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Dean of Arts and Humanities

Shape our success

This is an exciting time to join the University of Southampton.  We are currently ranked 78th in the world* and this post is key to advancing this position. Our Strategy encapsulates our Triple Helix of excellence: research, education, knowledge exchange and enterprise. This makes our Southampton offer distinctive. It is against this backdrop that you will use your professional and personal life experiences to help us take the next steps

We are seeking a visionary Dean of Arts and Humanities who shares our commitment to deliver our University Strategy. Our Strategy is designed to deliver a word-class student experience, and enables our people to inspire excellence to achieve the remarkable and build an inclusive world. We want a transformational leader who will continue the momentum and drive forward our current achievements, and who will proactively seek out new opportunities to champion the work of our staff and students on the global stage.

This is a fantastic opportunity to take your career to new heights. As the Dean of Faculty, you will shape the future of Arts and Humanities at Southampton. Reporting directly to the President and Vice-Chancellor, you will be part of the University’s executive leadership team and contribute to the development, delivery and implementation of our Strategy. You will recognise the value of, and capitalise on, the interdisciplinary potential of the Faculty and play a pivotal role in the strategic development and operation of its education, research, knowledge exchange and enterprise.


Join us 

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities comprises two high-performing schools, Winchester School of Art and the School of Humanities. With a passion for investigating what makes us human, from literature, language and music, to history, film and philosophical debate, our School of Humanities is at the centre of an understanding of a rapidly changing world. Winchester School of Art is proud to be one of the UK’s leading art and design institutions, with a contemporary and distinctive outlook to meet the challenges of our creative future.

Drawing together a wide range of disciplines across several locations in the cities of Southampton and Winchester, our foundations and heritage contribute to making the University of Southampton a gateway to the world.  We are working across the region to further develop our civic role through making a positive impact and embedding sustainability in everything we do.

The Faculty is recognised nationally and internationally for its sector-leading research, education, knowledge exchange and enterprise, which when combined, create a unique environment for the successful development of more than 2,500 undergraduates and a strong postgraduate community of over 2,000 students from an exceptionally diverse range of backgrounds. It is an exciting time for the Faculty as the University is investing in the development of the arts and humanities, with extensive building work anticipated to take place as one of the Faculty’s strategic priorities. The Faculty aims to be sector-leading in its curriculum portfolio and to have a physical and virtual estate that offers an outstanding student experience, enables research and innovation, and facilitates engagement with our communities.

About you

You will have a proven track record of leading teams and taking responsibility for a significant function that contributes to the overall success of the organisation.  With innovative thinking and passion, you will be a key decision-maker, inspiring and motivating the Faculty to ensure its continued success. Along with the ability to communicate clearly with a broad range of individuals, you will have the authenticity and resilience to work with the Faculty in delivering and supporting the vision of the wider University.

You will be a successful and highly visible leader with the ability to shape the vision and direction of the Faculty in a consultative and collaborative way to ensure its contribution to the success of the University. You will also reach beyond your own discipline to create synergies and opportunities not just within Arts and Humanities but across the whole Institution.

With a deep understanding of the global Higher Education sector and the importance of the student experience, you will have a key role in supporting our ambitions in widening student participation.  As well as a proven ability to lead and manage change throughout an organisation, you will be able to think both analytically and creatively. Crucially, you will identify innovative solutions to complex problems and will have the ability to build relationships at all levels. Working with staff across the Schools, you will ensure Faculty-wide cohesion, empowering people in their roles. You will also understand the complexities of multiple disciplines, creating an equitable voice for them and the Faculty as a whole. With exceptional communication, listening, and influencing skills, you will rise to the challenge of shaping the debate around higher education both nationally and internationally by representing the University and Faculty to enhance its reputation and contribute to its development activities.


A global and diverse university

We welcome students and staff from all walks of life, and as such, we champion a uniquely diverse working environment in which every colleague is able to excel, regardless of their background or their life choices. Quite simply, we want to attract likeminded people to our community – people who care about the world, and who share our passion for creating an innovative and forward-thinking learning and research environment.

We are a Stonewall Diversity Champion and we are immensely proud to have been awarded an institutional Athena SWAN silver award, which underpins our pledge to improve equality for women. We have also been awarded the Race Equality Charter Bronze Award, recognising the University’s efforts and commitment to improve the representation, progression and success of minority ethnic staff and students. Crucially, we work with our people to ensure their ideas are always heard – so please share your background and life experiences, and help us create a truly unique working prospect.

What we can offer you

We support a flexible approach to work, as well as additional benefits that will make your life easier, such as a corporate health care scheme and generous holiday allowance. We will support your long-term future too, with access to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), subsidised health and fitness facilities and a range of discounts. Furthermore, Southampton is a fantastic place in which to live, work and socialise – so regardless of what life stage you are at, you will find a dynamic and vibrant city that caters for all.


Application Process

Along with your CV and covering letter, please submit a one-page summary of your vision for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of Southampton, including what you want to achieve in the first five years in office. Please present the information in such a way that you cannot be identified. The statement will be used as part of the long short-listing process by the search committee to determine those invited to the engagement day. Only for those candidates that are invited to the engagement day will the statement be shared more widely with staff from the faculty with a view to seeking their feedback prior to the final shortlisting.

Additional Information

This post is offered on a tenured basis initially for a period of five years, which is extendible up to a maximum of eight years. At the end of this tenure, the successful candidate will return to a substantive Professorial position within the University.

The closing date for receipt of applications is midnight (GMT) on Tuesday 18th  April 2023. 


Important dates 


Following a long listing meeting of the Search Committee, successful candidates will be invited to attend an ‘engagement day’ with members of the University on Wednesday 28th June 2023.


Interviews are currently scheduled to take place on Monday 17th July 2023.


*QS World University Rankings, 2023


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