chair, department of graphic design

Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar)

Valid from 17.01.2020 to 01.07.2020

Chair, Department of Graphic Design
Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar)
POSITION F18010 This full-time, 12-month position is at the rank of Assistant/Associate/Professor, is non-tenure-eligible, and begins July 1, 2020.
Application Deadline: Review of applications begins January 17, 2020 and continues until the position is filled. For full consideration, applications are due by 29 February 2020.


VCUarts Qatar invites engaged, charismatic, and collaboration-minded visionaries to serve as Chair of the Department of Graphic Design and lead a diverse and talented faculty in fulfilling the department’s mission that champions agency through competencies of collaboration, research, making, and cultural literacy. The Chair will be expected to facilitate, through innovative and contextualised teaching and research, an engagement in creative practices activated by content, condition, and impact. The Chair must possess a thorough knowledge of design education and contemporary research practices and believe in design’s potential to shape culture and enhance the human experience. Leaders who have a strong academic background with significant university experience are preferred. Candidates with international experience and/or experience with international students are encouraged to apply.

The Chair will oversee an academic program that offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in Graphic Design based on the curriculum offered to students pursuing the corresponding degree program at VCUarts Qatar’s main campus of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, Virginia. The Chair of the VCUarts Qatar Department of Graphic Design will foster a contemporary design studio environment that focuses on innovative teaching methods, techniques and practices, and responds to local, regional, and international contexts. Rigorous theoretical investigation, a historical perspective, and an awareness of contemporary discourses are emphasised in the BFA program as the basis for addressing present and future graphic design practices. This vital curriculum includes a thorough investigation of ethical and environmental responsibilities, and it stresses the contextual significance and influence of visual communication on society.

The Chair will be expected to collaborate closely with the VCUarts Department of Graphic Design to facilitate curricular development and connections between the two programs. The Chair will implement program goals, facilitate interdisciplinary approaches to professional education, initiate new directions and support for research activity, professional development and curriculum development, oversee adherence to accreditation guidelines, and increase the programs national and international involvement and visibility. In addition, the Chair is responsible for contributing to faculty governance and adhering to university policies and procedures, as well as making day-to-day administrative, academic, and managerial decisions. The Chair will further demonstrate leadership by fostering collaborative partnerships, curriculum, and research across Education City with university partners and Qatar Foundation Centers, as well as VCUarts and the broader VCU campus, to achieve the mission of Qatar Foundation to create a center of excellence in education and research that will help transform Qatar into a knowledge-based society.

With a termed Academic Administrator appointment, the Chair will hold a faculty position with teaching responsibilities determined each year upon consultation with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and consistent with their area of expertise. As a member of a community-oriented, tight-knit department and School, the Chair will provide service to the department and School, such as supporting student advising and serving on School/University committees. The Chair reports directly to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and supervises eight full-time members of faculty.

ABOUT VCUarts Qatar

VCUarts Qatar is the international branch campus of Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts (VCUarts). Located in Richmond, Virginia, VCUarts ( is the top-ranked public art school in the U.S. VCUarts Qatar was established in 1998 through a partnership with the Qatar Foundation and offers students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in fashion design, graphic design, interior design and painting & printmaking; a Bachelor of Arts degree in art history; and a Master of Fine Arts degree in design. Located in Doha, the capital city of Qatar, VCUarts Qatar is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art & Design, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation. The current student body represents a diverse range of nationalities with students coming from 35 countries.

VCUarts Qatar is dedicated to global outreach and education and provides students with an environment for cross-cultural exchange that fosters inquiry, discovery and innovation. Examples of this mission are the two significant international conferences hosted by VCUarts Qatar—the biennial design conference, Tasmeem and the biennial Hamad bin Khalifa Symposium on Islamic Art ( VCUarts Qatar attracts globally recognized designers, artists and scholars while fostering partnerships within the region, and beyond, that enhance the educational, economic and cultural vitality of Qatar. Having established itself as a center of excellence for education and research, VCUarts Qatar has substantial involvement with the influential art and design world of the Middle East, and is a catalyst for the growth and development of these fields in the region.

VCUarts Qatar has 154 full-time faculty and staff and a student body of 324. VCUarts Qatar was the first campus established in Education City, a unique 2500-acre multiversity campus. VCUarts Qatar was joined by Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, Carnegie-Mellon University, Texas A&M University, Weill Cornell Medical College, Northwestern University, HEC Paris and University College of London.

Qatar, with English as the standard second language, is a progressive country in the Arabian Gulf and remains one of the healthiest economies in the Gulf region. Doha offers all the conveniences found in a contemporary and cosmopolitan city, while honoring a rich tradition that is evident in the old markets and the city’s Islamic Arab architecture. The National Museum of Qatar, designed by Jean Nouvel, opened in March 2019 while the Museum of Islamic Art, designed by I.M.Pei opened in November 2008 and the Arab Museum of Modern Art (Mathaf) opened in 2010. The U.S. Embassy considers Qatar among the safest countries in the world for Americans.


VCUarts offers a variety of graduate and undergraduate degrees in design, fine and performing arts, art history, and art education, with a unique emphasis on creative immersion. Far more than receiving simply an education or preparation for a career; students leave VCUarts with the practical, professional and personal skills needed to make a life in the arts, no matter how they define it. That is why VCUarts’ programs emphasize both doing and knowing: why the majority of its faculty are working artists, designers, scholars, and performers and why they encourage students to take advantage of the many academic and intellectual opportunities that come with being part of a research university. Today, VCUarts graduates can be found throughout the academic and professional fields and have been recognized with everything from Emmys to MacArthur Fellowships.

VCUarts is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, the National Association of Schools of Dance, the National Association of Schools of Music, the National Association of Schools of Theatre, the Virginia Department of Education, the Council for Interior Design Accreditation and the National Council for Accreditation for Teacher Education.

VCUarts and VCUarts Qatar are dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic faculty committed to teaching and working in a multicultural and inclusive environment and strongly encourages applications from all racial/ethnic, gender and social identities.

The school includes more than 3,000 students, and has become known as a pillar of artistic creation and expression. Its emerging artists explore their potential and strive for high standards set by faculty members acknowledged for their inspiration and achievement.

Major Responsibilities:
• Build collaborative relationships across all university departments, be flexible and work in a team environment with the potential to develop new strategies for programming;

• Facilitate the implementation of the department’s vision and nurture its evolution;

• Serve as an advocate for faculty, students, and the fields of graphic design;

• Develop and maintain a national and international network of partnerships with outside professionals and various leaders in the design field;

• Promote excellence in teaching, creativity, research, and community engagement;

• Thoughtfully inspire and evaluate faculty in the areas of teaching, research and service, including mentoring new and current faculty and guiding faculty through the promotion process;

• Oversight for all areas of department administration, to include finance, recruitment and admissions, course scheduling, personnel, and facilities and equipment;

• Foster regular and ongoing collaborations with the home campus in located in Richmond, Virginia.

• Engage nationally and internationally with alumni;

• Collaborate with the School’s admissions team including the execution of a national and international recruitment plan;

• Create a broad multi-disciplinary network of design professionals globally that can lead to successful internship programs, innovative workshops and participation in exclusive and prestigious design competitions;

• Provide a forum for direct interaction with students in creative/academic contexts, affording opportunities to model teaching, practice and scholarship within the department;

• The Chair will be expected to contribute to new knowledge in the design field or a related discipline through research and/or creative work, which could be in the form of an active professional practice, and aspire to be recognised for creative and/or scholarly contributions at the national and/or international level;

• Teach courses in areas of the curriculum corresponding with the expertise;

• Other duties as assigned.


• MFA in Graphic Design or a terminal degree in a related discipline;

• A minimum of five years of University-level academic instruction beyond the TA and/or adjunct level and appropriate administrative experience are preferred.

• Experienced designer and educator at the forefront of interdisciplinary contemporary design with a thorough knowledge of design education at the University level.

• A well-developed scholarly, creative or professional portfolio with the potential for multi- disciplinary applications and interest in developing external partnerships appropriate to complement and expand existing expertise in the department;

• Experience developing and leading in a highly ambitious and collegial team environment;

• Excellent time management and excellent writing and communication skills;

• Expertise in contemporary design practice that is relevant to all aspects of graphic design;

• Ability to articulate a design vision and mission that can garner international acclaim through collaborative and inspired leadership in design practice and research within the academic department;

• Entrepreneurial, innovative, globally oriented;

• Significant experience with digital and emergent technologies relevant to Graphic Design;

• Demonstrated competence in creating a trusting and inclusive culture; experience recruiting, hiring, and retaining under-represented faculty and staff, and leadership in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion among all students, faculty and staff;

• Experience developing and leading a highly ambitious and collegial team environment;

• Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment or commitment to do so as a faculty member at VCUarts Qatar.

Application Instructions:

• Letter of Interest that conveys relevant academic and professional experience and describes experiences and/or professional service that inform world views and/or perspectives about minority group status, to include race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, and disability;

• Teaching Philosophy;

• Current CV/Resume;

• Portfolio of work— appropriate selections of documentation of the applicant's experience in their area of expertise. This could include traditional and/or non-traditional examples of one's work from a broad cross-section and/or combination of experience from a variety of roles within the design field. Due to file size limitations, the portfolio of work can be submitted as an accessible link in a PDF that points to a website or cloud storage (with access instructions) to view all visual work and/or time-based samples. Preferably, the portfolio of work will include 10 samples of student work and 10 samples of professional work;

• List of five professional references including names with titles and contact information (references will not be checked prior to candidates’ approval).

The Letter of Interest + Teaching Philosophy + Design Statement should be submitted as a PDF in the “Cover Letter/Letter of Application” section in eJobs; the CV/Resume and documentation of professional work, or referral to a web page, should be submitted as a PDF in the “Curriculum Vitae (CV)” section of eJobs; and the list of References should be submitted as a PDF in the “Other Document” section of eJobs.

Review of applications begins January 17, 2020 and continues until the position is filled. For full consideration, applications are due by 29 February 2020.

Virginia Commonwealth University is committed to providing accessible and equitable living, learning and working environments free from discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex (including pregnancy), political affiliation, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or disability.