School Director - The Design School, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at ASU

Arizona State University
Arizona, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Jan 07, 2021
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time


The Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and Arizona State University (ASU) seek a Director of The Design School. The director will provide innovative, aspirational leadership for the school’s vital participation in ASU’s vision for a New American University: a reinvention of higher education in which design practices are a core value for the nation’s largest public university and global research institution. The director will lead a dynamic school that is positioned to prepare a new generation of architects and designers from diverse backgrounds to succeed in the 21st century. The director of The Design School reports to the Dean of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. This is a full-time, fiscal year appointment, with a preferred start date of July 1, 2021. The appointment type and academic rank will be based on experience and qualifications.

About ASU

Arizona State University is a new model for American higher education, an unprecedented combination of academic excellence, entrepreneurial energy and broad access. This New American University is a single, unified institution comprising four differentiated campuses positively impacting the economic, social, cultural and environmental health of the communities it serves. Its research is inspired by real world application blurring the boundaries that traditionally separate academic disciplines. ASU serves more than 80,000 students in metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, the nation's fifth largest city. ASU champions intellectual and cultural diversity, and welcomes students from all fifty states and more than one hundred nations across the globe.

About the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts is the largest comprehensive design and arts school in the country, built on a combination of disciplines unlike any other program nationally and located within a dynamic research university focused on transformative change. The Herberger Institute comprises the schools of Art; Arts, Media and Engineering; Music, Dance and Theatre; The Design School; the New American Film School, and the ASU Art Museum. The Herberger Institute is committed to redefining the 21st-century design and arts school through developing and scaling ideas to strengthen the role of designers and artists across all areas of society and culture and to increase their capacity to make a difference in their communities. For more information on the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, visit

About The Design School

The Design School is the largest and most comprehensive school for design education, with programs ranked top 20 in the nation. From programs in architecture, landscape architecture and industrial design to interior design, urban design and visual communication design, our students master the skills and research techniques needed for their future design professions through innovative, transdisciplinary methods. Our mission is to educate future designers to shape collaborations, synthesize complexity and catalyze transformation for public good. By engaging in dynamic and ongoing discourse about the future of design education, we aim to create a school that is relevant, collaborative and equitable. For more information on The Design School, visit

The Director

ASU, the Herberger Institute, and The Design School seek a visionary director with a broad perspective and record of innovative thought and accomplishment. The successful candidate will act as a catalyst for change and will lead in positioning design at the forefront of programs and projects across the university and with community partners. The new director will help the school continue to realize and develop its mission to shape the future of design while building a culture of justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion; fostering collaboration and partnerships; supporting and growing inventive curricula and field-defining research; and developing programs that are renowned nationally and globally. We seek an individual with a clear strategy relative to the role of design within contemporary society, academia, and research communities; a leader who will give voice to the school as it participates in aims of the New American University; and an advocate for the school within local, national and international communities. This inspirational leader will have demonstrated success in designing curricula, developing research agendas, and community outreach. A two-year process of listening to design professionals across the globe and engaging students, faculty and staff resulted in the The ReDesign.School initiative, which includes our vision and goals and can be found here:


  • Terminal degree in design or a related discipline; or equivalent distinguished academic or professional experience;
  • Demonstrated commitment to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in education and the design professions; 
  • Demonstrated excellence in research, teaching, and/or practice in design fields; 
  • Demonstrated administrative ability, including the ability to delegate, resolve conflicts, prioritize and make timely, transparent and well-considered decisions.


  • Significant administrative experience in a complex organizational setting; 
  • A sophisticated, broad, and non-hierarchical understanding of diverse design fields and disciplines;
  • The ability to communicate the values of design as relevant to social and global issues to a broad range of stakeholders; 
  • Experience as a leader with skills in collaborative practice and empathy as a core value; 
  • Creativity, flexibility, tenacity, emotional intelligence, and optimism;
  • Understanding of the strengths and challenges of scholarly production in design, and the ability to engage in ASU’s enterprise model for advancing research; 
  • Experience in faculty and staff recruitment and development, including supporting a diverse and equitable community ethic; 
  • Demonstrated ability to mentor emerging designers and/or scholars, junior faculty and staff, and undergraduate and graduate students; 
  • Experience in fiscal planning and development activities, including fundraising or obtaining externally funded research sponsorship; 
  • Experience in the creation and evaluation of curricula, including online degrees.

Instructions to apply:

Please submit:

  1. A curriculum vitae
  2. A letter of Interest addressing the position description 
  3. A one-page statement describing potential responses to the student-led Design Justice Initiative, found at
  4. A two-page vision statement that includes three to five compelling issues or challenges for design education, research, and development.
  5. Contact information for three to five references

All applications must be submitted electronically via

Application Deadline:

The application deadline is February 23, 2021. Applications will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis for a reserve pool. Applications in the reserve pool may then be reviewed in the order in which they were received until the position is filled.

ASU conducts pre-employment screening for all positions which includes a criminal background check, verification of work history, academic credentials, licenses and certifications.

Arizona State University is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor and an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other basis protected by law.

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