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Vice President of Academic Affairs

Laguna College of Art and Design
Laguna Beach, California
$190,000 - $220,000

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Executive Administration Jobs
Vice Presidents
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Laguna College of Art and Design seeks a vice president of academic affairs (vice president or VPAA) who is passionate about the critical role of artists and designers who are actively engaging with planetary health in its array of global social, cultural, economic, and environmental contexts and challenges, as aligned with LCAD’s core purpose. This talented and recognized artist or designer will possess an innovative energy and be a highly experienced college-level educator and academic administrator to help lead LCAD into the future. The vice president will provide vision for academic affairs, ably steering the growth and development of all programs and forward-thinking interdisciplinary, group, and project-based art and design curricula in concert with academic leadership and a faculty composed of accomplished educators and creative industry professionals. This leader will bring a sophisticated understanding of emerging and future trends in art and design and the capacity to respond to changes in industry and technology through inventive and effective adaptation in teaching and learning at LCAD. Utilizing pioneering models and pedagogy, this connector will build and facilitate collaborations across academic departments and support cross-disciplinary teaching and learning that prepares students to contribute as engaged citizens of the world in the creative economy.

Reporting to the president, the VPAA ensures the excellence of LCAD’s academic offerings and helps guide the college as it continually elevates programs to meet current and future student and industry needs. Through oversight and support of assessment, evaluation, and program review as carried out by department chairs, the VPAA will guide the college’s overall academic program quality and will play a primary role in leading LCAD’s institutional accreditation process. The vice president will also support faculty recruitment, professional development, and retention along with shared governance guided by mission-based priorities, goals, and strategy. The incumbent will also be an important contributor to student recruitment and retention, a priority across all campus divisions and units, through collaborative actions based on planning and the setting of targets and objectives. Additionally, the vice president will participate in LCAD’s alumni and donor engagement initiatives, as well as in helping to identify valuable sources of non-tuition funding.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Provide central leadership to improve LCAD’s position as a leading art and design college in the United States and beyond. Assure that innovative, quality programs are created and supported to attract and realize the objectives of exceptional and committed students, faculty, and staff.

Build on LCAD’s current position, while maintaining and advancing the unique culture, mission, and values of the college.

Lead the academic division with a contemporary vision and deep understanding of current and future trends in art and design education and industry in a competitive higher education landscape.

Provide strategic leadership for program and curricular development and transformation based on the institutional strategic mission, goals, and objectives.

Ensure an effective and responsible model for shared governance with faculty to carry out the teaching and learning mission of the college with sensitivity to and a keen awareness of students’ desire for a future-facing education in the ever-evolving art and design landscape.

Build constructive relationships that bridge all academic departments and college administration, ensuring that communication between educators and administration is clear, consistent, and effective.

Oversee ongoing academic program delivery and assessment, monitoring program quality. Explore opportunities for pedagogical advancement in course and program development through various modes of delivery from in person and hybrid to online education, ensuring appropriate technology and learning platforms are in place alongside requisite faculty training. Develop and manage annual work plans and goals in collaboration with academic leaders and other key institutional stakeholders.

Develop, authorize, and manage the full academic affairs budget, making allocation decisions based on performance indicators, priorities, and strategic criteria. Assist department chairs in budget development and approval.

Support the vice president’s direct report with semester/annual performance evaluations in conjunction with department chairs.

Provide leadership and collaborate with faculty, students, and staff to promote sustainability, diversity, equity, and inclusion values and good practices in academic affairs, in the curriculum and co-curriculum, and across the college. Work in earnest to build an inclusive and supportive environment for teaching, learning, creativity, and scholarship.

Foster a “culture of evidence” to inform decisions and activities on campus that are geared toward student achievement and success.

Directly supervising academic staff and department chairs, deliver integrative academic leadership that promotes college-wide teamwork. Lead by example in the spirit of transparency by providing active communication about critical decisions, plans, data, and processes. Role model to build a culture marked by a strong sense of trust, clear expectations, open communication, and accountability.

Lead and work with an expert and innovative faculty of art and design educators and practitioners to assure an outstanding educational experience for the next generation of creative minds. Sustain and grow support for faculty professional practice and development. Assist in determining faculty hiring needs and participate in recruitment and hiring of full-time faculty. Oversee and manage faculty contracts per academic year and semester. Help determine salary and rank levels for faculty and conduct analyses of comparative faculty salary data. Function as the college representative in union negotiations.

Provide active support to LCAD student recruitment and retention efforts including through engagement with the chairs, faculty, and enrollment management team. Utilizing adept communication skills, relay a clear vision of LCAD’s current and future role as an engine of cultural change, innovation, and as a force to train tomorrow’s artists and designers.

Support college alumni and donor engagement initiatives in alignment with office of development strategy.

Engage in institutional assessment activities in conjunction with the pending director of institutional effectiveness and department chairs. Maintain open and honest communication with accreditors and regulators in all areas of institutional operations. Work with the director of institutional effectiveness on program and institutional assessment, as well as institutional research. Prepare and/or review assessment reports and data for campus dissemination, website publication, accreditation documentation, strategic planning, budgeting, and other purposes.

Strengthen existing and create new relationships with key LCAD collaborators, increasing engagement with educational, cultural, and economic initiatives and entities.

Work to advance art and arts education in publications, consortia, professional associations, conferences, openings, and other functions.

Update and maintain, in conjunction with academic affairs leadership and staff, the institutional effectiveness plan/report, faculty handbooks, college catalog, student achievement section of the LCAD website, and other compliance related documents and publications.


Candidate Qualifications and Key Selection Criteria

As the chief academic officer of the college, the vice president of academic affairs must possess and project the utmost integrity and highest standards of professional conduct and accomplishment. LCAD seeks a leader with an established record of success as an academic administrator with a proven ability to serve as a trusted advisor and thought partner to institutional leadership and senior colleagues; a profound commitment to excellence in art education; a deep dedication to equity, access, affordability, inclusivity, and belonging; and a thorough understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing higher education.

The successful candidate may have served as a department chair and/or in a decanal position with career accomplishments sufficient for tenure-track rank equivalency in art, design, or an associated discipline. The vice president must truly understand and know how to facilitate the creative process; preference will be given to regionally or nationally recognized artists or designers.  While no one candidate will meet all the desired criteria, the successful candidate will bring most of the following attributes and critical competencies for success.

A terminal degree or its equivalent in academic credentials and experience.

A global awareness of and passion for the arts and design with a deep commitment to the education of artists and designers. This leader will promote a forward-thinking educational outlook that advances diversity, sustainability, and social responsibility in arts education. The VPAA will be committed to ensuring learning opportunities and promoting a campus culture that supports and empowers all students irrespective of their background, experience, or identity.

Current knowledge of higher education trends, including those specific to art and design. The successful candidate will be proactive and encouraging of new pedagogical ideas and approaches to provide a groundbreaking curriculum and value-added educational experience that meets contemporary and future needs.

Dedicated to assuring academic priorities are met, the VPAA will recognize industry trends and adjust curricular requirements to ensure that student education results in prepared graduates equipped for employment.

Utilizing hard data for decision-making, the vice president will possess the ability to analyze data and identify trends and patterns that may or may not be applicable and relevant to LCAD’s academic policies and best practices.

Awareness of the latest developments in assessment, program review, and accreditation is required. Knowledge and experience of integrating sustainability and sustainable development principles and values in the context of higher education curricular and co-curricular design is preferred.

Strong administrative, business, and financial acumen that has yielded past operational success. We seek familiarity with budget processes and a record of successful management at the departmental or academic divisional level.

A history of recruiting, supporting, retaining, and inspiring a talented and high-performing faculty.

Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communications skills combined with the demonstrated ability to work with diverse students, faculty, staff, administrators, and trustees is required. The VPAA will possess a collegial, consultative, open management style allied with the ability to be decisive, fair, flexible, accessible, resilient, and strong. This individual will want to be present and involved on campus through hands-on work with diverse stakeholders.

Operates in a manner that is compassionate, visible, collaborative, and approachable as it relates to student interaction; this leader will consider and value student opinions and will be inherently student centric. Must act from a place of deep respect for artists and designers, showing an authentic commitment to their development.

Excellent organizational, analytical, and planning skills. A decisive, “roll-up-the-sleeves,” results-oriented self-starter who is able to keep projects moving forward within a consistent strategic framework. Able to diagnose critical areas for attention, stay focused, and then translate strategies into concrete actions. This executive will work with a sense of urgency and purpose and be able to both enact, adapt to, and manage change with a positive attitude.

Active understanding of appropriate legal and compliance requirements as well as commitment to updating academic policies as needed given the dynamic and constant changes in higher education.

Able to maintain discretion and a high level of confidentiality.



A review of applications will commence immediately, continuing until the position is filled. Interested individuals are encouraged to submit their credentials as soon as possible and no later than November 13, 2023, for full consideration. Please send a CV with a letter of interest, via email, in strict confidence.

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