The academic administration is a branch of university or college staff that is independent from the faculty or academics and is responsible for the maintenance and control of the institution. However, certain individuals may have shared duties. Nearly every kind of academic institution has a distinct administrative structure of some kind. Fewer organisations have governing bodies that are staffed by personnel who are also engaged in academic or intellectual activities. There are a significant number of senior administrators who come from the academic world and have postgraduate degrees but no longer teach or do research.
Depending on local custom and historical precedent, the chief executive officer of a university, who is also the educational and administrative head of the institution, may be referred to as the university president, the provost, the chancellor (in the United States), the vice-chancellor (in many Commonwealth countries), the principal (in Scotland and Canada), or the rector. Other titles include principal (in Scotland and Canada) and rector (in the United States, Europe, Russia, Asia the Middle East and South America).
An administrative executive who is in charge of a university department or of certain schools may be referred to as a dean or a version of this word. The chief executive officer of academic facilities other than universities may be referred to as a headmaster or head teacher (schools), director (used to represent numerous roles ranging from the head of an institution to the head of a programme), or principle, as is common in elementary education.
In the same way that other professional fields do, academic administration uses a specialised language that is often quite abstract. This language often relies on that which is used in military strategy (as in Strategic Planning), as well as in commercial management (including Public Relations).