Assistant Professor | Games, Gaming, and Gamification

Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts (VCUarts)

Department of Communication Arts

Position F17170

Position begins August 16, 2019. This full-time position is 9-month and tenure-eligible.

Application Deadline: Friday, January 11, 2019

The Opportunity:

The VCUarts Department of Communication Arts ( seeks an engaged artist, game designer, and educator whose pioneering research (artistic practice) spans games, gaming, gamification, game theory, game engine coding environments, virtual reality, augmented reality, motion capture, data mapping, visualization and simulation, immersive environments, and/or interactive technologies as a primary tool of artistic production.

VCUarts ( in Richmond, Virginia offers a variety of graduate and undergraduate degrees in design, fine and performing arts, art history, and art education, with a unique emphasis on creative immersion. Far more than receiving simply an education or preparation for a career; students leave VCUarts with the practical, professional and personal skills needed to make a life in the arts, no matter how they define it. That’s why VCUarts’ programs emphasize both doing and knowing: why the majority of its faculty are working artists and scholars; and why they encourage students to take advantage of the many academic and intellectual opportunities that come with being part of a research university. Today, VCUarts graduates can be found throughout the academic and professional fields and have been recognized with everything from Emmys to MacArthur Fellowships.

VCUarts is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, the National Association of Schools of Dance, the National Association of Schools of Music, the National Association of Schools of Theatre, the Virginia Department of Education, the Council for Interior Design Accreditation and the National Council for Accreditation for Teacher Education.

VCUarts is ranked as the #1 public university arts and design graduate school in the country by US News and World Report. The school is comprised of sixteen programs, includes more than 3,000 students, and has become known as a pillar of artistic creation and expression. Its emerging artists explore their potential and strive for high standards set by faculty members acknowledged for their inspiration and achievement.

Major Responsibilities:

This position is a 9-month tenure-eligible hybrid faculty position in the VCUarts Department of Communication Arts with an academic rank of Assistant Professor. Responsibilities include the development and teaching of new undergraduate courses in the Department of Communication Arts and across VCUarts in support of collaborative undergraduate and graduate curriculum. New course development and teaching will evolve from the faculty member’s research strengths and interests, and evolving needs in the field.

VCUarts is dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic faculty committed to teaching and working in a multicultural and inclusive environment and strongly encourages applications from all racial/ethnic, gender and social identities. We are especially interested in candidates who combine their creative research with activism and entrepreneurship at the community, national or international level, with a focus on equity, diversity, social and racial justice and/or visual literacy, and who uses their art production, analysis and imaginations to enact their most revolutionary and utopian ideals.

The faculty member is expected to: provide leadership by mentoring student artists; foster collaborative curriculum and research across the arts and broader campus; promote methods to utilize and grow research and production facilities and other assets in support of research and teaching, secure external funding, demonstrate through research, teaching, and/or public engagement the richness of diversity in the learning experience, integrate multicultural approaches and perspectives into instructional methods and research tools; and generate national and international academic, community and industry partnerships.

The faculty member must demonstrate an active professional career, and creative activities should be related to the program’s curriculum and be consistent with and support the broader mission and initiatives of the collaborating departments, School, and University. The faculty member will provide service to the departments and School, such as directing and assisting with student, department and school-wide related activities such as contributions to the website, portfolio reviews, coordination of student activities and student exhibitions, and serving on School/University committees.


Required Qualifications/Skills/Software:


  • MA/MFA/MS or the equivalent professional experience and training in the areas of Digital Media, Interactive Arts, Computer Science or a closely related field.
  • Five (5+) years of relevant programming experience in game engine coding environments, games design and development in the game industry.
  • Expert in C#, C++, Python, HLSL or equivalent.
  • Excellent technical skills in working with the Unity/Unreal gaming engine(s).
  • Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment or commitment to do so as a faculty member at VCU.
  • Strong organizational and project management skills.
  • Deep familiarity with a wide range of technological developments across allied fields of visual effects, motion capture, AR/VR/MR, immersive environments, world building, sensing and control, etc.
  • The faculty member will be required to have an established an outstanding research/professional agenda and a history of/or clear potential for external funding, and potential for scholarship or creative expression that complements and expands existing expertise in the department and School.
  • Expert in Maya, Houdini, Nuke, After Effects or equivalent.
  • Excellent interpersonal, organizational and communication skills.

Strongly Preferred

  • Strong understanding of PBR shaders and real-time shader systems.
  • Knowledge of key 3D software packages for asset content production (e.g. Houdini, Zbrush, Substance, Motion Builder, Maya, etc.)
  • Strong design and color theory; a solid sense of sculptural detail with a familiarity of traditional art skills – lighting and composition.
  • Communication skills and the ability to work well with a diverse array of students and faculty.
  • Experience in a supervisory capacity.
  • Eagerness to take ownership of course development, while actively seeking to collaborate with others.


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 Search Committee Chair. The following documents should be included:

  • 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 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 professional practice, research and/or teaching.

The Letter of Interest should be submitted as one 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.


Applications are due on Friday, January 11, 2019

To read more about VCUarts:

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