Head of School of History and Cultures - College of Arts and Law

University of Birmingham

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Position type:

Full time



08 Jan 2021
08 Apr 2021

Full details:

Reference number: BIR-200002Z8

Role Description

As a member of the College of Arts and Law College Board, the Head of School will be responsible for the academic and financial leadership of the School. Reporting to the Head of College, he/she will be expected to promote and sustain the highest levels of excellence across the School’s numerous activities. The scale and ambition of Birmingham provides unparalleled opportunities for senior staff to grow and develop their academic leadership skills.

Reporting to the Head of College, the post-holder will work closely with the four other Heads of School to take forward the strategic direction of the School (and the College) as well as capitalising on opportunities for further inter-disciplinary work within the University and with external stakeholders. The post-holder will be an established academic with research expertise in any of the School’s disciplines. He/she will have leadership capabilities and will be able to demonstrate a vision and a strategy for the continued development of the School, in line with the College’s and University’s key priorities.

The Head of School of History and Cultures will be appointed as a fully tenured Professor in the School and, as such, will need to meet the University’s requirements for professorial appointments. The term of office for Head of School is normally 4 years with an option to extend this initial period, if appropriate.


Main Duties

As the Head of School of History and Cultures the post holder will be expected to:

  • provide academic leadership within the School in all aspects of its operation to ensure that the mission, aims, and objectives of the School are met within the overall context of the College’s and University’s priorities.
  • be responsible for the development and delivery of a strategic plan for the School, which supports the College and the University’s Strategic Framework.
  • lead, inspire, develop, and manage all staff reporting into the Head of School (this include all academic staff).
  • enable the School to develop and maintain active networks nationally and internationally, so as to improve the School’s research and education.
  • play an active role as a member of the College Board with cabinet responsibility for decisions taken by the Board and taking on a wider College management role as appropriate.
  • work closely with the College Director of Research and Knowledge Transfer to develop and deliver a forward-looking School research and knowledge transfer strategy.
  • work closely with the College Director of Education to develop and deliver a robust and effective School teaching and learning strategy.
  • work closely with the College Director of Global Engagement to develop and deliver a School International Strategy.
  • monitor the progress of the School against agreed objectives and targets, identifying actions to encourage continuous improvement and development.
  • deliver efficient and effective financial management and use of resources in the context of the College strategy and budgets.
  • ensure efficient management and operation of undergraduate and postgraduate taught courses including course design and development, advertising and recruitment, maintenance of documentation, compliance with review and validation procedures, overall management of delivery and assessment, student admissions, attendance, and withdrawals.
  • be responsible for compliance with national legislation and University policies, including Health and Safety and the environment, in conjunction with the College Director of Operations.


Person Specification


The post-holder will be expected to have:

  • A higher degree such as a PhD in a relevant field;
  • A successful and recognised research career in their field showing commitment to and success in the promotion of research within their discipline;
  • Management experience and an accompanying awareness of resource and coordination issues;
  • A commitment to teaching and learning and the student experience;
  • Leadership and organisational skills as demonstrated through the ability to inspire others, prioritise workloads and work autonomously and as part of a team in a large and complex organisation;
  • Experience of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and supervision to doctoral level.
  • The post holder should be able to demonstrate:
  • The ability to think strategically and to develop and communicate a compelling vision for the future of the School and to understand the practical steps needed to deliver this strategy;
  • The ability to lead successful organisational change and development;
  • A flexible, inspirational, and effective leadership style coupled with outstanding interpersonal and communication skills;
  • A track record of facilitating high quality research, learning and teaching, and administrative outcomes through the active management of people and financial resources;
  • A track record of successful co-operation and collaborative working relationships with academic, professional services staff and students;
  • A clear understanding of the current state of the higher education sector and the challenges it faces in the arts and humanities.


The successful candidate should possess an outstanding reputation in research and teaching as well as proven leadership and management credentials, and the vision and capability to enhance the College’s performance.

Should you wish to have an informal and confidential discussion about this role, please contact Professor Andrzej Gasiorek, Head of College, Arts and Law, at a.b.p.gasiorek@bham.ac.uk

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