New Zealand Law Society - Dean of Law, AUT Law School

Dean of Law, AUT Law School

  • Enhance the growing reputation of AUT's Law School
  • Strategically embrace the challenge of meeting diverse student needs
  • Be a key member of the Faculty Executive team

Auckland University of Technology (AUT) is vibrant, achievement-oriented and a rewarding place to work. As one of the world's top 40 young universities and New Zealand's newest, we're poised for the next stage of development. We offer a stimulating teaching and research environment with strong connections to government, business and industry. AUT has over 29,000 students and around 3000 staff across our three teaching campuses and is located in New Zealand's (NZ's) largest city, Auckland¬ - consistently ranked as one of the world's most liveable cities.

The School of Law at AUT is New Zealand's newest and arguably, its most contemporary - blending traditional legal education and focus on legal theory with a strong practical application. Over its first decade it has significantly grown in size and stature. We have 31 committed and passionate staff who work hard to provide an excellent student experience, whilst maintaining a focus on high-quality research across law that has genuine impact and makes significant ongoing contributions to New Zealand's policies and legal frameworks. The Law School is part of AUT's Faculty of Business, Economics and Law, which is committed to strong programmes and research results alongside engagement with the legal profession.

Become the Dean of our Law School

This is an exciting opportunity for a new Dean of Law to provide outstanding strategic, academic and people leadership - we're aiming to extend the School's reputation and reach and become one of Australasia's pre-eminent Law Schools. The role is responsible for ensuring the delivery of high-quality legal education that meets the requirements of the New Zealand Council of Legal Education (NZCLE), AUT's commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and the needs of diverse student, industry and professional groups. It is also responsible for the operational management of the School and its academic and professional staff; and relevant research and other engagement activities that enhance the growing reputation of the AUT Law School and the University's mission. This role is based in our City Campus and reports to the Dean of our Faculty of Business, Economics and Law.

Key focus areas include:

  • Fostering excellence and support in faculty teaching, scholarship, research and collaboration across the school and research centres. Ensuring contemporary, compelling and relevant programmes and impact-driven research.
  • Establishing an inclusive, positive faculty culture that reflects the university's values - and taking the required measures to achieve high staff engagement. Building a leadership team to work together and help deliver the best experience and results for our students.
  • Meeting the challenges of diverse student cohorts. Enhancing participation and success in Law courses from Māori and Pacific student groups.
  • Reaching across school/faculty/university boundaries to collaborate and achieve outcomes and improvements for the Law School, including pursuing and engaging potential inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary opportunities.

You will be a key part of the Faculty Executive Team and work closely with this group to enhance faculty strategic objectives. You will be recognised as an effective academic leader critically displaying attributes of tolerance, empathy, trustworthiness, confidence and kindness.

Your ability to listen, connect, collaborate, communicate and influence will be critical - as is your level of strong respect for others coupled with an open and engaging attitude that is flexible to changing requirements. You'll enhance the positive energy within the University, value diversity and work inclusively. A resolute, robust and positive attitude is essential.

For further information please ensure to review the extensive information pack available for this appointment, which includes a position description.

Applications and Selection Criteria

We welcome applications from senior legal academics of high standing with academic leadership and (ideally) staff management experience. We request applicants submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae (including full publication record) and a statement addressing the following key selection criteria:

  1. A record of distinguished academic achievement and research appropriate for appointment as an associate professor or professor. You will have a minimum of a Masters level degree.
  2. Senior academic leadership and (ideally) staff management experience. Please highlight success developing and sustaining growth, and experience developing contemporary and compelling curriculums.
  3. Significant existing legal sector connections and partnerships.
  4. A demonstrated record of commitment to indigenous and equity issues, particularly those improving participation and success of Māori and/or Pacific communities and other diverse student cohorts.
  5. Significant experience leading key strategic changes demonstrating an excellent understanding of operational and cultural change management.
  6. A high level of resilience, interpersonal and negotiation skills, combined with a coaching and consultative approach to leadership.
  7. Applicants are welcome to add further comments they may feel of relevance.

Further Information:

  • Start Date: The successful candidate would ideally be able to join AUT 1 Jan 2022 (or earlier by negotiation).
  • The successful candidate will secure a 5-year term to the role of Dean of Law (with potential for further extension as agreed by mutual consent), and a permanent position as an Associate Professor or Professor.
  • A competitive remuneration package will be agreed with the successful applicant, commensurate with skills and experience.
  • Applicants should also provide names, contact details and clarification of relationship for at least three potential referees. Referees will not be contacted without the prior consent of the applicant.

For academic enquires: Contact Professor Kate Kearins, Dean and Pro Vice-Chancellor Faculty of Business, Economics and Law - For recruitment enquiries: Contact Mike Wood, AUT Executive Recruitment Partner -

Advertising closes: Sunday, 8 August at 23:55pm (New Zealand standard time). We expect interviews to take place during late-August/September 2021.

Reference: 77849

At AUT we strive to be a place where people love to work and learn. We are committed to inclusivity and the Treaty of Waitangi and aspire to be the University of choice for Māori and Pacific communities. We welcome people of all ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, religious and political beliefs, socio-economic situations and accessibility needs.

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