California Institute of the Arts — Dean of the School of Film / Video

As the first higher education institution in the nation to offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in the visual and performing arts, the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) is in the top tier of highly competitive art schools. Established in 1961 by Walt and Roy Disney, CalArts emerged with a bold new paradigm for arts education, promising the freedom to create with boundless imagination, unfettered by conventional expectations. Located on a campus 25 miles north of Hollywood, the Institute has helped fuel several movements in the arts, its graduates fanning out internationally in every major arts arena. CalArts’ commitment to nurturing and exploring the artistic process and its concomitant pedagogy rooted in intense mentorship causes it to stand out—not only to provide a top-quality education to its students, but also to serve as a global model for others to study and emulate.

CalArt’s School of Film/Video is best described as a dynamic laboratory seeking to create new forms of cinematic conception, production, and exhibition. The School fosters an expansive and unparalleled range of film and media production and students work in all modes of moving image- and sound-based artwork, from dramatic narrative to experimental and abstract work, including story- and character-based work in live-action and animated cinema; essayistic, socio-political, and observational documentary projects in live-action, animation, installation, and hybrid forms; and poetic, lyrical, structural, and other modes of experimentation with the materials and forms of the moving image. The School of Film/Video houses four programs, each of which has a long and distinguished impact within the culture of film art, experimental media, and animation. In all of its four programs, students are asked to push the boundaries of media, investigate deeply different traditions and practices, and embrace creative risks in their work. Students gain a highly individualized experience and path through the curriculum, which is grounded in the unique mentor-based model of the school. The School works for students to understand a broad variety of career paths within the world of film/video and sound/image making and also develop their own sustainable processes within those potentials. The School aims to produce graduates who are empowered as complete makers. As a result, the alumni of the School of Film/Video have distinguished themselves in every area of independent media art making and commercial filmmaking.

California Institute of the Arts seeks an innovative leader to be the next Dean of the School of Film/Video to build upon its existing strengths in preparing global artistic citizens and bolster the school’s national and international reputation. This visionary will be the artistic, educational, and administrative head of the School, cementing its role as a pioneering institution of moving image education that anticipates and impacts the future of film and video. With a focus on innovation with integrity and ensuring broad understanding of the complex and changing pressures that are upon the entire sector of higher education, the Dean will be a leader across CalArts in a competitive higher education environment that challenges organizations to make a case for value to students; to define what sets the organization apart from other art schools and film schools; to attract and retain students; and to recruit, support, and develop a peerless faculty. The ideal candidate will be nationally and/or internationally recognized with a strong pedigree in film/video education and/or practice; they will also be knowledgeable, sophisticated, and conversant in contemporary discourse across the spectrum of the arts and higher education in the arts. This individual will have earned a degree in a relevant field and have experience in higher education administration, as well as significant experience teaching.

The Dean will assume primary responsibility for the academic programs of the School of Film/Video, ensuring an environment in which meaningful instruction, research, creativity, and service can thrive. This leader will represent and participate in the school’s vibrant community of artists as they redefine film/video education, scholarship, and making art using the moving image. Working with President Ravi Rajan, Provost Dr. Tracie Costantino, other academic deans, and members of the institute community, the Dean of the School of Film/Video will help define, develop, and disseminate CalArts’ core mission and values as a model for all arts education. In addition, the Dean ensures that the School is an essential contributor to the betterment of the entire Institute by its integration with, and contributions to, programs and initiatives that further the unique community of artists that is CalArts.

A review of applications will begin immediately, and will continue until the position is filled. For fullest consideration, applicant materials should be received by January 20, 2020. A complete position description can be accessed at: Nominations, applications, and requests for additional information should be directed to CalArts’ consultants:
Shelli Herman and Associates, Inc.
Attention: Shelli Herman