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Job ID: 88424

Chair of MA in Critical Studies
Pacific Northwest College of Art

  • Dec. 27, 2016
  • Chair of MA in Critical Studies
  • Critical Studies
  • Pacific Northwest College of Art
    Portland, OR
    United States
  • Open until filled
  • Aug. 1, 2017
  • Department Head/Head/Chair
  • Art - General
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The Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) and its Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies is seeking a highly qualified individual to serve as Chair of its MA in Critical Studies program (formally Critical Theory and Creative Research ). Critical Studies investigates the forces that shape contemporary cultural production in the context of various constructs such as social media, biotechnology, gender, sustainability, politics, religion, revolutionary, social, and economic practices amongst others.

The MA in Critical Studies is a 45-credit, seminar- based program, and is one of six PNCA graduate offerings. PNCA’s graduate programs are in their tenth year and successfully draw students from around country and the world.

Rigorous training at the juncture of art, critical theory, writing, research methodologies, and dialogue prepare students for future opportunities in academia, cultural institutions, and emerging knowledge platforms. Students within and across our MA and MFA programs engage in the program’s curricular offerings through peer- to-peer collaboration, while working closely with program faculty and the Chair, who will serve as their primary advisor. MA students participate in intensive seminars, roundtables, workshops, and projects.

The Chair and the other program faculty form the backbone of the academic experience, supplemented by visiting artists, scholars and other creative/intellectual leaders, who bring added diversity, richness and intellectual depth to the students’ learning. PNCA and its Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies function as a laboratory where cross-pollination amongst artists, designers and scholars fosters a lively and imaginative community of making and critical discussion.

The desired candidate will have extensive experience in facilitating and designing a dynamic learning environment in service to research and related creative production. This program has a record of emphasizing student and alumni success and the MA Chair will build resources and connections in support of this goal. The desired

candidate will possess strong communication and interpersonal skills and be an enthusiastic team player within the College generally and the Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies generally. An extensive understanding of critical theory, art and culture and strong connections to national and international networks and practices are necessary qualifications. The desired candidate will be able to articulate a vision to sustain an internationally competitive MA program and further enhance it and the College’s reputation and profile.

The Critical Studies Chair will work closely with Enrollment Services and other faculty, staff and alumni to recruit and select the most suitable students, and to build a dynamic and diverse cohort. The Chair will organize and teach courses each semester, serve as the primary advisor to the students, and provide leadership and representation of the program wherever needed. S/he will also co-author and collaborate with the undergraduate and graduate programs to build curricular relationships and strengthen Critical Studies across the institution.


  • Position the MA in Critical Studies program and PNCA to successfully recruit students from a national and international base
  • Work with faculty and the Graduate Curriculum Committee to develop, evaluate, and continually improve course content and syllabi and achieve learning outcomes
  • Grow graduate level curricular offerings across PNCA graduate programs
  • Support institutional values and vision of the Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies
  • Partner with Admissions to recruit and enroll incoming classes in line with designated program targets
  • Work with Admissions and Marketing departments to continually create and update strategies for student recruitment
  • Serve as advisor for all students in the MA in Critical Studies Program
  • Develop and teach required courses each semester
  • Manage and facilitate a strong sense of community within the program and with other stakeholders
  • Maintain an annual roster of outstanding visiting artists/designers, scholars, curators, and theorists
  • Coordinate and manage the assignment of faculty
  • Raise program visibility and use networks to support the visiting artist program
  • Work with financial aid, student life to recruit and support MA students
  • Facilitate effective evaluation of student outcomes, curriculum and faculty
  • Based on annual evaluations, recommend and implement strategies for overall program improvement
  • Work with Director of Career Services, Bridgelab (the PNCA entrepreneurship resource center) and others to establish internships and other professional opportunities for graduates
  • Develop and manage the MA in Critical Studies budget on an annual basis
  • Participate on College planning and steering committees including the Graduate Curriculum Committee
  • Help to organize and participate in successful Graduate orientation and other related programming
  • Manage Graduate Coordinator position
  • Participate in accreditation evaluation process
  • Create and maintain strategies to support MA alumni


  • Successful college level teaching and student advising experience
  • MA or PHD, or related degree
  • Significant experience in curriculum development, scheduling, and management
  • Demonstrated excellence and achievement in their chosen field
  • Broad based expertise in modern and contemporary issues in critical theory, intellectual history and cultural production
  • Ability to facilitate critical dialogue, mentoring, and program development with students working across avenues of inquiry
  • A commitment to understand, discuss and support diverse student intentions
  • Ability to implement and undertake evaluative measures to assess student outcomes and program success
  • Ability to engage productively in institutional, long-range planning
  • Excellent writing and communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to forge strong relationships and connections with creative communities at the regional, national and international level


  • Well traveled with substantial cross and intercultural experience
  • Strong administrative experience
  • Experience with institutional evaluation/assessment processes


PNCA’s Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies currently consists of six programs: MFA in Visual Studies Program, MFA in Visual Studies Low Residency, MFA in Collaborative Design, MFA in Applied Craft and Design (with OCAC), MA in Critical Studies and the MFA in Print Media. Named in honor of the late Hallie Ford, the Graduate School’s purpose is to establish within PNCA innovative advanced programs in visual education. Through these programs PNCA is seeking collaborative relationships between students, international artists, and the region’s art, design and business communities, and to extend the institution’s intellectual resource platform.

Founded in 1909 and located in an award-winning campus in the heart of Portland, Oregon, PNCA’s mission is to prepare students for a life of creative practice. It is one of a handful of West Coast institutions accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design offering BFA and MFA degrees. Under the guidance of professional, practicing artists, designers, and scholars, undergraduate students may focus on Communication Design, Illustration, Video and Sound, Animated Arts, Intermedia, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, or Sculpture. A PNCA education is centered on the core themes of studio practice, professional practice, critical inquiry, and worldview. A PNCA education prepares students to interpret the conditions and events shaping the world, and enables them to engage that world and its cultures with understanding, enthusiasm and integrity.
Additional information at


Send letter of interest including: resume/CV with email contact information, statement of teaching philosophy, 2 syllabi, up to 10 samples of professional work (abstracts, shorts, excerpts up to 500 words each) in pdf format related to the program philosophy, up to 5 samples of student writing (abstracts, shorts, excerpts up to 500 words each) with project descriptions, URLs and/or digital portfolio, 2 letters of recommendation, contact information for 3 other references to:

Chair of MA in Critical Studies Search c/o Academic Affairs

Pacific Northwest College of Art 511 NW Broadway Street
Portland, OR 97209

If you have questions concerning the application requirements or other questions in relationship to this search
contact the Chair of the Search Committee, MK Guth –

  • Please indicate if you will be at CAA in February 2017.

PNCA recognizes that diverse classrooms and workplaces offer the richest learning opportunities and is committed to a policy of equality in our admission and employment practices. PNCA welcomes applications from candidates that expand the college’s diversity.

  • PNCA recognizes that diverse classrooms and workplaces offer the richest learning opportunities and is committed to a policy of equality in our admission and employment practices. PNCA welcomes applications from candidates that expand the college’s diversity.

Please reference in your cover letter when
applying for or inquiring about this job announcement.

Contact Information

  • Academic Affairs

    Pacific Northwest College of Art
    511 NW Broadway Street
    Portland, OR 97209


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