Director of the School of Art, Full Professor/Associate Professor
George Mason University seeks a visionary, collaborative, creative, and inspirational Director of the School of Art (SoA) to grow its dynamic program of art and design. The new Director is expected to assume office in the summer of 2019.
The School of Art, with oversight from the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA), includes an award-winning facility in Fairfax, VA that encompasses a 1,300+ square foot gallery, graduate studio spaces, a sculpture yard, outstanding painting, printmaking and photography facilities, and state-of-the-art digital design studios. The new Director will lead an internationally recognized faculty that includes multiple Guggenheim, Fulbright, and NEA recipients. With support from a well-established, well-supported department, the Director will advance SoA’s rising national reputation as a dynamic, forward-thinking school with a commitment to interdisciplinary art practice through a social justice lens.
The ideal candidate will be a creative thinker and strategist. They will maintain SoA’s momentum with their own successful track record of devising and executing fundraising plans. Qualified candidates should bring a professional practice and/or deep knowledge of contemporary art practices, and teaching experience in related fields, while demonstrating an enterprising approach to achieving success. Candidates should be committed to teaching and mentorship of a student body that includes many first-generation college students, students of color, and international students. George Mason University has a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of excellence and diversity among its faculty and staff, and strongly encourages candidates to apply who will enrich Mason’s academic and culturally inclusive environment.
ABOUT THE SCHOOL OF ART
The School of Art (SoA) is NASAD-accredited and offers a full range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs including BA, BFA and MFA(with concentrations in Drawing, Graphic Design, New Media Art, Painting, Photography, Printmaking and Sculpture); MAT (Art Education with Licensure Certificate); MA and Certificate Program (Graphic Design); plus an undergraduate Honors Program and seven minors (Animation, Art and Visual Technology, Graphic Design, Illustration, Web Design, Photography and Arts as Social Change). For more information on the School of Art, visit:
To augment its degree programs, SoA emphasizes cross-disciplinary research and socially engaged practices, and encourages the creation of collaborative projects involving students. SoA partnerships include Provisions Library, a research and development center for arts and social change, the Floating Lab, a social research collective working internationally, and EcoScience & Art, a collaboration with the Environmental Studies and Policy program, among others. There is an emphasis on amplifying new voices and experiences, with the Visual Voices Program offering a diverse and engaging visiting lecturer program and the department’s ArtBus program taking students to visit galleries, museums, and artist studios in New York. There is a significant presence of new media and graphic design in the program, including an active student chapter of the AIGA, the professional design organization.
Based in Northern Virginia, and within the metropolitan Washington, D.C., region, one of the largest, most vibrant creative communities in the country, George Mason University offers the incoming Director the opportunity to connect with and draw from resources of federal, state, and local arts and cultural institutions – from the Smithsonian Institution to a multitude of neighborhood-specific art galleries and public art installations throughout Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.
The Director of the School of Art advocates for the program both within and outside the university. The successful candidate is expected to:
- Provide academic and artistic leadership by articulating and carrying out a shared vision for a vital, forward-looking, and inclusive School of Art;
- Oversee the school’s mission, operations, budget, and resources by working closely with the School of Art Associate Director and Faculty Advisory Council, as well as with the Dean and peer Directors in the College of Visual and Performing Arts;
- Collaborate with CVPA Development team and Arts at Mason Board to provide strategic leadership on fundraising and development, including two annual fundraisers and ad hoc development tasks;
- Supervise 20 full-time and 30 part-time faculty, and an associate director and five additional full-time and six part-time administrative team members;
- Manage faculty teaching, development, and promotion and tenure;
- Develop strategies to advance undergraduate and graduate student recruitment, outreach, and promotion of the school; and
- Create and sustain partnerships across the university and within the greater Mason community.
- Terminal degree appropriate to the candidate’s specialization and/or professional experience sufficient to qualify for appointment to the rank of Full Professor/Associate Professor (with tenure or tenure-track);
- A track record as a dynamic and innovative leader, with a specialty in any field represented within the School of Art, or contemporary visual arts administration in a museum, residency program, or similar institution;
- Skills and experience in institutional and/or individual fundraising for the arts;
- Substantial administrative experience with a distinguished record of continuing research or creative activity;
- Demonstrated experience developing new initiatives and driving programmatic growth;
- Significant experience managing personnel, both individually and as a team;
- High competency in teaching and mentoring;
- Experience with cross-disciplinary initiatives; and
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills
For full consideration, applicants must apply for position number F123Az at For best consideration, candidates are encouraged to apply by December 17, 2018. First round interviews will be conducted in mid-January.; complete and submit the online application; and upload a cover letter, CV, a pdf with images and/or links to examples of scholarly and/or creative work (to be uploaded into field labelled ‘Other Doc’), and list of three professional references with contact information.