Michigan, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Jan 20, 2021
Employment Level
Tenured/Tenured Track
Employment Type
Full Time

Job no: 493532
Work type: FAC - Tenure Track Faculty
Location: Allendale
Categories: College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Summary: The Department of Visual and Media Arts at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) invites applicants for a full-time, tenure-track position in the Graphic Design emphasis area at the Assistant Professor rank starting August 6, 2021.

As a community of educators, artists, and scholars, the Department of Visual and Media Arts values the examination of the world through diverse cultural discourses which inform pedagogy and scholarship, and diverse forms of collaboration with university, local, and regional communities. We seek a faculty member who is a well-rounded designer, is committed to undergraduate teaching excellence and mentoring, is able to teach throughout the curriculum, understands emerging trends in the areas of graphic design and user experience, and is committed to diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts in design practice.

The teaching responsibilities include 6 courses/year and professional advising of the graphic design emphasis majors. Teaching opportunities include courses in typography, print design/production, packaging design, user experience/user interface design, and branding design. Candidates with teaching experience for major and non-major populations will receive special consideration.

The university encourages interdisciplinary research efforts with other majors, minors, and emphasis areas. Candidates with research/creative work interests in the intersection of graphic design, user experience, and any of these emerging fields: big data, the Internet of Things, augmented/virtual reality, and artificial intelligence will receive special consideration. Examples of future relationships within GVSU include the Design Thinking Academy; GVSU Community Service Learning Center; Advertising & Public Relations, Computer Science, Film and Video Production, Marketing, and Photography majors; and the Digital Studies minor.

We are interested in new and emerging fields that can contribute to diversifying the expertise in our department. The successful candidate will have research and teaching interests with the potential to engage the West Michigan community; we are especially interested in candidates from underrepresented groups and individuals who have experience working with diverse student and community populations.

The candidate will be filled at the Assistant Professor rank. Credit toward tenure, extra compensation, and/or reassigned time will be negotiated with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Required Qualifications:

  • A terminal degree in Graphic Design, User Experience, or related field (M.F.A., M.Des., Ph.D.) from an accredited university by August 6, 2021;
  • Ability to teach courses in typography, print design/production, packaging design, user experience/user interface design, and branding design;
  • Minimum of two years of professional experience as a scholar and/or practitioner in graphic design, user experience, or related field;
  • Demonstrated expertise in at least two of these areas: print design, editorial design, packaging design, user experience design, user interface design, branding design;
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity in design;
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills, such as the ability to interact with others with respect and empathy;
  • Confident humility – the ability to simultaneously acknowledge one’s own and others’ expertise and value;
  • Experience and/or willingness to teach high-quality, engaging online courses.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Minimum of two years of undergraduate teaching experience in graphic design, user experience, or related field. (teaching assistantships will be considered);
  • Experience in developing educational experiences for non-majors, adult learners, online learners and/or post-baccalaureate students;
  • Scholarly interests in the intersection of design, user experience, and any of these emerging fields: big data, the Internet of Things, augmented/virtual reality, artificial intelligence;
  • A history of mentoring students under-represented in higher education, and/or experience using inclusive pedagogies, and/or scholarship focusing on marginalized populations, social inequality, or social justice, and/or other related experiences, including authentic community engagement and intercultural knowledge and training.

Responsibilities – Essential Functions:

  • Teach 6 courses/year in the Graphic Design area in any of these areas: typography, print design, experience design, branding, professional practice, senior project.
  • Help advise the Graphic Design emphasis majors.
  • Maintain an active scholarship and/or creative practice in graphic design, user experience, or related field.
  • Provide leadership and vision in curriculum development.
  • Help develop high-impact learning experiences beyond internships and capstone experiences, preferably with community involvement.
  • Participate in student reviews at the freshman, sophomore, and senior levels.
  • Participate in service activities as assigned/volunteered.

Salary/Benefits: The salary will be commensurate with experience. Relocation expenses and reassigned teaching time must be approved by the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The university offers an excellent comprehensive package that includes health/vision/dental plans, life insurance, retirement, sick/leave disability, tuition waiver, adoption resources, wellness coaching, and free access to campus fitness facilities. Family and child care options on and off-campus are also available. For a detailed description of benefits, please visit


The Department of Visual and Media Arts seeks to uphold the values of a liberal education while providing intensive engagement in the production and examination of the visual and media arts. The department is located in the Allendale campus and has 38 full-time faculty and 627 majors. 20% of the students reported being from an underrepresented minority (African American or Black, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, Hispanic or Latinx, Two or more races, International, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander). 33% of the department majors have reported being a first-generation college student.

The Department offers NASAD-accredited undergraduate degrees in Art History (BA), Art Education (BA/BS), Film and Video Production (BA/BS), Photography (BA/BS), and Studio Art (BA/BS/BFA). The BFA in Studio Art degree has emphases in Ceramics, Graphic Design, Illustration, Jewelry and Metalsmithing, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, and Visual Studies. The department also offers minors in Art History, Photography, and Studio Art. Several courses offered by the unit serve the institution through its General Education program or are courses for non-majors.

The Department is well-equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for digital and physical media, including computer labs, digital fabrication labs, digital printing labs, animation labs, a film studio, a woodshop, a metal shop, a print shop, studios for painting and ceramics, and a darkroom. Further information about the department is available at

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) is the largest college at Grand Valley, offering over 50 bachelor degrees and a growing number of advanced degrees in the natural and mathematical sciences, the fine arts and humanities, and the social sciences. CLAS is a student-centered and diverse learning community that engages in critical inquiry, extending knowledge to enrich and enliven individual and public life. Our faculty are active teacher-scholars committed to equitable, inclusive, career-connected, and community-engaged liberal arts and sciences education. There are many opportunities for collaboration within CLAS and across a broad group of partners on and off campus. This year, six CLAS departments are collaborating to center diversity, equity, and inclusion in our hiring process. We are interested in attracting a cohort of new faculty committed to these core values as we seek to foster a community where members from all backgrounds can live, learn, and thrive together.

Campus: Grand Valley University (GVSU) is a public comprehensive institution located in West Michigan with campuses in Allendale, downtown Grand Rapids, and Holland, plus centers in Muskegon and Traverse City. The University attracts more than 23,000 undergraduate and graduate students with high quality programs and state-of-the-art facilities, and has been nationally recognized for innovativeness and its contribution to students’ social mobility. The greater Grand Rapids metropolitan area has a population of around one million people, is affordable and rich in cultural amenities, and is located in easy driving distance of Chicago, Detroit, Lake Michigan beaches, and many other superb summer and winter recreational venues. Grand Valley is highly rated for safety, sustainability, and veteran and LGBTQ friendliness, and is committed to supporting employees and their families in work-life balance.

Culturally, the Grand Rapids area is an active hub for art and design, housing the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the Grand Rapids Public Museum, the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art, the South Division Street Corridor known as Avenue for the Arts, and the international art competition ArtPrize every two years.

The Grand Rapids metro area has historically been one to appreciate and advocate for design. In the 19th century, the city became a major center for residential fine wood furniture. Today, the furniture manufacturing industry has shifted its focus toward the workspace market, but still appreciates and advocates for the value of design in our culture and daily lives. The West Michigan design community is a mix of in-house designers, freelancers, design studios, user experience designers, user interface designers, design strategists, and more. There are many opportunities to connect with the professional community through a variety of organizations, including: AIGA West Michigan, IxDA Grand Rapids, Creative Mornings, Code For Good, Ladies that UX, Michigan UxPA, The Illustration League, etc.

How to Apply: Apply online at and select "Apply now". Candidates are asked to submit a cover letter describing the motivation to teach at GVSU and your qualifications for the position, a curriculum vitae, a teaching philosophy (highlight your experience with student-centered teaching/learning techniques), a syllabus sample with at least three assignments, a statement on commitment to inclusive excellence in which you discuss how you have addressed diversity, inclusion, and equity in your teaching, scholarship/creative activity and/or service),  a url for a portfolio of scholarly/creative works with 8–10 samples, a url for a portfolio of student works with 10–20 samples of works. The online application will allow you to attach these documents electronically. On the application, you will be required to provide names, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses for three professional references. Applicants selected for interviews will be required to submit official transcripts prior to the interview. If you need assistance, call Human Resources at 616-331-2215. For inquiries about the position, please call (616) 331-3486 or email Associate Professor Vinicius Lima, search committee chair at Please allow 3–5 days for a response.

Due to travel limitations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, all search events and processes will be conducted over the phone/online. Candidates should expect to have access to technology that will allow them to use video conferencing software such as Zoom, Google Meets, or Skype. Accommodations within reason will be provided for qualified applicants.

Application Deadline: Review of applications to begin on February 8, 2021, and the posting may be closed at any time at the discretion of the University.

Allendale, Michigan 49401 - (616) 331-5000
For more information about Grand Valley, see our website at

Grand Valley State University does not discriminate against students, faculty or staff in any of its employment practices or in its educational programs or activities. Grand Valley State University is guided by values for inclusiveness and community which are integral to our mission to educate students to shape their lives, their professions, and their societies, and to enrich the community through excellent teaching, active scholarship, and public service. The University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution. It encourages diversity and provides equal opportunity in education, employment, all of its programs, and the use of its facilities. Members of the University community, including candidates for employment or admissions, and visitors or guests, have the right to be free from acts of harassment and discrimination, which are prohibited if they discriminate or harass on the basis of age, color, disability, familial status, height, marital status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, veteran or active duty military status or weight. In addition, Grand Valley is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to ensure that none of its education programs and activities discriminate on the basis of sex/gender. Sex includes sex stereotypes, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, and pregnancy or parenting status. The Office for Title IX and Institutional Equity serves as a resource for the GVSU community and assists individuals who may have been impacted by discrimination or harassment in connecting with resources, imposes measures that protect or support access to programs and activities, and oversees the university’s grievance process for allegations of discrimination and harassment. Inquiries regarding the application of Title IX may be referred to Theresa Rowland, Title IX Coordinator, 4015 Zumberge Hall,, (616) 331-9530.

The University will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities. See TDD Callers: Call Michigan Relay Center at 711 (in State) or 1-800-833-7833 (out of State)

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Must have the physical stamina to work long hours and/or more than 5 days per week. The requirements listed are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The information contained in this job description is for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act as amended by the ADA Amendment Act (2008), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and other applicable federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. GVSU will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request.