The Heads and Professors of Sociology (HaPS) has existed since 1998 as a supportive network bringing together both Heads of Department and Professors of Sociology. Our chief aim has been to work to promote the interests of Sociology as a discipline within universities and the higher education sector more generally. It is open to all professors of sociology and senior academics who are Heads of Department or represent sociologists in higher education in the UK.
In broad terms HaPS provides support for its members to discuss matters of common interest relating to the administration and management of sociological teaching and research. As well as virtual communication, it normally holds face-to-face meetings with at least one meeting routinely taking place at the British Sociological Association (BSA) Annual Conference and advertised in the conference programme. We also endeavour to hold an Annual Conference of Heads of Department or their representatives in order to discuss key issues facing the discipline.
HaPS cooperates with the BSA with regard to the various consultations that are a normal part of academic life, including those in relation to the REF and the TEF. Many members of HaPS are also members of the BSA. However, as an organisation, HaPS is fully independent of the BSA. The Chair of HaPS is invited to be a member of the BSA Advisory Forum. BSA also provides services for HaPS – for example, use of its committee room in London, the opportunity to hold meetings at the annual conference, and some administrative support.