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Chair, Graduate Interaction Design Program

Open Rank Faculty Position, Full Time

October 2018


Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (CCA) is an independent non-profit art college with undergraduate programs in architecture, design, fine arts, visual studies, and writing and literature. The college also has graduate programs in architecture, comics, design, interaction design, curatorial practice, design strategy, fine arts, social practice, film, visual and critical studies, and writing. Through these programs, the college has created a dynamic and interdisciplinary environment to fulfill the school’s motto of “Make art that matters.” Diverse cultural perspectives enrich the CCA community and the college believes that continuing to expand the horizons of the students and faculty is essential to achieving its educational objectives. CCA represents over one hundred years of dedication to its mission, whose character reflects its location in the San Francisco Bay Area, where histories of radical politics and technological innovation inform a culturally rich academic community infused by art schools, research universities, world-renowned museums, galleries, start-ups and community-run institutions. With campuses in Oakland and San Francisco, CCA currently enrolls 1,950 full-time students and is embarking on a major campus planning project that will unify the college in one location and ensure its academic excellence for the next century.


The Graduate Interaction Design Program at California College of the Arts was founded in 2015.   It is an intensive, highly competitive, one-year Master of Design (MDes) program for students with prior experience in design or a design-related field. Interaction Design is one of the most dynamic and expanding fields of professional practice today and is a key area of growth for the College.  

The mission of the program is to empower students to humanize technology through design. We do this through a curriculum that imparts a bold mix of design craft, strategic vision, and leadership skills. Our emphasis on leadership enables graduates to have a greater impact on the culture of teams and organizations, and in turn, positively affect the larger culture. We learn by doing, and while much of the education takes place in a collaborative, studio-based environment, a significant portion is oriented toward the surrounding world. We consider the city of San Francisco as an extension of our campus, and we work with community partners to practice design and leadership skills in a real-world setting. 

We recognize the importance of including diverse voices in the practice of interaction design.  Our faculty consists of design leaders drawn from outstanding companies in the San Francisco Bay area, and our students join us from around the world. 

The Graduate Interaction Design Program is part of the Design Division, which consists of undergraduate programs in Illustration, Furniture, Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Interaction Design, and Industrial Design, as well as a multi-disciplinary Graduate Design Program and Graduate Design Strategy Program.   


The chair is responsible for the vision, leadership, and administration of the program within the context of the Design Division and the college.

The Chair is responsible for ensuring program relevance, educational excellence and ongoing successful operations. Responsibilities include planning, oversight, and operational management of the program’s curriculum, budget, and initiatives, as well as organizational leadership for staff, faculty, and students. The Chair is responsible for staying actively involved with both the curriculum and professional fields related to the Program’s graduates. 

The Chair reports directly to the Dean of Design and works to achieve programmatic, divisional, and institutional goals in partnership with key offices including Academic Affairs, Admissions, Alumni Relations, Marketing, Communications, Facilities, and the offices of the Provost and the President. As this is a faculty position, the Chair is expected to teach in the program.



  • Lead faculty in developing and implementing program curricula and identity.
  • Ensure curricula comply with specialized and primary accreditors’ guidelines.
  • Lead regular assessment of student learning in partnership with faculty and use results to inform strategic decisions to improve curricula, facilities, technology use, staffing, etc.


  • Devise, prepare, and monitor program budget in support of learning outcomes and the program mission.
  • Work with faculty and Deans to develop program goals, strategies, and metrics consistent with college and program missions. Conduct ongoing progress evaluation.
  • Work with the Dean and academic director’s office and appropriate staff to determine and communicate staffing, facilities, equipment, and other program needs.
  • Provide the academic directors with a timely, accurate, and appropriate course schedule.
  • Work with academic staff to manage the day-to-day running of the program.
  • Ensure that faculty in the program have accurate and appropriate teaching loads based on their appointments.
  • Ensure all program’s administrative documents are submitted accurately and in accordance with timelines, including goals documents, course schedule, budget, and course syllabi.
  • Maintain a program that responds to the needs and goals of a culturally diverse student and faculty community and is relevant to the rapidly changing respective professional fields.
  • In cooperation with the Dean of Design, build a portfolio of external partnerships to enhance and define student experience.


  • Identify, recruit, and make hiring recommendations for qualified faculty while maintaining a sustainable curricular model.
  • Assess program faculty composition in light of diversity, visibility, and program goals and teaching effectiveness.
  • Develop a multi-year hiring plan and provide written recommendations for new positions, promotions, and hires.
  • Conduct regular performance evaluation of all program faculty.
  • Manage, mentor, and support faculty in their roles as teachers, mentors, and practitioners.
  • Participate in the formal review process through Appointments, Promotion, and Tenure for all program faculty.
  • Effectively implement the Collective Bargaining Agreement for covered faculty.
  • Lead regular program meetings with the ranked faculty.


  • Build a strong community with regular, open communication between students, faculty and staff.
  • Work collaboratively with the Enrollment Management to establish and reach enrollment goals by developing and implementing effective student recruitment strategies.
  • Develop and manage, with associate chairs, key partnerships internally including: facilities, career services, alumni services, communications, enrollment management, and financial aid.
  • Attend and represent the program at all required Academic Affairs, Enrollment, Alumni, and Advancement-related events.
  • Work with the Marketing/Communications and Alumni Offices to increase college and program visibility through promoting up-to-date student, faculty and alumni achievements.
  • Attend mandatory chairs trainings, as well as all college- and division-wide chairs meetings.
  • Communicate with other chairs to foster effective use of resources around public programs, events and exhibitions.
  • Be responsive to requests for program-related information or input from college-wide staff in a timely manner.


  • Establish and enhance academic and professional networks for the program.
  • Attend conferences and stay up to date with issues relevant to the field.

Other duties specific to the program’s needs, as required.


The ideal candidate will demonstrate a forward-thinking view of design education, have a substantial understanding of contemporary practice, and a proven record of success in an applicable professional field such as design leadership, design for social impact, systems design, IxD, UX, and AI. The successful candidate will be a well-connected design thought leader, ideally with prior teaching or administrative experience in a dynamic academic environment. They will have worked with culturally diverse groups and demonstrated an understanding of issues of sustainability and social impact from a global perspective. They will be an experienced collaborator, an excellent communicator and a good listener who is receptive to multiple points of view. They will evidence an ability to make informed decisions that maintain high ethical standards and demonstrate respect for colleagues, peers and stakeholders. They will have a commitment to advancing design education in alignment with a vision of the critical role and the responsibility that designers have in humanizing technology.  


  • Evidence of successful leadership in an academic or professional environment
  • Three years of  professional design experience 
  • Three years of recent teaching experience at the college level
  • Evidence of teaching and leading in a culturally-competent manner with a global perspective
  • Evidence of teaching effectiveness
  • Experience managing professional networks in design and other fields
  • Professional and/or academic experience in collaborative interdisciplinary contexts, project-based community engagement, social impact, participatory design, design advocacy or design research


  • Ph.D, Masters, or terminal degree in studio-based design, design strategy, business or a relevant technical discipline. Candidates with a non-terminal degree but with significant professional experience and a significant record of achievement will also be considered. 
  • Experience working with diverse groups


Qualified applicants must complete the online application by uploading the following materials:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Letter of interest
  • Statement of teaching philosophy highlighting areas of pedagogic concentration
  • Statement addressing professional practice
  • Portfolio - one 15-20 page pdf file and/or up to 10 minutes of video (required)
  • Up to 3 Pdfs of relevant published scholarly work (optional)
  • Link to a website with examples of professional work (optional)
  • Contact information for three professional references

Additional materials may be requested by the search committee at a later date.  

EEO Statement

As an educational and cultural institution, California College of the Arts has a responsibility to provide access and opportunities for all people, with special attention to supporting groups historically underrepresented in higher education. We believe that a culturally diverse campus is integral to academic excellence, and our student, faculty, staff, and trustee bodies should reflect the diverse world in which we live, with attention to race, ethnicity, religious creed, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and ability. California College of the Arts is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from individuals who will contribute to its diversity.

This application is due: 15 February 2019

Notification of decision: 15 March 2019 (approximate)



The Curricular Development Grant supports significant, strategic, and impactful projects that develop and/or enhance curriculum and pedagogical approaches to address learning priorities. The total grant budget will be $20k annually.

All grant proposals must have a divisional sponsor. This ensures proposals have adequate support to succeed and are vetted for strategic impact. In general, two awards of up to $10k will be made annually; each division can propose one project for up to $10k in funding. Programs may partner with another division/divisions to sponsor a second proposal. Selected proposals will be funded for the full proposed amount. Proposal applications are due in February and awards will be announced by the end of March. 

Proposals are reviewed by the Curriculum Committee and ranked based on a clear scoring system that will be provided to all in advance. Projects cannot be partially funded. The CC provides its ranked list to the provost who reviews the proposals and rankings to make a final decision. The CC will also provide constructive feedback for each proposal.

Each proposal will designate a ranked faculty liaison to Academic Affairs for the duration of the project. The liaison role is not compensated, so it will count as service. The liaison will provide brief, regular updates to the provost during the grant and produce a brief summary report at the conclusion of the grant cycle. There may also be a presentation of the projects following the conclusion of the grant cycle.

Proposals should explicitly align with at least one of the following list of strategic priorities (subject to annual updating):

  • Sustainability
    • Example: Researching and developing a plan to move towards zero waste in a program’s studio classes and developing a template that other programs could follow to do the same.
  • Diversity and Inclusion
    • Example: Identifying and developing curricular areas where more diverse perspectives need to be included to provide students with a more comprehensive and inclusive view of the discipline. Providing training and materials that help faculty to incorporate such contributions.
  • Unified Campus
    • Example: Developing the concept of “neighborhood” course offerings and training faculty in the use of tools/methods in adjacent practices to promote interdisciplinary approaches.
  • English Language Learner Success
    • Example: Training instructors to revise courses using universal design principles and new materials/approaches that promote successful learning for English language learners.

Proposals may seek funding for activities such as retreats to revise curriculum and/or develop new course modules and materials, pedagogy trainings, site visits, consulting, learning ways to leverage new technologies, workshops, and attending conferences as well as for things like subscriptions or memberships. Lead faculty proposers may receive up to 10% each of the overall proposal budget as a stipend for their work. 

Proposals will provide a detailed budget accounting for all expenditures; divisions or other entities may choose to provide additional funding that can be noted in the budget. 

In addition to the priority areas identified above, proposals are asked to articulate:

  • Connections to strategic goals (see CCA Strategic Plan, the Academic Pathways report, divisional deans goals, and/or provost’s goals); 
  • Evidence of the need for the proposed initiative;
  • A vision of the initiative’s impact on students and their learning;
  • A definition of project success and a plan to assess it;
  • An accounting of the initiative’s lasting impact and ability to serve as an exemplar/pilot for broader change if applicable;
  • An explanation of how the initiative aligns with successful practices or builds on other models of good practice; and
  • If applicable, ways the initiative addresses the needs of a broad range of students.

Ideally, work would begin as soon as practical following the awarding of the grant to build on momentum achieved in the proposal process; and initiatives should be complete-able by the end of the subsequent academic year.

This application is for travel between: 15 FEBRUARY 2019 through 15 FEBRUARY 2020

Deadline for applications: 1 FEBRUARY 2019

Notification of decision: 15 FEBRUARY (approximate)



Faculty Development Grants (formerly the travel and professional grants) are intended to support faculty in their growth as instructors and professionals in their fields. Faculty Development Grants will replace both the travel and professional development grants to streamline the process and provide greater opportunity to faculty. 

Any faculty member (except visiting and distinguished professors) may apply for the FDG in any of the three rounds of proposals. The funds may be used to support any of the following activities:

  • Travel to a conference, training or workshop (airfare, lodging, rental car, mileage, public transportation)
  • Registration fee for a conference, training or workshop
  • Subscription or access costs for professional work
  • Production or materials costs for professional work
  • Payment for services connected to your professional work, if it can be invoiced

Faculty Development Grants may not be used to reimburse faculty for their own time or work.  The maximum award amount is $2,500. Faculty may apply at each round, but may only be awarded one grant per year. Selected proposals will be funded at their full proposed amount, up to $2,500K. 

FDG grants are not retroactive and cannot cover expenses already spent. However, faculty may apply during any round for expenses planned up to 12 months after the awards are made. Faculty must submit reimbursement documentation within two weeks post travel (for travel-related expenses) or two weeks of expenditure (for all other expenses). Upon notification of award, awardees must meet in person with the Manager of Academic Affairs to receive clearance to use their funds. 

Please see the Faculty Development Grant web page for further information regarding selection and evaluation criteria. 

Deadline for application: 30 January 2019

Travel window: 30 January 2019 – 15 May 2019

Notifications sent:  15 February 2019 (approximate)​

Report and expenses due: Two weeks post travel

CCA Student Travel Grants are awarded to select student applicants to help fund

travel related to their coursework. Funding may go towards speaking at a

conference, conference attendance, or research-related travel, and a clear

correlation between the trip and the student applicant’s studies at CCA must be

made. This grant is not for travel expenses related to study abroad courses.

The maximum award for an individual travel grant is $500. The grants are

competitive; not all students applying for a grant will receive one.

Grants are for travel that has yet to occur at the time of submission. (Retroactive

grants will not be awarded.)

Deadline for application: 30 May 2019

Travel window: 15 June 2019 – 15 September 2019

Notifications sent: 15 June 2019 (approximate)

​Report and expenses due: Two weeks post travel

CCA Student Travel Grants are awarded to select student applicants to help fund

travel related to their coursework. Funding may go towards speaking at a

conference, conference attendance, or research-related travel, and a clear

correlation between the trip and the student applicant’s studies at CCA must be

made. This grant is not for travel expenses related to study abroad courses.

The maximum award for an individual travel grant is $500. The grants are

competitive; not all students applying for a grant will receive one.

Grants are for travel that has yet to occur at the time of submission. (Retroactive

grants will not be awarded.)

California College of the Arts