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Assistant Professor of Graphic Design and Studio Foundations (Society, Technology, and Environment Cluster Hire)

Apply now Job no: 495036
Position type: FAC - Tenure Track Faculty
Location: Allendale, Michigan
Categories: College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Summary: The Department of Visual and Media Arts seeks a full-time, 9-month, tenure-track assistant professor specializing in Graphic Design and Studio Foundations. This position will start August 6, 2024

This position is part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Cluster Hire in Society, Technology, and Environment — a cohort hire of scholars devoted to innovative curricular and multidisciplinary research initiatives. The successful candidate will be a tenure-track faculty member in the Visual and Media Arts department. They will be expected to collaborate with humanities teacher-scholars, writers, and artists/designers in CLAS and in other parts of the university to explore the relationships between human communities and the technologies and environments that influence them. The department also invites candidates for another position within the same cohort with expertise in Visual Studies and Studio Foundations. For more information about the CLAS cluster hire, please visit the link:

https://www.gvsu.edu/clas/clas-cluster-hire-in-society-technology-and-environment-1247.htm.

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 that inform pedagogy and scholarship, and diverse forms of collaboration with university, local, and regional communities. The successful candidate will:

  • Be committed to inclusive undergraduate teaching excellence and mentoring;
  • Teach throughout the Graphic Design curriculum, with the possibility of teaching Art and Design Foundations;
  • Integrate students' acquisition of current design formal practices while engaging with the broader cultural, ethical, and social implications of this work;
  • Remain committed to diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts in art and design practice.

The teaching responsibilities include 6 courses/year, professional advising of the Graphic Design emphasis majors, and participation in student portfolio reviews. Candidates with teaching experience for major and non-major populations will receive special consideration. Graphic Design is one of eight emphasis areas within the department’s robust Studio Art major, one of five major programs within the Department of Visual and Media Arts. 

The Graphic Design emphasis stresses the primacy of content, meaning, and impact; teaching communication through text and image, emphasizing conceptual thinking, design research, and engagement with technique and craft. The curriculum is designed to allow students to use typography, images, diagrams, motion, sequencing, color, and other visual elements effectively in the contexts of physical and digital experiences. Learners are asked to reflect on their work's interdependency within culture and anticipate the outcomes of their designs. Innovation in the context of the history of the profession is stressed.

We are interested in new and emerging fields that can contribute to diversifying the expertise in our emphasis/department. The successful candidate will have research and teaching interests with the potential to engage the West Michigan community. Candidates whose artistic/research portfolios demonstrate a commitment to public-facing or community-engaged scholarship, multidisciplinary collaboration, and/or a demonstrated digital humanities background are especially encouraged to apply. The university encourages interdisciplinary research and curriculum development with other majors, minors, and emphasis areas. Examples of future relationships within GVSU include the GVSU Community Service Learning Center, Advertising and Public Relations, Computer Science, Film and Video Production, Marketing, Writing, Studio Art and Photography majors, and the Digital Studies minor.

The position 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 and Education:

  • A terminal degree in Graphic Design, User Experience, or a related field (M.F.A., M.Des., Ph.D.) from an accredited university by August 6, 2024; ABD candidates will be considered for a two-year contract with the provision that the Ph.D. must be completed by December 2025.
  • Potential for successful college-level teaching and research in graphic design applied to creating physical and digital artifacts/experiences and their effects on psychological, social, economic, cultural, and technological systems.
  • Minimum of two years of professional experience as a scholar and/or practitioner in graphic design, user experience, service design, or related field.
  • Demonstrated expertise in at least two of these areas: typography, print design, editorial design, packaging design, user experience design, user interface design, brand development, service design, data visualization, design writing, and community-based design.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills, such as the ability to interact with others with respect, empathy, and cultural humility.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access. This could include experience using inclusive teaching practices; research relating to minoritized populations or social inequality; community-based outreach to minoritized and underserved communities; and other forms of DEI-infused teaching, scholarship, and/or service.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Minimum of two years of undergraduate teaching experience in graphic design, user experience, or design-related fields (teaching assistantships will be considered.).
  • Experience teaching major and non-major populations in face-to-face and online modalities.
  • Research/Creative interests that explore the intersections of graphic design and any of these fields: theory and criticism, data and digital rights, participatory research methods, social innovation, inclusion and equity, sustainability, and digital humanities. The ideal candidate would have research and teaching interests with the potential to engage the West Michigan community.

Responsibilities:

The chosen candidate will:

  • Teach 9 (nine) credits/semester in Graphic Design and/or Studio Foundations, maintain an active scholarship and/or creative practice in graphic design/related field and service.
  • Participate in student portfolio reviews at the sophomore, junior, and senior levels.
  • The successful candidate will work on a significant focus (equivalent to 3 credit hours) of additional responsibilities in teaching, scholarship/creative activity, and/or service, depending on the candidate's interests and the department’s needs.
  • Help advise the Graphic Design emphasis majors.
  • Provide leadership and vision in curriculum development.
  • Collaborate in the development of high-impact learning experiences, preferably with community involvement.
  • Participate in service activities commensurate with rank, interest, and department needs.

Salary/Benefits

The salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. 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 Benefits and Wellness - Grand Valley State University (gvsu.edu).

Department/College:

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. There are numerous collaborative opportunities for faculty and students across various partners within the department, across campus, and in the community. The department is located on the Allendale campus and has 34 full-time faculty and 720 majors. 19% of the students report 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).

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/photography 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 gvsu.edu/vma.

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. 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/University:  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 Detroit, Muskegon and Traverse City. The University attracts more than 20,000 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 offers rich cultural amenities. Grand Valley is located within easy driving distance of Chicago, Detroit, Lake Michigan beaches, and many other superb summer and winter recreational venues. Information can be found at Community Resources - Human Resources - Grand Valley State University (gvsu.edu). 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. The university seeks to create an inclusive and diverse environment for faculty and students while promoting enrichment of society through excellent teaching, active scholarship, and service. More information can be found at Grand Valley State University (gvsu.edu).

How to Apply:

The online application will allow applicants to attach these documents electronically. A complete application must include:

  1. A cover letter addressing qualifications and your interest in and potential contribution to the cluster.
  2. A statement that describes ongoing and anticipated activities to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in teaching, research/creative activity, and service, with particular attention to experiences engaging and supporting a diverse student body (submitted as “Leadership Philosophy”)
  3. A portfolio (PDF or URL) of scholarship/creative practice with 8–10 samples of works featuring any of the following: case studies, visual artifacts, experiential projects, design writing, etc. (submitted as “Research Interest(s)”)
  4. A curriculum vitae
  5. A sample syllabus for a previously taught course similar to an existing Grand Valley offering (see courses at https://www.gvsu.edu/vma/graphic-design-emphasis-bfa-20.htm) or a syllabus for a course the candidate would like to teach should they decide to join the faculty at GVSU (submitted as “Teaching Evaluations”)
  6. A teaching philosophy that highlights the candidate’s experience with learner-centered techniques (submitted as “Teaching Statement”)
  7. A copy of the graduate transcripts (unofficial issued to students are acceptable to apply)
  8. A portfolio (PDF or URL) of student works with 10–15 samples featuring any of the following: case studies, visual artifacts, experiential projects, design writing, etc. (submitted as “Other Documents”)
  9. Contact information of three professional references

Applicants selected for interviews must submit official transcripts before the interview. If you need assistance, call Human Resources at 616-331-2215.  Email questions about the position to Associate Professor Vinicius Lima, search committee chair, at limav@gvsu.edu. Please allow 3–5 business days for a response.

Preliminary candidate interviews will occur over the phone/online. Candidates should have reliable access to technology that will allow the use of videoconferencing software such as Zoom, MS Teams, Google Meet, or Skype. Accommodations within reason will be provided for qualified applicants.

Application Deadline:  The review process will begin on January 8th, 2024, and continue until the position is filled. The posting may be closed at any time at the discretion of the University.

The University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution, consistent with its obligations as a federal contractor. It encourages diversity and provides equal opportunity in education, employment, all of its programs, and the use of its facilities. It is committed to protecting the constitutional and statutory civil rights of persons connected with the University. Members of the University community, including students, employees, faculty, staff, administrators, Board members, consultants, vendors, others engaged to do business with the University, candidates for employment or admissions, and visitors or guests have the right to be free from acts of harassment and discrimination, including sexual misconduct, as defined by this policy. In accordance with applicable federal and state law and this policy, acts of discrimination or harassment by members of the campus community 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, sex/gender (including gender identity and expression), sexual orientation, veteran or active duty military status or weight. This includes inappropriate limitation of, access to, or participation in educational, employment, athletic, social, cultural, or other university programs and activities. The University will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities. Limitations are lawful if they are: directly related to a legitimate university purpose, required by law, or lawfully required by a grant or contract between the university and the state or federal government. For the purposes of this policy, sex-/gender-based harassment includes sexual misconduct, sexual assault, interpersonal or relationship violence, and stalking. See www.gvsu.edu/affirmative. 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.

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