University of California Santa Cruz — Performance, Play & Design: Professor of Game Design

Performance, Play & Design: Professor of Game Design

Position overview
Position title: Professor of Game Design
Salary range: Commensurate with qualifications and experience; academic year (nine-month basis).

Anticipated start: July 1, 2022, with academic year beginning September 2022.

Application Window

Open date: October 7th, 2021

Next review date: Monday, Jan 10, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Thursday, Jun 30, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position Description

The Art & Design: Games & Playable Media Program (AGPM) at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) invites applications for a full Professor rank (tenured) position in the field of experimental game design, creative practice, and interactive experience design. We invite candidates working at the conjunction of games, performance, and new media to apply. This recruitment opens simultaneously to the launch of AGPM’s newly-formed home department: Performance, Play & Design (PPD). This new, senior-level faculty position will play a leading role in designing and expanding our innovative practice-based curricula to ensure that it meets the needs of our diverse community of creative scholars and makers.

Among academic institutions, PPD is a one-of-a-kind interdisciplinary department that blends faculty in theater, performance studies, dance, game design, digital art, and interactive media to create a shared environment for creative research at the forefront of these fields. Within this context, faculty continue to grow the popular AGPM program to develop original approaches to game design and game creation, to encourage subjective and experimental approaches to play, and to engage with contemporary issues of justice and critical approaches to games and interactivity in order to push the bounds of immersive media.

The successful candidate for this position has an established game-making practice of national and/or international impact, demonstrates prominence in the field of game design, and engages in a teaching philosophy that allows students to take creative risks and discover their distinctive voice. The ideal candidate approaches games as both a technological and artistic practice and demonstrates a deep understanding of the fields of game design and game studies. We have a preference for candidates with a multidisciplinary orientation that includes areas such as: digital art and animation; theater and performance studies; visual, audio, interface and narrative design; the physical and embodied connection to play; the capacity for games to engage us in new ways of thinking; and critical histories and theories of games and new media. In addition, we seek a candidate with evidence of inclusive teaching practices who works effectively with undergraduate and graduate students from diverse academic and sociocultural backgrounds. Applicants from historically excluded groups are especially encouraged to apply.

The program is committed to radical pedagogies which are anti-racist, LGBTQ+ affirming, and value the lived experiences of historically oppressed people. AGPM students form a shared cohort with students in the Computer Science: Game Design B.S. program, frequently collaborating on the creation of analog and digital games. The faculty member in this position will be teaching game design, digital art, and critical design practices to students from both the Arts Division and the Baskin School of Engineering that have a shared interest in games. AGPM faculty teach and collaborate across the university, with ties to Art, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Feminist Studies, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, and Digital Art and New Media.

UC Santa Cruz values diversity, equity, and inclusion and is committed to hiring faculty who share these values. UC Santa Cruz is a Hispanic-Serving Institution with a high proportion of first-generation students. To be considered, candidates must understand the barriers facing historically oppressed groups in higher education, and, through teaching, research, professional activity and/or creative practice, demonstrate effective strategies which support the recruitment and success of underrepresented groups in creative, professional, and/or scholarly fields. Activities promoting equity and inclusion at UC Santa Cruz will be recognized as important university service during the faculty promotion process. An example of the rubric that we will use to evaluate the statement of contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion can be viewed at

The campus currently operates on a schedule of three 11-week quarters per academic year. In accordance with the department’s workload policy, PPD faculty are required to:

  • Teach the equivalent of four five-unit courses classes per year.
  • Mentor and advise undergraduate and graduate students, including overseeing student projects/research.
  • Maintain an active profile of ongoing creative research. UC Santa Cruz is a Research 1 University.
  • Contribute service to the department, Arts Division, and university at large.

The chosen candidate will be expected to sign a statement representing that they are not the subject of any ongoing investigation or disciplinary proceeding at their current academic institution or place of employment, nor have they in the past ten years been formally disciplined at any academic institution/place of employment. In the event the candidate cannot make this representation, they will be expected to disclose in writing to the hiring Dean the circumstances surrounding any formal discipline that they have received, as well as any current or ongoing investigation or disciplinary process of which they are the subject. (Note that discipline includes a negotiated settlement agreement to resolve a matter related to substantiated misconduct.)

Performance, Play & Design:


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

  • MFA or PhD (or equivalent foreign degree) in experimental games design, interactive experience design, or a relevant creative practice; or a minimum of eight years of industry experience relevant to the advertised position.
  • Record of research and /or creative production.
  • Teaching experience in higher education.

Application Requirements

Document requirements

  • *Research / Artisitic Statement
  • *Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – Statement addressing your understanding of the barriers facing traditionally underrepresented groups and your past and/or future contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion through teaching and professional or public service. Candidates are urged to review guidelines on statements (see before preparing their application.

    *Our initial screening of applications will focus only on these document requirements: Research/Artistic Statement and the Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Please review the guidelines on the elements of a good diversity statement and the standard rubric for assessing diversity statements.

  • Curriculum Vitae – Your most recently updated C.V.
  • Cover Letter – Letter of application that briefly summarizes your qualifications and interest in the position.
  • Portfolio of Published/Completed Games – Please provide a PDF document with descriptions and URL links to your games.
  • Statement of Teaching – Statement describing your teaching interests, teaching philosophy, and professional achievements and activities.
  • Sample Work of Current/Previous Students – As evidence of successful instruction, provide one PDF document with brief descriptions and URL links to ten images of work completed by your current or previous students.
  • Writing Sample (Optional)

Reference requirements

  • 3-5 required (contact information only)

Applicants must provide the names and contact information of their references. The hiring unit will request confidential letters** from the references of those applicants who are under serious consideration. Note that your references, or dossier service, will submit their confidential letters directly to the UC Recruit System.

**All letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. For any reference letter provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service, career center), direct the author to UCSC’s confidentiality statement at
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Campus Information

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees. Inquiries regarding the University’s equal employment opportunity policies may be directed to the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 or by phone at (831) 459-2686.

Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Certain UCSC positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check (see The university sponsors employment-based visas for nonresidents who are offered academic appointments at UC Santa Cruz (see

UCSC is a smoke & tobacco-free campus.

If you need accommodation due to a disability, please contact Disability Management Services at (831) 459-4602.

UCSC is committed to addressing the spousal and partner employment needs of our candidates and employees. As part of this commitment, our institution is a member of the Northern California Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (NorCal HERC). Visit the NorCal HERC website at to search for open positions within a commutable distance of our institution.

The University of California offers a competitive benefits package and a number of programs to support employee work/life balance. For information about employee benefits please visit

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy. All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of Full Vaccination or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, and/or Religious Objection) or Deferral (based on pregnancy) no later than the applicable deadline. For new University of California employees, the applicable deadline is eight weeks after their first date of employment. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.)


Job location

Santa Cruz, California

To apply, visit