Head of Equality & Inclusion

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Job Description

The Royal College of Art is the world’s leading postgraduate university of art and design. Founded in 1837, it is also the world’s oldest art and design university in continuous operation and its most research intensive. The RCA has been ranked by the highly regarded QS survey, as the number 1 art and design university in the world for the last seven years. A recent University of Oxford research study, published in the Harvard Business Review October 2018, identifies the RCA as one of a select cadre of sustained, high performing institutions – a ‘radical traditionalist’. Among its core audiences – students, artists and designers – the RCA brand is legendary. The generations of world-leading designers and artists who have studied or taught at the RCA is a roster of international repute.

The student body is 2,300 set to rise to 3,000 by 2022/3. The RCA prides itself on its international diversity, with some 65 different nationalities represented within the RCA community.

The RCA comprises four Schools, each led by a Dean, Architecture, Arts & Humanities, Communication and Design.

In addition, the RCA is growing and developing its research through a number of dedicated centres and labs including: the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design; the Material Science Research Centre; the Intelligent Mobility Design Research Centre; Computer Science; and the Robotics Lab.

This is a new, exciting senior leadership opportunity, for an experienced individual to progress the RCA’s Equity & Inclusion (E&I) agenda, and to establish and enable promising new ways of working, which can be widely adopted within the College. The post holder will be tasked with leading a process of transformational change to address racism and the systemic barriers to accessing art and design education which marginalised communities experience.

Immediate recommendations and priorities will be established from the outputs of an independent consultancy project, aimed at helping the College to become an anti racist institution. This has captured the experiences and ideas from RCA students, alumni and staff.

Supported by the Senior Management Team, and working with colleagues and students across the College, an early task will be to assess the College’s capability in E&I and co-create a robust strategy to address identified E&I priorities, including scoping out a team and required budget for E&I initiatives.

This is a cross-cutting role, working to create cultural change in the College across academic, operations and beyond. Consequently, a key requirement of the person appointed is the ability to work effectively and collaboratively through networks and relationships, advocating and influencing across the College.

The post holder will develop our E&I agenda, overseeing a strategic approach to the journey of staff and students at the RCA that meets the needs of Equity and Inclusion. They will devise, lead and manage key E&I initiatives that ensure the RCA becomes an anti-racist, and inclusive institution.

The post will include a 20% research floor so that the holder can keep up-to-date with current research on the subject. This role will include developing and implementing proposals, papers and briefings for strategic School bodies and the Senior Management Team.

Working closely with academic staff, the role holder will review annual programme reviews in relation to E&I priorities, and will also help shape the development of programmes that decolonise the curriculum.  The postholder will also be responsible for reviewing and redesigning the College’s recruitment and selection procedures for all staff and students to ensure they embed equity and inclusion.  In addition, all reporting structures (both informal and formal) will be reviewed to help the College identify, understand and remove any barriers that prevent individuals to come forward and share their experience.

If you wish to discuss the role or require further information, please contact Jacqui Anthony, Resourcing Partner via email jacqui.anthony@rca.ac.uk.

How to apply

Go to the website page to the job vacancy and click on apply online.  Please upload as separate documents:

  1. A covering letter (no more than three pages of A4) with narrative text setting out your interest in the role, how you match the criteria, and describing the nature and achievements in Equity and Inclusion.
  2. A comprehensive curriculum vitae (CV) detailing relevant academic and professional qualifications, full employment history.
  3. Details of your current remuneration and contact details for two referees, one of whom should be your current employer.  (Referees will not be contacted without your permission.)

The closing date for applications is 21 April 2021.

The Selection Panel will meet to shortlist the field and shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend interview in May 2021.

The Royal College of Art is an equal opportunities employer. The College particularly welcomes applications from all sections of the community and would particularly encourage members of minority groups to apply.