Head of Department of English

Hong Kong (HK)
12 Aug 2020
End of advertisement period
28 Feb 2021
Contract Type
Full Time


The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) is a government-funded tertiary institution in Hong Kong.  The University was ranked 75th according to the QS World University Rankings 2021.  It offers programmes at various levels including Doctorate, Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees.  It has a full-time staff strength of around 5,300 including 1,200 academic staff.  The total annual consolidated expenditure budget of the University is in excess of HK$7.4 billion.  Committed to academic excellence, PolyU aspires to become a leading university that excels in professional education, world-class research and partnership for the betterment of Hong Kong, the nation and the world. For further details about the University, please visit PolyU’s website at


Head of Department of English (Ref. 20081201)

The Department of English within the Faculty of Humanities at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University has a long history of conducting cutting-edge research in language and communication and producing high quality graduates for the professional workplace.  A central mission of the Department is to provide first class English language education with a focus on the skills and expertise needed to succeed in the global and the local workplace. With a team of 25 full-time academic staff, the Department is actively engaged in research in the five key areas: (1) Language and Professional Communication (including health communication); (2) Language Teaching and Learning; (3) Linguistics, English Language, and Systemic Functional Linguistics; (4) Media and Communication; and (5) Area Studies and Intercultural Communication.  The Department of English is part of the linguistics discipline at PolyU that is ranked in the top 50 in the QS World University Ranking by Subject 2020. Please visit the website at for more information about the Department.  

The University is now inviting applications and nominations for the post of Head of Department of English. The successful candidate will be appointed as Chair Professor/Professor normally on regular terms of appointment, commensurate with his/her qualifications and experience, and hold a concurrent headship appointment. The headship appointment is normally for an aggregate period of six years in two three-year terms of office. Other suitable candidate(s), if deemed appropriate by the University, may be appointed as Chair Professor/Professor.

Job Functions

The position calls for a visionary academic leader with responsibilities of ensuring the smooth and successful operation and sustainable development of the Department. Reporting directly to the Dean of Faculty of Humanities, the appointee will be required to:

(a)    provide effective leadership in the development of long-term strategies and plans of the Department, in alignment with the University’s Strategic Plan, and provide leadership, coaching and support to all staff members in the Department in pursuit of the planned objectives in a high-quality and cost-effective manner; 

(b)    ensure a high-quality of teaching as well as holistic development of the students, and align the Department’s programmes with the needs of the community; 

(c)    facilitate the conduct of innovative and original research of high quality and impact, and promote and develop genuine cross-disciplinary/departmental research with the optimal use of research funds; 

(d)     provide leadership in technology development, commercialisation and entrepreneurship initiatives to enhance the societal impact of research outcomes of the University;

(e)     provide leadership in developing a strong network of partnership with leading institutions for opportunities and collaboration in education, research and knowledge transfer;

(f)    enhance the local and international networks of partnerships and linkages with the community, particularly the professional, public and business sectors, so as to gain their support for the major strategic initiatives of the University; 

(g)    ensure effective internal communication that leads to transparent decision-making, and promote the Department’s education and other services to target customers, community leaders and stakeholders; 

(h)    ensure optimal deployment of human, financial and other resources in the Department; 

(i)     implement an effective mechanism to acquire donations and other forms of sponsorship to support the University’s pursuits and long-term development; and

(j)    undertake other responsibilities and tasks as may be assigned by the Dean of Faculty or the President’s designate from time to time.


Applicants should have: 

(a)    academic qualifications at the doctoral level in a relevant discipline, evidence of eminent scholarship, substantial relevant experience in a senior academic position, and relevant professional qualifications where appropriate;

(b)    attainment of an academic rank of full professor or above at an internationally recognized university;

(c)    a distinguished international reputation in research and scholarship, and demonstrated international leadership in any one or more of the specialist areas of Language and Professional Communication (including health communication); Language Teaching and Learning; Linguistics, English Language, and Systemic Functional Linguistics; Media and Communication; and Area Studies and Intercultural Communication;

(d)    a strong record in attracting research funding;

(e)    a demonstrated commitment to excellence in teaching;

(f)    a global perspective, proven qualities of academic leadership, and substantial administration / management experience, as well as demonstrated ability of building up a strong team of faculty members with different research and cultural backgrounds;

(g)    effective interpersonal communication and resources management skills, and excellent adaptability to changes and challenges;

(h)    good knowledge of the higher educational environment in the local and global context; and

(i)    high standard of personal integrity.

Experience in fund-raising will be an additional advantage.

Remuneration and Conditions of Service

The terms of appointment and remuneration package are negotiable and highly competitive.  For general information on terms and conditions for appointment of academic staff in the University, please visit the website at

Application and Nomination

Applicants are invited to send a detailed curriculum vitae and direct any enquiries, to the Chairman of the Search Committee for recruitment of Head of Department of English, Human Resources Office, 13/F, Li Ka Shing Tower, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong via email to, quoting the position being applied for and the reference number.  It is optional for the applicants to include two to three reference letters in their applications.  Consideration of applications will commence in early October 2020 until the position is filled.  Candidature may be obtained by nominations.  General information about the University is available at or from the Human Resources Office [Tel: (852) 2766 5041].  The University’s Personal Information Collection Statement for recruitment can be found at

PolyU is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusivity.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to gender, ethnicity, nationality, family status or physical or mental disabilities.  

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