Professor / Associate Professor, Program Director for Illustration

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JOB TITLE: Professor / Associate Professor, Program Director for Illustration
DEPARTMENT: Illustration
REPORTS TO: Dean, School of Design
Contract: Appointment begins with a 5-year renewable contract

Summary: The University of the Arts seeks a renowned, forward-thinking illustrator-educator who is motivated to build an internationally competitive illustration program. The ideal candidate will have the foresight, desire and experience to transform our existing undergraduate Illustration program into one that prepares students in a variety of practices to meet the design challenges of the future. The new program director will show innovation with regard to 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 here in the School of Design at UArts. Salary and rank are commensurate with experience.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities: 

  • Creates a vision for the program, develops new courses and contributes ideas for the evolving nature of existing courses;
  • Identifies, hires, supervises and mentors existing and new faculty;
  • Provides academic leadership and management for the program;
  • Teaches a range of subjects from intermediate to advanced levels, lectures engagingly, and teaches their courses as an ensemble with other instructors to create learning communities;
  • Maintains a professional illustration practice; promotes the program, serves on University committees; advises students, and participates in curriculum development and other departmental activities. 

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. 


  • The college is seeking candidates with professional experience, preferably with an MFA degree, although a BFA degree coupled with extensive professional experience would also be considered;
  • The successful candidate should be a leader in the field and have a demonstrated record of excellence in the industry, with a broad range of professional accomplishments, knowledge, awareness and experience in illustration;
  • The candidate should have strong connections to the illustration community as evidenced through conference presentations, invited lectures and professional networks;
  • All candidates should have a strong mastery of visual form, image making, and conceptual problem solving and inform creative practice with practical application;
  • Candidates should have a commitment to advancing the illustration discipline through the innovative use of evolving technologies, traditional and new media;
  • Candidates should be familiar with professional fields adjacent to illustration, such as graphic design, animation, fine art, entertainment and product design, and exhibit an interest in exploring how these disciplines can effectively interact with illustration; 
  • Applicants should provide evidence of academic leadership, teaching experience and/or professional experience that would warrant an appointment at the rank of Associate Professor or Professor and have a commitment to teaching, a willingness to take an active role in fostering innovative ideas and curriculum that advance the program, and a commitment to building an inclusive culture that fuels creativity and encourages, supports, and celebrates the diverse voices of our communities.

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.

Illustration has been taught at the University of the Arts since 1896, making the program one of the oldest continuous illustration programs in the country. Maxfield Parrish was a faculty member, Stan and Jan Berenstain (Berenstain Bears) met as undergrads, and alumnus Richard Amsel started his illustrious movie poster career (which would include Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Sting, Chinatown and Mad Max) during his senior year. The program today continues to be strong, vital, relevant and represent the best in contemporary illustration education.        

UArts Illustration celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2020. 

For more information about the Illustration program at University of the Arts, please visit

TO APPLY: Interested qualified applicants should submit the documents on the following list via email to Natasha Zeta, Administrative Assistant to the Dean of the School of Design, using Please ensure job title is in the Subject line.

  • A letter of application detailing qualifications;
  • An up-to-date CV;
  • Statements on the future of illustration and teaching philosophy;
  • Sample syllabi for those with teaching experience;
  • A digital portfolio of examples of recent professional and/or personal work and examples of work by students, if the candidate has teaching experience;
  • The contact information for three professional references;
  • A diversity statement that addresses the candidate’s values regarding diversity and history working with or teaching diverse populations. 

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.

Submissions materials other than cover letter, CV, future of illustration and teaching philosophy statements, syllabi, reference list, diversity statement, video files, and PDF portfolios will not be reviewed. Please do not submit supplemental materials or letters unless they are requested. Screening begins February 4, 2021 and continues until the position is filled.

The University of the Arts
School of Design

Dean of the School of Design
Office of the Dean of the School of Design
211 South Broad Street, Room 1401
Philadelphia, PA 19107

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