Position: Vice-Rector and Chief Academic Officer

Employment type: Full-time

Deadline: 15th October 2017

Varna University of Management, Bulgaria has launched a search for a knowledgeable, collaborative, entrepreneurial and strategic leader for the position of Vice-Rector and Chief Academic Officer (CAO). The successful candidate will bring expertise, energy and creativity to navigate the institution through important structural changes and to position it as one of Central and Eastern Europe’s leading business schools. The Vice-Rector and CAO will report directly to VUM Rector and will be appointed as VUM most senior academic officer.

Varna University of Management

Varna University of Management (VUM) is deeply committed to the principles of internationalization and high quality of education. The university offers undergraduate and Master programmes in the fields of business, management, hospitality, tourism, business information systems and software engineering. All VUM study programmes are delivered exclusively in English and lead to the award of two degrees, namely one from VUM and a second one from a strategic partner university of VUM located in the EU. Thanks to its internationally recognized programmes, VUM has one of the highest international students’ rates in Bulgaria. In 2016/2017, full-time and exchange students from nearly 50 countries across the globe are studying at VUM.

VUM has extensive and sophisticated network of active academic partners in over 60 countries on five continents. The long-term efforts and work of VUM academic community have been also internationally recognized and validated. In 2016, VUM was ranked first worldwide by U-Multirank in terms of student mobility and international orientation. Furthermore, over the last years, the university proved one of the most active and effective participants in the Erasmus+ programme not only in Bulgaria, but also across Europe. As a result, currently the institution is coordinating a series of high-profile multilateral multinational projects promoting internationalization, innovation and creativity in academic settings.

In 2016, VUM MBA programme was ranked 13th in Central and Eastern Europe by Eduniversal Best Masters ranking system. The latter ranks also VUM Master programme in International Hospitality and Tourism Management 47th worldwide. Finally yet importantly, according to SSRN, in terms of research and number of publications VUM faculty and students have earned the university 250th place among the business schools worldwide. VUM faculty is engaged in various international science and research projects and VUM Research Institute issues internationally recognized science journals such as European Journal of Tourism Research (EJTR) and VUM Management Review. According to Scopus, EJTR is among the highest ranked European journals in the field of tourism research. As of 2016, EJTR is also indexed in Web of Sicence.

VUM Strategic Development Plan

In 2016, VUM approved a five-year Strategic Development Plan, which aims to bring smart, sustainable and inclusive change to the institution. The document identifies five key areas of development and improvement, namely (i) education and training, (ii) research and innovation, (iii) internationalization and globalization, (iv) knowledge transfer and collaboration with the business and local community, and (v) leadership and financial sustainability. Within these five areas, the document stipulates twelve strategic objectives to be achieved in the period of 2016-2020 so that the institution could evolve into a successful, dynamic entrepreneurial type of university. The Vice-Rector and CAO will actively work to support these processes and in particular, will oversee and engage with the strategic objectives linked to education and training.

The opportunity

The successful candidate will provide leadership, strategic planning, management and guidance in academic matters to ensure that VUM mission is carried out in all degrees, programmes and academic activities. The appointed Vice-Rector and Chief Academic Officer will closely collaborate with VUM faculty and administration to implement the university’s strategic development plan and to develop a sophisticated infrastructure to support high quality of teaching, student-centered learning, and academic and administrative services. He/she will be compelled to manage a multi-campus academic system in a dynamically changing environment.

The Vice-Rector and Chief Academic Officer will plan, organize, coordinate, monitor and oversee all aspects of academic and student support services and will execute a wide range of functions as follows:

  • Academic administration: participation and supervision of academic planning, continuous screening of academic programmes’ quality and relevance, curriculum development, coordination of all accreditation related processes and procedures, etc.
  • Personnel administration and development: supervision of VUM faculty members’ work and contribution, talent management of VUM academic staff, academic staff planning, etc.
  • Performance evaluation: evaluation of VUM faculty and administrative staff reporting to the position of Vice-Rector and CAO; review and recommendation of academic staff promotion; academic staff remuneration policy coordination, etc.
  • Financial administration: supervision of budget preparation and allocations linked to academic matters.
  • General administration: preparation of reports, correspondence, attendance of meetings, coordination of links between VUM Academic Affairs Department and all other departments at the institution, etc.
  • Links with external stakeholders: establishment and coordination of VUM relations with various public authorities, other academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, alumni associations etc.

Last, but not least, the Vice-Rector and CAO will also work in strong partnership with VUM Student Council and all other existing student communities of practice to foster student engagement. He/she will need to ensure that a holistic approach to student excellence and student success is applied. The appointed Vice-Rector and CAO will strongly promote shared leadership across the campus and will support a diverse and inclusive academic community.

Minimum candidate qualifications

The successful candidate shall:

  • Possess high caliber academic credentials from prestigious university(s) in Europe or outside
  • Hold a PhD degree
  • Have a successful record of leadership, including fiscal and personnel management at senior level
  • Have experience with strategic planning and development
  • Demonstrate a strong record of managing change to guide and advance VUM community through a series of structural changes and reforms, and to maximize VUM’s organizational capabilities
  • Demonstrate ability to communicate, maintain relations and work effectively with a wide range of groups of people both on and off campus
  • Demonstrate commitment to diversity, high intercultural awareness and engagement to work in a multicultural environment
  • Demonstrate strong problem-solving and negotiation skills
  • Desire to make a long-term commitment as VUM CAO
  • Desire to relocate to Bulgaria for the purposes of an at least four-year term
  • Be fluent in English.

Preferred candidate qualifications

The following knowledge, skills and competences could be considered an advantage upon selection:

  • Proven leadership and work experience in high-profile organizations and in highly competitive environments
  • Extensive international work and/or education experience
  • An appreciation for and an understanding of the newest global trends and developments in higher education
  • Sound knowledge of the higher education system(s) in another EU country and/or in the US
  • Strong background in talent management including faculty support and student academic success
  • Teaching experience in higher education
  • Experience in curriculum planning and development
  • Expertise in academic programme review and both institutional and programme accreditation processes.

Working conditions

VUM offers a competitive salary and a comprehensive benefits package including installation allowance as well as travel allowance including two return flight tickets per academic year to the home country of the selected candidate.

The selected candidate will be based in Varna or Dobrich and will work in office environment. The position requires regular travels between VUM’s campuses as well as abroad, and often includes off-site engagements. English is the main language of communication at the institution.

Application and nomination process and timeline

Prospective candidates are encouraged to explore VUM website, profile and strategic development goals. Applicants should submit a letter addressing their interests and qualifications as well as a current CV. Applications will be treated with utmost confidentiality. Reviews of applications begins immediately and selection continues until an appointment is made.

While nominations and applications will be accepted until the position is filled, interested parties are encouraged to submit their materials before 15th March 2017 to assure full consideration. Queries, applications and expressions of interest should be submitted electronically to christina.armutlieva@vumk.eu.

The start date is as soon as possible after the close of the search, upon mutual agreement.

By Admin