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Job ID: 139016

Chair, Department of Graphic Design
Iowa State University

Date Posted Feb. 20, 2020
Title Chair, Department of Graphic Design
University Iowa State University
Ames, IA, United States
Department Graphic Design
Application Deadline Mar. 28, 2020
Position Start Date Available immediately
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  • Associate Professor
    Department Head/Head/Chair
  • Design - Graphic Design/Illustration

The Department of Graphic Design in the College of Design at Iowa State University is seeking a dynamic and accomplished leader, with an interest in collaborative and interdisciplinary design education, to join the faculty in the role of Department Chair at the rank of associate or professor with tenure. This position is a full-time (B-base, 9 month) appointment with a standard additional month of salary support during the summer. Additional summer support is negotiable.

Iowa State University is classified as a Carnegie Foundation Doctoral/Research University-Extensive, a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), and ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top public universities in the nation. Over 33,000 students are enrolled and served by over 6,000 faculty and staff (see Ames, Iowa is a progressive community of 60,000, located approximately 30 minutes north of Des Moines, and recently voted second best "Most Livable Small City" in the nation (see

Iowa State University launched the Graphic Design program in 1978, as part of the process to create one of the most comprehensive Colleges of Design in the country. The program became the Department of Graphic Design in 2010 with the vision to bridge the intersections between design academics, practitioners and end-users, by exploring new models, tools, and modes of working that strengthen design practice, promote quality of life, and build a world-class learning environment. The department includes 10 tenured/tenure-track faculty, 4 term faculty, and approximately 240 undergraduate and 24 graduate students. The Graphic Design department offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design (BFA), a Master of Arts in Experiential Graphic Design (MAXGD), and a Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design (MFA). Both the undergraduate and graduate programs are accredited. Moreover, the department offers minors, industry-sponsored projects, study abroad programs, an internship program, many interdisciplinary initiatives, and strategic collaborations with other highly-ranked colleges and departments.

The Chair is the designated executive officer of the department and is responsible for leadership and oversight of central departmental administrative operations. In this capacity, the chair serves at the pleasure of the Dean of the College of Design. The Graphic Design department is seeking candidates with 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.

Position Responsibilities:
- Articulate departmental mission, values and interests, within the University and beyond;
- Implement a clear vision for advancing the department in all three dimensions of the land-grant mission: education, research/creative inquiry, and outreach;
- Supervise curricular development and teaching, overseeing program assessment and accreditation;
- Manage the departmental budget, personnel and governance;
- Maintain and enhance inter-disciplinary connections with other College/University programs, as well as with communities, professionals and other internal relations (alumni, donors and industry partners);
- Support college/department/university efforts in recruitment, marketing, communication, and fundraising;
- Actively promote and expand the reach of graphic design across the state, increasing national recognition of the program and our graduates;
- Represent department and college at professional organizations and/or academic symposia;
- Engage in research, scholarship and teaching activities;
- Advise students and mentor faculty and administrative staff;
- Understand tenure and advancement requirements at the university-level, as to guide both tenure and advancement review processes;
- Commitment to the expanded role of design in society as agent of change and advocate for quality of life and sustainability;
- Commitment to all aspects of diversity and inclusion;
- Commitment to the broad and interdisciplinary education of design professionals;
- Lead effectively through collaborative engagement with faculty, students, and administrators.

Required Minimum Qualifications:
- Professional practice and/or terminal degree in Graphic Design and/or other related fields;
- Meet the qualifications for a tenured faculty in the College of Design at Iowa State University;
- Leadership experience.

Preferred Qualifications:
- Significant experience in academic administration and/or supervisory experience, including fiscal and personnel management;
- A successful record of professional accomplishments in Graphic Design and/or other related fields (e.g. industry awards and/or recognition, strong portfolio);
- A successful record of academic accomplishments in Graphic Design or a related field (e.g. funded research/creative scholarship);
- Active engagement in interdisciplinary collaborations;
- Demonstrated commitment to Diversity and Inclusion;
- Excellence in design education, including studio teaching and/or coordinating graduate level coursework;
- Professional and/or community service.

  • Iowa State University is an equal opportunity employer committed to excellence through diversity and strongly encourages applications from all qualified applicants, including women, underrepresented minorities, and veterans. ISU is responsive to the needs of dual career couples, is dedicated to work-life balance through an array of policies, and is an NSF ADVANCE institution. For more information about Iowa State University and its benefits, please visit

Please reference in your cover letter when
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Contact Information

  • Cameron Campbell
    Design Administration
    Iowa State University
    134 College of Design
    Ames, IA 50011
  • (515) 294-8881


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