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Category Academic
Type Guideline
Approved by Vice-Chancellor
Date Guideline Took Effect 1 April 2021
Last approved revision 
Sponsor Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Responsible officer Manager, Promotions & Remuneration

Please note that compliance with University Guidelines is expected in normal circumstances, and any deviation from Guidelines – which should only be in exceptional circumstances – needs to be justifiable.


To provide a framework for the consistent and equitable treatment of Divisional Associate Dean appointments across the Academic Divisions.

To establish the expectations and standards for the support and financial management of Divisional Associate Dean appointments at the University.

To confirm that the Divisional Associate Dean standardised generic role descriptions are to be used when making an appointment.

Organisational scope

The guidelines only apply to the appointment of all Divisional Associate Deans. Where a Pro-Vice-Chancellor makes an Associate Dean appointment in a School or equivalents, they should ensure these guidelines are adopted in those Schools, except where the Associate Dean has no substantive academic role.


Includes Head or Director of Department, Head of School, Head of Programmes.
Associate Dean
An academic leadership position responsible for a specific portfolio delegated by a Dean or Pro-Vice-Chancellor.
Full Time Equivalent employment
Support Fund
Funding allocated to the Divisional Associate Dean to assist them with their academic requirements in teaching, research and service. This cannot be used as income.


1. Overview

  1. The standards for appointment for a Divisional Associate Dean will be determined by these guidelines. Appointments will be made using the approved role descriptions.
  2. The Guidelines outline the criteria and level of Support Fund and FTE relief to be applied across all Divisions.
  3. Divisional Associate Dean positions will be funded by the Division.

2. Appointment Process

  1. Appointment of a Divisional Associate Dean is approved by the Vice-Chancellor on the recommendation of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor.
  2. When recommending a Divisional Associate Dean appointment, the Pro-Vice-Chancellors should consider the following:
    1. the standardised generic role descriptions for Divisional Associate Deans
    2. the Division-specific tasks and responsibilities, and
    3. the FTE allocation appropriate for each Divisional Associate Dean role based on:
      • the extra tasks required for a Division
      • the size of the Division and hence the quantum of work required
      • the extent of the administrative support from the Division for the role.
  3. Divisional Associate Dean appointments should be for an initial 3-year term. A further term or terms can be awarded. However, the total tenure of a Divisional Associate Dean will not normally exceed six years.
  4. Succession planning should, where possible, commence at least six months before the next Divisional Associate Dean commences.

3. Associate Dean FTE allowance and FTE

  1. The Pro-Vice-Chancellor will, in consultation with the relevant Academic Head to determine the type and extent of support and/or FTE relief.
  2. This will normally take the form of a specific reduction in the appointee's normal FTE to allow a reasonable allocation of time to perform their Divisional Associate Dean responsibilities.

4. Departmental FTE Relief Principles:

  1. FTE relief is the amount of time a Divisional Associate Dean is allocated to undertake their Associate Dean role. This normally leads to an equivalent reduction in FTE in their normal academic role.
  2. Considerations for determining whether the departmental FTE will be reduced and if so, the extent of reduction will include:
    1. their current FTE
    2. the breakdown of their teaching, research & service.
  3. Up to 0.2 FTE of a Divisional Associate Dean position will normally be considered as constituting the majority of the person's service component, except for professional service.
    1. This means the Divisional Associate Dean will do minimum service work for the home department.
    2. The freed-up departmental funds are to be used by the department to backfill the department's service requirements.
  4. The Division will fund the provision of FTE relief for Divisional Associate Dean positions.
  5. The relief funds can be used by the Head of Department to compensate for the reduction in departmental FTE. Examples include back filling the Divisional Associate Dean's service and teaching or funding research assistance.
  6. Where the Divisional Associate Dean is required to continue their departmental service, the Divisional Associate Dean will be given appropriate up to 0.2 FTE relief from teaching or research by the home department. That relief will normally be a 50/50 split between teaching and research.
  7. Where Divisional Associate Dean roles are more than 0.2 FTE, the released funds should be used by the home department to allow relief from departmental teaching and research (normally 50/50 split). Departmental service is expected to be a minimum.
  8. The minimum Research is 0.2 FTE and minimum Teaching is 0.2 FTE (unless specified in an employment contract).

5. Divisional Associate Dean Support Funds:

  1. The appointee to a Divisional Associate Dean role will be considered for an allocation of funds (“the Support Fund”) to support their teaching and research activities.
  2. The use of the Support Fund will be determined after discussions between the Divisional Associate Dean, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor and the Head of Department.
  3. The Pro-Vice-Chancellor will approve the amount and usage of the Support Fund.
  4. The Support Fund will be scaled depending on the FTE.
  5. The Divisional Associate Dean will report annually on the usage of their fund to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor.
  6. The Support Fund cannot be paid as income to the Divisional Associate Dean.

Contact for further information

If you have any queries regarding the content of this policy or need further clarification, contact the HR Manager, Promotions & Remuneration, Human Resources.

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