Authority to make decisions
Disputes can easily arise when a manager or head of department or other officer makes a decision on behalf of the institution without authorisation.
The Dean of a Faculty, keen to recruit a research star, promised him that a job would be found for his wife too if he moved to the institution.
A head of department promised a lecturer that he would get the next available promotion although the decision rested with the promotions committee.
An admissions tutor promises a candidate a place at interview and assured the candidate that a bursary will be available when the final decision is not hers to make. The candidate turned down other offers on the strength of that promise.
When these promises were not fulfilled the institution could find itself in court.
TIPS for decision-makers
• Do I have authority to decide this?
• Where has my authority come from?
• What restrictions are there on the decision I make?
• Do I have to consult anyone before I make my decision?
• How does my decision have to be recorded?
• Where and to whom does my decision have to be announced?
• If someone affected by my decision disagrees with it can he or she appeal against it?
Tips for decision-makers