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Senior Lecturer / Associate Professor and Academic Head of Department : Social Work

Job Summary
Job ID: 3097

Applications are invited for the post of Academic Head of Department in the Faculty of the Humanities. The tenure for Academic Head of Department is a fixed-term leadership appointment for a period of five (5) years, with a possibility of renewal for another term. External Candidates will also be considered for a permanent substantive appointment at the appropriate level of Senior Lecturer or Associate Professor (Please specify level for consideration).

*NB! Applications may only be submitted online. Please ensure that all relevant documentation is attached to your application. INCOMPLETE OR APPLICATIONS SENT VIA EMAIL WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED. Please note: Combine all the below documents as one document (PDF or Word), when uploading it on the online applications system.

  • A detailed curriculum vitae and cover letter (please note that the first three (3) referees on your CV will be contacted with regard to reference checking);
  • Certified copies (not older than 3 months) of all academic records;
  • Certified copies (not older than 3 months) of qualifications (please provide the SAQA accreditation in the case of foreign qualifications);
  • A certified copy (not older than 3 months) of your identity document (ID);
  • Proof of registration with a Professional Body (if applicable);
  • A copy of your driver’s license (if applicable).

Duties and responsibilities:

  • Teach, supervise and assess undergraduate and postgraduate students in Social Work (with an emphasis on Research Methodology and Statistics).
  • Act as a research supervisor for postgraduate students.
  • Initiate, sustain and provide quality research outputs.
  • Participate in community engagement initiatives where possible.
  • Recruit and coordinate postgraduate students.
  • Attract external funding where possible (e.g. Short Learning Programmes).
  • Perform general administration duties as applicable at university level.

Additional duties applicable to the Academic Head of Department:

  • Provide academic leadership by creating and executing strategies to establish the Department as a leader in the discipline vis-à-vis competing international entities.
  • The Academic Head of Department is directly responsible for:
       •directing the academic debate in the Department;
       •influencing the Department's overall climate and culture;
       •energising everybody in the Department and beyond; and
       •shaping the future of the Department.
  • Contribute positively to the overall leadership in the faculty.
  • Frequent and continuous planning and execution of plans, general organising and coordinating of staff, students and activities, mentoring and motivating staff, structuring, and exercising overall control.      
  • Create an atmosphere of consensus among staff.
  • Effective internal and external communication.
  • The Academic Head of Department is pivotal in linking the Department‘s staff and students with the University's management and administration through communication, negotiation and consultation.
  • Active participation and involvement in faculty management structures, attending meetings, leading project teams, representing the  Department and faculty, and fulfilling the roles of liaison officer and marketer, when necessary.
  • Active participation and involvement in applicable UFS management structures, e.g. Senate.
  • Initiate, formulate and implement a visionary academic strategy for the Department that is aligned with and supportive of the guiding strategic documents of the UFS and faculty.
  • Ensure –
       •the provision of top-quality, research-informed facilitation of learning at all levels of teaching in the Department;
       •relevance of content, material and presentation in all modules;
       •the enhancement of student experiences and their continuous engagement in academic debates;
       •that adequate rules and regulations are in place to optimally deliver high-quality teaching and learning programmes on both undergraduate and postgraduate levels;
       •adherence to all the rules and regulations of the UFS, faculty and Department;
       •quality and timely feedback on student work;
       •proper and quality-driven academic advice and support to all under- and postgraduate students in the Department; and
       •the revisiting and development of fresh learning programmes that will help to position the Department as a leader in the fraternity.
  • Create and maintain a(n) –
       •visionary research strategy for the Department; and
       •environment that encourages research, leading to strong and active research habits and a culture of inquiry.
  • Ensure that –
       •every academic staff member is engaged in quality-driven and discipline-specific research;
       •postgraduate students are recruited to broaden the research base of the Department; and
       •ethical requirements are met.
  • Guiding and supporting senior academics towards acquiring NRF ratings.
  • Active engagement with the faculty research committee and the UFS Directorate of Research Development in order to ensure sustainable financial support for the Department’s research initiatives.
  • Building an effective team of scholars through:
       •planning and implementing a fair and reasonable dispensation regarding the workload of staff members in the Department;
       •planning and implementing a clear and reasonable career path for every staff member in the Department, taking account of the strategic plans of the University, faculty and Department;
       •appropriate mentoring interventions where and whenever it is needed;
       •managing staff performance in accordance with existing university policies and procedures;
       •recruitment and selection of scholars in the case of vacancies and/or specific strategic needs, whenever strategic repositioning requires expansion of academic endeavours;
       •creating and maintaining a scholarship-friendly environment in the Department; and
       •planning and overseeing effective and relevant staff development.
  • The ultimate responsibility in terms of financial management culminates in:
       •annual budgeting;
       •financial planning;
       •allocation of funds; and
       •financial control.
  • Adhere to the UFS' financial policies and procedures.
  • Encourage and actively support academic staff members to apply for external research and other grants.

Inherent requirements:

Senior Lecturer:

  • PhD (NQF level 10) with specialisation in Social Work.
  • Registration as a Social Worker with the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP).
  • Valid driver’s license.
  • Five (5) years’ experience in Social Work Education.
  • Proven experience in the presentation of papers at national scholarly conferences.
  • Proven national recognition for specialist expertise and research in a specific area of scholarship.
  • An NRF rating or demonstrate potential for obtaining an NRF rating.
  • Proven experience in supervision of graduated master’s students.
  • A proven research record of relevant publications in national and international accredited journals.
  • Proven experience of service as an active member of a national or international scholarly society or committee or agency concerned with research at higher education levels.

Associate Professor

  • PhD (NQF level 10) with specialisation in Social Work.
  • Registration as a Social Worker with the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP).
  • Valid driver’s license.
  • Five (5) years’ experience in Social Work Education.
  • Experience as external examiner for postgraduate students.
  • Proven experience in the presentation of research papers at national and international conferences, where there is evidence of peer review of papers.
  • Act as an editorial board member and/or reviewer of high-quality national scholarly journals.
  • Proven national recognition for specialist expertise and research leadership in a specific scientific area of scholarship.
  • A NRF rating of C3 or equivalent status.
  • Proven experience in the supervision of graduated master’s students.
  • A proven research record of relevant publications in accredited national and international journals.
  • Serve as a member of a national scholarly society, OR a national committee or agency concerned with research at higher education levels, OR show evidence of service as an active member of an international equivalent.

Required competencies:

  • Good interpersonal and communication skills (verbal and written) and, the ability to function well in the university's richly diverse working environment.
  • Skilled use of Microsoft Office software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
  • Business acumen.
  • Result orientated.
  • Strategic thinking.
  • Leading.
  • Building coalitions.


  • Proven experience in the supervision of graduated PhD students with specialisation in Social Work.

Assumption of duties: 1 July 2020.

Closing date: 31 October 2019.


The salary scale is available on request. For any further enquiries, please feel free to contact 051 401 3687/ 9961 /3592 /3221.

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.

The UFS will only consider applications of candidates who meet all the inherent requirements of the position. Applications that are incomplete will not be considered. Communication will be limited to shortlisted candidates only. Should you not be contacted within six weeks of the closing date for applications, you may assume that your application was unsuccessful.


External candidates can click HERE to apply online.

UFS staff members can log onto PeopleSoft, click Self Service, Recruiting, and Careers to apply online.

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