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Dean of the School of Design
Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri
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Date Posted 04/03/2019
Executive-Dean-Fine And Applied Arts
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

Department: School of Design
Type: Faculty, Full-time

The Dean of the School of Design at Stephens College is the principal academic and strategic leader of the College's innovative academic programs in Design. The Dean provides visionary leadership in a vibrant community that is collaborative, engaged, and inclusive. The Dean plays a crucial role in creating and sustaining a vision for diverse Design programming in both Communication Design and Fashion; for fostering innovative, high-demand programs; for creating partnerships between the School of Design and other campus programs and off-campus organizations; and for advancing rigorous scholarship and professional practice. Finally, the Dean will work closely with colleagues in Advancement securing financial resources to catalyze and sustain new initiatives. 

Key Responsibilities:

  1. Provide direction, support, and leadership to all degree programs within the School (Fashion Design and Product Development, Fashion Marketing and Management, Fashion Communication, Apparel Studies, Event and Convention Management).

  2. Envision, establish and grow a new degree program in Communication Design.

  3. Build enrollment; collaborate with partners; and engage with the wider community.

  4. Elevate the School of Design's reputation on both a regional and national level.

  5. Lead institutional change by nurturing an environment that embraces academic rigor, innovation and faculty artistic expression and scholarship.

  6. Collaborate with other campus offices to raise funds and build brand visibility.

  7. Provide leadership for faculty and staff through transparent communication.

  8. Engage colleagues, students and the public with enthusiasm, intentionality, transparency and honesty.

  9. Foster diversity and inclusivity.

Essential Functions:

  • Hire, supervise, develop, retain, and evaluate the School of Design's faculty and staff.

  • Provide leadership and oversight for the School's strategic planning, budget management, new program development, and program assessment.

  • Maintain the academic quality, integrity, and reputation of all programs within the School.

  • Supervise the College's exhibition and presentation programs, focusing on integrity, inventory control, ROI, and program integration.

  • Serve on the Deans' Council and other institutional committees as assigned.

  • In collaboration with the Office of Enrollment Management, take a major role in the recruitment, enrollment, retention, and degree completion of students in the School of Design.

  • In collaboration with the Marketing Department, manage the branding and marketing of the School and its programs.

  • In collaboration with the Office of Advancement, play a major role in fundraising for the School of Design and its associated initiatives.

Job Requirements:

  • Holds a terminal degree (MFA or doctorate degree) in Communication Design, or a relevant discipline from an accredited institution of higher education.

  • Has significant experience teaching at a college or university.

  • Demonstrates a clear understanding of the artistic, cultural, and intellectual forces that are re-shaping the design arts in the 21st century.

  • Demonstrates a clear understanding and/or professional experience with some aspect(s) of the new Communication Design degree program (publication design, illustration, animation, interactive media and/or UX design.

  • Has experience building new degree programs, including interdisciplinary programs as well as those in emerging fields.

  • Has a minimum of five years of leadership experience in a design school or arts program at the college level.

  • Has an established record of creative practice and scholarly work through exhibitions, publications, presentations, or other professional activity.

  • Has evidence of outstanding collaborative and interpersonal skills, with a strong record of successful partnerships across disciplines and institutions.

  • Effectively communicates ideas, plans, and vision, orally and in writing.

  • Has documented experience managing budgets.

  • Has demonstrated commitment to inclusion and diversity.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience as an academic administrator at the level of department chair, director, associate dean, or dean in a related discipline or program.

  • Experience hiring, supporting and retaining excellent faculty.

  • Demonstrated ability to effectively lead a diverse team.

  • Demonstrated enthusiasm and support for the full range of artistic expression, from the traditional to the high-tech.

Stephens College offers excellent benefits, including vacation/holiday/sick pay, health/dental/life insurance, tuition waiver and College-paid retirement plan.

To Apply:
1. Complete the online Stephens College application

2. Then submit the following to

  • Substantive cover letter addressing the qualifications listed above and reflecting your leadership style

  • Curriculum vitae

  • List of at least three professional references with full contact information and a note indicating the nature of your working relationship with each.

The successful candidate must pass a criminal background check.

*Please mention to employers when applying for this job*
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