Graduate Interaction Design: Open rank full time faculty chair
California College of the Arts
Location: San Francisco, California
Internal Number: 3614633
Chair, Graduate Interaction Design Program
Open-Rank, Full-time Faculty Chair Position
California College of the Arts (CCA) is an ambitious art and design school committed to its legacy while boldly facing the future. Located in the design center of San Francisco, we recently unified the college's two campuses, bringing all of our studio art, design, architecture, and writing programs together in one vibrant urban neighborhood hub. We are currently in the construction phase of expanding our campus with a new building designed by the award winning architecture firm Studio Gang. This new build enhances our remodeled campus by creating new adjacencies and interactions while inviting yet-to-be-discovered modes of making, teaching and learning. The new campus is a flexible platform for learning that's purposeful without being prescriptive and prime for creating, collaboration, innovation and thoughtful inquiry. CCA enrolls students from 41 countries and 43 states and is ranked among the top 25 most diverse colleges in the U.S.
California College of the Arts seeks applicants for an open rank (assistant, associate, or full professor commensurate with experience), full-time faculty position to chair the MDes in Interaction Design program beginning in August 2023.
In keeping with CCA's commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, we seek candidates with a demonstrated ability to cultivate an equity-focused creative and scholarly environment. As we expand the curriculum to fully include the histories, experiences, and methods of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and LGBTQ+ designers, we will look to our next program chair to lead this work.
Through visionary leadership, curricular strategy, and professional and community engagement, the chair of the MDes in Interaction Design program plays an essential role in shaping the practices of students whose work will map the future of the field and the extent of its impact. Successful candidates will approach the development of curriculum as a creative and intellectual opportunity, and demonstrate a capacity to incorporate diverse perspectives in directing pedagogy and building community. They will demonstrate a vibrant design, strategy or research practice, a passion for excellent teaching, and prior experience in curriculum development or academic leadership. They will have worked with culturally diverse groups and demonstrated an understanding of design's role in shaping society and culture, including critical issues such as technology, sustainability, and accessibility.
The chair is responsible for the vision, leadership, and administration of the MDes in Interaction Design program with support from an associate chair and divisional staff. The chair ensures program relevance, educational excellence, and ongoing successful operations. Responsibilities include planning, oversight, and management of the program's curriculum, budget, and initiatives; direct supervision of the faculty involved in graduate admissions and reviews; organizational leadership for faculty, students, and staff; and faculty recruitment, retention, and development. The chair is responsible for staying actively involved with both the curriculum and relevant professional fields.
Program chairs have a three to five year renewable appointment, with the option to return to faculty at the end of the leadership appointment. Full-time faculty appointments teach five courses an academic year, and chairs receive teaching release according to the size of their program. This position reports directly to the Dean of Design and works to achieve programmatic, divisional, and institutional goals in partnership with key offices including Academic Affairs, Admissions, Alumni Relations, Marketing and Communications, Facilities, and the offices of the Provost and the President. As this is a faculty position, the Chair is expected to teach courses in the program.
The Graduate Interaction Design Program is a highly competitive, one-year intensive (12 month, three-semester), STEM-designated program for graduate students seeking to reinvigorate their professional breadth and capacity. Founded in 2015, MDes is a global vanguard that attracts students with prior professional practice, and experience in design or a design-adjacent field. Our community represents a diversity of voices in the theory and practice of interaction design, and the program attracts students and client partners from around the world.
The mission of the program is to empower practitioners with the tools to create better relationships among people, products, and environments worldwide. Interaction designers flourish in this complex intersection, using craft-based design skills, systems thinking, human-centered technology, and leadership development. Graduates have a tremendous and measurable impact on the culture of teams and organizations, equipped with one of the most in-demand skill-sets in the world.
At CCA we learn by doing. The education takes place in a collaborative, studio-based environment, and through partnership with external organizations and companies. The city of San Francisco is an extension of our campus - we practice design and leadership skills in a real-world setting.
MDes is part of the Design Division, which consists of six undergraduate programs in Illustration, Furniture, Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Interaction Design, and Industrial Design, and two additional graduate programs, an interdisciplinary MFA in Design and an MBA in Design Strategy.
Terminal degree or its equivalent in interaction design or a related field
Minimum of 5 years of professional experience in design
Evidence of effectiveness in academic administration (or a closely related field)
Demonstrated history of professional practice and/or scholarship and teaching
Proven track record of teaching, leading or working with diverse groups in a culturally-competent manner with a global perspective
Experience developing innovative and inclusive curriculum
Education philosophy that demonstrates an informed pedagogical vision and incorporates emergent strategies addressing evolving economic and technological landscapes
Please be sure to address the Preferred Qualifications below in your cover letter.
Practical experience and knowledge that encompasses a wide-screen view of the field; including design research and strategy, interdisciplinary collaboration, critical pedagogies, and engagement with emerging technologies
Experience in developing hiring plans and cultivating a strong faculty network or design team
Experience supporting multilingual and first-generation student and/or team member success
Ability or potential to develop, and support faculty in developing, culturally responsive curriculum and instruction that incorporates differences in individual experiences, cultural, ethnic, gender, socioeconomic, and linguistic diversity.
A letter of interest that addresses minimum and preferred qualifications, their vision for the future of graphic design education and their philosophy of leadership, pedagogy, and administration
Portfolio of professional work or research
Evidence of teaching effectiveness (as applicable, please include syllabi, evaluations, and examples of student work)
List of three professional references with contact information, preferably with one from an academic environment
We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job, and that candidate may not meet every one of our listed qualifications. Lived experience may count towards the preferred qualifications listed above. If you are excited about this position, we encourage you to apply.
California College of the Arts (CCA) is situated in the San Francisco Bay Area at the intersection of art and technology, of progressive design for manufacturing and DIY, of global awareness and local engagement. The Bay Area is a growth center for a range of sectors, including high-technology, social media, green industry, outdoor recreation, biotech, health and medicine, innovative nonprofits, humanitarian design, venture capital, and entrepreneurship. These densities of activity provide unmatched opportunities for curriculum development and professional relationships.
Founded in 1907, CCA is an independent non-profit art and design college with undergraduate programs in architecture, design, fine arts, visual studies, and writing and literature. The college also has graduate programs in architecture, comics, design, interaction design, curatorial practice, design strategy, fine arts, film, visual and critical studies, and writing. Through these programs, the college has created a dynamic and interdisciplinary environment to fulfill the school's motto of 'Make art that matters.' Diverse cultural perspectives enrich the CCA community and the college believes that continuing to expand the horizons of the students and faculty is essential to achieving its educational objectives. CCA represents over one hundred years of dedication to its mission, whose character reflects its location in the San Francisco Bay Area, where histories of radical politics and technological innovation inform a culturally rich academic community infused by art schools, research universities, world-renowned museums, galleries, start-ups, and community-run institutions. The CCA campus, located in San Francisco, currently enrolls 1,600 full-time students and is embarking on a major campus expansion project that unifies the college in one urban neighborhood and ensures its academic excellence for the next century.
San Francisco, California
Commensurate with experience. All ranked positions include a comprehensive benefits package.
Lead faculty in developing and implementing innovative and inclusive program curricula.
Collaborate with other CCA programs and external partners on curricular initiatives.
Ensure compliance with accreditation standards and oversee the program's continual self-assessment.
In collaboration with the Dean of Design and with support from the assistant chair and divisional staff, direct all aspects of the program's academic and administrative operations.
Foster a strong studio culture and timely, expansive vision of contemporary design through co-curricular programming and initiatives such as workshops, lectures, exhibitions, and publications.
Build a strong community with regular, open communication between students, faculty and staff.
Maintain a program that responds to the needs and goals of a culturally and internationally diverse student and faculty community, which maintains relevance to the rapidly evolving professional field.
Increase program visibility through promoting student, faculty, and alumni achievements.
Manage program budget, course schedule, and day-to-day operations.
Work with faculty and Deans to develop program goals and evaluate progress.
In cooperation with the Dean of Design, build external partnerships with professional and community organizations to enhance and define student experience.
Identify, recruit, and make hiring recommendations for qualified faculty.
Assess program faculty composition with a goal of diversity and inclusion.
Develop a multi-year hiring plan and provide recommendations for new positions, promotions, and hires.
Conduct regular performance evaluations for faculty undergoing review.
Manage, mentor, and support faculty in their roles as teachers.
Effectively implement the Collective Bargaining Agreement for covered faculty.
Lead and facilitate regular faculty meetings.
Maintain regular, open, consistent communication with the diverse student body, and serve as advisor, mentor, or counsel (in conjunction with CCA services)
Guide students 1:1 on their course selection in support of expanding their skills
Help students augment their time in the program by connecting to social opportunities, such as site visits to local design studios, participation in San Francisco Design Week and IxDA SF, and connections to alums
Field direct email inquiries from students interested in the program, and partner with the Graduate Admissions team to track individual candidates' interest
Participate in bi-annual Portfolio Day and Info-sessions to articulate the value of the program to a pool of interested candidates.
Partner with ranked program faculty and graduate admissions staff on the annual admissions cycle, which includes the assessment of approximately 300 candidate's portfolios, essays, transcripts, and videos.
Identify and recommend candidates for merit and diversity scholarships.
Develop and manage key internal partnerships, including: Academic Affairs, Admissions, Alumni Relations, Career Development, International Student Affairs and Programs, Marketing and Communications, Facilities, Financial Aid, and Technology Services.
Attend and represent the program at relevant college-wide events.
Attend chair trainings and meetings.
Partner with other chairs to create interdisciplinary public programs, events and exhibitions.
Other duties specific to the program's needs, as required.
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Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (CCA) is an independent art college with 21 undergraduate programs in architecture, design, fine arts, visual studies, and writing. The college also has graduate programs in architecture, comics, curatorial practice, design, design strategy, film, fine arts, visual and critical studies, and writing. Through these programs, the college has created a dynamic and interdisciplinary environment. Diverse cultural perspectives enrich the CCA community and the college believes that continuing to expand the horizons of the students and faculty is essential to achieving its educational objectives. With campuses in Oakland and San Francisco, CCA currently enrolls 1,950 full-time students.