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Announcement
December 8, 2020

Dean of the School of Art

University of the Arts Philadelphia

Courtesy Univeristy of the Arts Philadelphia.

The University of the Arts seeks a visionary, imaginative and collaborative leader to join its team as dean of the School of Art. Sensitive to the needs and horizons of creative practices, the dean will have the opportunity to lead and reimagine a School of Art in the heart of Philadelphia—one of the nation’s largest and thriving arts communities. The dean will strategically develop and deliver innovative programs within the field of art that are reflective of and relevant to the world in which we live and the students we serve. Partnering with the other school deans at UArts and senior leaders, they will continually seek to affirm the value of an arts based education, and in turn, continually refine and transform our programs to advance human creativity.

The dean serves as the School of Arts’ chief academic, creative and administrative officer, and joins the council of deans team comprised of the heads of the university’s six schools in art, dance, design, film, music and theater; the division of graduate and professional studies; and the director of Critical Studies, the university’s general education unit. This interdisciplinary context for the study and advancement of creativity is a critical part of the fabric of UArts and the success of our students. The School of Art dean is a thought leader with a deep and abiding belief in the arts to initiate new movements, imaginative futures, and urgencies within our world.

The School of Art currently comprises undergraduate study in Fine Arts; Photography; Craft + Material Studies; and Creative Writing. Related graduate programs include a Master of Arts in Teaching in Visual Arts (a five year, BFA + MAT track and standalone MAT program) and an MFA in Book Arts + Printmaking. The faculty and staff of the School of Art comprise working artists from Philadelphia and the region, committed to preparing tomorrow’s artists to lead creative lives.

In addition to the traditional visual arts studios and workshops that support the School of Art programs, University of the Arts is also home to several university-wide centers which inspire, challenge and offer opportunities to all UArts faculty and students. These include the Albert M. Greenfield Makerspace, which is a 3,500 square-foot digital and traditional fabrication studio that opened in 2018; the Center for Immersive Media, which is a 5,600-square-foot facility dedicated to exploring the fields of virtual and mixed reality, performance motion-capture and human-computer interaction; the Philadelphia Art Alliance at UArts, a historic exhibition space on Rittenhouse Square and one of the nation’s first multidisciplinary centers for the arts, acquired by UArts in 2018; the Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, which is the longstanding and acclaimed University exhibition program; and the Lightbox Film Center at UArts, which has presented repertory, nonfiction, experimental and international cinema in Philadelphia for more than 40 years and was acquired by UArts in 2020.

Successful candiates will demonstrate significant experience and accomplishment as a leader in higher education or of a major arts or cultural center. Prior experience as a faculty member, program chair, or director of a major center is expected, with prior experience as a dean preferred but not required. An active creative practice as a visual artist, writer or creative scholar with demonstrated contributions to one’s field is expected.

The University is particularly interested in reviewing applications from candidates whose identities and/or professional work intersect with or address historically marginalized communities.

Review of applications begins in January and will continue until the position is filled. For a complete position description and application requirements, please visit: uarts.edu. Interested individuals may also direct general inquiries to Shelton Walker, Chief of Staff / Associate VP for Strategic Initiatives at shwalker [​at​] uarts.edu.

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