Chair, Department of Fashion Design
Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar)
This full-time, 12-month position is non tenure-eligible and begins July 1, 2019.
Application Deadline: Friday, January 11, 2019
VCUarts Qatar (http://www.qatar.vcu.edu/) invites engaged, charismatic, and collaboration-minded leaders with qualifications, experience, and demonstrated strengths across fashion design and merchandising, honed from significant and productive years in the fashion industry, to serve as Chair of the Department of Fashion Design (http://www.qatar.vcu.edu/fashiondesign). The Chair will be expected to integrate and apply these skills into contemporary design and merchandising practice and to strengthen the program’s orientation toward the future of these disciplines.
The Chair will oversee an academic program that offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in Fashion Design based on the curriculum offered to students pursuing the corresponding degree program at VCUarts Qatar’s main campus of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, Virginia. The VCUarts Qatar Department of Fashion Design focuses on innovative teaching methods, techniques and practice, taking local, regional, and historical context into consideration when designing curriculum and courses. The Chair will be expected to collaborate closely with the VCUarts Department of Fashion Design to implement merchandising courses and develop and facilitate curricular connections between the existing design track and a new merchandising track. The Chair will implement program goals, facilitate interdisciplinary approaches to professional education, initiate new directions and support for research activity, professional development and curriculum development, oversee adherence to accreditation guidelines, and increase the programs national and international involvement and visibility. In addition, the Chair is responsible for contributing to faculty governance and adhering to university policies and procedures, as well as making day-to-day administrative, academic, and managerial decisions. The Chair will further demonstrate leadership by fostering collaborative partnerships, curriculum, and research across Education City with university partners and Qatar Foundation Centers, as well as VCUarts and the broader VCU campus, to achieve the mission of Qatar Foundation to create a center of excellence in education and research that will help transform Qatar into a knowledge-based society.
The Chair’s teaching responsibilities will be determined each year upon consultation with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. The Chair will teach courses consistent with his/her area of expertise and at the discretion of the Associate Dean. The Chair will possess a comprehensive knowledge of contemporary theory, process and application with the ability to teach at all levels of the program. As a member of a community-oriented, tight-knit department and School, the Chair will provide service to the department and School, such as overseeing the highly-visible and much-anticipated annual fashion show; supporting student advising; and serving on School/University committees. The Chair reports directly to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and supervises four faculty, a teaching assistant, a technical coordinator, and several adjunct faculty.
VCUarts Qatar is the international branch campus of Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts (VCUarts). Located in Richmond, Virginia, VCUarts (https://arts.vcu.edu) is the top-ranked public art school in the U.S. VCUarts Qatar was established in 1998 through a partnership with the Qatar Foundation and offers students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in fashion design, graphic design, interior design and painting & printmaking; a Bachelor of Arts degree in art history; and a Master of Fine Arts degree in design. Located in Doha, the capital city of Qatar, VCUarts Qatar is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art & Design, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation. The current student body represents a diverse range of nationalities with students coming from 38 countries.
VCUarts Qatar is dedicated to global outreach and education and provides students with an environment for cross-cultural exchange that fosters inquiry, discovery and innovation. Examples of this mission are the two significant international conferences hosted by VCUarts Qatar—the biennial design conference, Tasmeem and the biennial Hamad bin Khalifa Symposium on Islamic Art (www.islamicartdoha.org). VCUarts Qatar attracts globally recognized designers, artists and scholars while fostering partnerships within the region, and beyond, that enhance the educational, economic and cultural vitality of Qatar. Having established itself as a center of excellence for education and research, VCUarts Qatar has substantial involvement with the influential art and design world of the Middle East, and is a catalyst for the growth and development of these fields in the region.
VCUarts Qatar has 156 full-time faculty and staff and a student body of 361. VCUarts Qatar was the first campus established in Education City, a unique 2500-acre multiversity campus. VCUarts Qatar was joined by Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, Carnegie-Mellon University, Texas A&M University, Weill Cornell Medical College, Northwestern University, HEC Paris and University College of London.
Qatar, with English as the standard second language, is a progressive country in the Arabian Gulf and remains one of the healthiest economies in the Gulf region. Doha offers all the conveniences found in a contemporary and cosmopolitan city, while honoring a rich tradition that is evident in the old markets and the city’s Islamic Arab architecture. The Museum of Islamic Art, designed by I.M.Pei opened in November 2008 and the Arab Museum of Modern Art (Mathaf) opened in 2010. The U.S. Embassy considers Qatar among the safest countries in the world for Americans.
VCUarts (https://arts.vcu.edu/) offers a variety of graduate and undergraduate degrees in art history, art education, design, fine and performing arts, 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, has 166 full-time faculty, includes more than 3,000 students, and has become known as a pillar of artistic creation, expression, and scholarly research. Its emerging artists and scholars explore their potential and strive for high standards set by faculty members acknowledged for their inspiration and achievement.
- Ability to build collaborative relationships across all university departments, to be flexible and able to work in a team environment with the potential to develop new strategies for programming;
- Articulate a vision for the department;
- Serve as an advocate for faculty, students, and the fields of fashion design and merchandising;
- Maintain strategic network of national and international partnerships with outside professionals and various leaders in fashion industries as well as develop new and impactful industry partnerships;
- Promote excellence in teaching, creativity, research, and community engagement;
- 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 process;
- Oversight for all areas of department administration, to include finance, recruitment and admissions, course scheduling, personnel, and facilities and equipment;
- Foster regular and ongoing collaborations with the home campus located in Richmond, Virginia.
- Engage nationally and internationally with alumni;
- Collaborate with the School’s admissions team including the execution of a national and international recruitment plan;
- Create a broad multi-disciplinary network of fashion professionals globally that can lead to successful internship programs, innovative workshops and participation in exclusive and prestigious fashion design competitions;
- Provide a forum for direct interaction with students in creative/academic contexts, affording opportunities to model teaching, practice and scholarship within the department;
- Integrate a broad range of contemporary technologies and discourses around design and merchandising into curriculum;
- The Chair 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;
- Other duties as assigned.
- Bachelor’s degree required; a master’s degree preferred and/or training and substantial industry experience that equates to an advanced degree;
- Minimum 5 years working for a leading fashion brand preferred with a solid record of progressive management experience at many levels;
- A significant national or international record of creative/design practice and/or professional industry experience at a high level;
- University-level academic instruction beyond the TA and/or adjunct level is strongly preferred, and appropriate administrative experience is required;
- 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 existing expertise in the department;
- Experience developing and leading in a highly ambitious and collegial team environment;
- Excellent time management and excellent writing and communication skills;
- Expertise in contemporary design practice that is relevant to all aspects of fashion design and merchandising;
- Ability to articulate a design vision and mission that can garner international acclaim within the fashion industry through collaborative and inspired leadership in design practice and research within the academic department;
- Demonstrate a thorough understanding of fashion entrepreneurship development in global fashion and specifically in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region;
- Significant experience with digital and emergent technologies relevant to fashion design and merchandising;
- 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;
- Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment or commitment to do so as a faculty member at VCU.
VCUarts Qatar 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.
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;
- Teaching Philosophy, 1 page;
- Current CV/Resume;
- 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. Due to file size limitations, the portfolio of work can be submitted as an accessible link in a PDF that points to a website or cloud storage (with access instructions) to view all visual work.
- 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 + Teaching Philosophy should be submitted as a PDF in the “Cover Letter/Letter of Application” section in eJobs; the CV/Resume and documentation of professional work, or referral to a web page, 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 Friday, January 11, 2019
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