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Roles and responsibilities

Policy information

Approved by Council December 2012
Reviewed by VCMAG, ERMC, UHRC, Senate, IF, Council (view acronym list)
Updated ERMC, VCMAG August 2014
Policy owner Staff Recruitment Office
Enquiries Manager, Staff Recruitment Office (view contacts)

Policy summary

  1. Executive Directors and the Registrar are appointed on a permanent basis.
  2. Specific criteria, after consultation, are used in the selection of Executive Directors and the Registrar.
  3. In constituting the selection committee, the Vice-Chancellor (VC) or a nominee from amongst the Deputy Vice-Chancellors (DVC) consults with key constituencies across the University.
  4. Terms of reference of the selection committee include specific voting rules.
  5. The quorum for all meetings of the selection committee is half of its full composition.
  6. Recruitment and selection procedure:
    • A selection committee meets to decide on the search methods.
    • Applications are received and candidates shortlisted.
    • An open stakeholder process takes place where appropriate.
    • Shortlisted candidates undergo final interviews
    • The selection committee makes a final recommendation.
  7. Approval procedure:
    • The Institutional Forum (IF) verifies the selection process followed.
    • Council makes the appointment.


  • This policy is intended to ensure that the University identifies and appoints the best available candidate, and that he or she has the support of senior management.
  • Please read together with the University's general PASS Recruitment Policy.

Applicable to

  • The recruitment and selection of new Executive Directors and the Registrar, who fall into the Senior Leadership Group.
  • Note that where the policy refers to Executive Directors, this also applies to the Registrar.
  • Note that where the policy refers to the department, this also applies to the Office of the Registrar.

Not applicable to

  • Other Directors in the University who do not fall into the Senior Leadership Group.

Policy details

  1. Specific criteria are used in the selection of Executive Directors
    1. 1.1 In appointing Executive Directors, the University must seek individuals who:
      • meet the criteria for the position in question;
      • have proven leadership and management skills;
      • have a strategic vision;
      • are able to inspire and motivate;
      • have credibility among their peers.
    2. 1.2 The VC or DVC, with the assistance of the Human Resources department (HR) drafts the advertisement and position description taking into account the criteria above, and puts these to the selection committee for approval.
  2. In constituting the selection committee, the Vice-Chancellor or Deputy Vice-Chancellor consults with key constituencies across the University
    1. 2.1 As the process of constituting the selection committee is lengthy, it should begin twelve to eighteen months before the post becomes vacant.

    2. 2.2 HR, together with other administrative departments, assists the VC or DVC in compiling the selection committee.

    3. 2.3 The selection committee must include:

      1. The Vice-Chancellor or nominee (Chair);
      2. At least one from each of the following categories:-
        • Executive Officers (DVCs), appointed by the Vice-Chancellor;
        • Deans, elected by the Deans;
        • Academic staff, appointed by the Vice-Chancellor;
        • PASS staff (including other Executive Directors), appointed by the Vice-Chancellor;
        • Senior staff (payclass 10 and above) of the department in question, elected by that department;
        • Staff (below payclass 10) of the department in question, elected by that department;
        • The department's Employment Equity Representatives (preferably two), elected by the department's Transformation Committee;
        • External members of Council, appointed by Council; and
        • Student representatives elected by the SRC.
      3. Further members appointed by the VC or DVC in consultation with the executive to provide balance to the composition of the committee.
      4. Where appropriate, external members (non-voting members) may be appointed by the VC or DVC for their professional or other relationship with the department.
      5. For the post of Executive Director: Human Resources, the staff bodies (unions) should be invited to nominate one member each.
    4. 2.4 Representation from each of the categories in section 2.3 is not prescribed and the number of people from each category must be decided by the VC or DVC in consultation with the executive. In doing so the size of the committee must be kept reasonable while at the same time ensuring diversity in its composition.

    5. 2.5 No member of the selection committee may apply for, or accept nominations for the position of Executive Director.

  3. Terms of reference of the selection committee include specific voting rules
    1. 3.1 The selection committee must attempt to reach consensus on a shortlist and a final candidate, voting only when this is not possible.

    2. 3.2 Where it votes, a two-thirds majority of those present will be required for a candidate to be recommended.

    3. 3.3 No member of the selection committee may vote on the final candidate if he or she was not present at an interview of all of the candidates who are considered in that vote.

  4. Quorum
    1. 4.1 The quorum for all meetings of the selection committee is half of its full composition, which must include an employment equity representative.
  5. Recruitment and selection procedure
    1. Search meeting

    2. 5.1 The selection committee meets first as a search committee, to ensure that it has a common understanding of the criteria for appointment and to determine the search methods and the timeframe for the recruitment and selection process, and to finalise the advertisement and position description.

    3. 5.2 The University's Employment Equity Policy applies at all levels within the university and recruitment decisions at the senior level must show commitment to the policy. Every effort must be made to draw on the widest pool of talent available in filling the post of Executive Director.

    4. 5.3 The search methods may include advertising publicly, a direct search for an internal or external candidate, or any other appropriate course of action. In deciding on which search methods to use, the committee may consult with key constituencies.

    1. Shortlist

    2. 5.4 The selection committee receives applications and creates a shortlist of candidates for further assessment and selection.

    3. 5.5 The selection must be based on the normal requirements of an application form, a letter of motivation, a curriculum vitae, referees' reports and any other information which the selection committee determines, but must maintain the privacy of individuals and the confidentiality of its proceedings until a decision has been made on the final shortlist for interviews.

    1. Open process prior to interviews

    2. 5.6 In an open process, staff of the department in question and other key constituencies are given the opportunity to meet the shortlisted candidates, after which feedback is provided to the selection committee.

    3. 5.7 The form of the process will be determined by the selection committee and could entail:

      1. A public presentation to staff (which will be advertised internally in the University); and/or
      2. Visits to the department in question;
    4. 5.8 At this point the names of the shortlisted candidates will become public and each candidate on the shortlist must confirm his/her candidacy and agree to participate in the open process.

    5. 5.9 A candidate who wishes to maintain confidentiality of his/her application will understandably not wish to participate in an open process. The selection committee may then decide to forgo this step in the process for all candidates, or to proceed with the open process, in which case the candidate concerned is free to withdraw his/her application before the shortlist is made public.

    1. Final interview and recommendation

    2. 5.10 The selection committee must interview each candidate on the final shortlist. The structure of the interview is determined by the selection committee and HR may advise the selection committee on appropriate selection methodologies to use.

    3. 5.11 The selection committee then makes a recommendation. It must make every effort to reach its decision by consensus. Failing this, a recommendation requires at least two-thirds of the members present to be in favour of the decision.

  6. The approval procedure
    1. Institutional Forum

    2. 6.1 The selection committee reports on the procedures followed to the Institutional Forum (IF) including steps taken to meet equity targets, but not the names of any candidates or the recommended candidate/s. The IF then submits its report to Council verifying the process that has been followed, with any further recommendations.

    3. 6.2 If the IF is not satisfied that the correct process has been followed, it must state its reasons and make suggestions as to how any actual or perceived deficiencies should be resolved as part of a dialogue with the selection committee. These matters, including outcomes, must be reported to Council, which makes the final decision on how to proceed.

    1. Council

    2. 6.3 The selection committee submits a full report on the recruitment and selection process, together with the IF report, to Council. This report includes an abbreviated curriculum vitae of the recommended candidate/s, the selection committee's reasons for recommending that candidate and the names of the other short-listed candidates.

    3. 6.4 Every Council member has the right to inspect the full selection committee record (including all applications and referees' reports). This is made available to Council members by the HR department.

    4. 6.5 Council is entitled to take a decision in this matter by simple majority, but it may determine that a greater majority is required with respect to this particular matter. Should Council not approve the recommendation, it refers the matter back to the selection committee for further consideration.

    5. 6.6 Ordinarily, Council will decide the matter by ballot.

Related links

Process flow

PASS recruitment policy

Employment equity policy

Roles and responsibilities

This is a guideline to the internal UCT roles and responsibilities involved in the appointment process for new Executive Directors and the Registrar.

Read in conjunction with HR Delegated Authorities.

Role Responsibilities
Human Resources (HR) HR Practitioner
  • Informs VC/DVC of vacancy twelve to eighteen months prior.
Staff Recruitment Advisor
  • Assists VC/DVC with constituting selection committee
  • Assists VC/DVC with completing selection committee form HR163 and obtains VC signature.
  • Assists VC/DVC with drafting of advert and position description.
  • Provides support for full recruitment, selection and approval procedures.
  • Writes up all reports and recommendations.
  • Forwards relevant appointment documentation (including appointment form HR100C) to Appointments Office for preparation of letter of offer.
  • Liaises with Appointments Office and HR Practitioner on issues pertaining to offer.
Appointments Office
  • Prepares offer to successful candidate and obtains VC signature.
  • Liaises with Remuneration Committee on Cost Of Employment.
  • Liaises with candidate, VC and other key stakeholders on issues pertaining to offer.
  • Completes any other relevant HR forms pertaining to offer, e.g. additional allowances.
  • Copies offer letter to relevant HR Practitioner.
  • Sends relevant HR forms to HR Administrator once candidate has accepted.
HR Administrator
  • Captures appointment on SAP.
Vice-Chancellor (VC) or nominee (DVC)
  • Consults with executive on elections to selection committee and position criteria.
  • Chairs selection committee or nominates a Chair.
  • Speaks to reports and recommendations at meetings of IF and Council.
  • Contacts all candidates after interviews with outcomes.
  • Checks content of letter of offer to successful candidate and signs letter.
  • Liaises with candidate on any special issues pertaining to offer.
Selection committee
  • Conducts full recruitment and selection process in accordance with policy and procedures.
Institutional Forum (IF)
  • Verifies process report from selection committee and recommends to Council.
  • Considers reports and recommendations from the selection committee and the IF.
  • Makes the appointment.

Page last updated: 1 October 2014