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Job ID: 187009

Department Chair of Interior Design
Iowa State University

Date Posted Jun. 8, 2022
Title Department Chair of Interior Design
University Iowa State University
Ames, IA, United States
Department College of Design
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
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  • Department Head/Head/Chair
  • Design - Interior Design

Position Overview

Iowa State University (ISU) seeks candidates for the position of chair for the Department of Interior Design in the College of Design at the rank of Associate or Full Professor. The chair is the designated executive officer of the department and is responsible for leadership and oversight of central departmental administrative operations. As a dynamic and accomplished leader, the chair must articulate a mission for the department within both disciplinary and interdisciplinary contexts. The successful candidate must have a passion for design education and professional commitment to excellence that supports all three dimensions of the land-grant mission: education, research/creative inquiry, and outreach. The chair must also demonstrate commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion among students, staff, and faculty.

The approximately 180 undergraduate students, 15 graduate students and 10 faculty members who comprise the Department of Interior Design share a commitment to excellence. Over the past decade, ISU interior design students and studios have won multiple national and international awards, including 17 winners or finalists in the Hospitality Design Awards since 2008, and students have participated in several Venice Biennale Sessions. The department is recognized for its development of interdisciplinary collaborations.

In 2019-20, DesignIntelligence ranked our CIDA-accredited undergraduate program 15th among 169 accredited undergraduate interior design programs in the United States, Canada, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Also in 2019-20, our undergraduate and graduate programs ranked seventh in the “Most Hired From” category according to DesignIntelligence. In 2018, our graduate program ranked 9th in the nation in the focus areas of sustainable built environments, adaptive design, and resilient design.

The Department of Interior Design offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design (BFA), a Master of Arts in Interior Design (MA), a Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design (MFA), and an interdisciplinary double degree with the Department of Architecture (MA-MArch). The department also offers experiential learning in immersive study abroad programs, a professional internship program, many interdisciplinary initiatives, and strategic collaborations with other highly ranked colleges and departments.

The ideal candidate for the next chair of the Department of Interior Design is someone who values innovation and discovery, understands the interior design practice and aspirations, is an effective and responsive communicator, is a consensus-builder and collaborator, demonstrates competencies in successful budget planning, and will advocate on behalf of the department with alumni and industry. In this capacity, the chair serves at the pleasure of the dean of the College of Design.


Duties of the Chair

  • Provides leadership, strategy, and vision to the department in collaboration with faculty, students, and administrators.
  • Articulates departmental mission, values, and interests, within the university and beyond.
  • Implements a clear vision for advancing the department in all three dimensions of the land-grant mission: education, research/creative inquiry, and outreach.
  • Supervises curricular development and teaching and oversees program assessment and accreditation.
  • Mentors and supports the departmental faculty members through promotion and advancement.
  • Manages the departmental budget and personnel.
  • Maintains and strengthens interdisciplinary connections with other college/university programs, as well as with communities, professionals, and other external stakeholders (alumni, donors, and industry partners).
  • Supports college/department/university efforts in recruitment, marketing, communication, and fundraising.
  • Promotes the visibility and impact of the department and its community within national and international contexts.
  • Engages in scholarship and teaching activities.


Required Minimum Qualifications

  • A bachelor’s degree in interior design, interior architecture, architecture, or equivalent + 10 years of experience.
  • Scholarly and/or professional credentials that meet the standards for tenure in the College of Design at Iowa State University.
  • A clear understanding of interior design professional practice.
  • A successful record of academic or professional experience.


Preferred Qualifications

  • An advanced/post-professional degree in interior design, interior architecture, architecture, or equivalent.
  • A successful demonstration of leadership experience.
  • Involvement in professional associations at national and/or international levels.
  • A successful record of professional and/or academic accomplishments in interior design and/or other related fields (e.g., academic and/or professional recognition).
  • Evidence of diversity, equity, and inclusion practices.

Iowa State University is a global and culturally diverse university committed to providing an inclusive, equitable, and diverse environment for both learning and employment. We know that diversity in experience and perspective is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and building an inclusive academic community. At Iowa State, we translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience working with diverse students, colleagues, and constituents. The university has an expectation that all employees will demonstrate a contribution to diversity and inclusion as embodied in Iowa State University’s Principles of Community

All offers of employment, oral and written, are contingent upon the university’s verification of credentials and other information required by federal and state law, ISU policies/procedures, and may include the completion of a background check and/or a consumer credit check.

Iowa State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, marital status, disability, or protected veteran status and will not be discriminated against. Inquiries can be directed to the Office of Equal Opportunity, 3410 Beardshear Hall, 515 Morrill Road, 515 294-7612, email

Iowa State University is classified as a Carnegie Foundation Doctoral/Research University-Extensive and ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top public universities in the nation. More than 30,000 students are enrolled and are served by over 6,200 faculty and staff.


Application Instructions:

Review of applicants will begin September 1, 2022 and will continue as needed until a pool of qualified applicants is identified.

To apply for this position, please click on “Apply” and complete the Employment Application. Evaluation of requirements will be based on:

1) A current resume or CV

2) Letter of application addressing the candidate’s qualifications for this position and their vision for interior design education and practice

3) Contact information (email and phone) for three professional references

4) A portfolio including 5 work samples in scholarship, practice and/or student projects (5MB maximum, may include links to audio/video content)

For information concerning this position, or to make a nomination, please contact:

Seda McKilligan,

Search Committee Chair for Chair of the Department of Interior Design

Only complete applications will be accepted. If you have questions regarding this application process, please email or call 515-294-4800 or Toll Free: 1-877-477-7485.


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