Reference No. IRC59249
Job Title Provost
Posting Date 21-Oct-2020
Department Khalifa University
Organization Name Khalifa University
About University

Khalifa University is a world-class, research-intensive institution in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The University’s mission is to seamlessly integrate research and education to produce world leaders and critical thinkers in science, engineering, and medicine, and also to be a catalyst towards Abu Dhabi’s 2030 vision for a knowledge-based economy. Khalifa University has two campuses in the city of Abu Dhabi – the KU Main Campus and the Sas Al Nakhl Campus, the latter housing two of KU’s flagship research institutes: Masdar Institute and Petroleum Institute.

Brief Description

Reporting to the President, the Provost of the University is responsible for the development and implementation of the University’s academic plans and policies, and supervises the work of its faculties and colleges to advance and promote a rich intellectual life, create an active learning environment, and sustain collaborative leadership in accomplishing the mission and vision of the University as a highly ranked University, renowned for academic rigor, innovation, and research.

Detailed Description

Strategic Responsibilities

  • Contribute to the formulation and implementation of the University’s strategy, including the development of the University’s annual academic plans
  • Contribute to the formulation of the University’s policies and procedures, adhering to the overall business objectives of the University, ensuring alignment to applicable regulations and standards, and promoting leading practices and educational excellence
  • Contribute to the development and management of the University’s budget

Operational Responsibilities

  • Implement the President and Board of Trustees’ decisions to drive the future of the University and support them in their decision-making on an academic frontier
  • Lead the development of the University’s academic short and long-term strategy and ensure that they are cascaded effectively to each College
  • Lead the development of strategic aims and objectives to support research, learning, and teaching within the University
  • Lead the Colleges in establishing financial, budgetary and performance targets that are aligned with the University’s objectives
  • Define the University’s academic mandate and direction with oversight from the President and identify opportunities to advance and deliver excellence on all fronts
  • Articulate the University’s mission and values with internal and external stakeholders to generate consensus and cohesiveness among the leadership team
  • Exercise general supervision and direction of the University’s colleges, facilitating a fruitful relationship between students and faculty
  • Provide oversight to the quality and integrity of the academic and student support and retention programs available in the University
  • Promote linkage and modification of academic programs to meet the evolving mission of the University and align academic programs with the University’s strategic plan, in accordance with leading practices and community/market needs
  • Lead efforts of collaboration with the President to identify areas of excellence and prioritize academic programs that merit strategic investment, to sustain the University’s excellence and highly competitive programs and help the University further evolve as a distinguished University
  • Oversee recruitment and build a diverse and collegial leadership team of deans, academic leaders, and faculty members dedicated to teaching and research of the highest quality, who advance and integrate their multidisciplinary departments and offices to synergistic entities of innovative enterprises
  • Foster strong relationships with the President, Board of Trustees, and other stakeholders across the University and promote communication about the University’s academic pursuits and vision for the future
  • Lead and participate in relevant management committees, ensuring the University’s commitment to its bylaws, policies, and procedures
  • Act as a spokesperson and advocate for the University at national, regional, and international academic conferences
  • Maintain the orderly functioning of the colleges and serve as the primary point of contact to take appropriate action in crisis management, within the limits set forth, as may be necessary to prevent any disturbance of the colleges’ orderly operations
  • Model and sustain an effective response mechanism to meet the needs and demands of the University at all times and develop succession planning to ensure the continuity of college operations
  • Promote and sustain a healthy academic climate of cultural respect and high standards of performance for all faculty, staff, and students of the University in enhancing the achievement of University goals and high levels of student success
  • Develop regular reports of progress against schedule, budget, and targets to the President and Board of Trustees
  • Ensure adherence to the University’s information security policies and procedures, and report breaches or other security risks accordingly
  • Ensure coordination with other departments to facilitate the accomplishment of tasks and responsibilities, as and when needed
  • Perform any other tasks assigned by the President and Board of Trustees

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • Provide coaching, guidance, and mentoring as required to enhance the internal capabilities of the team and ensure the achievement of the University’s objectives and plans
  • Recommend appropriate training courses as per the pre-determined training needs, evaluate their effectiveness, and monitor their results
  • Develop and carry out performance appraisals for subordinates according to planned schedules and recommend necessary actions as per the applied practices
  • Conduct periodic meetings with subordinates to ensure that priorities are clear, and workflow is running smoothly
  • Follow-up on employees’ administrative affairs such as vacations, leaves, and other administrative and related affairs
Job Requirements

Required Qualifications

Candidates must have a Ph.D. in an appropriate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics) or medical discipline. Preference will be given to candidates with education from pre-eminent institutions of higher education.

Required Experience

Candidates will be established as a full Professor, with a successful record of leadership accomplishments at an executive level, and proven strengths in administration in higher education, with a demonstrated capacity to develop and drive new projects and structures from an early stage in a dynamic and culturally diverse environment.

Appropriate standing and reputation within the academic community, as demonstrated by:

  • A track record of inspirational leadership and management within higher education, ideally through periods of significant organizational change
  • A first degree, higher degree, and an established academic or professional reputation, including a strong record of research or professional practice in an area relevant to the University
  • High-quality research activities, likely to be rated world-leading or internationally excellent, and associated success in securing research grant income and supervising doctoral students
  • Consistent achievement in delivering innovation in learning and teaching, and a demonstrable track record of launching new programs and attaining the highest possible levels of attested quality
  • Helping develop and manage global partnerships
  • The ability and commitment to promote a culture of academic excellence, including the development of world-leading and internationally excellent research and the continuing enhancement of the student experience, both academic and general


  • The ability to inspire, motivate and challenge colleagues, work in collaborative teams, negotiate, communicate ideas effectively, bring about change and maintain progress in achieving agreed goals
  • Able to lead change by championing the vision and supporting the people involved. Planning and putting in place the necessary resources and supporting systems, including monitoring and communications

How to Apply

An executive search exercise is being undertaken by Perrett Laver, whose representatives will assist the selection panel in the discharge of its duties, both to assist in the assessment of candidates against the requirements of the role and also to identify the widest possible field of candidates.

Applications should consist of a cover letter addressing suitability against the person specification and a full curriculum vitae with a complete list of publications.

Perrett Laver may be contacted for a confidential discussion of the role by contacting

Direct applications should be uploaded at: and quote Reference 3551 in the application. 

How To Apply