Appointment of the Dean of Leeds School of Arts


Dear Candidate

Thank you for expressing an interest in joining Leeds Beckett University as Dean of Leeds School of Arts. The University is committed to making a positive and decisive difference to people, organisations and communities through excellent education and research. We are ambitious and aim to be recognised globally as an inclusive anchor for the Leeds City Region, and as an outstanding university that supports its diverse student community to achieve excellent outcomes, and that generates research of impact and significance.

The Leeds School of Arts is a pioneering and highly creative school which supports students to create, think and make while responding to the world around them. Our students work closely with our teaching staff, all experts in their field, across a range of subjects including art and design, creative technologies, architecture, music, performing arts and film. Together, we are a community of creatives, producing ambitious work in a rich and well-resourced learning environment. The School is based in the new £80m creative arts building in the centre of Leeds. This complements our iconic Broadcasting Place Studios, just a short walk away.

The School has seen applications increase this year and the majority of staff are research active. The new Dean will build on this positive trajectory by leading the development of outstanding teaching and learning, research and scholarship and student experience. Our new flagship building offers significant potential for interdisciplinary work and further engagement with our community, partners and regional arts institutions. As a member of the University Senior Management Group, the new Dean will report directly to me, and support the delivery of our strategic plan by providing leadership and operational management of the School.

We seek candidates with an established record of teaching, research and/or professional practice in a relevant creative discipline. You will need to demonstrate a strong commitment and belief in the power of education to transform lives, and the vision and strategic capability to deliver excellent outcomes for our students and stakeholders.

If you are excited by this opportunity and ready to make a significant contribution to our University community then we would be delighted to hear from you. Our advising consultants at Anderson Quigley would be pleased to discuss the role with you in confidence and their details can be found on this site.

Professor Peter Slee

About us

Leeds Beckett is a modern, professional university with a dedicated, diverse community. Our vision is to be an excellent, accessible, globally-engaged university contributing positively to a thriving northern economy. Our mission is to ensure we use our knowledge and resources to make a positive and decisive difference to people, communities and organisations.

We are a community of around 28,000 students from over 140 countries and 2,800 staff, and our history dates back to the founding of Leeds Mechanics Institute in 1824. We are a major organisation in our region and the University contributes around £500m to the economy each year.

Leeds Beckett has:

  • A bold, industrious spirit: We foster innovative thinking to create great graduates, exceptional employees, dynamic citizens and enterprising leaders.
  • An environment enriched by research: Our world-leading and internationally-excellent research informs our curriculum and our students’ experience in all areas.
  • A community dedicated to success: Our community is made up of people from a diverse mix of cultural and social backgrounds, brought together in a world-class learning environment.
  • Excellent corporate services: Students and colleagues can access a range of professional services within our University, specifically designed to support the effective delivery of our academic provision.
  • Safe and supportive networks: Our network of colleague and student groups provides safe and supportive environments in which to discuss issues relating to equality and inclusion.

Leeds is a vibrant, modern city with a rich industrial past and on the doorstep of natural beauty. It is the cultural, financial and commercial heart of West Yorkshire and has one of the most diverse economies of all the UK’s employment centres. Leeds is, and always will be, open for business and talent.

Working in partnership with our students and the Students’ Union, we have transformed our undergraduate student experience and our students’ learning through exceptional and innovative academic practice and personalised support to our large and diverse student community.

Our teaching activity is organised into 10 Schools creating communities of committed staff and students who are passionate about their subject areas. Our courses feature collaborative, creative and practical learning in modern facilities that enable our students to develop themselves as enterprising citizens whose future contribution has a positive impact.

Our research institutes and centres sustain outstanding research which informs our curriculum and our students’ experience in all areas. This research provides an enriched environment for an excellent research and teaching culture for all aspects of our students’ learning.

The REF 2021 results showed that 53% of the university’s submission was rated 3* and 4* and therefore considered internationally excellent or world-leading. Results were particularly strong in sport and exercise science, leisure and tourism where 89% of the submission was rated 4* or 3*. In the allied health and nursing unit, 80% of the submission was rated 4* and 3*. The results reflect the breadth of our research in these areas which includes improving gender equality in sports coachingtackling obesitysupporting women with cancer with fertility decisions and improving the training of people working with those suffering from dementia.

Our REF 2021 submission included 352 research staff across 15 units of assessment, double the number of staff included in REF 2014. It included research driving up energy efficiency standards in homes, and understanding and supporting the role of civilian peacekeeping.

Corporate services
Students and colleagues can access a range of professional services within the University designed and operating to support the effective delivery of our academic provision.

Services for students include Libraries & Learning Innovation, Sport & Active Lifestyles, Student Services, Careers & Employability and Campuses & Residential Services.

Departments including Finance, Estates, Marketing & Communication, Information and Technology Services and Human Resources ensure the University runs efficiently, that colleagues get the support and advice they need, and services for students are accessible and focused on meeting their needs.

Our Schools
Our 10 Schools are:

Our campuses
We provide creative and contemporary learning environments packed with the latest technology, creating a focal point for new and innovative thinking.

City Campus: City Campus is in the heart of Leeds, ideally placed to connect with hundreds of businesses and organisations that offer work placements and employment opportunities to many of our students. The City Campus puts students and staff at the centre of a dynamic business community in a city with a thriving job market. Our award-winning buildings, the Rose Bowl and Broadcasting Place, are located at the City Campus, along with our new state-of-the-art Leeds School of Arts which opened in 2020.

Headingley Campus: Headingley campus, about two miles away from the city centre, is set in 100 acres of beautiful parkland with historic buildings dating from 1752. The rich history and parkland setting coexists with modern sport science laboratories, animation and music studios and the latest computing labs. Our main sports facilities are based in Headingley alongside our iconic new Carnegie School of Sport. Plans are also in development for a new Carnegie School of Education on the Headingley campus.

Equality and Inclusion
Equality and inclusion are essential to our academic and business strengths. We ensure our University community is a place where everyone feels respected, valued and supported to achieve excellence.

We are committed to providing a vibrant, ethical and sustainable working and learning environment that values equality and inclusion and recognises the contribution everyone brings to our University community.

Our network of colleague and student groups help us to help others get the information and support they need. These groups provide a safe and supportive environment in which to discuss issues relating to equality and inclusion, as well as provide support and networking and share best practice.

You can read more about our approach to equality and inclusion here.

University Executive Team structure

See our Executive Team structure here.

Further information
You can read much more about Leeds Beckett University on our website here.

The role

Dean of Leeds School of Arts

Job reference:

School Leeds School of Arts
Post Designation Dean of School
Grade Senior Management
Post to which directly responsible Vice Chancellor
Posts for which directly responsible Heads of Subject (x 5), Professors, Directors of Research, Academic Services Manager

Purpose of Job
The Dean of School will provide strategic and operational leadership and management of the School ensuring delivery of KPIs in support of the University Strategic Plan. This will include working collaboratively across the University and with a range wide of external partners and stakeholders.


1. Leadership of the School, its staff and other resources.
2. Ensuring the School develops and delivers a clear academic plan which enables it to contribute positively to the University’s strategic objectives.

This will include:

  • Determining the subject mix and curriculum of the School.
  • Defining and achieving agreed student outcomes in progression and graduate jobs.
  • Developing clearly defined research strengths and defining and achieving agreed research outcomes.
  • Maintaining a balanced budget through clear income and expenditure planning.
  • Determining and developing the School’s relationship with relevant external stakeholders.
  • Developing the School of Arts as a regional creative hub, and developing CPD, consultancy and partnerships through innovative activity.
  • Develop commercial opportunities to maximise the impact of the investment in the new School of Arts building.

3. Contributing positively to the wider development of the university as a member of the University Senior Management Group.
4. Contribute directly to teaching, research, and professional engagement.

Employee Specification

Qualifications, Skills, Experience & Knowledge

1. Doctoral qualification or equivalent creative industry experience.
2. An established record of teaching, research and/or professional practice related to the academic subject areas of the School.
3. Extensive knowledge of the UK and international Higher Education environment and of the key issues affecting the School’s subject areas.
4. Experience of effective management of human, financial and physical resources.
5. Proven leadership experience and the ability to manage complex change.
6. Excellent collaborative and partnership skills to extend the profile, reach and influence of the School with external partners and stakeholders.
7. Entrepreneurial skills and experience of developing new income-generating opportunities through partnerships, research and enterprise.
8. An understanding the contemporary issues and challenges in higher education, in creative subjects.
9. Excellent communication skills and the ability to contribute to the broader leadership of the university.
10. Experience of improving the student experience and student outcomes; and of improving research outcomes.

Performance Attributes
Please note that all the following criteria are essential.

11. A successful track record in translating strategic priorities into practical outputs, identifying and pursuing key priorities and establishing key performance indicators to monitor and measure performance.
12. A proven commitment to the delivery of a high quality student experience, actively seeking and acting on feedback in order to ensure continuous improvement and the enhancement of our academic delivery.
13. Evidence of the ability to lead, motivate, manage and equip teams to achieve challenging goals and adapt effectively to a fast changing environment.
14. Evidence of effective teamworking skills including the ability to make an active contribution to leadership and the ability to work collaboratively across teams to identify and pursue shared goals.
15. Well-developed interpersonal skills including the ability to persuade and influence groups and individuals and establish effective working relationships with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders.
16. A proven ability to identify and implement new opportunities, new ways of working and creative solutions to complex problems using effective management information to underpin analysis and informed decision making.

Terms of appointment

Terms & Conditions

Terms & Conditions of Service are as determined by the Vice-Chancellor for senior staff (within a framework set by the Board of Governors.)

Salary is competitive.

Annual leave entitlement is 38 days.

Equal Opportunities
We are committed to providing a non-discriminatory and harassment-free working environment for our employees. All our employees are expected to have due regard for those policies when carrying out their duties.

Health and Safety
You will maintain a positive attitude to Health and Safety in carrying out personal responsibilities and co-operate with Health & Safety policy/local rules/Codes of practice relating to Health and Safety.

Physical Conditions
You will be based at the Leeds School of Arts Building, City Campus. You will also need to spend time at the Headingly Campus.

You will work closely with colleagues as a member of the School Leadership Team, within the School and across the University as a member of the Senior Management Group. You will also maintain and develop links with external partners.

Terms & Conditions
Terms & Conditions of Service for Senior Staff are as determined by the Vice Chancellor within a framework set by the Board of Governors.

Probationary Period
Appointment to this position may be subject to a probationary period of up to 12 months, in line with our probationary policy. A copy of our probationary policy is available on our website or on request from Human Resources.

Pre-employment Health Assessment
Our University aims to ensure that all employees are placed in a job that is compatible with their health and physical abilities. In accordance with the Equality Act, questions relating to health are asked following an offer of appointment. All offers of appointment are subject to pre-employment health assessment.

In accordance with our pre-employment processes, it is University policy to verify qualifications for successful candidates. We will need evidence of those qualifications required by the employee specification and claimed on the application form.

How to apply

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

Should you wish to discuss either role in strict confidence, please contact Elliott Rae on +44 (0)7584 078 534 or or Carolyn Coates on +44 (0)7825 871 944 or

The closing date for applications is noon on 16 December 2022.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV.
  • A covering letter (maximum of two pages) outlining how you meet the points under the role profile.
  • Please include details of two referees, though please note that we will not approach referees without your prior consent and only should you be shortlisted.
  • Please complete the following online Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form.

Completed applications should be uploaded at using the reference number  AQ1593.


Closing date: noon on 16 December 2022
Longlisting: w/c 9 January 2023
Preliminary Interviews with AQ: w/c 16 January 2023
Shortlisting: w/c 30 January 2023
Final Interviews: Thursday 2 February 2023