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Assistant Professor, Product Development and Fashion Design

Columbia College Chicago
Chicago, Illinois
Competitive salary with full benefits
Posted Date
Oct 28, 2022

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Arts, Design & Graphic Arts, Other Arts
Employment Level
Tenured/Tenured Track
Employment Type
Full Time
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Job Details

Columbia College Chicago actively promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion as vitally important to its present and future success. These principles are essential to the educational experiences of our students, staff, and faculty.

The Fashion Studies Department of Columbia College Chicago seeks applicants for a full-time tenure-track or tenured Faculty position in Fashion Studies with a focus on Product Development and Design beginning August 2023.

First and foremost, successful applicants will bring specific culturally-informed design and problem-solving frameworks to the field of fashion studies. Those for whom an interventionist approach to issues of accessibility, gender, race/ethnicity, nonwestern or indigenous practices, or sustainability is paramount are of particular interest to us. Critical investigations of the intersection of fashion and technology or fashion and science are also very welcome. Fluency in existing and emerging design technology is important, regardless of specialization.

We seek a colleague who can teach courses common to both our BA in Product Development and BFA in Fashion Design, especially our Patternmaking and Construction course sequence, with the needs of both kinds of students and their career aims in mind. The individual will be tasked with thoughtfully integrating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion approaches into hands-on skill-based courses; synthesizing creative with business objectives from day one; and developing a culture of consumer-centric problem-solving amongst the student body. Our new colleague will also teach in the Columbia Core of our four-year liberal arts College, so should bring knowledge and approaches to fashion with applications beyond specialists.

In addition to expertise in their field, successful candidates must exhibit excellent teaching and scholarly credentials, be passionate about undergraduate and graduate education, and have the capacity to maintain these engagements while also being an active member of the department and College communities.

The Department of Fashion Studies at Columbia College Chicago is a multi-disciplinary department that encompasses fashion business, technology, design, exhibition/curation, history, theory, and culture. Our faculty are both scholars and practitioners who embrace Chicago, a global innovation center with its own local vibe. We take a “fashion for everyone” approach, showcasing all identities, bodies, and abilities with our diversity-conscious curriculum and ongoing quest for more sustainable practices. Our students earn a B.A. in Fashion Studies with concentrations in either Merchandising or Product Development, or a B.F.A. in Fashion Design. We support minors in Fashion Styling, Sustainable Fashion, and Fashion for Game Art.

We are housed in the School of Fine and Performing Arts, which includes academic programs in visual arts, performing arts, and business, entrepreneurship, and marketing. Home to more than 110 full-time faculty and over 3,300 students, the SFPA community is deeply committed to rigorous exploration of a wide range of artistic practices and economies, within an inclusive curriculum characterized by a strong focus on a diversity of contemporary styles and current industry trends. Across SFPA, we challenge the next generation of artists, scholars, managers, performers, designers, makers, and entrepreneurs to master the skills and interrogate the foundations of their creative disciplines; imagine new futures; and contribute to the vibrant arts communities of Chicago and beyond.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Teach at the undergraduate and, as appropriate, at the graduate level in areas assigned by the Department Chair.
  • Continually keep abreast of relevant technological innovations and collaborate across College units to integrate them seamlessly and in an ongoing manner into the classroom.
  • Engage with the broader scholarly and professional communities.
  • Supervise and advise and mentor students.
  • Contribute to the development, planning and implementation of a high-quality curriculum.
  • Commit to continuing professional development.
  • Provide service to the college, profession and community.
  • Actively follow and promote Columbia College Chicago policies.

We seek individuals with a demonstrated ability to work with students from a wide range of social and cultural backgrounds, and whose creative, scholarly and/or professional work aligns with our commitment to dismantling systems of privilege and oppression. All faculty members are expected to advance the College's DEI mission. For more information on the office of Academic Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion please visit:

Required Qualifications

  • MFA, Doctorate or other terminal degree in fashion or a related field. Candidates with a post-secondary degree and significant professional experience may also be considered.

Desired Qualifications

  • Professional experience and college teaching experience are highly desirable.

To apply for this position, submit the following materials online:

  • A letter outlining the applicant’s background, qualifications, and vision for the position.
  • A curriculum vitae.
  • A statement of teaching philosophy.
  • A statement of scholarly or creative practice.
  • An Evidence of Inclusive Excellence Statement describing actions you have taken to support and advance diversity, equity, access and inclusion in service, teaching, or research/creative activity. Please be succinct with your response.
  • Contact information for three references. References will not be contacted without prior consultation with the applicant.

Review of complete applications only will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. For best consideration, please apply by November 28.

This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities required of the employee and is subject to change based on the needs of the department and/or college.

About the College
Columbia College Chicago is a private not-for-profit college for creatives serving nearly 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Columbia College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. Located in downtown Chicago’s South Loop, the College is centered in one of the world's most lively urban cultural areas. Its many competitive advantages include its strong reputation in the creative industries, outstanding faculty and passionate students, impressive technological and physical resources, and a sincere commitment to bringing diverse voices and experiences into proximity with each other to shape new forms of creative practice.

At Columbia, we offer a rewarding work environment for our faculty and staff. We take pride in offering competitive benefits with affordable health, dental and vision coverage; flexible spending accounts; commuter benefit program, life and accidental, death & dismemberment coverage; paid and unpaid leave options; work/life benefits; educational assistance programs; and retirement and financial planning benefits.

We invite you to join our talented faculty and staff and become part of our collective aspiration to ensure Columbia prepares students for success in their creative fields through innovation, engagement and real-world experiences.

Additional Information

  • Position subject to a background screening.
  • This is a non-union position.
  • This position is overtime exempt.

Columbia College Chicago is an equal opportunity employer and complies with all local, state, and federal laws and regulations concerning civil rights. The college does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law.


Columbia's art-splashed urban campus is located in the heart of Chicago, a vibrant city that can be your classroom, your canvas, and your home. At Columbia, we value your expertise in theory and practice. Work alongside award-winning scholars, artists and entrepreneurs and empower students to turn their ideas into creative practice.

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