Requirements for appointment
A distinction must be made between the autonomous and the subsidised university colleges.
For the autonomous university colleges, under the decree of 13 July 1994 the general director and the heads of department belong to the administrative bodies. The general director is appointed, after the position has been publicly advertised in the Official Gazette, by the university college’s Executive Board. The general director is responsible for the proper functioning of the university college in administrative, technical and financial terms. He/she coordinates the functioning of the administrative services. The general director has a seat on the directorate of the university college and is entitled by virtue of his/her position to attend meetings of the Executive Board in an advisory capacity. The head of department is the chair of the departmental council of a department in a university college. Subject to the opinion of the departmental council, he is appointed by the Executive Board for a renewable term of four academic years. The departmental council can delegate certain powers to the head of department.
A subsidised independent university college is a legal person under private law. The appointment of a general director and the content of the role are autonomously decided on by the university college. A university college with more than one department establishes a departmental council for each department, which is chaired by a head of department. The head of department is entrusted with the day-to-day running of the department. He/she is appointed by the university college board from among the staff members associated with the department.
The function of general director is assumed either by a staff member of the university college on an open-ended mandate, or by an externally recruited staff member with an open-ended contract. The general director’s remuneration consists either of the difference between the salary in the present function and the salary of professor ordinarius, or of the salary of professor ordinarius. If a staff member resumes his/her former staff position after a mandate of more than ten years, he/she retains the pay scale enjoyed as a general director.
The mandate of head of department may be taken on by a member of the teaching staff from the group of lectors, senior lectors, lecturers, senior lecturers, professors and professors ordinarii or by a member of the administrative and technical staff, for renewable periods of four years. In the branches of study Audiovisual and visual arts, Music and performing arts, Product development and Architecture, staff members from the group of assistants and senior research assistants may also exercise the mandate of head of department. The head of department may receive remuneration of up to 20% of the staff member’s salary for exercising the mandate.
The classification of the administrative structure and management staff in the independent universities is a matter for the autonomous control of those universities.
For universities with a public law status (the University of Ghent, University of Antwerp and University of Hasselt), these matters are regulated in separate legislation: the special decree of 26 June 1991, the decree of 22 December 1995 and the decree of 20 June 2008.
At the University of Ghent there is a rector and a vice-rector (special decree of 26 June 1991). These are appointed by the Flemish government on the recommendation of a special electoral college in de university. The position of rector and vice-rector is a four-year mandate that may be renewed twice. The candidates must be professors ordinarii and must not reach pensionable age during their mandate. The rector is responsible for the general running of the university. He/she is chair of the directorate and the Executive Board and represents the university in legal proceedings. The vice-rector assists the rector and replaces him/her if necessary. In every faculty there is a dean. The dean is elected by the faculty board from among the professors ordinarii and the full-time professors of the faculty for a renewable term of two years. At the University of Ghent there are also two administrators and three agents. Together with the rector and vice-rector, these form the management board, which is entrusted with the day-to-day running of the university in administrative, technical and financial terms and which coordinates the functioning of the administrative services.
The rector of the University of Antwerp is appointed by the Executive Board for a term of four years (decree of 22 December 1995). The candidates are put forward by an electoral college in which all sections of the personnel and the students are represented. The shortlisted candidates must be professors ordinarii. The rector is in charge of the academic management of the university and represents it in academic matters. The University of Antwerp also has one general director and two directors. They are appointed by the Executive Board with an open-ended employment contract. The general director must have a doctorate by thesis and a clear academic profile. For the function of director, a Master’s degree is required. Staff members of a university, university college, ministry or institution of the Flemish government who exercise the mandate of director or general director receive unpaid leave that is equated with service activity. The general director and directors constitute a board of management that is entrusted with the coordination and implementation of the day-to-day running of the university in administrative, technical, financial and social terms. The university’s internal regulations govern the election of the deans and vice-deans. The decree stipulates that the deans of the university form a board of deans which, chaired by the rector, advises the university board on all strategic academic matters.
The University of Hasselt has a rector and two vice-rectors (decree of 20 June 2008). They are appointed by the Executive Board for a term of four years and elected from among the full-time mainstream professors of the university. Their mandate may be renewed twice. The rector is responsible for academic management and represents the university in academic matters. The vice-rectors support the rector and replace him/her if necessary. The Executive Board of the University of Hasselt also appoints a president and vice-president of the university. The president chairs meetings of the Executive Board and of the directorate. He/she is responsible for the general management of the university, and in particular its academic, budgetary and financial management, and represents the university at law and in non-legal matters. The vice-president supports the president and replaces him/her if necessary. The president and vice-president are appointed for a term of four years, which may be renewed once. They are elected from among the members of the Executive Board, who are appointed by the provincial council of Limburg, or who represent the social or economic sector. They receive a salary from the pay scale of professor ordinarius. The University of Hasselt also has one director. The director has a renewable mandate of six years and must at least hold a Master’s degree. The director coordinates the day-to-day functioning of the administrative, financial and technical services and is responsible for the administrative and technical staff. He/she is also entrusted with drawing up the working documents and minutes of the Executive Board and the directorate. He/she receives a salary from the pay scale of the self-employed academic staff.
The independent universities determine their administrative structure and mandates themselves. Like the universities with public law status, they have a rector.
On the basis of Article 100 of the universities decree, the universities can assign an allowance to persons who take on an administrative mandate.