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Portland, USA
Program head
at Pacific Northwest College of Art

Pacific Northwest College of Art is seeking a program head of the MFA in collaborative design and MA in design systems at its Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies in Portland, USA.

The collaborative design and design systems programs produce creative leaders who apply a systems mindset and a toolkit of design, analytical and entrepreneurial skills to drive positive impact in private, public and non-profit sectors.

The successful candidate will bring a compelling vision of how design thinking, facilitation skills, systems-based thinking, a human-centred approach and a background in interactive or experiential design can prepare students for a future in design. This candidate will also be able to show how these approaches can amplify a background in interactive or experiential design to inform and shape both the private and public sectors. The candidate will have strong connections to national and international creative communities, practice and resources and the desire to create an internationally competitive program. The candidate will also be charged with the development of another graduate-level design program built off the current infrastructure of the CD/DS programs.

The program head will organise and teach courses each semester, serve as the primary advisor to the students and provide leadership and representation of the program. They will also co-author and collaborate with the director of the HFSGS, as well as undergraduate and graduate program leaders to build curricular relationships and strengthen the program’s reach across the institution.

The program head will lead the program faculty and create opportunities for student learning and professional development. The program head participates in recruitment for the program alongside the associate and assistant administrative directors of the graduate school and will work to expand program visibility. The program head and the other program faculty form the backbone of the academic experience, supplemented by PNCA’s extended community of visiting artists and designers, 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.

Primary job functions:

  • work collaboratively with the staff and faculty in HFSGS in recruitment strategies to increase applicant quality
  • support recruitment and enrollment to meet designated annual targets
  • build new design program making use of the collaborative design curriculum and structure
  • maintain collegial program relationships with both internal and external constituencies
  • teach four classes per year, with at least three in the collaborative design program
  • work with faculty and the graduate curriculum committee to develop, evaluate and continually improve course content and syllabi and achieve learning outcomes
  • coordinate the assignment of faculty and professional mentors
  • help create and maintain a highly positive community of program faculty, students and other stakeholders
  • work with financial aid and student services offices to communicate with and support MFA students
  • supervise safe and healthy studio practices amongst students
  • develop, propose and help manage the MFA budget on an annual basis
  • participate in faculty committees
  • maintain relevant and effective processes to evaluate student outcomes, curriculum, faculty and mentors in order to determine and implement productive improvement initiatives
  • work with the HFSGS director and support team to position the CD/DS programs and PNCA to retain and successfully recruit students from a national and international reputation in arts education
  • help the graduate school raise program visibility and use professional networks to support the visiting artist program and the program as a whole
  • support the HFSGS director in the selection of visiting artists
  • grow graduate-level curricular offerings across PNCA graduate programs
  • support institutional values and vision of the Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies
  • serve as a professional mentor and academic advisor for all students in the AC+D program
  • manage and facilitate a strong sense of community within the program and with other stakeholders
  • work with the director of career services, Bridgelab (the PNCA entrepreneurship resource centre) and others to establish internships and other professional opportunities for graduate students
  • help organise and participate in successful graduate orientation and other related programming
  • participate in the accreditation evaluation process
  • create and maintain strategies to support CD+DS alumni

Required qualifications:

  • MFA degree or higher in fine art, design, architecture, applied arts or related degree
  • thorough understanding of contemporary and historical issues in design
  • understanding of core contemporary and historical models of ecological/sustainable art and design practice
  • knowledge of, and experience in, both studio and business practice of design
  • hands-on experience with the processes of making and building
  • ability to build, implement and use evaluative measures to assess student outcomes and program success

  • Applications have closed.