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Assistant Professor of Craft/Material Studies -- Specialization in Wood


Assistant Professor of Craft/Material Studies -- Specialization in Wood

  • req2810
  • Richmond, Virginia, United States, 23284
  • School of the Arts
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
Assistant Professor of Craft/Material Studies -- Specialization in Wood

Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts (VCUarts)
Department of Craft/Material Studies

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

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

The Opportunity:

The VCUarts Department of Craft/Material Studies (https://arts.vcu.edu/academics/departments/craft-material-studies/) seeks highly-qualified applicants for a faculty position at the rank of Assistant Professor with a specialization in wood (non-tenure eligible-term). The ideal candidate will be a dynamic teacher, creative colleague, broad thinker, and artist who will want to contribute to the progressive spirit of an established material studies program.

Our new colleague will be well versed in material knowledge and object-based practices and will offer students a framework through which important critical theories and historical craft knowledge can be emphasized. An understanding of and the ability to incorporate both analogue and digital practices in teaching methods is preferred. The ideal candidates will demonstrate a commitment to pedagogical projects and coursework that support an inclusive, diverse, and accessible experience for all students. Additional interdisciplinary opportunities are available for an engaged colleague, including advanced studios, foundations, and/or undergraduate and graduate seminars.

Department of Craft/Material Studies:

The Department of Craft/Material Studies is among 16 departments and programs in VCUarts. We specialize in five media areas (Clay, Metal, Wood, Glass and Fiber) and offer both breadth and depth across craft disciplines at the BFA and MFA levels.

Our Mission: We are a community of makers/artists who advance the conceptual, historical, technical and haptic aspects of Clay, Fiber, Glass, Metal and Wood. We promote an artistic practice rooted in the values of Craft. We investigate Craft’s inherent relationship to the world with fearless innovation.

Major Responsibilities:

This position is a 9-month non-tenure eligible (term) faculty position in the VCUarts Department of Craft/Material Studies with an academic rank of Assistant Professor. Term faculty are eligible for promotion in academic rank, and are valued for their academic, professional, and creative practice/scholarly contributions in their specific area of expertise. The primary responsibilities of this opportunity are teaching so we seek to hire faculty who stand out with respect to effectiveness in teaching and engagement with students.

Instructional responsibilities include development and teaching of undergraduate and graduate courses in wood, and include service on graduate committees. The ideal candidate will teach classes such as Introductory Woodworking Techniques, Furniture Design, and Advanced Woodworking. The ideal faculty member will have a broad understanding of the fields of craft and fine art in order to teach at all levels. The ability to relate contemporary tendencies in craft and fine arts to historical, theoretical, and critical issues is essential. Additional courses such as rotational topics could be taught in the faculty member’s area(s) of expertise and department. Additional teaching opportunities may also include undergraduate and graduate seminars and critique courses. Course assignments could change based on demand and will be at the discretion of the Chair.

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; and 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.

While creative research is not the primary expectation for this position, it is expected that the faculty member will demonstrate excellence through teaching but also maintain a scholarly and/or creative body of knowledge within the discipline. The department will support the faculty member’s professional development and creative research, as appropriate and within available resources, to ensure ongoing mastery of the discipline as it relates to craft and fine arts and the program’s curriculum. Professional development activities will be consistent with and support the mission and initiatives of the department, school and university.

The preferred candidate will have an active professional career and demonstrate a commitment to or potential for involvement in national or international organizations. As a member of a community-oriented, tight-knit department and School, the faculty member will participate in university service, including coordination of student activities; participating in open house events and portfolio reviews, and attending exhibition openings. Other responsibilities may be assigned by the Chair or university administration.


• MFA or equivalent professional experience and training that equates to an MFA
• Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment and a commitment to equity and diversity in teaching, service, leadership and practice
• Active artistic practice
• Demonstrated effectiveness in studio critique and teaching beyond graduate school
• Fluency in area of specialization, craft, and contemporary art
• Evidence of an ability to supervise a specialized facility and its related equipment
• 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

• Strong foundation in contemporary critical discourse
• Ability to incorporate both analogue and digital practices in teaching methods
• Record of community-engaged teaching, experience building partnerships, or extra-curricular activities

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 your 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 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
• 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 applicant’s approval)
• Portfolio of work- a link to appropriate selections of documentation of the applicant's work and 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.

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, at thompsontl5@vcu.edu.


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 situated 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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