SVA Seeks its Next Chair of the MFA Design Program
SVA invites nominations and applications for the position of a full-time department chair of the Master in Fine Arts (MFA) Design. The Chair is responsible for the overall management and future direction of the department’s academic and co-curricular programming, in support of SVA’s mission and in support of the institution’s strategic plan. The successful candidate will be expected to begin on or about August 1, 2024. The position is a 10-month assignment at a salary of $150,000.
Co-founded in 1997 by Steven Heller and Lita Talarico, and welcoming the first cohort of students in 1998, the MFA in Design is a 60-credit program designed to be completed in two years of full-time study. The program accepts approximately 10 percent of applicants. Students hail from across the world. The program’s facilities replicate a professional design studio, with 24/7 access to individual workspaces, the latest equipment, conference rooms, library, and student lounge.
For over 26 years the program has redefined the way designers interact with the changing design profession, emphasizing individual accomplishments and collaborative engagements. The program’s mission is based on the conviction that designers are thinkers, inventors, and entrepreneurs who have fluency in design craft, production strategy, and business. The core objectives of MFA Design is to teach students to conceive, propose, prototype, manufacture, and market their own concepts and ideas for not-for-profit and for-profit ventures. In addition to flexing their “design muscles” in aesthetic ways, the entrepreneurial emphasis of the program increases sustainable business practices, intellectual property rights, and marketing strategies. All this with the goal of developing a prototype and/or proposal for a “product”: graphic, virtual, dimensional. The aim of the product is to contribute to some aspect of social need and human concern.
Students focus on their thesis through a three-semester sequence of courses and consultations known as the Venture, where preparations for and the execution of various elements of the thesis are required. The Venture is a blueprint for interconnected classes and consultations that result in fully researched, sustainable products. This culminates with students presenting their work to the design community at the “Venture Forum” at the SVA Theatre.
For more information, visit MFA Design's website here.
- The ideal candidate will be required to identify how graphic design has changed in the 25 years since the program’s founding and develop alternative pedagogical approaches to design education.
- Provide a nourishing environment in which well-conceived, designed and communicated outcomes are encouraged.
- Discover and teach the latest technologies, new methods, and the contemporary needs of the “marketplace,” while respecting the lessons from design’s heritage.
- Create an environment that fosters independent thinkers and makers, who serve their clients as they push the accepted boundaries of contemporary design practice.
- Attend the provost’s monthly meetings and other committee assignments as made by the President and/or Provost.
- Prepare and administer the department’s budget.
- Prepare course schedules, catalog descriptions, appointments, and assignments of the faculty.
- Appoint and guide curricular and curricular-evaluation committees.
- Organize extracurricular programs.
- Conduct, as necessary, conferences with faculty, staff, and students.
- Participate in appropriate educational programs and professional associations.
- Participate in Orientation and Open House events and other venues to promote the program and/or SVA.
- Participate in the College’s program of accreditation, outcomes assessment, and other institutional effectiveness activities.
- Assess the needs of the department’s space, and report findings to the executive director of facilities.
- Initiate and oversee annual recruitment campaigns.
- Maintain and improve the look and content of the department's website.
- Develop special relationships with sponsors, contributors, and potential employers of graduates.
- Maintain the “Milton Glaser” guest speaker series.
- Uphold the department’s mission, goals, and principles.
- Substantial professional practice in graphic design, typography, identity, branding, and/or closely related discipline, with a record of publication.
- A graduate degree (preferably the MFA in Design, or closely related discipline). Applicants with only an undergraduate degree and an exceptional record of practice may be considered.
- Five to ten years of progressively responsible experience in academic leadership at the college level, preferably as a chair or assistant dean, with a record of maintaining the highest levels of academic and creative integrity, for students, faculty, and staff.
- A demonstrated commitment to the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Two or more years of experience in diversity-related curriculum development and pedagogy preferred.
- Ability to foster an inclusive working and learning environment. Maintain the highest levels of academic and creative integrity, for students, faculty, and staff.
- Extensive knowledge of design as an artistic form and the industries it supports.
- Demonstrated excellence in teaching graduate courses in design or closely related discipline.
- An unflagging commitment to the artistic and professional growth of individual students.
- A collegial management style and record of collaboration with peers.
- Experience with student recruitment.
- A considerable network of professional contacts upon which the candidate could draw for prospective faculty members, student mentors, guest speakers, program advisors, and post-graduate employment.
- A demonstrable commitment to the mission and core values of the School of Visual Arts.
For full consideration, please send (1) a letter of interest that describes how your experience and interests fulfill the requirements of this position, (2) a current curriculum vitae, (3) a statement of teaching philosophy that incorporates the tenants and practices of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), and (4) a list of names and the full contact information for three professional references.
Application review will begin immediately and continue until an appointment is made.
To be assured of full consideration, please submit all materials as separate PDF documents by January 31, 2024, to:
WORKING AT SVA
School of Visual Arts has been a leader in the education of artists, designers, and creative professionals for more than seven decades. With a faculty of distinguished working professionals, a dynamic curriculum, and an emphasis on critical thinking, SVA is a catalyst for innovation and social responsibility. Comprising over 7,000 students at its Manhattan campus and over 41,000 alumni from 128 countries, SVA also represents one of the most influential artistic communities in the world. For more information about the College’s 30 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
Click here to learn what it's like to work at SVA.
The School of Visual Arts is an equal-opportunity employer. Diversity and inclusion is a core principle of the College. SVA enjoys a community that represents a significant number of historically underrepresented communities, ethnic and religious backgrounds, gender identities, diverse abilities, and foreign countries, and all are encouraged to apply.