University of Connecticut — Assistant Professor – Art, Graphic Design

INTRODUCTION
The Department of Art and Art History in the School of Fine Arts at the University of Connecticut invites applications for a full-time, tenure-track position in Graphic Design at the rank of Assistant Professor. The successful candidate will have the experience and ability to contribute significantly to the vision and objectives of graphic design within the Department. The program focuses on graphic design as an exploratory process within a fine arts context. A hands-on, conceptual approach to typography, design, interactivity, objects, and environments is sought. The anticipated start date is August 23, 2023.

The successful candidate will be expected to contribute to the research and scholarship missions of the Department, School, and University. These contributions may include national recognition as measured through both commissioned and self-initiated creative projects and exhibitions, grants, and awards. The successful candidate should be prepared to collaborate with other departments in the School of Fine Arts and throughout the University. In the area of teaching, the successful candidate will share a deep commitment to effective instruction at the undergraduate and graduate levels, possess experience in the development of innovative courses, and can mentor students. Successful candidates will also be expected to broaden participation among members of under-represented groups; demonstrate through their research, teaching, and/or public engagement the richness of diversity in the learning experience; integrate multicultural awareness into instructional methods and research tools, and; provide leadership in developing pedagogical techniques designed to meet the needs of a variety of learning styles and intellectual interests.

The successful candidate will be curious, inquisitive, and eager to explore multifaceted collaborations and cooperative conduits between existing disciplines within the Department (art history, painting/drawing, photography/video, printmaking, sculpture/ceramics, illustration/animation, industrial design), as well as within the University at large; intrigued by potential and able to discover and implement innovative methodologies; able to identify broad and imaginative solutions; embrace the approach that art and design are evolving modalities in which thinking and making require both mastery and improvisation; able to write and direct compelling project briefs that develop and challenge intellectual curiosity; infuse each brief with a clear approach to soft skills (ideation, conceptualization, analysis, process) combined with appropriate hard skills (technical, digital, and manual); value concept and the generation and communication of those concepts into clear and appropriate form; interested in the creative potential of technology and its function within artistic, social, and cultural dynamics; value the craft necessary to realize an idea and believe in rigorous formal quality, technical and manual agility, and the analysis (and re-analysis) of design problems from a range of perspectives; possess a fluency in skills, processes, and approaches, intersecting at the crossroads of art and design. Skills may include but are not limited to creative coding, experimental interactive design, information design, installations and exhibition design, 3D and 2D software, print media, as well as other forms of thinking and making.

Information about the undergraduate Graphic Design program in the Department of Art and Art History can be found at the following link https://art.uconn.edu/graphic-design/.

The Department of Art and Art History has over 170 undergraduate majors, 15 graduate students, and a full-time faculty of 21, along with several specialist adjunct faculty and a committed team of staff. The Department is dedicated to the cultivation of artists and scholars with a wide-ranging understanding of the concepts, aesthetics, techniques, and social functions of contemporary art practices within broader historical and cultural contexts. The Department of Art and Art History offers a BA in Art History, a BFA in Studio Art, a newly formed BA in Art, and an MFA in Studio Art. The Department is also committed to enriching the wider University and regional community through a range of courses for non-majors, minor programs in studio art and art history, and a variety of offerings at UConn’s regional campuses across the state, as well as through major public exhibitions and thematic programming in collaboration with other departments and schools across the University. Additional information about the Department of Art and Art History can be found at: http://art.uconn.edu.

The University of Connecticut is a comprehensive, public, R1 institution. The Storrs campus is located in a beautiful area of New England, with a moderate cost of living and proximity to major cultural, recreational, and urban centers of the Northeast. The University community provides residents with a rich diversity of cultural, artistic, athletic, and historic experiences, and the surrounding area offers affordable quality housing and top schools for faculty and families.

Founded in 1881, UConn is a Land Grant and Sea Grant institution and member of the Space Grant Consortium. It is the state’s flagship institution of higher education and includes a main campus in Storrs, CT, four regional campuses throughout the state, and 13 Schools and Colleges, including a Law School in Hartford, and Medical and Dental Schools at the UConn Health campus in Farmington. The University has approximately 10,000 faculty and staff and 32,000 students, including nearly 24,000 undergraduates and over 8,000 graduate and professional students. UConn is a Carnegie Foundation R1 (highest research activity) institution, among the top 25 public universities in the nation. Through research, teaching, service, and outreach, UConn embraces diversity and cultivates leadership, integrity, and engaged citizenship in its students, faculty, staff, and alumni. UConn promotes the health and well-being of citizens by enhancing the social, economic, cultural, and natural environments of the state and beyond. The University serves as a beacon of academic and research excellence as well as a center for innovation and social service to communities. UConn is a leader in many scholarly, research, and innovation areas. Today, the path forward includes exciting opportunities and notable challenges. Record numbers of undergraduate applications and support for student success have enabled the University to become extraordinarily selective.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

  • The successful candidate will actively engage as a multidisciplinary graphic designer through professional practice, research, education, and innovation.
  • Teach five, three-credit undergraduate courses per academic year with a 3/2 teaching load, which may include all levels of courses in graphic design, particularly courses focused on interactivity and creative computation, independent studies, and/or supervised internships, and actively participate in administration and development of the program and its curriculum.
  • Direct and manage the design center studio, a course devoted to professional practice and operated as a full-service design studio engaging clients both internal and external to the University. Project management skills are essential, as well as the ability to work with students to navigate all stages of design work from ideation to budgeting to final production.
  • Opportunity to direct a semester-long study abroad program in London, which currently rotates among full-time graphic design faculty.
  • Demonstrate dedication to vigorous academic excellence, rigorous liberal arts curriculum, and the vital importance of the fine arts and design in theory and practice in relation to social, cultural, economic, and emerging media.
  • Contribute to the larger curriculum of the Department through the reevaluation of the current curriculum and developing new courses, which may be interdisciplinary within and outside of the Department.
  • Additional duties include advising students; assisting with the maintenance of Department studios and facilities; contributing to the Department’s recruitment and outreach activities, and event and visiting artist programs; attending faculty meetings and serving on committees to participate in School and faculty governance; contributing additional service at the Department, School, and University levels.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

  • Master of Fine Arts degree in graphic design, visual communication, or closely and demonstrably related study.
  • Expertise in graphic design and typography as defined broadly to include applied and conceptual issues and practices, with experience in both traditional and digital media.
  • Two years of teaching experience beyond teaching assistantship at the college level and three years of professional experience in graphic design either as a freelance practitioner or in a design studio.
  • Evidence of exceptional creative work and student work must be demonstrated in the submitted portfolios.
  • Demonstrated ability to contribute to interdisciplinary initiatives and capacity to work across disciplines within the Department is also a necessity.
  • Evidence of ability to teach both introductory and advanced level courses that encompass conceptual and applied issues.
  • Project management skills are essential, as well as the ability to work with students to navigate all stages of design work from ideation to budgeting to final production.
  • A strong record of creatively interpretive and conceptually astute work.
  • Proficiency in current web design technologies and interactive practices.
  • Fluency with digital tools (Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc.).

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • Visionary skills to foster and expand the design center studio.
  • Knowledge of contemporary and historical issues and theory in graphic design.
  • Innovative visual thinking in both analog and digital processes.
  • Experience working within a strong art department situated within an equally strong liberal arts institution, and a reflection of this in teaching pedagogies.
  • A range of experiences working in different design environments, including but not limited to studio, freelance, and in-house; successful record of managing and overseeing junior designers.
  • Experience with student advising, departmental service, and evidence of continuing creative activity and professional development in the field, in addition to a record of effective teaching.

APPOINTMENT TERMS
This is a full-time, tenure-track position with an anticipated start date of August 23, 2023. The successful candidate’s academic appointment will be at the Storrs campus, though faculty members may also be asked to teach at one of UConn’s regional campuses or online as part of their ordinary workload. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT
Employment of the successful candidate will be contingent upon the successful completion of a pre-employment criminal background check.

TO APPLY
Please apply online to Academic Jobs Online https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/24024 and submit the following application materials:

  • A cover letter;
  • Curriculum vitae;
  • Teaching statement (including teaching philosophy, teaching experience, commitment to effective learning, concepts for new course development, etc.);
  • Research and scholarship statement (innovative concepts that will form the basis of academic career, experience in proposal development, mentorship of graduate students, etc.);
  • Commitment to diversity statement (including broadening participation, integrating multicultural experiences in research as well as instruction and pedagogical techniques to meet the needs of different learning styles, etc.);
  • 20 digital images of professional work (or URL), 20 digital images of students’ work as available, and examples of creative briefs from courses taught, preferably in a single PDF with embedded links to online work. As an alternative, please include all additional material on a labeled CD, flash drive, or linked via a Cloud service (Dropbox, Google Docs, etc.);
  • Contact information for three professional references.

Review of applications will begin immediately and applications will continue to be reviewed until the position is filled.

Please contact Kelly Crossen at kelly.crossen@uconn.edu, Educational Program Assistant for the Department of Art & Art History, with any questions. For more information regarding the Department of Art & Art History, please visit the department website at art.uconn.edu.

At the University of Connecticut, our commitment to excellence is complemented by our commitment to building a culturally diverse community.

This position will be filled subject the budgetary approval.

All employees are subject to adherence to the State Code of Ethics which may be found at http://www.ct.gov/ethics/site/default.asp.

The University of Connecticut is committed to building and supporting a multicultural and diverse community of students, faculty and staff. The diversity of students, faculty and staff continues to increase, as does the number of honors students, valedictorians and salutatorians who consistently make UConn their top choice. More than 100 research centers and institutes serve the University’s teaching, research, diversity, and outreach missions, leading to UConn’s ranking as one of the nation’s top research universities. UConn’s faculty and staff are the critical link to fostering and expanding our vibrant, multicultural and diverse University community. As an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer, UConn encourages applications from women, veterans, people with disabilities and members of traditionally underrepresented populations.

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