can be found on the individual faculty pages. However, in developing these proposals, Pro-Vice-Chancellors used the following general principles:

Wherever possible, new departments should:

  • Link academic fields, maintain disciplinary identity, nurture interdisciplinarity and maximise opportunity for collaboration.
  • Connect communities through shared programmes, facilities and professional services expertise.
  • Provide the basis for future strategic growth and investment, building on our strengths to further improve national and international profile and reputation.
  • Enable more supportive management arrangements for colleagues, Heads of Departments and their teams.
  • Open up new funding streams, partnerships and opportunities.
  • Create critical mass to ensure resilience and justify closer alignment of professional services.
  • Balance student numbers, income and activity across the faculty.

In addition Univeristy Executive Board (UEB) agreed that:

  • Where departments have reimagined their shape, further work and resources will be needed to ensure that individual subject areas in the new departments are supported effectively and can project and strengthen their reputations through these arrangements.
  • Where UEB accepted alternative proposals for single discipline structures, those departments will be invited to develop strong growth and delivery plans and UEB will monitor progress towards these goals closely.