What is the Hierarchy of a College?


A college is a big structure whose success depends on the effective running and competence of its management. Without the collective efforts of trusted hands, an institution may fail. As a result, each college or school within a university is led by a dean. The organizational structures of American colleges and universities differ based on the type of institution, culture, and history, but they share a lot in common.

College Hierarchy is a chain of command in which reports flow from the highest authority to the lowest. Hierarchy brings about important roles and role division. Hence, it is a ranking order of authorities that are responsible for the effective running of a college. In a college, the board of trustees does not attend to students directly but instead, they pass their verdicts through the council, to the vice-chancellor, and down to the staff and students, who are the last in the Hierarchy of colleges and often bear the results of whatever decisions made by the board. Although the authorities in the college Hierarchy differ, there are common positions, and they are the following:

What is the Hierarchy of a College?

Hierarchy of College Management

Every college relies on the assistance of several employees. While instructors and educators are the foundation of any college, other employees such as support and administrative personnel are also important. College administration is a difficult endeavor that requires assistance from administrators at all levels. As a result, running a college isn’t a one- man thing but a collective effort of several others who make up the management and are represented in the Hierarchy of a college.

To comprehend a college’s management structure, you must first comprehend the various functions.


The college proprietor is responsible for its management members and appoints other top-level administrators to ensure the smooth running of the affairs of the college. This authority is responsible for the colleges’ income and expenditure.

Trusteeship Board

The Board of Trustees is a college’s top governing body. The members of the board are appointed by the proprietor and are responsible for making policies for the college and managing finance. 

Governing Council

Many colleges have a council, which is a group of administrators with a direct say in the college’s administration activities. They are in charge of all college property concerns and expenses and decide what infrastructure the college will be spending on while they supervise it.


In every college, there is a Vice-chancellor that is present at convocation ceremonies. He is directly below the chancellor and is in charge of the employment of professors and other staff. Most often, the vice-chancellor is known as the executive head of the college management.


This can as well be called a senior Secretary. The chancellor in every college is responsible for the financial expenses of the college and property development. They ensure that money is being spent on the right things in the right way. He is present at meetings and makes decisions for the college.

Faculties and Departments

In every college, several faculties and Departments make up the academic staff of a college. Every college is divided into faculties with another management system receiving orders from the board and enforcing them on those below them. The faculties are divided into departments that are usually course-based. That is, every discipline is a different department in a faculty with different lecturers. The faculties and Departments in a college have the following managerial authorities.

  • Faculty council
  • Dean of faculty
  • Departmental head
  • Lecturer
  • Assisting teachers
  • Teachers on contract
  • Faculty studies board
  • Faculty review board
  • Faculty examination officer
  • Department examination officer
  • Different level coordinators
  • Portal manager
  • Registrar

This position of authority is very delegated in a college as he or she is the one responsible for strict record-keeping of the affairs of the college. The registrar can also be seen as the chief administrator as he or she is the secretary and record keeper of the congregation and the senate. The registrar is also responsible for signing admission letters and whatever memo meant for the students


This authority controls all the financial matters of the college. Payments are made through the office of the bursar, and receipts are issued and stamped.

College Librarian

The Librarian is in charge of the management and administration of the college library. He or she orders, purchases, organizes, and recommends the college books and also issues ID to students who want to have easy access to the library at any time.


This authority is the most belittled and neglected in the college but equally one of the most important because the security stays with the students and is always ready to attack threats and resolve conflicts.


Although students are not actively involved in college management activities through the Students Union Government, students get to choose representatives who will carry their voices and interest to the board and speak up when detrimental decisions are made for the students.


The importance of the Hierarchy of a college’s management cannot be over-emphasized because the hierarchical system brings about territorial respect. A lecturer cannot go about disrespecting the vice-chancellor because he knows that the vice-chancellor is above him in experience and exposure and cannot attain such a position without the required skills. Likewise, a security officer knows his place and respects his superiors. Every working system has a visible, hierarchical order.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Is age a requirement for some positions in the college hierarchy?

The age might not clearly be stated as a requirement, but skills and competence are. When an individual begins to acquire these skills in life, he definitely would have gone up in age by the time he/she becomes eligible for vice chancellorship.

  • Distinguish between a college and a university

Although college and university are used interchangeably, college is a particular school or sect within a university. This means that a university consists of several colleges. Example: College of Health Science and College of Liberal Arts within one university.