Graphic Design | Assistant Professor

Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts (VCUarts)
Position F21320
Full time 9-month tenure-eligible position beginning August 16, 2017
Application Deadline: Review of applications begins January 16, 2017 and continues until the position is filled. For full consideration, applications are due by January 16, 2017.

The Opportunity:

The VCUarts Department of Graphic Design (, with a rich tradition immersed in design history and typography, and which encourages the exploration of diverse problem-solving methodologies and creative research in all forms of communication, seeks maker/thinkers that are strong practitioners fluent in complex systems and adept at balancing academic rigor, inventive practice, and professional experience.

The Department invites collaboration-minded applicants with qualifications, experience, and demonstrated strengths across design theory, criticism, and research informed by enthusiastic studio practice and well versed in concepts driving graphic design research, critique and speculative production, as well as how to integrate and apply these concepts into critical design practice and to contribute to strengthening the program’s orientation toward the future of design.

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.

Major Responsibilities:

This position is a 9-month tenure-eligible faculty position in the Department of Graphic Design with an academic rank of Assistant Professor. Teaching responsibilities include a strong dedication to effectively teaching design methodologies and theories of making and thinking to undergraduate and graduate students. The ability to relate contemporary tendencies in design practice to historical, theoretical and critical issues is essential. Candidates should demonstrate a deep understanding of typography through practice or scholarship.

The faculty member should be a passionate practitioner who models curiosity and rigorous optimistic engagement to students and fellow faculty. The faculty member will demonstrate through research, teaching, and/or public engagement the richness of diversity in the learning experience and will integrate multicultural approaches and perspectives into instructional methods and research tools. The faculty member is expected to actively disseminate creative engagement in design research. 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 supporting curriculum development.


Terminal degree in design or design related field;
Strong record of teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level;
Thorough record of meaningfully disseminating work through well regarded channels;
Well-versed in the concepts driving graphic design research, critique and speculative production;
The faculty member will be required to have an established research agenda and a clear potential for external funding, as appropriate, and potential for scholarship or creative expression that complements and expands existing expertise in the department. In addition, the faculty member’s scholarly and creative activity should make a contribution to a body of knowledge within design and reflect a high standard of quality.
Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment or commitment to do so as a faculty member at VCU;
Demonstrable interest in developing productive connections across creative disciplines is preferred;
Academic, research and/or professional experiences at urban research universities, Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) or Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) is preferred.

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 Roy McKelvey, Associate Professor and Chair of the search committee, and should include the following:
A Letter of Interest that conveys relevant academic and 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;
Teaching Philosophy;
Current CV;
A list of three current references including names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses (references will not be contacted prior to applicant’s approval); and
Portfolio of work— visual documentation conceptualizing research and teaching, including examples of student work.

The Letter of Interest + Teaching Philosophy should be submitted as one PDF in the “Cover Letter/Letter of Application” section in eJobs; the CV + 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 January 16, 2017, and will continue until the position is filled. To guarantee full consideration, application materials are due by January 16, 2017.

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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