School Director & Professor of Art, Art History, or Graphic Design

  1. School of Art and Design
  2. College of the Arts
  3. Portland State University

The School of Art and Design in the College of the Arts at Portland State University invites applications for a Director of the School and Professor in any one of the fields of Art Practices, Art History, or Graphic Design. This is a tenured, 1.0 FTE, 12-month position, commencing fall of 2014. The Director will provide creative leadership and vision as well as administrative oversight for a burgeoning School of 20 full-time and 70 part-time faculty, 32 M.F.A. students, and approximately 1,100 undergraduate majors, while supervising 4 full-time and 7 part-time support staff and administering a budget of over $4 million.

Comprised of three concentration areas—Art Practices, Art History, and Graphic Design—the School seeks a dynamic Director to build cohesion among these areas; spearhead program assessment and strategic long-term planning initiatives; manage resources and, working with a new Dean of the College of the Arts, help obtain additional resources; enhance facilities and/or improve ways to utilize current facilities; and represent the School energetically within the larger cultural community. Recently grown from a Department of Art, the new School is poised to expand the unique potential of its interdisciplinary opportunities as well as possibilities for continuing community engagement.


PSU is located in downtown Portland, Oregon, and is the largest, fastest growing, and most diverse institution in the Oregon University System. The city is widely rated as one of the most livable in the country, with a vibrant arts community including the Portland Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Craft, and numerous commercial and nonprofit galleries.

Photo: Simon Boas

A+D’s faculty and students don’t just participate in Portland’s art community – they make it.

The Studio Practice concentration hosts solo MFA exhibitions each spring and inserts the voices of students in the discursive side of contemporary art through the [STUDIO] publication. The Art & Social Practice program investigates socially engaged art making through their three-year, flexible residency MFA and the international Open Engagement conference held on campus each year. PSU Graphic Design is deeply connected with Portland’s community of makers, and helps mentor the next generation through the Friendtorship outreach program. A+D’s art history faculty are actively published as scholars and critics and bring students museum and gallery internships and travel opportunities. For undergraduates seeking further exploration in contemporary art, the BFA program offers an additional year of focused study and production in a studio environment.

Photos, from top left: A+D Archives, Art and Social Practice, Simon Boas, Sean Schumacher

Greater dialogue in practice

The School hosts visiting speakers from a variety of disciplines each year to broaden students’ understanding of the scope of contemporary practices. The MFA Studio Lecture Series brings artists who work in a range of media to share their ideas and processes. Art and Social Practice’s Conversation Series fosters dialog among artists, writers, architects and community practitioners. The Show & Tell Lecture Series invites working professionals to share practical wisdom regarding the field of design. Always, these programs serve our students as well as the larger community, helping to make Portland the ever more vibrant cultural center it has so rapidly become.

Required/Minimum Qualifications

  • A terminal degree (Ph.D. or M.F.A.) in the candidate’s discipline
  • A record of teaching experience, scholarship, and service worthy of a tenured appointment at the rank of full professor
  • Three years minimum experience as a chair or director with full authority over budget and tenure-and-promotion decisions, and evidence of successful program development and administration
  • Knowledge of contemporary art and critical theory
  • Strong professional and interpersonal skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

Preferred Qualifications

  • At least 6 years of administrative experience with progressively greater responsibility and 10 years prior teaching and scholarship activities
  • Successful fundraising experience
  • Demonstrated ability to work within an urban arts community

Key Cultural Competencies

  • Create an environment that acknowledges, encourages, and celebrates differences.
  • Function and communicate effectively and respectfully within the context of varying beliefs, behaviors, orientations, identities, and cultural backgrounds.
  • Seek opportunities to gain experience working and collaborating in a diverse, multicultural, and inclusive setting with a willingness to change for continual improvement.
  • Adhere to all of PSU’s policies including the policies on Prohibited Discrimination & Harassment and the Professional Standards of Conduct.

Total Benefits & Compensation

The 12-month salary, commensurate with qualifications and experience, includes a Director’s stipend, with one month’s paid vacation. Portland State University offers excellent benefits, with generous healthcare and retirement packages and reduced tuition rates for employee, spouse, or dependents at any of the Oregon University System schools.

To Apply


Apply through PSU's People Admin

First, submit application and CV to the PSU online portal People Admin.


Submit materials via SlideRoom.

SlideRoom will charge a fee of $10 to process the application. This fee should be seen as a cost comparable to the materials and the postage required of a hard-copy application.

Include: letter of application that specifically addresses position qualifications (include information about the size of budgets previously overseen); CV; names and contact information of three references, at least one of which must be a direct supervisor, current or recent, of the candidate's administrative work; statement of research interests and accomplishments; depending on the candidate’s discipline, either ten images of work samples or a recent scholarly publication in PDF form.

  • Documents must be saved as PDF (9MB max)
  • Images must be saved as JPG, PNG, or GIF (5MB max)
  • Videos must be MOV, WMV, or FLV (60MB max); 640 × 480px will ensure optimum duration
  • Audio must be saved as mp3 (5MB max)
© 2013–2014 Portland State University

Review of applications begins December 1, 2013; position is open until finalists are identified. For further information, please contact the School of Art and Design at (503) 725–3515 or

Portland State University is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Institution and welcomes applications from diverse candidates and candidates who support diversity.