Dean of the Graduate School of Business

Company:Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Business

Location:Kazakhstan / Astana


Employment Type:Permanent Full-time


Dean of the Graduate School of Business

Nazarbayev University (NU) is seeking to appoint a Dean of the Graduate School of Business. The candidate will have the opportunity to build on a strong international reputation for research, teaching and impact.

The University

Established in Astana in 2010, Nazarbayev University is the flagship research-intensive academic institution for Kazakhstan and the Central Asian region. Kazakhstan is linked to Asia and Europe and has a mission to develop a knowledge economy, based on strong and robust institutions.

NU is an autonomous English language university with a mandate for world class research. International faculty from 60 countries and international students from 30 countries create a strong and ambitious scholarly community, willing to take leadership roles.

The University offers doctoral, masters and bachelor’s programs to around 7,000 students in Sciences and Humanities, Business, Education, Engineering and Digital Sciences, Medicine, Mining and Geosciences and Public Policy.

The University hosts the most advanced scientific research laboratories in the region, with over 70 laboratories and a data centre.

Over its first twelve years of operation, the University built a range of close strategic partnerships with top-ranked international universities including: Duke University (Fuqua School of Business), University of Wisconsin-Madison, Cambridge University, University of Pittsburgh, National University of Singapore (Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy), University of Pennsylvania (Graduate School of Education), Colorado School of Mines and University College London.

Graduates from Nazarbayev University are routinely accepted to masters and doctoral programs, on full scholarships, to leading international universities, including Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, University of Cambridge (Faculty of Education), University of Chicago, University of Arizona, University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign, Humboldt and London School of Economics.

President Shigeo Katsu, formerly World Bank Regional Manager for Central Asia and Provost Ilesanmi Adesida, formerly Provost of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, are leading the University into its second decade, with a renewed focus on building an international reputation for research.

The School

The incoming Dean of the Graduate School of Business will have the opportunity to accelerate recent growth in research, with a focus on interdisciplinary collaboration, research integrated teaching, student research and working with local and regional universities.

The Graduate School of Business was founded in 2013 with a focus on masters programs, executive education and programs for SMEs. Recently, the School began teaching undergraduate courses including: Business, Law and Finance.

The School is preparing for institutional accreditation with AACSB.

The School offers these programs and courses:

  • Executive MBA
  • Full time MBA
  • Masters of Science in Finance
  • Undergraduate courses in Business, Law and Finance.
  • Executive Education – customised and open enrolment
  • Small to Medium Enterprise short courses
  • A PhD program begins in August, 2023.

The School provides a broad education emphasizing problem-solving and transferable skills and offers a general business course which is required for all undergraduate students.

Faculty are research-active and their research as an orientation to knowledge features prominently in all School activities.

The current GSB student body is comprised of around 513 graduate students.

Currently, GSB has 27 faculty members. From the Postdoctoral scholar rank and above, all faculty possess a Ph.D. Approximately 9 of the faculty holds a rank of Associate Professor or higher.

The School is sensitive to gender balance in the faculty and considers it important to create opportunities for female faculty in senior and leadership positions. The overall proportion of faculty by gender is 30% female to 70% male.

There is also considerable diversity among faculty members, who come from 15 different countries.

Job Description

Main Purpose of the Role

The Dean is the principal officer of the Graduate School of Business (GSB) and is responsible for the strategic leadership and executive management of the School.

The strategic partner for GSB is the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, who have helped the School over the past twelve years to clarify excellence in research, teaching and administration.

Unique strategic strengths within the School lie within the broad areas of Economics, Finance and Management.

Responsible for: GSB staff and faculty. The Vice-Dean (Academic Affairs), the Vice-Dean (Research), the Chief Administrative Officer and the Dean’s Personal Assistant are direct reports. The Chief Administrative Officer also reports to the Executive Vice President on financial and budget matters.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

Contribute to the University Vision and Strategy

  • Clarify, communicate and implement the School's strategic direction through the Strategic Plan.
  • Actively support program and institutional accreditation and/or evaluation, consistent with University policy.
  • Establish and maintain an appropriately constituted industry or professional advisory group.
  • Contribute to University committees and activities and communicate University policies to the School.
  • Work with the relevant departments and Administrative Officer to oversee the School's financial resources according to University policies, relevant legislation and the strategic direction of the School.
  • To oversee annual budget-setting for the School, in consultation with the Chief Administrative Officer.
  • To ensure that all School committees are constituted and operate regularly at appropriate times during the academic year.
  • Develop and continuously review student recruitment targets, consistent with University policy.
  • Collaborate with other Schools, Research Centres and units on curriculum, research and teaching to ensure efficient use of University resources.
  • Encourage appropriate applications for graduate study and career opportunities for the School’s graduates.

Lead People

  • Empower the faculty and staff to uphold the strategy of the School.
  • Ensure a fair, safe and harassment-free work and study environment in accordance with NU policies.
  • Continuously review plans for the staffing needs of the School.
  • Recruit high quality faculty who can contribute to the University’s international research and academic impact.
  • Ensure faculty receive regular reviews of performance in accordance with University policy, and that action plans for continuous improvement are implemented.
  • Be responsible for faculty promotion.
  • Oversee active communication within the School.
  • Uphold the values of the university, including academic integrity, as stated in NU Learning and Teaching Strategy and other university policies.
  • Mentor, develop, and coordinate faculty and staff.

Foster a Research Culture

  • Define and communicate the School’s research strategy.
  • Develop personal research interests, in consultation with the Provost.
  • Promote research integrity, ensuring that all School faculty and staff uphold research ethics when planning, conducting, and reporting research and scholarly activities.
  • Lead the School's national and international external relationships.
  • Consistent with university policy, encourage technology transfer and commercialization of intellectual properties developed by faculty and students.

Integrate Research and Teaching

  • Uphold the University Learning and Teaching Strategy.
  • Oversee the quality enhancement of courses and programs using the NU Quality Framework.
  • Collaborate with other Schools to optimise teaching and learning resources, including sharing of courses and sharing faculty resources, as appropriate.
  • Ensure that student feedback on courses and programs is communicated to faculty, and that action plans are developed and implemented.

The Dean will also undertake any other duties and responsibilities required for the success of the School, in consultation with the Provost.

This job description reflects the present requirements of the post and, as duties and responsibilities develop, the job description will be reviewed and be subject to amendment in consultation with the Dean.


Person Specification:

I. Essential

a. Knowledge and experience

  • academic qualifications:
  1. PhD or equivalent in a discipline represented by GSB;
  2. candidates must have held Full Professor rank for at least 5 years;
  • international track record of research and professional achievements;
  • excellent record in teaching/overseeing undergraduate, graduate and PhD programs;
  • experience in managing budgets and administrative teams.

b. Skills

  • strong leadership skills and ability to take accountability for the delivery of quality and excellence;
  • strong negotiation and influencing skills with the ability to build and foster relationships internally and externally
  • cross cultural communication skills.

c. Attributes

  • ability to command respect in a research-intensive, international scholarly community;
  • can build consensus with colleagues, staff and students.

II. Desirable

  • Previous experience as Dean or Vice Dean of an internationally ranked university.

Additional information


The successful candidate will have a multi-year renewable contract, no mandatory retirement age, a competitive compensation and benefits package, including accommodation, health care (including for dependents) and two flights home per year for the candidate and dependents. School age children are eligible for subsidised school fees. The campus has a Montessori school for younger children, and several English language international schools are available in the city. International candidates have a ten percent flat taxation rate.

For a further information, please contact Nurgul Ularkhanova, Director of the Department of Human Capital Development; or Dr. Loretta O’Donnell, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs,

Contact Person:If you wish to apply for this position, please specify that you saw it on AKADEUS.

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