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Head of School, Art and Design

Job details

Auckland University of Technology (AUT)
8 Aug 2021
Work type
Full time employment, Fixed Term
Work classification
Design, Visual Arts


  • Enhance the face of Art and Design at AUT
  • Build an innovative educational culture
  • Become a key member of the Dean's Executive Team

We are seeking a new Head of School to provide outstanding academic, administrative and people leadership to the School of Art and Design. You will play a critical part in achieving the school and faculty's strategic objectives and, as part of the Dean's Executive Team, become an important member of the faculty's leadership and management structure. You will lead a team of approximately 110 (FTE) deeply committed school staff who are focussed on empowering students to develop ambition, capabilities, knowledge, and passion to shape the future through art and design practice. The school is currently in a strong position. You will continue the great progress the outgoing Head of School has made, whilst embracing space for your creativity and possibility of thinking to enable the school to move to the next level.

Key focus areas include:

  • Further advancement of a Faculty and School culture focused on excellence in teaching, research, service and other academic contributions to ensure that staff feel safe and productive in their work.
  • Lifting the School's internal and external profile and ensuring strong personal networking across New Zealand's Art and Design related sectors.
  • Driving greater connection and collaboration across the School, including operationalising already-approved curriculum reform.
  • Ongoing collaboration with other units in the Faculty to encourage new thinking and enhance student and staff experiences.
  • Play a key role in the planning and establishing of a recently approved Design Centre, as we aim to showcase more externally what we do in the design space.

This role enables significant freedom and autonomy and embraces energy and ideas to make things happen. You will be recognised as an effective academic leader emphasising the importance of humanity in education, critically displaying attributes of tolerance, empathy, trustworthiness, confidence and kindness. Your ability to listen, connect, collaborate, communicate and influence will be critical - as is your level of strong respect for others coupled with an open and engaging attitude that is flexible to changing requirements. You'll enhance the positive energy within the University, value diversity and work inclusively. A resolute, robust and positive attitude is essential.

For further information please ensure to review the extensive information pack available for this appointment, which includes a position description.  This pack is available in the advertisement on the AUT Careers site.

Applications and Selection Criteria

We welcome applications from senior academics of high standing with significant senior academic leadership and staff management experience. We request applicants submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae (including full publication record) and a statement addressing the following key selection criteria:

  1. A record of distinguished academic achievement and research appropriate for appointment as a professor is preferred. A PhD (or equivalent) is also preferable.
  2. Extensive subject matter experience in one (or more) of the disciplines related to the School, a design background is preferred. Please highlight relevant interdisciplinary contributions.
  3. Extensive senior academic leadership and successful staff management experience. Please highlight success developing and sustaining growth.
  4. Significant existing industry connections and partnerships.
  5. A demonstrated record of commitment to indigenous and equity issues, and knowledge of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Extensive current or previous experience working in New Zealand is preferable.
  6. Significant experience leading key strategic change demonstrating an excellent understanding of cultural, operational and environmental change management.
  7. Outstanding resilience, interpersonal, negotiation and diplomacy skills, combined with a coaching and consultative approach to leadership.
  8. A brief summary of your interest and experience embracing innovation and experimentation in previous leadership roles.
  9. Applicants are also welcome to add further comments they may feel of relevance.

Auckland University of Technology (AUT) is vibrant, achievement-oriented and a rewarding place to work. As one of the world's top 40 young universities and New Zealand's newest, we're poised for the next stage of development. We offer a stimulating teaching and research environment with strong connections to government, business and industry.  AUT has over 29,000 students and around 3000 staff across our three teaching campuses and is located in New Zealand's (NZ's) largest city, Auckland­ - consistently ranked as one of the world's most liveable cities.

Our School of Art and Design, Te Kura Toi A Hoahoa (part of AUT's transdisciplinary Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies Faculty, Te Ara Auaha) is one of the top 150 in the world (QS Rankings 2021). It is also one of the top schools of art and design in New Zealand and a major provider of visual arts, design and digital media education. The school offers undergraduate degrees and postgraduate qualifications to PhD level in communication design, fashion design, spatial design, digital design, textile design, industrial design, interaction design, and visual arts. It is home to a lively and diverse community of scholars from all over the world and welcomes international work and collaboration. It also has a strong focus on Māori and Pacific people and has established its own kaupapa and values. The School is supported by outstanding facilities, including fully equipped workshops and studios.

Further Information:

  • Start Date: The successful candidate would ideally be able to join AUT in February 2022 (or earlier by agreement)
  • The successful candidate will secure a 3-year term to the role of Head of School (with potential for further extension) and a permanent appointment as a senior academic.
  • A competitive remuneration package will be agreed with the successful applicant, commensurate with skills and experience.
  • Applicants should also provide names, contact details and clarification of relationship for at least three potential referees. Referees will not be contacted without the prior consent of the applicant.
  • For recruitment enquiries or a confidential discussion, contact Mike Wood - AUT Executive Recruitment Partner

Advertising closes: Sunday, 8 August at 23:55pm (New Zealand standard time). We expect interviews to take place during late-August/September 2021.


How to apply

All applications must be submitted via the relevant job advertisement on the AUT Careers site - (job reference 78032).

Written by

Auckland University of Technology

13 Jul 2021