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Assistant Professor - Graphic Design


Assistant Professor - Graphic Design

  • req2849
  • Richmond, Virginia, United States, 23284
  • School of the Arts
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
Assistant Professor - Graphic Design

Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts (VCUarts)
Department of Graphic Design

This full-time, 9-month position is at the rank of Assistant Professor, is tenure eligible, and begins August 16, 2023.

Application Deadline: For best consideration, applications are due Friday, January 6, 2023.

The Department of Graphic Design at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts (VCUarts) invites applications for a full-time, tenure-track faculty position from design, or design adjacent field, working with a focus in computational media and the craft of technology.

The Opportunity:

The Department of Graphic Design (https://arts.vcu.edu/academics/departments/graphic-design/) invites applications from collaboration-minded colleagues with qualifications, experience, and demonstrated strengths across design theory, criticism, and research. Strong candidates will be informed by enthusiastic studio practice and well-versed in concepts driving graphic design research, critique, and speculative production. We seek candidates who have a demonstrated expertise and international profile in design and/or media arts, or the ability to achieve one.

Major Responsibilities:

This position is a 9-month tenure-eligible faculty position in the VCUarts Department of Graphic Design with an academic rank of Assistant Professor. Instructional responsibilities include developing and teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in design methodologies and theories of making and thinking. The ability to relate contemporary tendencies in design practice to historical, theoretical, and critical issues is essential. An annual teaching load will be determined in consultation with the Chair of the Department of Graphic Design. In order to support progress towards promotion and tenure, it is expected that the teaching load for research active, tenure-track faculty will be two courses in the fall semester (totaling 6-8 credits) and two courses in the spring semester (totaling 6-8 credits), while holding a tenure-eligible faculty appointment.

Creative research is a significant expectation for this tenure-eligible position. It is expected that the faculty member will demonstrate excellence through scholarship and will maintain a scholarly body of knowledge within the discipline. As an integral part of a Carnegie R1 Research University, the Department and School are committed to supporting creative research at an annual level and within available resources.The faculty member will aspire to be recognized for creative and/or scholarly contributions at the national and/or international level and will show the potential to secure external funding, as appropriate, to advance their creative research agenda. The faculty member’s scholarly activities should be related to the program’s curriculum, and be consistent with and support the broader mission and initiatives of the department, School, and University.

The faculty member is expected to mentor students; have a fully-engaged pedagogical framework that addresses current trends including collaborative and multi/interdisciplinary engagement; integrate innovative pedagogical and technological approaches, and multicultural perspectives into instructional methods; be a passionate educator who models curiosity and rigorous optimistic engagement to students and fellow faculty; foster collaborative teaching, educational and community engagement opportunities through diverse and innovative projects and curriculum; promote the efforts of the department in the school and throughout the community. In support of the department’s strong commitment to diversity, the faculty member is expected to foster a welcoming, equitable, and accessible learning environment for all students.

As a member of a community-oriented, tight-knit Department and School, the faculty member will provide service such as directing and assisting with student, department, and School-wide initiatives; supporting recruitment activities; fostering community engagement opportunities; and serving on Department/School/University committees. Other responsibilities may be assigned by the Chair or university administration.


  • Terminal degree in design or design-related field
  • Strong record of teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level
  • A demonstrated record of inclusive leadership
  • Well-versed in the concepts driving graphic design research, critique, and speculative production
  • Proof of sustained critical practice that contributes to the dialogue and discourse of contemporary graphic design
  • Evidence of community engagement and collaborative practices
  • Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment and commitment to do so as a faculty member at VCU
  • Demonstrable interest in developing productive connections across creative disciplines
  • Strong collaboration skills, and demonstrate enthusiasm toward teaching and working with faculty, staff, and students within the university; and to building and maintaining professional relationships outside of the university on the program’s behalf
  • Practitioner from design, or design adjacent field, working with a focus in computational media and the craft of technology
  • Strong record of writing, enabling, and collaborating through programmatic thinking
  • Background in the areas of race, decolonization, post-coloniality, and cultural literacy, as well as in the praxis of design justice. We are looking for someone who has an interest in expanding pedagogy to address the systemic structures of power that continue to shape our society

  • Academic, research, and/or professional experiences at urban research universities, Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) or Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs)
  • Multi-lingual approach/understanding of typography, non-latin scripts
  • Experienced in the conceptualization, design, development, and critique of interactive and computational media. This could include one or more of: augmented reality, interactive narratives, virtual reality environments, scripting in programming languages, teaching computational tools/processes, with the ability to work and teach across media

Application Instructions:

Virginia Commonwealth University is committed to organizational diversity, equity, and inclusion - an environment where all can thrive in their pursuit of excellence. VCUarts strongly encourages applications from all racial, ethnic, gender, and social identities.

Applicants are requested to submit a Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (typically between 150-300 words) providing their career aspirations and contributions toward promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Through this statement, you can share how your lived experiences and academic and professional activities will impact your contribution to VCU’s mission of promoting equity and inclusion.

Note: Examples include working with others to further the goals of equity and inclusion; leading in any capacity that tangibly promotes an environment where diversity is welcomed, fostered, and celebrated; creative activity, research, and scholarship that promotes equity and parity; teaching and mentoring students, and/or engaging with faculty and/or staff from traditionally underrepresented groups to create a positive and successful organizational experience. For additional guidance on writing a Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: https://provost.vcu.edu/faculty/prospective/.

In addition, the following documents should be submitted online via the VCU Jobs Website ( https://vcu.csod.com/ux/ats/careersite/1/home?c=vcu ):
  • A Letter of Interest that conveys relevant academic and professional experience and describes experiences and/or professional service that inform a collaborative and community-engaged approach to a design education
  • 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 the applicant’s approval)
  • Portfolio of work- a link to appropriate selections of documentation of the applicant's experience in their area of expertise. This could include traditional and/or non-traditional examples of one's work from a broad cross-section and/or combination of experience.
  • Portfolio of student work
  • Sample syllabus

Only electronic applications submitted via the VCU Jobs Website will be accepted. For best consideration, completed applications are due by Friday, January 6, 2023. Questions about the VCU Jobs Website application process should be directed to Tasia Robinson, Assistant Director of Human Resources for VCUarts, at thompsontl5@vcu.edu.

The Department of Graphic Design:

VCUarts' Department of Graphic Design is a dynamic community of scholars and practitioners actively expanding the definition of design. The department focuses on the tenants of culture literacy, collaboration, research, and making through a dynamic new curriculum. Housed within VCUarts, the department encourages students to engage with the greater art school as well as the university. Currently, there are 10 faculty plus 2 designers-in-residence teaching full-time with an undergraduate student body of 230 and a graduate student body that averages 10-12 per full studio. The Department of Graphic Design believes in a spectrum of practice that supports criticality and interdisciplinary discourse.


Ranked by US News & World Report as a top-five arts and design school, VCUarts (arts.vcu.edu) includes over 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students with nationally recognized programs in design, visual, and performing arts, and has an annual budget of $38 million and an endowment of more than $13.5 million. Students are taught by over 175 full-time teaching and research faculty members and the school is supported by over 60 staff members that assist in daily processes. The School includes two campuses; one in Richmond and one in Doha, Qatar. The Richmond campus is located on the university’s 75-acre Monroe Park campus in the city’s historic Fan District. Ultimately, the work of the School of the Arts extends globally with partnerships throughout the world and across fields as diverse as the humanities, health care, and business.

Virginia Commonwealth University is committed to providing accessible and equitable living, learning, and working environments free from discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex (including pregnancy), political affiliation, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or disability.


Each agency within the Commonwealth of Virginia is dedicated to recruiting, supporting, and maintaining a competent and diverse work force. Equal Opportunity Employer

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