The School of the Art Institute of Chicago invites applications
for the Smith-Buonanno Family Director of Contemporary Practices,
to begin in August of 2022. This endowed professorship is a
tenured, leadership position, overseeing the first-year program at
SAIC. Rank and salary are competitive with peer institutions and
are commensurate with level of practice, scholarship, current
academic research, extent of teaching experience, and current
professional standing. The Smith-Buonanno Family Director of
Contemporary Practices will teach one course in the department per
academic year and will receive annual research funding while
serving in this role.
SAIC's first-year program, the Department of Contemporary
Practices (CP), provides an intensive introduction to
interdisciplinary contemporary art and design practices, including
required curriculum for first-year and transfer students.
Pedagogically, the Department of Contemporary Practices is
committed to integrating critical thinking skills, cultural
competency, anti-racism, and social engagement towards a
decolonized, studio-based curriculum across myriad media and
processes. Courses move between studio practices, investigating and
applying formal languages, skill building, collaborative learning,
various forms of critique, and activities to foster community.
Evolving out of a traditional foundations program, the
Department of Contemporary Practices is continually evaluating and
assessing what a firstyear required curriculum in the arts might
be, rigorously exploring the changing nature of what it means to be
“contemporary” for new generations of artists and designers.
In the summer of 2020, the Department of Contemporary Practices
made the decision to prioritize anti-racism in its conversations
about diversity. The faculty, staff, and students in the
Contemporary Practices Department are deeply committed to
consistent and ongoing anti-racist work and creating a culture of
learning and engagement with one another.
The Department of Contemporary Practices provides courses for
over 850 students. Seventy-five faculty teach in the department,
eleven of whom are tenured or tenure-track faculty. Further
information about the department can be found at the following
The Smith-Buonanno Family Director of Contemporary Practices is
a leadership position at SAIC and is responsible for working with
the faculty in developing the curricular and programmatic
initiatives of the Department. The Director is expected to
demonstrate a commitment to the mission of the Department of
Contemporary Practices: to maintain the “contemporary” in
Contemporary Practices, while also underscoring the importance of
fundamental skills, interdisciplinary practices, and critical
thinking that are part of SAIC’s curriculum. The primary
responsibility of the Director is to work with the faculty to
develop and maintain innovative courses and to select faculty to
teach those courses. Other duties include facilities planning and
oversight, budget and resource allocation, as well as evaluating
curriculum and faculty performance. The Director works in
partnership with the Undergraduate Division, Student Affairs, and
the chairs of twenty-four studio and academic departments. In
addition, the Director is an outward facing member of the SAIC
community who connects with the School at large, potential
students, and the city of Chicago.
A selection of primary responsibilities of the Director
- Providing leadership in implementing a long-term vision for the
Contemporary Practices curriculum, upholding the departmental
commitment of innovating and integrating an anti-racist and
decolonized curriculum into a studio-based curriculum.
- Providing advocacy for Contemporary Practices students,
faculty, and departmental needs.
- Liaising with institutional, departmental, and program leaders
throughout SAIC to ensure alignment of the Contemporary Practices
curriculum with evolving departmental and institutional needs.
- Directing and mentoring full-time faculty in their departmental
service responsibilities, including the Departmental Faculty
Coordinator, who supports and oversees part-time faculty
development, and the Departmental Curriculum Coordinator, who
supervises and facilitates departmental curricular development and
- The Director works departmentally with the CP assessment
committee to envision and implement meaningful and creative
assessment models to support effective teaching of the CP learning
goals and course learning outcomes, while also engaging with
broader schoolwide accreditation cycles
- In consultation with the Faculty Coordinator and Administrative
Director, scheduling faculty for all Contemporary Practices
- Participation in managing the administrative staff. Collaborate
with the Senior Administrative Director to develop departmental
procedures and logistics.
- Working with the Senior Administrative Director to establish
and monitor the operating and capital asset budgets Working with
the Office of Advancement to secure student scholarships and
funding for additional Contemporary Practices initiatives.
- The Director is a standing member of the following
institutional committees: Undergraduate Recruitment Committee;
Department Heads; Undergraduate Cabinet; First Year Forum. The
Director facilitates communication between these committees and the
Contemporary Practices departmental faculty.
- Active participation in School governance.
- In addition to the above, the position of the Director involves
numerous other responsibilities that range from ongoing
administrative needs to departmental program review and
MFA, terminal degree in an adjacent field, or equivalent
professional experience is required. Candidates should have a
minimum of five years of fulltime experience teaching foundation
studio or equivalent first-year students; an ongoing history of
recognized accomplishment in their field; and a demonstrated
ability to work effectively with both faculty and staff as a
manager and a mentor. Candidates should demonstrate their
experience with, or aptitude for, departmental administration.
Additionally, candidates should be prepared to demonstrate how they
will contribute in meaningful ways to the department and SAIC’s
shared commitment to anti-racism, cultural diversity, pluralism,
and individual differences. The candidate for Director should have
commensurate qualifications that would lead to a tenured
appointment as an associate or full professor.
The ideal candidate will contribute to the diversity of the
School by bringing a perspective, way of thinking, and/or a unique
set of experiences that expand the intellectual conversations and
art/design practices within the fields of art and design.
On or before Wednesday, January 5, 2022, please
submit application materials via http://SAICfaculty.slideroom.com.
You will be asked to create an account after which time you may
complete the application, comprised of fill-in fields and uploaded
documents. You are encouraged to begin the application well before
the deadline. No applications may be submitted beyond the deadline
for any reason.
Complete the fields for: educational background; current
position; and contact information for three professional
Please convert all word documents into PDFs before uploading.
Required files to upload include:
- cover letter stating interests and qualifications;
- curriculum vitae;
- diversity statement;
- statement of teaching philosophy including details on how your
teaching has supported the success of students from racial, ethnic,
gender, and/or socio-economic backgrounds that are underrepresented
in your academic field;
- documentation of a selection of professional work;
- statement of research and practice;
- statement of administrative philosophy.
Questions regarding the School and its open positions,
application procedures, or the search process may be emailed
to email@example.com. Please consult www.saic.edu for
information on the School and its programs, or http://www.saic.edu/about/jobsatsaic for
open positions and application procedures.
A leader in educating artists, designers, and scholars since
1866, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) offers
undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate programs to
students from across the globe. Located in the heart of Chicago,
the School is one of the largest and oldest private schools of art
and design in the country with programs reflecting current
practices in art. SAIC's educational philosophy is built upon a
transdisciplinary approach to art and design that provides
unparalleled opportunities for students to develop their creative
and critical abilities with renowned faculty who are leading
practitioners in their fields. SAIC's resources include the Art
Institute of Chicago and its Modern Wing, and numerous special
collections and programming venues that provide students with
exceptional exhibitions, screenings, lectures, and performances.
The campus is located on Chicago’s magnificent lakefront amid the
city’s cultural and architectural treasures.
The School currently enrolls 3,132 students in 15 studio
departments and 8 academic departments. There are 156 full-time
tenured or tenure-track faculty and 607 part-time faculty. Degree
tracks include the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Studio; BFA with
Emphasis in Art Education or Writing; BA degrees in Art History and
Visual and Critical Studies; Master of Architecture; Master of
Design (MDes) in Designed Objects; MDes in Fashion, Body, and
Garment; MFA in Studio or Writing; MA degrees in Arts
Administration; Art Education; Art History, Theory, and Criticism;
Art Therapy; New Arts Journalism; Teaching; Visual and Critical
Studies; and a Master of Science in Historic Preservation.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER
The Art Institute of Chicago, including both the school and the
museum, is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming
environment for its students, visitors, faculty, and staff, and to
ensuring that educational and employment decisions are based on an
individual’s abilities and qualifications. The Art Institute of
Chicago does not tolerate unlawful discrimination based on race,
color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual
orientation, gender identity, military or former military status,
or any other status protected by federal, state or local law, in
its programs and activities, public accommodations or employment
practices. The following individuals have been designated to handle
inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies:
Title IX Coordinator
Lumaturije “Luma” Asanoski, 116 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 1200,
Chicago, IL 60603, 312.499.4165, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Section 504 Coordinator
Felice Dublon, PhD, Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs,
The Office of Student Affairs, 36 S. Wabash Ave., suite 1204,
Chicago, IL 60603, 312.629.6800, email@example.com.
For further information on notice of nondiscrimination, see
for Civil Rights Discrimination Complaint Form for the
address and phone number of the office that serves your area, or
REQUESTS FOR ACCOMMODATIONS
SAIC provides reasonable accommodations during the interview
process for candidates with disabilities in adherence with the
Americans with Disabilities Act. Should you require an
accommodation to participate in an interview or other aspect of the
search process, please contact Molly Roth Scranton, Associate
Director of Faculty Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.