<< Back to Search

Director of the School of Art

Job description

Posting Number F345P

Quick Link for Posting http://jobs.uark.edu/postings/22756

Working Title Director of the School of Art

Department Art

About the University

Founded in 1871 as a land grant institution, the University of Arkansas is classified by the Carnegie Foundation among the top two percent of universities in the nation with the highest level of research activity. Ten colleges and schools serve more than 27,100 students with more than 200 academic programs. University of Arkansas students earn nationally competitive awards at an impressive rate and represent 50 states and more than 120 countries.

Located in the stunning Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas, Fayetteville is home to the University of Arkansas campus, known for its spectacular views and ample green spaces. Fayetteville is considered one of the country's finest college towns, and the surrounding northwest Arkansas region is regularly ranked one of the best places to live in the U.S. Some of the nation's best outdoor amenities and most spectacular hiking trails are within a short drive of campus.

As an employer, the University of Arkansas offers a vibrant work environment and a workplace culture that promotes a healthy work-life balance. The benefits package includes university contributions to health, dental, life and disability insurance, tuition waivers for employees and their families, 12 official holidays, immediate leave accrual, and a choice of retirement programs with university contributions ranging from 5 to 10% of employee salary.

About the College/Department

About the College:

The J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences is the largest and most academically diverse unit on campus with 16 departments, 3 schools, and 43 academic programs and research centers. The college provides the core curriculum for all University of Arkansas students and is named for J. William Fulbright, former university president and longtime U.S. senator.

The University of Arkansas is committed to providing an educational and work environment in which thought, creativity, and growth are stimulated, and in which individuals are free to realize their full potential. The J. W. Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences promotes these ideals and welcomes applicants who foster an inclusive environment through an open exchange of voices and ideas from populations of diverse backgrounds.

About the School:

University of Arkansas has recently been awarded a $120 million gift from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation to establish a School of Art in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. This is the largest gift ever made to a U.S. university in support of or to establish a school of art. The gift also created the first and only school of art in the state of Arkansas, and is helping to propel art education, design, research and creative activity in the state forward while also providing unparalleled access and opportunity to students.

The endowment was established to provide financial support for: (1) several new degree programs (MA and PhD in Art Education; MA and PhD in Art History, MFA in Graphic Design); (2) an increase in the number of School of Art faculty members and expansion of the Fine Arts library; (3) student scholarships, travel grants, and internship opportunities; (4) outreach and public service to the region and state through partnerships with Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and community organizations; and (5) internal and external collaborations that promote interdisciplinarity and experimentation. The gift will also support the renovation of the historic Edward Durrell Stone-designed Fine Arts Center.

The mission of the School of Art is to offer the highest quality educational, research, and service programs in the visual arts. Currently, the School includes 36 faculty and staff members and more than 400 students and offers six degree options: BFA in Art Education, BFA in Graphic Design, BFA in Studio Art, BA in Art History, BA in Studio Art, and MFA in Studio Art (studio areas include ceramics, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture).

About the Community:

Fayetteville frequently receives accolades as one of America's best places to live, by such publications as Forbes, Kiplingers, and Business Week. The area is home to an active nationally significant local arts community, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and 21C Museum, and continues to grow as a destination for art and a hub for artists. For more information visit:

Department Home Page art.uark.edu

Job Type Faculty

Appointment Percent 100

Salary Competitive and Commensurate with Experience and Qualifications

Campus, Office Location Fayetteville Campus - School of Art

Summary of Job Duties

The Opportunity:

"The School of Art will shape a new generation of artists, historians, designers and teachers with a unique understanding of the hope art can bring to communities," said Alice Walton, chairwoman of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art's board. "The unparalleled access to meaningful American art will connect the heartland to the world."

The Director position provides a transformational opportunity for growth, innovation, and partnership under the direction of a visionary leader. The School of Art will create a signature program that uniquely positions it as the place for the study of and research in American art and the art of the Americas. Because of the strong current faculty, programs, and students, the new Director will have the ability to build from a solid foundation of achievement in the areas of art history, art education, graphic design, and studio art. Channeling an established and demonstrated passion for community engagement, the mission of the new School will include enhancing the land-grant mission for the arts through outreach and service to the local, state, and regional community.

Supported by the Walton Family Foundation gift and significant financial commitment from the university, this opportunity requires a builder, a futurist, a storyteller, and a results-oriented leader. The School seeks excellence and quality in all initiatives and programs it undertakes. The long-term vision of the School is to become a catalyst for excellence in the arts and to achieve increased rankings for the School and its individual programs, as well as in an increased reputation and presence within national and international circles.

Growth. Over a 5-year period the School seeks to build a national model for diversity and inclusion, as it adds 26 new faculty members, including eleven endowed professorships. Additional priorities will include the development and growth of new graduate programs in art education and art history as well as a focus on Visiting Professorships. Significant student scholarship funds will support growth in the quality and numbers of students. The Edward Durell Stone Fine Arts Center will be renovated and serve as the academic and research hub for the School of Art.

Innovation. Through a culture of collaboration, the school will motivate, inspire, and redefine possibilities of experimentation by breaking down barriers across disciplines and with unexpected players. The reach of the School of Arts will extend across the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences and include collaborations with many of the university's academic units. Externally, the land grant values of teaching, outreach, and service will ground the School through exposure and access of the arts throughout Arkansas. A leader with an appetite for experimentation and innovation will enable the unit to serve as a catalyst for art's interconnectedness to a larger ecosystem. This potential for intersection will create the opportunity for bringing Arkansas to the world and the world to Arkansas through the education of and exposure to art.

Partnership. Through a fully integrated partnership with Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, internationally recognized collections, exhibitions and education programs will provide a foundation for signature programs grounded in object-based teaching. Available to all School of Art program areas and across campus, this framework will build a unique ecosystem to benefit students, faculty, research, and K-12 and community outreach. Continuing a strong connection with the regional community, the School will enhance its national and international reputation through other potential partnerships including other institutions, museums, cultural organizations, etc. The recruitment of a preeminent advisory board will be an early priority for the new Director.

Key Responsiblities:

The ideal candidate will be a visionary and creative strategist who will build upon the 142-year history of the art program and develop its reputation as a top School of Art regionally, nationally, and internationally. The Director will take the lead in shaping the future of the School, helping to advance and define its standards of excellence, directions of growth, and multi-disciplinary connections across the university and throughout the world. Through enhanced partnership with Crystal Bridges, the new leader will collaborate with the museum to realize the potential for the unique relationship between a world-renowned museum and academic School of Art.

The Director will oversee the School's strategic advancement in the areas of curriculum, technology, personnel, finances, community relations, and operational functions. The Director will engage in student-focused initiatives and assure continued focus on students, both undergraduate and graduate. The Director will be expected to recruit and retain diverse and talented faculty colleagues.

The Director will need to advocate judiciously for the school internally within the context of the mission of this public university. Additionally, the director will be responsible for endowment management, alumni/donor relations, and fundraising. The Director must have experience in evaluating tenure and promotion dossiers, supervising faculty and staff, overseeing performance reviews, managing budgets and endowments, and continuing existing relationships while developing new relationships with the community both locally and globally.

The Director should have strong interpersonal and communication skills and demonstrated success in administration in higher education programs in art education, art history, graphic design, and/or studio art as well as the ability to foster strong and collegial relationships among faculty, staff and students, and build strong ties with the college, university, region, state, and nation.

Minimum Qualifications

Please ensure that all relevant application materials include details addressing the minimum qualifications. Applicants not meeting the minimum qualifications will be disqualified from consideration.
  • Terminal degree in art education, art history, graphic design, or studio art from an accredited institution conferred by the start of employment
  • Qualifications for appointment as a tenured professor in the School of Art (rank dependent upon qualifications)
  • Demonstrated evidence of significant, progressive, and creative leadership
  • Communication skills that would provide strong and effective advocacy for the School
  • Broad knowledge and appreciation of Art Education, Art History, Graphic Design, and Studio Art
  • Demonstrated commitment to building a diverse and inclusive culture
  • Distinguished record of scholarship and accomplishment of outstanding achievement and distinction in teaching, research, and service
  • Minimum of ten years of experience in teaching, research, and service
  • Minimum of five years of experience in administration

Preferred Qualifications
  • Demonstrated success in academic administration
  • Evidence of a forward-looking vision for the role of the arts and the ability to inspire a community towards its fulfillment
  • Evidence of strong commitment to contemporary pedagogy in a research institution
  • Visionary leadership to move the School to national prominence and evidence of creative administrative accomplishments
  • Significant experience in strategic planning and deployment of development and advancement initiatives
  • Demonstrated experience working with high-level donors, alumni, advisory board members, and various external stakeholders
  • National and international reputation and strong connection to national organizations and associations
  • Demonstrated leadership in managing complex and interdisciplinary programs and units
  • Receptivity to new and innovative programs and initiatives that will bring recognition to the School
  • Experience with national accreditation agencies
  • Experience within or collaborating with museums
  • Ability to contribute to teaching and/or research in one of the program or media areas in the School

Physical activities associated with this position

The following physical activities are associated with the position and will be performed with or without an accommodation. All individuals are encouraged to apply.


  • Driving
  • Grasping
  • Reaching


  • Feeling
  • Manipulate items with fingers, including keyboarding
  • Hearing
  • Repetitive motion
  • Sitting
  • Standing
  • Talking
  • Walking

The worker is required to have visual acuity to perform an activity such as: preparing and analyzing data and figures; transcribing; viewing a computer terminal; extensive reading; and/or visual inspection at distances close to the eyes.

Benefits Eligible Yes

If yes, please specify

Pre-employment Screening Requirements

The University of Arkansas is committed to providing a safe campus community. We conduct background checks for applicants being considered for employment. Background checks include a criminal background check and a sex offender registry check. For certain positions, there may also be a financial (credit) background check, a Motor Vehicle Registry (MVR) check, and/or drug screening. Required checks are identified in the position listing. A criminal conviction or arrest pending adjudication or adverse financial history information alone shall not disqualify an applicant in the absence of a relationship to the requirements of the position. Background check information will be used in a confidential, non-discriminatory manner consistent with state and federal law.

Posting Detail Information

Future Open Date

Close Date

Open Until Filled Yes

Anticipated Start Date

Recruitment Contact Information

Rosa Morris
1700 K Street, NW
Suite 700
Washington, DC 20006
[email protected]

Ann Kern
Managing Director
200 Park Avenue
33rd Floor
New York, NY 10166
[email protected]

Special Instructions Summary

Inquiries, nominations, and applications are invited and review will begin immediately. Completed applications received by January 5, 2018, will be assured full consideration. Late applications will be reviewed as necessary to fill the position. Applications should include a detailed curriculum vitae, a letter of application or statement summarizing experience in higher education and arts administration, personal vision, relevant leadership experience, and the names of references.

To ensure full consideration, inquiries, nominations, and applications should be submitted electronically in confidence to:

[email protected]

Hiring Location 222 Administration Building Fayetteville, AR 72701.

EEO Statement

The University of Arkansas is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution. The university welcomes applications without regard to age, race/color, gender (including pregnancy), national origin, disability, religion, marital or parental status, protected veteran status, military service, genetic information, sexual orientation or gender identity. Persons must have proof of legal authority to work in the United States on the first day of employment. All applicant information is subject to public disclosure under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.

Internal Posting No

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

    Documents Needed to Apply
    Required Documents
    1. Curriculum Vitae
    2. Cover Letter/Letter of Application
    Optional Documents
    1. Proof of Veterans Status





    Diversity Profile: University


    Learn more on Inside Higher Ed's College Page for University

    Arrow pointing right
    Job No:
    Posted: 2/19/2018
    Application Due: 3/16/2018
    Work Type: