Assistant Vice-Chancellor

Assistant Vice-Chancellor




Reports to:Vice-Chancellor

Location:Manawatu Campus, Palmerston North

Staffing:222 FTE (272 HC)


The Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Research, Academic & Enterprise), is accountable to the Vice-Chancellor, as part of the senior leadership team, for –

  • Facilitating the development and implementation of research strategies, policies and standards, within which researchers employed by, enrolled in, or associated with the University shall operate, to optimise research benefits for the University.
  • Facilitating the development and implementation of teaching and learning strategies which position Massey University as a world centre for tertiary learning, setting the framework for the University’s distinctive model of teaching and learning, and providing Academic policy, Quality assurance of University qualifications, reform of the University’s academic programmes, Scholarships, University pedagogy (including distance education).
  • Establishment, protection and commercialization of the University’s Intellectual Property ownership, including contributing distance education solutions to the University’s Massey Worldwide outreach into international markets.

The success of this role will be evident in –

  • the University’s Academic and Research Audit reports, in the awareness of and compliance with Universities NZ and University academic and research policy and regulations, in the trends of efficiency and effectiveness indicators for core academic and research processes and systems and in the ability of the University to compete effectively for Performance Based Research Funding.
  • Reform of the University’s academic offerings to align to chosen areas of specialisation and distinctive strengths; lifting the performance and capability of the academic teaching workforce; and consolidating and updating Massey’s reputation in distance education.
  • Increasing revenues from commercialization and the speed of realization of commercialisable IP.

In carrying out this role, the Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Research & Enterprise), whose operation is principally at a University-wide level, will work co-operatively with College Pro Vice-Chancellors, whose principal role is at College level, and other Assistant Vice-Chancellors who are responsible for University-wide services.

The position is responsible for the following functions:

  • Research and Enterprise
  • Graduate Research School
  • Massey University Press
  • Research Centres of Excellence
    (Riddet CORE, Alan Wilson Centre & CORE)
  • Research Dean
  • Academic Dean
  • Academic Policy and Regulations
  • Academic Development –
  • National Centre for Teaching and Learning
  • Campus Teaching and Learning Centres
  • AkoAotearoa
  • University Libraries
  • Business Development and Commercialisation


Massey University is New Zealand’s defining university with major campuses located in Palmerston North, Albany and Wellington, and is New Zealand’s pre-eminent provider of distance or extramural education.

While providing a comprehensive programme of teaching and research, Massey has specialisations in the areas of agri-food, innovation and creativity, with many unique strengths including New Zealand’s only faculty of veterinary science.

Massey is seeking to meet the needs of different learning communities in the 21st century. In particular, Massey has established a strong commitment to Maori and Pasifika communities. Increasingly, Massey is also providing learning opportunities to a range of professional groups.

The three Campuses will have different local cultures and a distinct focus, but the link that will tie the University together in the longer term will be a shared vision of what it is to be part of Massey University; its pragmatic approach, its commitment to research and community service, its international reputation, respect for quality and its belief in creating capacity for scholarship to flourish.

This role will be working in an environment where the delivery of academic programmes and their financial resources have been devolved to Colleges, and thereby become the responsibility of Pro Vice-Chancellors. The Pro Vice-Chancellors are responsible for the leadership and management of teaching, research and community service through their Colleges, which are located on the Campuses situated in the three regions and the Distance Learning space. Pro Vice-Chancellors will also work in collaboration with the Assistant Vice-Chancellors who are responsible for providing national frameworks and key supporting services within which the Colleges and Campuses operate, with respect to their university-wide portfolios including respective responsibilities for national shared services across Campuses and Colleges. Working together, through the annual planning process and ongoing collaboration, college, campus and national shared services senior leadership will inform one another’s strategies to ensure integration of strategies, plans and action at the campus, college and University level.

Members of the Senior Leadership Team will provide leadership and high-level management of their respective accountabilities in a responsible manner that reflects academic freedom, accountability, collaboration and the proper use of resources, and will consistently maintain the highest standards of integrity and conduct among employees, and ensure the well-being of students.


Research Strategy and Management

Provide effective and successful leadership to the overall research management and environment of the University through:

1.Developing, leading and facilitating the University’s overall research strategy so as to strengthen the University's national and international presence in research and technology transfer by:

  • Encouraging co-operative research programmes; and
  • Contributing to University initiatives to maximise external research funding; and
  • Marketing the University's international reputation for research; and
  • Ensuring that the University’s research management systems and processes encourage and maximise research participation and funding.

2.Working closely with the College Pro Vice-Chancellors to assist the ongoing development of the College Research profile.

3. Managing and maintaining the Performance Based Research Funding (PBRF) database and providing accurate reporting.

4.Managing the Performance Based Research Funding round and the collection of research portfolio information.

5.Develop, maintain and communicate policies and procedures as necessary to set and manage research standards and provide resolution of research-related disputes and research misconduct issues.

6.Lead the growth of post-graduate Masters and Doctorate study and support efficient, quality achievement of post-graduate outcomes.

Teaching and Learning

  1. Working with colleges, facilitate the setting and implementation of strategies, frameworks and programmes to ensure the University has a world-class teaching programme reflecting its areas of specialisation and the requisite teaching capability and student learning support to position Massey as a world centre for teaching and learning.
  1. Lead the development of the University’s distance education offerings, including through Massey Worldwide.
  1. Provide policy, regulation, advice and quality assurance on academic matters.
  1. Develop, in consultation with the University’s Senior Leadership Team, priorities for academic development for implementation via the relevant channels and manage processes for the evaluation of teaching quality.
  1. Manage the affairs of the University Academic Committee, providing chair-person leadership and managing the processes for placing and removing papers and programmes on / from the qualifications framework.
  1. Provide University representation on external bodies associated with the Qualifications framework (Committee for University Academic Programmes (CUAP).
  1. Facilitate student success strategies that support achievement and completion by students and bring together integrated effort from within the and across the University to achieve this.
  1. Provide academic grievance policies and processes and support services for resolving appeals and grievances.
  1. Provide technical advice and services to Colleges to support review of academic programmes and student academic performance.
  1. Facilitate continued development of an excellent, high quality, coherent portfolio of programmes accessible on each campus and by distance (including offshore).

Intellectual Property

  1. Provide the expertise and processes for establishing, managing and protecting the University’s interests in intellectual property rights in research outputs, including managing the registration / application for patents, trademarks and other assertions of ownership.
  1. Provide “pre-seed” expertise and experience in early identification and assessment of potential commercialisation of research outputs, including the operation and support of an advisory group of expert panels members who are able to advise on the potential and viability of commercialisation opportunities, for progressing to the commercialisation process led by the Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Finance, IT, Strategy & Commercial).
  1. Develop, maintain and communicate policies and procedures as necessary to manage research, the creation and protection of Intellectual Property ownership, including the allocation of shared ownership by the University, staff and students as appropriate.
  1. Ensure relevant, experienced legal expertise is accessible to advise on and to initiate and, manage and respond to Intellectual Property disputes and negotiations; lead the management of IP disputes and negotiations; and manage relationships with external IP advisers.

University Management

  1. Contribute to the overall well-being and management of the University as a member of the Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Leadership Team and through advice and input to University committees and working groups.
  1. From time-to-time, as assigned by the Vice-Chancellor on an annual basis, Chair a team or subcommittee comprising members of the Senior Leadership Team and, as assigned, undertake the Performance Reviews of those team members on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor.
  1. Undertake ‘process owner’ role for activities related to the role’s portfolio, to ensure:
  • alignment of processes across University structures;
  • that issues that arise from time-to-time are resolved appropriately in accordance with University policy and procedures;
  • that specific and individual academic risk events identified within the Pro Vice-Chancellor / Shared Services portfolios are being appropriately addressed.
  1. Manage the portfolio functions to ensure compliance with legal and statutory obligations of the University including, but not limited to, relevant aspects of the Education Act 1989 and amendments, Health and Safety in Employment, Human Rights, Privacy and Equity matters as these pertain to students.
  1. Plan and manage budgets for delivering the outputs of the portfolio, regularly monitoring and reporting actual performance to forecasts, identifying where forecast assumptions are inaccurate and re-casting out-turn for the reporting period.
  1. Undertake such other relevant tasks and duties as may be specified by the Vice-Chancellor.

People Leadership, Capability, Culture, and Change

  1. Provide leadership and strategic direction to staff employed within the Office.
  1. Foster a collegial, scholarly and friendly working environment in the Office, in which people accept change and work to make it effective.
  1. Lead the planning and implementation of structural, process and organisational culture change within the Office, wherever appropriate, to align this to the strategic direction.
  1. Annually appraise Heads of Department and equivalents in terms of the performance of each individual and his/her Department or Unit, and in relation to planned targets and agreed standards.
  1. Build team effectiveness, coach and support staff to improve their performance and encourage professionalism and commitment to make the working environment successful.
  1. Build the requisite people capability necessary to deliver strategies and outcomes, by planned employee and leadership development and talent management, including identifying critical roles within the group and ensuring that emerging talent is identified and developed to succeed into those role.
  1. Ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of staff in accordance with the principles of a good employer and the general policies and guidelines of the University.
  1. Give effect to University policies, which provide equal opportunities for recruitment, development and promotion for each individual staff member within the sphere of accountability.
  1. Constantly seek to improve efficiencies, processes and services for the achievement of the University’s strategic positioning.
  1. Promote the University values of a high standard of professionalism; a focus on the needs of students and other clients; collegiality; integrity; quality teaching, research and community service.

Relationship Management

  1. Identify and develop strong and valued working relationships with University stakeholders and community interest groups.
  1. Establish a comprehensive view of the constituencies impacting on the position and develop an understanding of those relationships and the sensitivities associated with them.
  1. Demonstrate exceptional relationship building and communication skills.
  1. Develop and maintain strong functional relationships with Government and Ministry officials as appropriate. Ensure that the University’s position on topics of interest is presented and discussed.
  1. Anticipate and prepare position papers for the consideration of the Vice-Chancellor, on topics of interest to the University.

University Reputation and Community

  1. Build effective and productive relationships with key influencers, particularly those relationships where prime responsibility has been assigned by the Vice-Chancellor. Take a lead, in collaboration with the Assistant Vice-Chancellor (External Relations) in building and managing relationships with communities in New Zealand and internationally which are identified as core to the role’s portfolio.
  1. Develop good relationships with communities the University serves.
  1. Develop good relationships with the student associations and student representatives.
  1. Give effect to the Treaty of Waitangi within the policies and practices of the University.

Risk Management

1.Manage the portfolio functions in accord with the general policies and regulations of the University and with the University’s 2020 Strategy.

2.Manage the portfolio functions to ensure compliance with legal and statutory obligations of the University including, but not limited to, relevant aspects of the Education Act 1989 and amendments, Safety and Health in the workplace, Human Rights, Privacy, and Equity matters.

3.Respond to issues and incidents in a manner, which manages risk to the University and involves the Public Affairs section as necessary.

4.Contribute to the development and testing of University continuation plans.



An acknowledged organisational leader and manager with academic qualifications and recognition appropriate to appointment at executive academic level. Such a profile is a prerequisite to the incumbent being accorded the level of respect and credibility in the University, the tertiary sector and the wider higher education sector and the commercial sector that s/he will need in order to perform the required role.


Significant and successful experience in a senior executive management position within a respected University, with a particular emphasis on setting organisation-wide strategies and frameworks, and demonstration of advanced skills and experience in:

  • Providing vision, strategic direction and leadership, and turning plans into action.
  • Initiative, judgement, decision-making and change management.
  • Financial management, budgetary planning and resources management.
  • Staff management.
  • Developing and maintaining good relationships with colleagues, staff, students and external groups.
  • A significant personal record of research, leadership of research by others, and the design and operation of frameworks, principles, policies and processes for academic research across a tertiary educational organisation.
  • Knowledge and experience of the New Zealand Performance Based Research Funding regime and/or similar external research performance framework, and experience in shaping, leading and contributing to a University’s engagement with such regimes.
  • In depth knowledge of research funding practices and aligning organisational practices to optimise access to research funding.
  • Understanding developments in higher education pedagogy and distance delivery (including educational technologies) and the teaching-research nexus in Higher Education, both nationally and internationally.
  • Understanding of academic quality assurance processes and academic programme development and experience in managing or contributing significantly to the institution’s portfolio of academic offerings.
  • Knowledge, understanding and commitment to developments in e-learning.
  • Understanding and support the multiple delivery modes of teaching.
  • Understanding of, and high regard for, scholarship, learning and research and maintaining the role of the University as a conscious of society.


Strategic agility

  • Understands the impact of national and global trends on the University
  • Understands and develops strategy
  • Deals with ambiguity, can operate effectively when ideas, situations, potential pathways and decisions are not clear
  • Understands business functions
  • Anticipates future trends
  • Identifies and effectively manages risk

Creates a compelling plan, sets priorities is productive and results oriented

  • Takes personal responsibility for the outputs and outcomes of the group
  • Plans and organises activities and milestones
  • Schedules and monitors workflow, monitors performance against the plan and evaluates results
  • Monitors and acknowledges performance

Courage, perseverance and resilience

  • Is optimistic and maintains a positive attitude, even under pressure
  • Is respectful, open and honest and lets people know where they stand
  • Steps up and handles tough situations
  • Perseveres, overcomes setbacks and bounces back from tough situations
  • Pursues projects and goals to completion
  • Is resourceful and confident under pressure
  • Reflects on and learns from experience and gains insight from mistakes
  • Positively manages stress and wellbeing

Quality decisions and timely manner

  • Makes good decisions based on relevant information
  • Anticipates consequences
  • Generates alternative courses of action
  • Makes quick decisions, even under pressure and with incomplete information
  • Communicates decisions and takes action
  • Takes personal responsibility for decisions and actions

Communicates powerfully and prolifically