Fashion Design & Merchandising | Assistant Professor

Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts (VCUarts)
Position F05150
Full time, 9-month term faculty position beginning August 16, 2017.

Application Deadline: Review of applications begins November 28, 2016, and continues until the position is filled. For full consideration, applications are due by November28, 2016.

Salary Range: $60,000-$75,000

According to four of five cost of living calculators, housing in Richmond, VA is approximately 80% lower than New York, NY, and overall expenses are 45% lower.

The Opportunity:

The VCUarts Department of Fashion Design & Merchandising ( invites collaboration-minded applicants with qualifications, experience, and demonstrated strengths across fashion merchandising and design, honed from significant and productive years in the fashion industry, to integrate and apply these skills into contemporary merchandising and design practice and to contribute to strengthening the program’s orientation toward the future of these disciplines.

The Department of Fashion Design & Merchandising is an undergraduate program with 350 students offering a BA track in fashion merchandising and a BFA track in fashion design. The Department encompasses a unique partnership between the visual, technical and business aspects necessary for merchandising, design, and production. Students are prepared to enter the fashion industry by learning technical and problem solving skills, including, but not limited to relevant computer skills, line development, retail math, branding, creative entrepreneurship, textiles for fashion, and more. Market identification, analysis, and interpretation are emphasized in the merchandising track, with a new focus on understanding apparel construction as well, in order to compete in the global economy.  Principles of design research, design process and construction, balanced with illustration, the business of fashion, computer presentation skills, and creation of a final thesis collection are emphasized in the design track. The crossover skills of the BA and BFA tracks are a primary focus of the department and this position. In addition, the department maintains an active relationship with its sister program located on the School’s international branch campus in Doha, Qatar. Exciting opportunities exist for collaboration and partnership between the two programs.

VCUarts ( is comprised of over 3,000 students and 16 nationally recognized programs in design, visual and performing arts. US News & World Report ranks VCUarts as having the top public university art and design graduate programs in the nation. Located in Richmond, the capital of Virginia, VCU is an ethnically and culturally diverse urban institution. VCUarts is located on the university’s 75-acre Monroe Park campus situated in Richmond’s historic Fan District. The school’s newest facility, the recently renovated Depot Building, houses a state of the art sound studio with motion capture capabilities, a 6,000 sq. ft. interdisciplinary research space and the new student art gallery. The new VCU Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA), designed by award-winning architect Steven Holl, is poised to open to the public in 2017 and will be dedicated to flexible and responsive exhibitions and performances that examine art, design, and performance from multiple interdisciplinary perspectives ( VCUarts is within walking distance to the Richmond Arts District and the nationally-recognized Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is one mile from campus. VCUQatar (, the university’s first international branch campus, is located in Doha, Qatar and serves students from more than 25 nationalities in design, visual arts, and art history. VCUQatar offers BFA degrees in Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Painting + Printmaking; a BA in Art History; and a MFA in Design Studies.

Major Responsibilities:

This position is a 9-month term faculty position with an academic rank of Assistant Professor. Term faculty positions are eligible for promotion in academic rank, and are valued for academic, professional, and research contributions in a specific area of expertise. Primary responsibilities will include teaching courses in the fall and spring semesters in the area of fashion merchandising track, with a strong dedication to effectively teaching across both the merchandising and design tracks, focusing on developing and facilitating curricular connections between the two tracks. The faculty member will be expected to be a passionate mentor and creative leader to an enthusiastic and diverse student body, and be able to apply deep knowledge in the areas of merchandising and design to teach innovative methodologies and concept development.

The faculty member will be expected to contribute to new knowledge in the fashion industry or a related discipline through research and/or creative work, which could be in the form of an active professional practice, and aspire to be recognized for creative and/or scholarly contributions at the national and/or international level. The faculty member should encourage through teaching, creative activity, and/or public engagement the richness of diversity in the learning experience and should integrate multicultural approaches and perspectives into instructional methods. Service to the university, school and department will be required and could include serving on committees as designated by the Chair; serving in a professional capacity in his/her field; mentoring students at all levels; coordinating student activities and participating in recruitment events; and supporting curriculum development.

Required Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree preferred, or professional, high-level fashion industry experience and training that equates to a graduate degree;
  • Significant professional/industry executive experience exceeding eight years in lieu of advanced degree;
  • Demonstrable interest in developing productive connections across fashion merchandising and design disciplines;
  • Ability to maintain and build upon current connections to the fashion industry and its professionals, and use these connections to create opportunities for students and to elevate the profile of the department;
  • Intermediate skills in Excel and presentation software, and adept at speaking to large audiences;
  • Familiarity with latest technology used in the fashion industry;
  • Exceptional communication skills, written, oral and interpersonal;
  • Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment, or commitment to do so as a faculty member at VCU.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • University level teaching experience;
  • A developed research agenda;
  • Comfortable using social media;
  • International experiences that bring an understanding of other cultures to the classroom.

Application Instructions:

To apply, please submit application materials via VCU eJobs at Only electronic applications submitted via eJobs will be accepted.

Application materials should be to the attention of Deidra Arrington, Assistant Professor and Chair of the search committee, and should include the following:

  • A Letter of Interest that conveys relevant academic and/or professional experience and describes experiences and/or professional service that inform world views and/or perspectives about minority group status, to include race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, and disability;
  • Current CV/Resume;
  • A list of five current references including names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses (references will not be contacted prior to applicant’s approval); and
  • Portfolio of work— appropriate selections of documentation of the applicant’s experience in his/her area of expertise within the industry. This could include traditional and/or non-traditional examples of one’s work from a broad cross-section and/or combination of experience from a variety of roles within the fashion merchandising and design fields.

The Letter of Interest should be submitted as a PDF in the “Cover Letter/Letter of Application” section in eJobs; the CV/Resume + list of references should be submitted as one PDF in the “Curriculum Vitae (CV)” section of eJobs; and, due to file size limitations, the portfolio of work should be submitted in the “Other Document” section of eJobs as an accessible link in a PDF that points to a website or cloud storage (with access instructions) to view all visual work.

Review of applications begins November 28, 2016, and will continue until the position is filled. To guarantee full consideration, application materials are due by November 28, 2016.

To read more about VCUarts:

Virginia Commonwealth University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action university providing access to education and employment without regard to age, race, color, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, veteran’s status, political affiliation or disability.


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