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Job ID: 198137

Assistant Professor in Art and Design (Photo Video)
California Polytechnic University

Date Posted Oct. 31, 2022
Title Assistant Professor in Art and Design (Photo Video)
University California Polytechnic University
San Luis Obispo, CA, United States
Department Art and Design More About This Department...
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Sep. 14, 2023
  • Associate Professor
  • Film/Video
    Digital Media
    Art - Photography

ART AND DESIGN ‐ Assistant Professor of Photo & Video, full‐time, academic year, tenure track position beginning September 14, 2023, in the College of Liberal Arts at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience.

The Department of Art and Design at Cal Poly is seeking a photography/video teacher-scholar who is enthusiastic about teaching in an undergraduate, student-centered educational environment. Teaching responsibilities will include photography and video courses from introductory to advanced, with a focus on developing student’s skills for careers in advertising, illustration, print and online editorial work, and fine art photography and video practices. Classes may include, but are not limited to, artificial lighting, large format photography, editorial and advertising photography and video; video practices that include narrative, documentary, and experimental video art; black and white darkroom and alternative processes of photography; critical theory and practice; current professional practices and capstone senior portfolio courses. The successful candidate will contribute to an accredited BFA in Art and Design with concentrations in graphic design, photography/video, and studio art. All faculty are expected to participate in the following: curriculum development, cross-disciplinary dialogue and critiques with colleagues, supervision of student-related activities, undergraduate advising, departmental recruiting, and committee service within the department, college, and university.

At California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, we believe that cultivating an environment that embraces and promotes diversity is fundamental to the success of our students, our employees, and our community. Bringing people together from different backgrounds and experiences fosters the innovative and creative thinking that exemplifies Cal Poly’s values of free inquiry and reflection on impacts of cultural context, mutual respect, civic engagement, and social and environmental responsibility. Cal Poly's commitment to DEI informs our efforts in recruitment, hiring and retention. California Polytechnic State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.

The College of Liberal Arts (CLA) sees diversity as central to its mission and is committed to fostering an equitable and inclusive environment within the college and university. We value our diversity of complex and intersecting identities, while striving to maintain an environment that is socially just, equitable, respectful, and inclusive. The successful applicant should be able to clearly demonstrate how they have infused these values and student learning objectives into their work. They should be prepared to present clear examples of how they would infuse these areas into their work as a faculty member.

Cal Poly is committed to the teacher-scholar model. All faculty members are expected to develop and sustain an active program of scholarship and/or creative activity at a national/international level as well as demonstrate a commitment to, or potential for teaching excellence. The College of Liberal Arts is committed to enhancing the diversity and inclusiveness of the campus community and the curriculum. Candidates who can contribute to this goal in their teaching and scholarly work are encouraged to apply and identify their strengths and experiences in these areas. The successful candidate must have the ability to work effectively with students, staff and faculty from diverse ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

The typical teaching load is 12 units (three courses) per quarter, with a reduction in course load in each of the first two years to facilitate a smooth transition to Cal Poly and a positive start to their professional career. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience. Initial appointment is for two years, subject to renewal. 

 Required Qualifications
A Master of Fine Arts (MFA) or equivalent advanced degree by the time of appointment; strong evidence of professional work and technical ability. Candidate must possess strong skills in advanced contemporary photography and video practices; creative engagement in media-based research and professional work; excellent communication and problem-solving skills; knowledge of contemporary issues in photography and video and media history; mastery of appropriate analogue and digital techniques and software applications for shooting, editing, and printing media work; and ability to teach current media practices and skills to undergraduate students.

Preferred Qualifications
Candidate should demonstrate a commitment to remain current in contemporary issues of photography and video and should foster critical and comparative thinking in a liberal arts environment; interest in working within a liberal arts environment and developing collaborative professional relationships across the University. Two or more years of college level teaching experience in photography, video or related media arts is preferred.

Preferred technical skills include: studio lighting; medium and large format photography; analogue and digital printing; digital video production including cinematography, lighting, editing and sound design; interactive, virtual, animation and new genres. Demonstrated established success in field of research and college teaching beyond graduate assistantship requested. In addition, we are especially interested in applicants who have experience in working with underrepresented students in research, teaching, service, advising, mentoring, and/or the community.

Department Information
The Art and Design Department offers a four-year curriculum leading to a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. The curriculum prepares students for professional participation in three concentrations: graphic design, photography & video, or studio art. The department offers a balanced experience in the arts that includes: 2-D and 3-D studio art, art history, graphic design, interaction design photography and video, critical theory, and general education in liberal arts.

The Department of Art and Design promotes individual vision and creative excellence. The curriculum provides a strong foundation in the creation, history, and theory of the visual arts that prepares students for professional careers and graduate studies. Art and Design emphasizes experimentation, problem solving, and interdisciplinary collaboration informed by global awareness.

Currently the Art and Design Department, in the College of Liberal Arts, has three Studio Art professors, three Photo and Video professors, three Graphic Design professors, two Art History professors, and 14 lecturers across the three concentrations. The Department serves approximately 236 majors and 85 minors as well as students throughout the university in General Education offerings. The department website is

Cal Poly's Art & Design Department is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).


How to Apply

To apply, please visit, complete a required online faculty application and apply to Requisition # 519270. Please upload the following required materials as part of the electronic application:

  • Cover letter addressing the required and preferred qualifications. 
  • Resume/CV. 
  • Statement of Diversity and Inclusion describing how your experiences would demonstrate a commitment in these areas as an instructor at Cal Poly—including your thoughts on teaching a diverse student population and creating an inclusive learning environment.  
  • Artist statement 
  • Unofficial copy of transcripts of highest degree earned (official sealed transcripts required prior to appointment). 
  • Sample Syllabi (if available)  
  • List of classes qualified to teach
  • A PDF of twenty (20) examples of recent professional work and twenty (20) examples of recent student work (if available). These documents should be submitted as a single PDF file, no larger than 150mb (provide links to online content within the PDF when necessary). 

Please be prepared to provide three (3) professional references with names and email addresses when completing the application.  Cal Poly will directly solicit letters from the individuals listed by applicants. Official sealed transcript showing highest degree earned will be required prior to appointment. This position is open until filled. Please contact the department at for questions, instructions, or to send supplementary materials by mail.  

  • The person holding this position is considered a 'mandated reporter' under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.

    Following a conditional offer of employment, a background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate may start work with Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may result in the withdrawal of the offer of employment. Note: Cal Poly cannot deny an applicant a position solely or in part due to a criminal conviction history until it has performed an individualized assessment and linked the relevant conviction history with specific job duties in the position being sought.

    Please note: Current employees who are offered positions on campus will be required to undergo a background check for any position where a background check is required by law or that Cal Poly has designated as sensitive. Sensitive positions are those requiring heightened scrutiny of individuals holding the position based on potential for harm to children, concerns for the safety and security of people, animals, or property, or heightened risk of financial loss to Cal Poly or individuals in the university community.

    For health and well-being, Cal Poly is a smoke & tobacco-free campus. The university is committed to promoting a healthy environment for all members of our community.

    The CSU requires faculty, staff, and students who are accessing campus facilities to be immunized against COVID-19 or declare a medical or religious exemption from doing so.  Any candidates advanced in a search process should be prepared to comply with this requirement The systemwide policy can be found at CSU Vaccination Policy and any questions you have may be submitted to

    In accordance with the California State University (CSU) Out-of-State Employment Policy, the CSU is a state entity whose business operations reside within the State of California and prohibits hiring employees to perform CSU related work outside of California.

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

Contact Information

  • Lana Caplan
    Art and Design
    California Polytechnic University
    San Luis Obispo, CA


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