Theatre | Chair

Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts
Position F06670
Full-time, 12-month tenure-eligible position beginning July 1, 2017, at the rank of Associate or full Professor.
Application Deadline: For full consideration, applications are due by January 6, 2017.

The Opportunity:

The Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts (VCUarts) is seeking a dynamic and charismatic chairperson to lead its Department of Theatre (arts.vcu.edu/theatre/).  Located in Richmond, VA, the School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCUarts) is ranked the #1 public university arts & design program in the country (by U.S. News & World Report). The Department of Theatre is one of the largest departments among the School’s 16 programs and has a long history and a distinguished reputation for training theatre artists. The department offers multiple degrees: a B.A in Theatre; B.F.A. degrees in Theatre with emphases in Performance, Scene Design and Technical Production, Costume Design and Technical Production, Lighting Design and Technical Production, and Stage Management; and M.F.A. degrees in Pedagogy, Scene Design and Costume Design.

The successful candidate will possess a solid knowledge of and deep passion for theatre. The chair must have an understanding of, and a commitment to, educating the next generation of theatre artists, and in concert with the faculty and the dean, will maintain an environment conducive to open discourse and the advancement of the discipline. The successful candidate will have experience in and the ability to foster connections to the professional world. Applicants must also have proven administrative skills and an impressive record of theatrical production.    

The chair will articulate a contemporary vision for the academic and production wings of the department; be an equitable administrator and enthusiastic advocate for the program; and possess the interpersonal skills and good humor necessary to work with a large and diverse faculty, staff and student body. The chair will broaden participation among members of underrepresented groups, and will encourage research and creative activity, teaching, and / or public engagement that demonstrates richness of diversity in the learning experience and will integrate multicultural approaches and perspectives into instructional methods and research tools. The department has an enrollment of 235 undergraduate students and 30 graduate students, and in addition to the Chair, is staffed with 15 dedicated full-time faculty, three staff members, a full-time academic advisor, and numerous adjuncts. This diverse and experienced group of industry and academic professionals are experts in their areas of expertise and create a plethora of exciting opportunities for the innovative training of theatre artists. In addition, the Department of Theatre has vital and exciting relationships and connections across the campus and with the larger community. Numerous continuing cross-campus and interdisciplinary networks thrive with the School of Medicine and the School of Business, among others.  These relationships offer our students opportunities and an atmosphere for truly interdisciplinary/ inter-media approaches to artistic studies. The successful candidate will be expected to create additional opportunities for innovative interdisciplinary collaboration. Finally, the chair will be an advocate for the establishment of a new performing arts center, and will have the ability to find and foster additional sources of funding to support departmental initiatives.

The department is located in the Singleton Center for the Performing Arts which is shared with the Department of Music.  The Department of Dance and Choreography is housed in other facilities nearby.   The greater Richmond area has a vibrant arts community and boasts two major ‘road houses’ and thirteen producing theatre companies.  The faculty, staff and students of Theatre VCU have an active and important presence in many of these.  The Department is located a very short distance from Virginia Repertory Theatre and the Richmond Arts District. Additionally, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is one mile from campus and the Singleton Center is located just a few blocks from VCU’s new Institute for Contemporary Art, poised to open in 2017. The department has a formal relationship with Virginia Repertory Theatre and is currently creating an exciting partnership with the Contemporary American Theatre Festival.  Many faculty work at Washington D.C.’s major theatres, only two hours away.

Major Responsibilities:

  • Articulate a vision for the department;
  • Produce and oversee all aspects of Theatre VCU productions;
  • Serve as an advocate for students, faculty and staff;
  • Develop and maintain a network of partnerships with local, regional, national and international professional theatres and entertainment organizations;
  • Build collaborative relationships across university departments, while being flexible and able to work in a team environment with the potential to develop new strategies for programming;
  • Promote faculty excellence in teaching, creativity, research, and community engagement;
  • Teach in his/her area of expertise, providing a forum for direct interaction with students in creative/academic contexts, affording opportunities to model scholarship within the department;
  • Thoughtfully inspire and evaluate faculty in the areas of teaching, research and service, including mentoring new and current faculty and guiding faculty through the promotion and tenure process;
  • Oversee and evaluate professional staff;
  • Oversight for all areas of department administration including but not limited to:  finance, marketing, recruitment and admissions, course scheduling, personnel, facilities and equipment; and other duties as assigned;
  • Engage nationally with alumni;
  • Strengthen the national profile of the department;
  • Advocate for a new performing arts center;
  • Fundraising.

Qualifications:

  • M.F.A., PhD, or an equivalent combination of training and professional experience;
  • Minimum of five (5) years of experience in commercial or regional professional theatre;
  • Appropriate teaching experience at the post graduate level (preferred);
  • Demonstrated competence in creating a trusting and inclusive culture, experience recruiting, hiring, and retaining under-represented faculty and staff, and leadership in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion among all students, faculty and staff;
  • Proven administrative skills;
  • A well-developed scholarly, creative or professional portfolio with the potential for multi-disciplinary applications and interest in developing external funding appropriate to complement and expand expertise in the department;
  • Passionate practitioner who models curiosity and rigorous optimistic engagement to students and faculty;
  • Experience developing and leading in a highly ambitious and collegial team environment;
  • Excellent time management and communication skills; adept at speaking to large audiences.

Application Instructions:

Submit the following application materials via VCU eJobs at vcujobs.com:

  • 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;
  • Curriculum Vitae;
  • List of five professional references including names with titles and contact information (references will not be checked prior to candidates’ approval).

Only electronic applications submitted via VCU eJobs will be accepted.

The Letter of Interest should be submitted as a PDF in the “Cover Letter/Letter of Application” section in eJobs; the CV should be submitted as a PDF in the “Curriculum Vitae (CV)” section of eJobs; and the list of References should be submitted as a PDF in the “Other Document” section of eJobs.

For full consideration, applications are due by January 6, 2017.

To read more about VCUarts: http://arts.vcu.edu

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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