The Mathematical Institute is a department established by the Mathematical, Physical, and Life Sciences Board under statute VII (Section 11). The Head of the Department (HOD) is appointed in accordance with Council Regulation 30 (2002), with the responsibilities set out below. In accordance with this regulation, the HOD is advised by Department Committee on all matters affecting the department. The HOD reports to the divisional board through the Head of Division.
In practice, responsibility for finance, resources, employment and other administrative matters is shared with the Head of Administration and Finance (the Administrator), who reports formally to the Registrar but in practice is accountable to the HOD on a day-to-day basis. On the advice of Department Committee, the HOD appoints officers who act under delegated authority in specific areas of the HOD’s responsibilities. In particular,
1. The Deputy HOD acts in areas determined by agreement between the HOD and Deputy HOD and deputises for the HOD during absences.
2. The Director of Graduate Studies deals with matters connected with graduate training and education, as determined by agreement with the HOD. Since TT2014 the role has been split into the DGS (Training) and DGS (Research).
3. The Director of Undergraduate Studies deals with matters connected with undergraduate education, as determined by agreement with the HOD.
Under Department Committee, and reporting to it, the two principal departmental committees are:
a) The Research Committee, which deals amongst other matters with research policy, matters connected with research students, and the prioritisation of research areas for new academic appointments.
b) The Teaching Committee, which deals with matters connected with undergraduate education and with the taught graduate courses.
Since 2014-15, the graduate business of Teaching Committee has been considered by a separate Graduate Studies Committee, which reports to Department Committee through both Teaching Committee and Research Committee. The DGST and DGSR are both members, and the DGST is Chair.
The department is loosely organised into research groups, the heads of which are appointed by the Department. Some research groups (or subgroups) have been designated as “Centres”, and are subject to the special arrangements agreed with the HOD.
Responsibilities of Heads of Department
Heads of department and institutions are accountable to the divisional board, through the head of division, for the performance of their duties. They are responsible for initiating and maintaining policies within their departments which promote and support learning, teaching and research of the highest quality and which create in the department a climate in which individuals at all levels can work together constructively to further their objectives. In this context heads of department are responsible amongst other matters for the following.
1. Strategic planning: this includes the development of five year plans for the department in cooperation with the divisional planning process.
2. Financial management of the department: this includes the preparation of budgets; ensuring that budget targets are met each year and that speedy action is taken to rectify deficits; ensuring that the department complies with the University’s financial regulations.
3. Physical resources and equipment: this includes the heating, lighting, plumbing and cleaning of any space assigned to the department, the maintenance of buildings and equipment, and the allocation of space within the department.
4. Research: this includes encouraging and supporting the research of members of the department, especially those in the early stages of their careers; reviewing and approving applications for research funding within the department; providing the necessary facilities and conditions so that research can flourish within the constraints of the resources available; making arrangements for the RAE exercise.
5. Teaching: heads of department are responsible for organising teaching in their departments within the overall framework of the division. This includes the admission, supervision and assessment of graduate students; ensuring that satisfactory arrangements are in place for the teaching and examining of undergraduate students in partnership with the colleges who have primary responsibility for admitting and teaching undergraduates; reviewing courses regularly; co-ordinating arrangements for QAA subject reviews in the department.
6. Staffing: while the head of department has ultimate responsibility for all departmental staffing matters, where there is a departmental administrator the management of non-academic and most academic-related staff will be commonly delegated to the administrator in most cases, and therefore the head of department’s main day-to-day responsibility will be for academic staff. This responsibility includes allocating duties and responsibilities; managing recruitment and selection, and performance and disciplinary issues in accordance with University guidelines; providing support and advice for staff in all aspects of their work and making arrangements for staff development and training.
7. Communication: this includes facilitating communication within the department; acting as the main point of contact and communication link between the department on one hand, and the division and the wider university on the other, ensuring that information flows efficiently in both directions; encouraging links with other departments and institutions; promoting the department to potential students, staff and grantors. In the Medical Sciences Division this also includes maintaining good communication links with NHS colleagues.
8. Health and safety: heads are responsible for the health, safety and welfare of all people who are in the buildings under their charge and are required to bring to the notice of all employees a written statement describing the organisation and arrangements for safety within their departments. In discharging their responsibilities heads are required to conform to university health and safety policies.