Head of School, School of Social and Political Sciences

Sydney, Australia
19 Sep 2022
End of advertisement period
24 Oct 2022
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time
  • Opportunity for a distinguished academic to lead the School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Be a part of the leadership team of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Fixed-term role for a period of 5 years with an attractive remuneration package

About the opportunity

The School of Social and Political Sciences is home to one of the most successful academic groups in the world for research and teaching in the social sciences. Through a suite of undergraduate and postgraduate programs - including Criminology, Social Justice, Sociology, Political Economy, Anthropology, Public Policy, Politics, International Relations and International Security - the School delivers leading edge education in a tailored social science learning environment. The School is also home to a quality PhD cohort that works together with academic staff on some of the most urgent questions and problems facing the world today. These include the future of democracy, multispecies justice, asset-based inequalities and endemic health crises. Through a rich variety of multidisciplinary networks and research centres, our academics maintain significant connections with the international social science community and with our diverse partners. The School also has a number of distinguished alumni and is proud of its connections into the local community. Our academic staff and our students are exceptionally well placed to explore the social, cultural, economic and political foundations of the contemporary world.

We are seeking to appoint a distinguished academic as Head of School, School of Social and Political Sciences, who will join the leadership team of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. The Head of School is responsible for the school's academic teaching, learning and research performance outcomes that support the overall faculty strategic goals, maintaining accreditation standards, the student experience, meeting financial targets and workplace culture. The position has formal financial and people delegations and is responsible for effective decision making to ensure financial sustainability. The successful applicant will contribute to the recruitment, appointment, development and retention of talented staff who are able to attract research funding and develop talented students across the school's programs. The successful applicant will also help to promote the School's, the Faculty's and the University's reputation for excellence and its national and international academic standing.

About you

The successful candidate will hold PhD qualifications and will have a recognised international academic and professional standing within a relevant academic field. You will have extensive experience in people leadership and management within the higher education/knowledge worker sector, experience in working with industry, and a track record in managing financial sustainability, infrastructure and the operational needs and practices of an academic unit. Your ability to make strategic decisions, together with a strong business acumen, will support your endeavours in academic leadership, key stakeholder management and industry collaborations.

The successful applicant must have a wide network of established relationships with key academic, industry and professional institutions, partners and stakeholders, that can be leveraged to enhance the standing of the School, the Faculty and the University.

Term and remuneration

The term of the appointment is 5 years with the possibility of renewal, subject to negotiation. The successful candidate will also be offered a professorial appointment in an appropriate discipline in the school and will retain that position at the conclusion of their headship. An attractive remuneration package will be offered. Relocation assistance will also be provided if required.

The successful candidate will be offered a competitive remuneration package commensurate with the responsibilities of the position and the candidate's relevant experience and qualifications.

How to apply

Click to view the Position Description for this role.

Candidate Information Brochure

The University has engaged executive search firm Odgers Berndtson to assist with this appointment who will support the selection committee to identify the widest possible field of qualified candidates and to assess candidates against the requirements for the role.

For an initial discussion about the role, please contact:
Suzanne Reiger, Senior Researcher, Odgers Berndtson, at, or on + 61 2 8905 3752.
Paul Hill, Partner, Odgers Berndtson, at or on + 61 3 8375 7424.

For more information and to submit your application please visit the Odgers Berndtson website at

Current University of Sydney Employees: If you are a current employee of the University and would like to submit an application, please contact Odgers Berndtson at the details above in the first instance. You may then submit your application by logging into your Workday account. Navigate to the Career icon on your Dashboard once logged into Workday and click on the USYD Find Jobs report to apply.


To keep our community safe, please be aware of our COVID safety precautions which form our conditions of entry for all staff, students and visitors coming to campus.

Your employment is conditional upon the completion of all role required pre-employment or background checks in terms satisfactory to the University. Similarly, your ongoing employment is conditional upon the satisfactory maintenance of all relevant clearances and background check requirements. If you do not meet these conditions, the University may take any necessary step, including the termination of your employment.

Please note: Visa sponsorship will be provided for this position.

EEO statement

At the University of Sydney, our shared values include diversity and inclusion and we strive to be a place where everyone can thrive. We are committed to creating a University community which reflects the wider community that we serve. We deliver on this commitment through our people and culture programs, as well as key strategies to increase participation and support the careers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, women, people living with a disability, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and those who identify as LGBTIQ. We welcome applications from candidates from all backgrounds.

© The University of Sydney

The University reserves the right not to proceed with any appointment.

Applications Close

Monday 24 October 2022 11:59 PM

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