Guidance for Deans aspiring to become Vice-Chancellors – report launched

Our latest report, 'The Path to Becoming Vice-Chancellor', finds that only 6% of current Vice-Chancellors have a teaching or research background in business and management. The proportion is 8% if we include those who do not have an academic background in the field, but who have been a business school Dean. Vice-Chancellors with backgrounds in the sciences, social studies, engineering and medicine account for 55% of the total.

Business school Deans run some of the largest schools in their universities, often dealing with the highest numbers of students, sizeable budgets, and significant international operations and business links. These skills likely give them, and other senior business school staff, suitable experience to become university Vice-Chancellors. It is not therefore surprising that we have recently witnessed an increase in the number of VCs coming from this sort of background.

As part of our mission to support the professional development of business school faculty, this report investigates the background of Vice-Chancellors and offers insights to business school Deans and senior faculty who may be considering working towards a Vice-Chancellor role.

We explore several potential hurdles for business school Deans, as well as some of the strengths that business school Deans typically possess that would make them suitable for the position. The paper offers three strategies that might be used to highlight how these strengths can help Deans work towards a VC role.

You can download the report here.