Appointment of the Head of School of Arts, Culture and Language

Welcome

Croeso and thank you for your interest in our university.

Bangor is a unique institution, Welsh in language and attitude but international in outlook and ambition. We are building on our strengths in research and teaching and creating a thriving, confident civic university which not only serves Bangor and our region, but is also genuinely transformational for Wales and the world.

Our heritage empowers us; it does not constrain us.  We have created the new School of Arts, Culture, and Language which is home to an exciting and diverse range of subject areas that sit at the core of the University’s arts and humanities subject provision. In addition to boasting an excellent research and teaching environment, the school makes a significant contribution to the University’s civic and public engagement agenda. Our new Head of School will be firmly focused on creating a future for these important areas of knowledge.

This is a critical appointment for Bangor. Working with Professors Martina Feilzer and Andrew Edwards who lead the College of Arts, Humanities and Business, you will be joining an enthusiastic team committed to developing strategies in teaching, research and impact. There are significant opportunities for our new Head to make a very positive contribution to the University. The post will be focused on change management and growth. You will have a high profile internally and externally as you lead on developing and raising the School’s academic offering and external profile.

I hope you share our aspirations and are excited by the prospect of leading this School.

Professor Iwan Davies
President and Vice-Chancellor

About us

Mission

A strong, confident institution recognised regionally, nationally and internationally as a centre of excellence for its varied portfolio of teaching and research, and for the unique, multicultural, inclusive experience it provides for its staff and students.

Our History and Today

The University was founded as a direct result of a campaign in the late nineteenth century for higher education provision in Wales. Funds were raised by public subscription to establish a college of university rank in Bangor. An important feature of its foundation was the voluntary contributions made by local people, including amongst others, many farmers and quarrymen who could ill afford to donate money, but did so despite the difficulties in order to benefit future generations.

The University was founded as the University College of North Wales. It opened its doors on 18 October 1884 in an old coaching inn with 58 students and 10 members of staff. The students received degrees from the University of London until 1893 when the University of Wales, Bangor became one of the three original constituent colleges of the University of Wales.

Bangor has had a long tradition of academic excellence and a strong focus on the student experience. Today around 11,000 students study at the University, and it has approximately 2000 staff, based in fourteen Academic Schools within three Colleges, and supported by a number of Professional Services. In addition, we have 600 students studying at Bangor College China and around 2400 students studying validated programmes in the UK and overseas. We have more than 150 Students’ Union Clubs and Societies which were named best in the UK at the WhatUni Student Choice Awards 2018.

The University is ranked in the top 40 in the UK for research, according to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. The REF recognised that more than three-quarters of Bangor’s research is either world-leading or internationally excellent, ahead of the average for UK universities.

The most recent National Student Survey results place Bangor amongst the UK’s top 10 mainstream universities for student satisfaction and we are particularly proud of our Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Gold which highlights our staff’s work in providing outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for our students. Sustainability is central to all our activities and we are ranked 8th in the world in the UI Green metric.

Teaching and Learning

The University prides itself on the quality of teaching offered. This was supported in a recent review by the UK Quality Assurance Agency, which resulted in the highest possible endorsement of the University’s academic standards.

Students are enrolled on 324 undergraduate programmes and 125 postgraduate taught programmes. Undergraduate students are registered to 1883 modules. There are 340 undergraduate modules offered through the medium of Welsh, and Bangor is recognised as the leading provider of Welsh medium education in Wales.

Structure

The academic activities of the University are grouped into three Colleges:

  • The College of Arts, Humanities and Business
  • The College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering
  • The College of Human Sciences

Research

Research is central to Bangor University; it is an integral part of our teaching and a passion of our academic staff. The 2014 Research Excellence Framework recognised that more than three-quarters of Bangor’s research is either world-leading or internationally excellent, ahead of the average for all UK universities.

Research in Sports Science; Modern Languages; Welsh; Education; Linguistics; Ocean Sciences; Biological Sciences; Environment, Natural Resources and Geography; Psychology; Healthcare Sciences; and Medical Sciences have all been ranked in the top 20 in the UK.

Research and teaching are closely inter-linked: almost all research academics teach, ensuring that our students benefit from the knowledge created by our research.

Community

The University’s Arts and Innovation Centre, Pontio (meaning ‘to bridge’ in Welsh), provides a wide variety of high quality activities and entertainment for both the University and the local community, championing Welsh language and culture. The University has a dedicated Widening Access Centre that provides a vital link between the University and its surrounding community. We are also committed to the principles of sustainable development and global citizenship and to ensuring that all our functions reflect this.

Further Information

Click here for the recent annual review and accounts.

 

The School

The newly established School of Arts, Culture, and Language is home to an exciting and diverse range of subject areas that sit at the core of the University’s arts and humanities subject provision. This is the largest of three academic schools in the College of Arts, Humanities and Business and is home to over 50 academic staff, over 50 tutors and over 1,200 undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research students. In addition to boasting an excellent research and teaching environment, the school makes a significant contribution to the University’s civic and public engagement agenda at local, regional, national and international levels. The School is at the forefront of the University’s mission to establish a world-leading bilingual ethos and working environment.

The School is comprised of vibrant academic departments, research centres and academic related units.

Five academic departments:

  • Department of Creative Writing, English Literature, Film, Journalism and Media
  • Department of Linguistics, English Language and Bilingualism
  • Department of Modern Languages and Cultures
  • Department of Music, Drama and Performance
  • Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies

Eight research centres:

Three academic related units:

  • Confucius Institute
  • English Language Centre for Overseas Students)
  • Learn Welsh North West (Welsh for Adults)

The diverse but interconnected School sustains a community of outstanding and renowned academics and creative practitioners who produce world-leading research on core areas of strength including Welsh, Celtic Studies, Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies, Creative Writing, Musicology and Composition, Performance and Film, Linguistics and Language Planning, Material Texts and Material Cultures, and Cultural Connections across Wales, Europe and the World. Our teaching and research are supported by our outstanding archives and special collection and excellent library and digital facilities and a deep engagement with digital humanities.

The School, like Bangor and its surrounding communities is bilingual; Welsh and English are used equally in School communication, teaching, and creative practice.  Grounded in our distinct linguistic and cultural identity and extraordinary location, the school has a consciously global outlook to research. It engages with scholars across the world, undertakes externally funded comparative and international research and hosts a community of international staff and students. The School offers students an immersive experience of Welsh language and culture, and is world-leading in its provision of Welsh medium modules focused on arts, literature, culture and language.

The University and School place an enormous value on our subject areas, defending the vital role that Arts, Culture and Language play for the wider community, societal and individual wellbeing, and recognise our responsibility to ensure our academic work and creative practice connects with local, regional, national and global communities.

Building on our research excellence, strong staff and student community, and our local links, we have an ambitious plan for growth, and your leadership would be the essential ingredient for supporting our ambitions.

The role

Head of School of Arts, Culture and Language

Job reference:
AQ1237

Line Manager:  Dean of College of Arts, Humanities and Business
Term: Permanent

Role outline

A strategic leadership role, the Head is responsible for the academic and strategic leadership and management of the School. Proactively working with the PVC/Head and Dean of College, School, College and wider University colleagues the role will establish a clear vision for the future direction of the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures with a focus on growth, quality of teaching provision, enhancing the student experience, increasing research and external activities. The ability to communicate through the medium of Welsh is highly desirable and candidates who do not speak Welsh will be supported to learn Welsh. Candidates will be expected to show an understanding of the requirements of a bilingual environment.

Strategy, profile and governance

  • Develop a vision for the new School which further develops its historic strengths in Welsh Culture, Literature and Creative Writing; English Literature and Creative Writing; Modern Languages Linguistics, Bilingualism and Multilingualism; Music, Drama and Performance; and Media, Journalism and Film Studies.
  • Work closely with the College to develop an appropriate School strategy in line with the overall University strategy.
  • Develop the School’s research and teaching profile in Digital Humanities.
  • Build and develop a strong senior management team within the School.
  • Play an active role on the College Management Board, Chair the School Management Committee and other key committees and participate in the University’s governance through membership of other formal bodies.
  • Lead initiatives to attain national and international visibility/recognition for the School.
  • Take responsibility for legal compliance and assessment and management of corporate risk in the School.

Management and development of resources

  • Ensure the effective management of all School resources including finance, staff, buildings, equipment and, where appropriate, intellectual property.
  • Exercise effective line management of all members of the School including a focus on professional development.
  • Ensure that staff are aware of the School’s Strategic Plan and understand their own individual responsibilities.
  • Foster a working environment that supports staff well-being (this includes health and safety compliance and ensuring the well-being of staff) and raising awareness of the sustainability agenda in the University.
  • Expand the third mission activities of the School, identify ways of diversifying the income stream of the School with the aim of attaining greater sustainability.
  • Represent the School to external stakeholders and the local, national and international community and encourage other staff within the School develop external links.

Teaching and learning

  • Drive an ongoing process of enhancement of the quality and standards of all teaching and learning activities within the School.
  • Collaborate with the College Director of Teaching & Learning to ensure the provision of necessary resources and infrastructure to support all academic programmes within the remit of the School.
  • Work with the College Director of Teaching & Learning to rationalise teaching across the School to avoid duplication and to increase efficiency.
  • Ensure best practice in the delivery of courses by incorporating successful practices from other Schools and Colleges and from outside the University.
  • Encourage the development of strategic initiatives in teaching and learning and widening participation.
  • Identify opportunities for College and cross-College collaborative teaching and promote such activity.
  • Actively encourage and grow Welsh medium teaching provision and participation.
  • Develop innovative and exciting programmes spanning the Arts and Humanities which are attractive to students.

Research

  • Coordinate with the College Director of Research and the College Director of Impact & Engagement on the development and implementation of a School Research Strategy and Impact & Engagement Strategy that is consistent with the College and University Research and Impact & Engagement Strategies.
  • Collaborate with the College Director of Research and College Director of Impact & Engagement to ensure the provision of necessary resources and infrastructure to facilitate successful initiatives within the School.
  • Foster collaboration within the School and encourage School staff to collaborate with colleagues within the College, across Colleges and between institutions, especially the stimulation of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary activity.
  • Establish the School as a centre of research excellence.
  • Encourage the development and exploitation of University intellectual property in collaboration with the College Director of Research.

Students

  • Contribute to the development of national and international student recruitment initiatives to attract the highest quality students.
  • Work within University-wide structures to establish, manage and enhance academic, welfare and pastoral support for students.
  • Strengthen our programmes which facilitate and encourage the international mobility of students both outward and inward.
  • Implement University policies on equality and widening participation at the School level.
  • Lead initiatives across the School to enhance the experience of students and alumni.
  • Lead on initiatives to enhance the employability of students.

Equality and diversity

  • Provide equality of opportunity for staff and ensure that all staff are aware of their responsibilities in the area of equality and diversity and the Welsh Language Scheme.
  • Promote and ensure action that demonstrates the University’s commitment to the Athena SWAN Principles and the Concordat for the Support of the Career Development of Researchers.
  • Ensure that staff workload is equitably and fairly distributed between staff and that academic staff have appropriate time and facilities.

 

PERSON SPECIFICATION

Education and qualifications

  • A degree, with evidence of continued professional development; and
  • A higher degree or PhD.

Experience and knowledge

  • A track record of academic achievement in an Arts and Humanities context
  • Proven track record in leadership and people management skills, encompassing team building, direction setting and change management
  • A track record of developing a strategic vision and successfully delivering it,encompassing undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, research and impact
  • Experience of building the capacity and capability of staff in relation to scholarship and research
  • An understanding and delivery of outstanding learning, teaching and assessment practice that is reflected in metrics and rankings such as TEF
  • A track record of excellent research and impact, evidenced by grant capture, impact activities, and understanding of REF processes
  • Experience of building strong relationships with a diverse range of stakeholders in the public, private and voluntary sectors, in particular the Creative Industries
  • Experience of budget and resource management

Skills and abilities

  • An assured, persuasive and confident communicator who is able to achieve results by working effectively with others
  • The people skills to act as a compelling and positive ambassador for Bangor University at all times and in varied contexts
  • An aptitude and comfort in networking and building external relations, with a willingness to travel overseas on behalf of the University
  • High levels of personal motivation, resilience, diplomacy and tact
  • Evidence of seeking innovative solutions with the imagination and creativity to envisage and inspire change
  • Sound judgement and practical problem-solving skills
  • The ability to motivate and develop trust and respect across the institution. The ability to motivate and persuade a range of colleagues, and particularly those whom they do not line manage
  • Committed to the principles and practice of equality and diversity
  • Ability to speak Welsh or willingness to learn
  • An appreciation of the advantages of a working in a bilingual environment

Terms of appointment

This post is offered on a full time, permanent basis. An appropriate salary will be agreed with the preferred candidate.

All other terms and conditions will be in accordance with the standard terms and conditions of employment at the University for academic staff.

How to apply

Anderson Quigley is acting as an advisor to Bangor University. An executive search process is being carried out by Anderson Quigley in addition to the public advertisement.

Should you wish to discuss the role in strict confidence, please contact Ed Pritchard on +44(0)7980 817 927, or Carolyn Coates on +44(0)7825 871 944. To discuss the opportunity in Welsh please contact Professor Sir Deian Hopkin on +44(0)7711 155 720.

The closing date for applications is noon on Monday 22 November 2021.

Applications can be made in English or Welsh and should consist of:

  • A full CV.
  • A covering letter (maximum of 3 pages) setting out your interest in the role and details of how you match the experience and knowledge section of the person specification.
  • Please include current salary details and the names and addresses of two referees. Referees will not be approached until the final stages and not without prior permission from candidates.
  • Please complete the following online Equal Opportunity Monitoring Form.

Completed applications should be uploaded at www.andersonquigley.com/candidates  using the reference AQ1237.

Bangor University is committed to creating a supportive and inclusive environment for all our students, staff and our partners. We aim to take every opportunity to progress equality and diversity and celebrate the enrichment this brings to our community.

Timetable

Closing date: noon on Monday 22 November 2021
Longlisting: Tuesday 30 November 2021
Preliminary Interviews with AQ: Thursday 2 – Wednesday 8 December 2021
Shortlisting: Monday 13 December 2021
Final Panel Interviews: Tuesday 11 January 2022