Program Director, Illustration

DEPARTMENT:  Illustration, School of Design

REPORTS TO:   Dean, School of Design


This position is responsible for providing leadership for the faculty, students and staff in the Illustration program. The program director establishes a vision for the program that is in alignment with the overall goals of the School and advances it by ensuring relevant curriculum and objectives that evolve remain current with the art forms and fields to which it aligns. Fosters inclusivity throughout the program and department.

The University of the Arts innovative School of Design requires a renowned, forward-thinking illustrator-educator who will continue to build on our uniqueness, amplify our voice in the national discourse in design and design education and is motivated to build an internationally competitive illustration program. They will have the foresight, desire and experience to transform our existing undergraduate Illustration program into one that prepares students in a great variety of practices to meet the design challenges of the future. The program director will show innovation regarding the wide range of opportunities available across a constantly changing field and inspire students and faculty in learning communities to further develop the shared design culture that is the School of Design at UArts.

Program directors receive compensation and course release for their administrative work as articulated in their administrative appointment letters.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Provide academic leadership for the program and sit on/attend relevant committees within the School and across the University; lead meetings of the program faculty
  • Teach a course load that includes a wide range of subjects from intermediate to advanced levels, lecture engagingly, and teach their courses as an ensemble with other instructors to create learning communities
  • Faculty and Staff Oversight
    • Hire new full- and part-time faculty and staff; serve on search committees for new faculty
    • Supervise and mentor faculty, maintaining strong and effective relationships and communication; resolve issues
    • Appoint curriculum coordinators
    • Provide on-going review and assessment of faculty and provide classroom observations, annual conversations, biennial evaluations, and reappointment and promotion reviews
  • Curriculum
    • Maintain and supervise adherence to curriculum standards; review all course syllabi
    • Shape the program’s educational vision for the new BFA - while base curriculum is developed, the program director is expected to edit and refine the curriculum as each year of the degree evolves
    • Work with faculty on course development, assessment and improvement
    • Develop courses and revise program as appropriate, in consultation with the dean, to maintain program relevance with industry standards and practices
    • Work with program directors and deans across the University to provide curricular and interdisciplinary paths for students
    • Create all course schedules
  • Lead faculty in program and course assessment and improvement, including but not limited to curriculum mapping.
  • Participate in strategic planning, and curricular and accreditation studies and reviews; author all materials, responses, self-studies and curriculum proposals.
  • Organize and participate in student advising and mentoring; coordinate advising activities with the Advising Center.
  • Coordinate student events including, but not limited to, thesis reviews, juries, exhibitions, performances, awards, external competitions and events.
  • Partner/coordinate/oversee external initiatives for students such as internships and community partnerships.
  • Maintain support and upkeep for all program facilities, in collaboration with OTIS as needed/required.
  • Budget
    • Develop annual budgets and prepare all fiscal year budget materials
    • Manage and oversee departmental expenditures, including material and supplies and restricted account for scholarships, programming and awards
  • Recruitment and Marketing
    • Support/coordinate/participate in School/Admissions recruitment efforts, e.g. open houses, accepted student programs and other initiatives
    • Assist University Marketing by providing up-to-date material such as student work, descriptive copy and testimonials concerning the program and/or discipline
    • Promote the program and manage its social media postings
  • Supervise all program orientation presentations
  • Assist in the review and processing of upper-level transfer credit evaluations
  • Support/participate in university development efforts, e.g. award recipient/donor luncheons, UArtist Day of Giving
  • Work with the dean and Office of Advancement on corporate or foundation grants
  • Foster mentorship relationships between alumni and recent graduates
  • Seek creative partnerships with other regional universities and community colleges

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by the incumbent; they do not purport to describe all functions.  Incumbent may be assigned other duties, and the essential functions may change from time to time as necessary.


  • A terminal degree in the discipline or the equivalent in research, scholarship, and/or creative or professional practice.


  • Commensurate with that of an associate professor or full professor.
  • A demonstrated capacity for managing resources and personnel, and other management experience related to the above responsibilities.

Competencies, Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:

  • A leader in the field and a demonstrated record of excellence and professional achievement in the industry, with a broad range of professional accomplishments, knowledge, awareness and experience in illustration; commitment to professional engagement with their own artistry
  • Strong connections to the illustration/design community as evidenced through conference presentations, invited lectures and professional networks
  • Ability to create a vision for the program, develop new courses and contribute ideas for the evolution of existing courses; a commitment to teaching and advancing the illustration discipline
  • Familiar with professional fields adjacent to illustration, such as graphic design, animation, fine art, entertainment and product design, and exhibit a strong interest in exploring how these disciplines can effectively interact with illustration
  • Commitment to advancing illustration through the innovative use of evolving technologies, methodologies, traditional and new media
  • A strong mastery of visual form, image making and conceptual problem solving
  • Ability to inform creative practice with practical application
  • Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing
  • Effective leadership skills with a commitment to building an inclusive culture that fuels creativity and encourages, supports and celebrates diverse voices

Supervisory Responsibilities:

  • Supervises all full- and part-time faculty, and staff.

About The University:

University of the Arts’ mission is simple: to advance human creativity. Established in 1876, UArts believes creativity is the most essential skill for success in today’s society and has educated generations of groundbreaking artists, performers, designers and creative leaders for more than 141 years.  After being granted university status in 1987, University of the Arts became the largest institution of its kind in the nation, offering programs in design, fine arts, media arts, crafts, music, dance, theater and writing. It now features 30 undergraduate arts majors, 15 graduate programs and the nation’s first PhD program in Creativity. UArts is also home to innovative centers across disciplines, including the Center for Immersive Media, Lightbox Film Center, Philadelphia Art Alliance and Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery. Learn more about UArts.


Interested qualified applicants should submit the following documents:

  • A letter of application detailing qualifications;
  • An up-to-date CV;
  • Statement on the future of illustration;
  • A diversity statement that addresses the applicant’s values regarding diversity and history working with or teaching diverse populations;
  • A digital portfolio of examples of recent professional work and examples of work by students;
  • Sample syllabi;
  • Contact information for three professional references.

The preferred submission format for all materials other than video samples, is a single email attachment (single PDF or zipped folder), no more than 5MB in size.

To apply please submit your CV, future of illustration and diversity statements, syllabi, reference list, files/website links and a cover letter that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described in the leadership profile to the Human Resources Department via email to jobs@uarts.eduPlease ensure job title is in the subject line.

Review of applications will begin on February 1, 2022 and will continue until the position is filled. For full consideration, please have all materials submitted by this date.

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