Assistant Professor - Design: Animation & Illustration

San Jose State University
California, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted Date
Jan 27, 2023

Position Rank and Title: Assistant Professor of Design

School/Department Name: Department of Design

Compensation: Commensurate with qualifications, experience, and rank as established by the CSU Salary Schedule . See Benefits Summary for details about the CSU’s excellent employment benefits. Anticipated salary range: $85,000 - $90,000 annually.

Target Start Date: August 1, 2023

Application Deadline: March 1, 2023 (Applications accepted until position is filled or closed)

Position Description

The Animation & Illustration program in the Department of Design at San José State University is one of the leading national programs of its type, with a strong 30+ year history of placing its alumni throughout the entertainment, technology, and game industries at every major company including Pixar, Disney, DreamWorks, Lucasfilm & Industrial Light & Magic, Sony, EA, Apple, Google, Blizzard, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Netflix, Hallmark, and many, many more. We graduate approximately 70-90 students each year.

Emphasizing the importance of fundamental artistic skills and aesthetics, the program strives to attract students who understand that knowledge, perceptive understanding, and good judgment are significant artistic skills that will never be technologically obsolete, and will always be in demand.

The program’s student culture is extraordinarily vibrant and includes regular guest speakers and campus visits, lectures, and portfolio reviews from industry creative professionals and recruiters.

The Animation & Illustration program in the Department of Design at San José State University is seeking a CGI generalist, with a strong interest in computer graphics to join our ranks as an Assistant Professor. The ideal candidate should have a solid command of the digital tools utilized in screen arts productions (such as in TV, films, and games) an artistic background, and professional experience in the fields of animation, entertainment, and/or digital games.

Applicants should be proficient with one or more standard 3d software packages such as MAYA, BLENDER, UNREAL, and/or UNITY, and be interested in exploring new technologies in this ever-evolving discipline. Additional expertise and experience with programming (as applied to entertainment productions such as films, TV, and games) would be preferred. A willingness to work interdisciplinary and collaborate with other stakeholders in the college is desired.

The successful candidate will demonstrate sophisticated aesthetics, and have a solid portfolio of productions showcasing proficiency in digital 3D lighting, rendering techniques, and compositing; a record of artistic and technical accomplishments in the screen arts (games, films, TV), and an interest in developing productions with sophisticated intellectual themes. We are particularly interested in new approaches to ways in which social, cultural, equitable, diverse, and ethical aspects can be incorporated into the disciplines that use animation in both one's academic assignment and professional creative activities. Candidates should be able to help students and faculty develop screen arts productions in both our undergraduate and graduate programs.

The Department of Design and San José State University value diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Our excellence in research, teaching, and service can only be fully realized by faculty, students, and staff who share our commitment to these values. SJSU enrolls more than 36,000 students, many of whom are historically underserved, around 45% are first-generation and 38% are Pell recipients. SJSU is a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander (AANAPISI) Serving Institution. The University’s commitment to social justice extends from its vibrant, inclusive campus to an international network of over 275,000 alumni. As such, San José State University is committed to increasing the diversity of its faculty so our disciplines, students, and the community can benefit from multiple ethnic and gender perspectives.

Successful candidates will demonstrate evidence of a commitment to equity and inclusion through their research, teaching, and/or service. We ask that all applicants include a Diversity Statement with their application package. A guide to writing this statement can be found at SJSU Diversity Statement Guidelines , along with information about how these statements will be evaluated.

Required Qualifications

Candidates shall have:
  • An MFA or MA (terminal degree) in Animation, Illustration, or a related field by the start of appointment or an equivalent, extraordinary, level of at least 10 years of professional experience within these industries.
  • Strong CG Generalist technical skills are required across a variety of areas — including CG lighting, rendering, and compositing — the successful candidate will also need to demonstrate their experience with sophisticated aesthetics and intellectual content and themes.
  • Candidates must demonstrate a broad and successful record of teaching a range of CG classes and topics and demonstrate potential for further teaching excellence.
  • Awareness of and sensitivity to the educational goals of a multicultural population is required and previous work involving multicultural populations or minorities should be mentioned in the teaching statement.
  • A track record of success, or demonstrated potential for success, in the area of research or creative activities that are relevant to the position and will result in recognition (festivals, publications, exhibitions, awards). Upon hiring, candidates will be expected to document and continue pursuing a creative career in order to achieve tenure and promotion.

Preferred Qualifications

A Minimum of two years of experience teaching in higher education and/or industry experience is preferred. Additional knowledge, training, and/or relevant experience in screen arts and visual storytelling is desirable.

Fluency with programming, rigging, and other associated CG disciplines is desirable.

Key Responsibilities

Teaching will include classes primarily involving CG Generalist skills, including modeling, rigging, lighting, compositing, and other related topics and courses per departmental need, including lower-division, upper-division, and graduate-level courses.

This position is oriented towards developing our program’s capability to produce more sophisticated animated films and screen arts projects.

We are looking for an individual with strong artistic, intellectual and technical skills, who is able to help students develop a mature conceptual point of view. The ideal candidate will effectively teach a wide variety of technical CG skills while also addressing the conceptual, artistic, and aesthetic aspects of visual storytelling.

In addition, the candidate will have the breadth, flexibility, and interest to work on interdisciplinary and innovative projects as the program needs to evolve. Other duties would include general program administration and planning such as representation at events; attending and coordinating guest lectures; advising students, exhibitions, and clubs; participating in fundraising activities; recruitment and industry relations; and, as part of the tenure process, serving on governance committees at the Department, College, and University levels.

Effectiveness in academic assignment, service to the program, college, and university, and continuing artistic, research, and professional activities are required to achieve promotion and tenure.

Candidates must address the needs of a student population of great diversity in age, cultural background, ethnicity, primary language, and academic preparation, through course materials, project agendas, teaching strategies, and advising.

Other Duties

Note that all San José State University employees are considered mandated reporters under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and are required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.

Pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) and CSU systemwide policy, some faculty duties may lead to designation as a Campus Security Authority (CSA). CSAs are required to complete Clery Act training and to immediately report Clery incidents to the institution.

Application Procedure

Click Apply Now to complete the SJSU Online Employment Application and attach the following documents.
  • A letter of application that includes a link to an online portfolio and/or reel (portfolios can include: film samples, animatics, animated shots and/or sequences, illustrations, storytelling samples, drawings, paintings, etc.). See the Portfolio Guidelines below for more information.
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Statement of teaching interests, pedagogy and diversity in teaching.
  • Samples of student work and syllabi of courses taught.
  • Research statement with a proposed plan for research and creative activities.
  • Three references with contact information.
  • Unofficial transcripts (official transcripts from all institutions may be requested at a later date and will be required for appointment)
Please include Job Req. number on all correspondence. Inquiries may be directed to the Department Chair or Search Committee Chair: Professor Virginia San Fratello, or Associate Professor John Clapp, .

Portfolio Guidelines

A portfolio of creative work should include several samples of the candidate’s professional work as well as work that demonstrates their professional CG skill set and aesthetics. Samples might include a reel, animated films or other projects, or other work that the applicant feels demonstrates the above.

Please choose pieces that best represent your skills and artistic interests. A brief description of each piece should be included (please mention name of project, year, your role in each piece and medium or software used). Please send us a link to your online portfolio in your letter of application.

Additionally, a separate portfolio of samples of student work may be included.

Conditional Offer

The work for this faculty position is located in the State of California. Employment is contingent upon proof of eligibility to work in the United States. Proof of immunization against COVID-19 or proof of a medical or religious exemption and compliance with testing protocols is required for employment. Satisfactory completion of a background check (including a criminal records check) is required for employment. SJSU will make a conditional offer of employment, which may be rescinded if the background check reveals disqualifying information, and/or it is discovered that the candidate knowingly withheld or falsified information. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may affect the continued employment of a current employee who was conditionally offered the position.

San José State University: Silicon Valley's Public University

Located in the heart of Silicon Valley — one of the most innovative regions in the world — San José State University is the founding campus of the 23- campus California State University (CSU) system and the first public university in the West. Recognized as a leading transformative educational

institution, San José State is an essential partner in the technological, economic, cultural, and social development of Silicon Valley, the Bay Area, and California. SJSU is a top-200 school nationally in research funding and second highest in research productivity in the CSU system. Cutting-edge research, world-class scholarship, student-centered learning, diverse communities, and commitment to social justice, allow SJSU to provide life- changing opportunities and advance the public good locally and globally.

Equal Employment Statement

San José State University prohibits discrimination on the basis of Age, Ancestry, Caste, Color, Disability, Ethnicity, Gender, Gender Expression, Gender Identity, Genetic Information, Marital Status, Medical Condition, Military Status, Nationality, Race, Religion, Religious Creed, Sex, Sexual Orientation, Sex Stereotype, and Veteran Status. This policy applies to all San José State University students, faculty, and staff as well as University programs and activities. Reasonable accommodations are made for applicants with disabilities who self-disclose. Note that all San José State University employees are considered mandated reporters under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and are required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.

Campus Security And Fire Safety Notification

Pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, the Annual Security Report (ASR) is also now available for viewing at Security-Report.pdf . The ASR contains the current security and safety- related policy statements, emergency preparedness and evacuation information, crime prevention and Sexual Assault prevention information, and information about drug and alcohol prevention programming. The ASR also contains statistics of Clery crimes for San José State University locations for the three most recent calendar years. A paper copy of the ASR is available upon request by contacting the Office of the Clery Director by phone at 408-924-1501 or by email at

Pursuant to the Higher Education Opportunity Act, the Annual Fire Safety Report (AFSR) is available at Fire-Safety-Report.pdf . The purpose of this report is to disclose statistics for fires that occurred within SJSU on-campus housing facilities for the three most recent calendar years, and to distribute fire safety policies and procedures intended to promote safety on Campus. A paper copy of the AFSR is available upon request by contacting the Housing Office by phone at 408-795-5600 or by email at

Advertised: January 27, 2023 (9:00 AM) Pacific Standard Time
Applications close:

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