The Executive Board of the University has a new structure. The remits of the Offices of the Vice Presidents have been optimized. This frees up capacity in the Executive Board of the University, allowing it to focus on the strategic management and development of UZH.
The most striking change to the previous structure relates to the remits and names of the Offices of the Vice Presidents. Previously, the Vice Presidents were the representatives of the faculties in the Executive Board of the University. In the future, however, they will be released from their functions as “stand-in” deans, since the deans will now themselves be able to gradually represent selected interests of their faculties in the Executive Board of the University. The Vice Presidents can thus focus on university-wide matters that fall within their areas of responsibility. Special attention was given to scope and relevance in the allocation of tasks.
To further professionalize the leadership of the faculties and the Executive Board of the University, the terms of office have been increased from two to four years. The relevant roles, which are currently part-time, have been converted into full-time functions; however, individual solutions are possible for the deans.
The role of Deputy President has been newly created and will be held by one of the Vice Presidents. The role has four-year term of office. Vice President Gabriele Siegert has been appointed as Deputy President by the Executive Board of the University for the 2018-2022 term. In addition to her specific areas of responsibility as Vice President, she will be responsible for the areas of evaluation, diversity (including gender equality) and sustainability.
The structure of the Executive Board of the University is now as follows:
The changes to the Offices of the Vice Presidents will take place gradually. During a two-year transition phase, the Vice Presidents will continue to act as the contacts for the faculties assigned to their role. The implementation of the new governance model is expected to be complete by the summer of 2020. This is also when the change concerning professorial appointments will take effect: The Vice President Faculty Affairs and Scientific Information will from then on oversee all professorial appointment negotiations with the direct involvement of the relevant dean
The composition of the Executive Board of the University is therefore now as follows:
Besides the voting members, the meetings of the Executive Board of the University will continue to be attended by three participants in an advisory capacity: Secretary General Rita Stöckli, Head of Communications Jürg Dinner, and General Counsel Isabella Balmer.
The reform of the Executive Board of the University takes into account the culture and history of UZH. The current decision-making bodies – the Board of the University, the Senate, the Extended Executive Board of the University, the Executive Board of the University, and the seven faculties – will remain in place. The autonomy of the faculties will also remain – in fact, their autonomy in certain matters will even be increased: In the future, the deans will more often conclude business at the faculty level. In addition, they will themselves, rather than the Vice Presidents, represent key interests of their faculties in the Executive Board of the University.
To involve the faculties more closely in the strategic business of the Executive Board of the University, a Strategic Dialogue will be introduced whereby each faculty leadership will separately meet with the Executive Board of the University twice a year to engage in strategic discussions. Not all of the new roles and responsibilities of the deans have yet been determined in detail. Open questions will be addressed over the next two years in the relevant implementation program.