Full-Time Faculty and Curricular Area Head, Social Practice

Los Angeles, California
Apr 12, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Otis College of Art and Design is seeking a full-time Faculty and Curricular Area Head for its Social Practice Area Emphasis (SPAE) that will be part of its MFA Fine Arts Graduate Program. Responding to the greater presence of socially engaged art in the field and the need to better integrate these practices throughout Otis College, SPAE will be a vital curricular area within the MFA Fine Arts program. SPAE will expand upon the previous Public Practice curriculum with new courses such as Collaborative Projects, Special Topics in Social Practice, and Social Practice electives. SPAE will provide opportunities to enrich the Graduate Lecture Series and Visiting Artists Programs and facilitate cross-pollination among all Otis College graduate students. SPAE will also complement the College’s other unique socially-focused undergraduate programs, Creative Action: An Integrative Learning program and Artists, Community, and Teaching (ACT) which provides teaching assistant opportunities for graduate students.

The Full-time Faculty and Curricular Area Head position requires an accomplished practicing artist with extensive knowledge of contemporary Social Practice, a strong understanding of related curricular/pedagogical needs, and the ability to coordinate the Area’s curricular activities. This individual must be able to provide meaningful artistic, curricular, and pedagogical leadership presence and administrative coordination for SPAE and teach courses in that curriculum. This hybrid teaching/coordination position requires a visionary individual to shape and lead a curricular area in consultation with the Chair and faculty. The position reports to the Chair of the MFA Fine Arts program and interfaces with faculty in the program.

Otis College is committed to building a culturally diverse faculty and strongly encourages applications from minorities and individuals from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds.

Otis College offers competitive compensation and benefits. Initial placement in rank is recommended by the department Chair and requires review and approval of the Chair of the Rank & Promotion Committee and the Provost. The College does not grant faculty tenure; this is a renewable full-time faculty appointment subject to annual renewal based on a performance review. The anticipated start date is July 1, 2017.

Department Information:

The MFA Fine Arts program promotes strong interaction and critical dialogue among all participants, encouraging students to converse in the language of art. Students produce work that reflects their ideas, needs, and ambitions, as well as the challenges of the artistic environment and contemporary issues and concerns. For more information about programs offered in MFA Fine Arts, visit our website: http://www.otis.edu/mfa-fine-arts.   


  • Teach a minimum of 9 contact hours per week each semester (1/2 time, with course release). 
  • Provide coordination services for a minimum of 9 hours on average per week each semester re: Social Practice Area activities (1/2 time, as course release) in the Area Head role.
  • Provide a minimum of 6 hours on average per week in service to the department and the College as assigned by the Chair (i.e., serving on college-wide committees, attending faculty meetings, participating in shared-governance and semester assessments).
  • Enhance and promote the visibility of the department and area of emphasis by attending on- and off-campus events. Represent the SPAE at academic, departmental, and administrative meetings; represent the College at pre-arranged conferences and speaking engagements.
  • Support fundraising activities as needed in consultation with the Chair and the Office of Institutional Advancement.
  • Develop promotional opportunities in the field to further recruitment efforts. Plan and implement special events for student recruitment in coordination with Admissions. Meet with prospective students to offer initial portfolio review. Initiate phone calls to applicants to provide additional information as needed.
  • Assist the Chair, Admissions, and the Provost’s Office in managing communication efforts and needs related to the SPAE and its future.
  • Work with the Chair to meet accreditation and assessment needs. Support College-wide assessment processes, protocols, reviews, and reports.
  • Seek advice from relevant faculty to develop public program offerings. Solicit suggestions for suitable guest lecturers and visiting artists who are within the program’s budget and meet SPAE needs.
  • Oversee implementation of the SPAE curriculum to a cohort of students in consultation with the Chair. Monitor student progress. Guide students on their curriculum selections to ensure achievement of their personal and professional goals. Offer referrals to student services as needed. Oversee the course evaluation process by students. Review and assess results.
  • Advise and coordinate field internship opportunities.
  • Administer and manage the SPAE budget. Submit expenditures on time and within budget. Prepare and develop budget projections and proposals upon request.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Chair.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • MFA, MA, or equivalent degree.
  • Experience teaching at the Associate Professor or Professor level in an art school or within an art department of a university or college.
  • Currently active in a related field and possess a record of exhibitions, socially-engaged projects, and public interventions.
  • Experience working creatively and effectively in a multicultural environment with a diverse student body as part of a team of professional educators.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • An accomplished artist and/or theorist who is well-versed in teaching both studio-based production and collaborative, socially-engaged, community-based or public projects.
  • Previous work in academic administration or work as an administrator within a museum, non-profit, or other type of institution is preferred.
  • Experience initiating and participating in interdisciplinary collaborations.

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