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Head of School, Communication Studies (Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies)

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  • Enhance and enrich the face of Communication and Media Studies at AUT
  • Bring authentic partnership-driven leadership to our outstanding School
  • Become a key member of the Dean’s Executive team

As one of the world’s top 50 young universities and New Zealand’s newest, Auckland University of Technology (AUT) is a university of opportunity where all students with talent and potential have the chance to succeed. We are a socially-driven university with equity and excellence central to our purpose and actions, and we offer a stimulating teaching and research environment with strong connections to government, business, and industry. AUT has more than 27,000 students and over 4,000 staff based primarily at our three Auckland teaching campuses.

Our practice-based School of Communication Studies/Te Kura Whakapāho (part of AUT’s transdisciplinary Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies Faculty/Te Ara Auaha) is one of the top 250 in the world (QS Rankings 2023) and the leading school of communication studies and media in New Zealand. This includes our flagship Bachelor of Communication Studies programme. Throughout the School there is a dynamic interplay of communication theory and media practice across advertising creativity, digital media, journalism, public relations, radio and audio media, and screen production. Undergraduate degrees and postgraduate qualifications to PhD level are offered covering these fields. The School 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, has well-established kaupapa and values, and is very well supported by outstanding facilities including a media centre, radio station, black box theatre, and fully equipped motion capture and TV studios. Collaboration and partnership underpin everything we do, and we connect our students with industry leaders from our extraordinary range of partner organisations.

A detailed information handbook for this role will be available very soon (which includes information on AUT, the faculty, the school itself, position description and much more). Please email Mike Wood ([email protected]) if you’d like to be sent a copy once it is ready.

Become the new Head of School of Communication Studies

We are seeking a new Head of School to provide outstanding academic, administrative and people leadership to the School of Communication Studies. 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 be comfortable communicating with different groups from diverse disciplines, and will lead a team of approximately 50 (FTE) deeply committed and resilient School staff who are focussed on empowering over 900 (EFTS) students to develop their ambition, capabilities, knowledge, and passion to shape the future through communication studies and media studies practice. The School is currently in a very strong position. You will continue the great progress the previous Head of School made, whilst embracing space for your creativity of thinking to enable the School to move to the next level.

Key focus areas include:

  • Leading the further development of a School culture focused on excellence in teaching, research, service and other academic contributions whilst ensuring staff feel safe and productive in their work.
  • Further enhancing the sense of community and collaboration amongst staff post-COVID.
  • Lifting the School’s external profile and ensuring strong personal networking across New Zealand’s communication and media sectors.
  • Advocating for the School internally in the broader environment of the faculty and AUT.
  • Helping the School increase its international student enrolments and outlook, whilst maintaining a critical local focus and perspective.  
  • Continuing to operationalise already-approved curriculum reform.
  • Driving greater cross-disciplinary collaboration with other areas and disciplines of the Faculty and University to encourage new thinking and enhance student and staff experiences.

You will be recognised as a culturally capable leader who values diversity, works inclusively, and allows and champions creativity, flexibility and innovation whilst being humble and principled. You will be able to lead the School on the next steps of its Te Tiriti journey and you will display attributes of inclusiveness, empathy, trustworthiness, confidence and kindness. Your ability to listen, connect, collaborate, communicate and influence will be critical – as will be your strong respect for others coupled with an open and engaging attitude that is flexible to changing requirements. A resolute, robust and positive attitude is essential.

Applications and Selection Criteria

We welcome applications from senior academics of high standing with significant senior academic leadership and staff management experience. Along with your full CV, please ensure to submit a) a cover letter which explains why this particular role (and AUT) is of interest, and b) a statement addressing how your experience aligns with the key selection criteria we’re seeking below:

  1. A record of distinguished academic achievement and research appropriate for appointment as a professor or associate professor. A PhD is mandatory.
  2. Extensive subject matter experience in one (or more) of the disciplines related to the School is preferable. Please highlight relevant interdisciplinary contributions.
  3. Extensive senior academic leadership and demonstrated staff management experience. Please highlight successes developing and sustaining growth, and ensuring a positive work culture for staff.
  4. Demonstrated development of significant industry connections and partnerships.
  5. Capability to lead the School on an authentic and robust Te Tiriti journey.
  6. Capability to advance Māori and Pacific students, staff, and community outcomes. A champion for equity.
  7. Significant experience leading key strategic change demonstrating an excellent understanding of cultural, operational, and organisational change management.
  8. Outstanding resilience, interpersonal, negotiation and diplomacy skills, combined with a coaching and consultative approach to leadership.
  9. A brief summary of your interest and experience embracing innovation and experimentation in previous leadership roles.
  10. Applicants are welcome to add further comments they may feel of relevance.

Further Information:

  • Start Date: The successful candidate would ideally be able to join AUT in early-2024 (or earlier by agreement).
  • Term: 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.
  • Referees: 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.
  • Enquiries: Please contact Mike Wood, AUT Executive Recruitment Partner – [email protected]  

Advertising closes: Tuesday, 12 September at 11.55pm. We expect interviews to take place during late-September/early October 2023.

At AUT we strive to be a place where people love to work and learn. We are committed to te Tiriti, excellence and inclusivity and aspire to be the University of choice for Māori and Pacific communities. We welcome people of all ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, religious and political beliefs, socio-economic situations and accessibility needs.

Please note that all applications must be submitted through the online application process. For further information, please send us an enquiry here or call 921 9499. Please note we are happy to answer your questions but we do not accept applications by email. You will need to apply through the standard registration process.

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