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Dean, School of the Arts and Special Assistant to the Provost for the School of the Arts in Qatar

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) invites applications and nominations for the position of Dean, School of the Arts, and Special Assistant to the Provost for the School of the Arts in Qatar. The next dean of the School of the Arts at VCU has the opportunity to join a highly energetic, engaged and talented faculty, staff and student population. The school has established itself as a creative force both locally, nationally and internationally. The school encompasses a wide spectrum of disciplines whose distinctiveness fosters opportunities for premier collaborations and synergies within the school, across the university and around the globe.

The School of the Arts, ranked the number one public school of the arts and design by U.S. News and World Report, educates approximately 3,000 undergraduates and more than 180 graduate students, in programs in both Richmond, Virginia and in Doha, Qatar. Students are taught by 170 full-time teaching and research faculty members and more than 250 others who bring direct artistic experience into the classroom on a part-time basis. The school is organized into 16 departments and programs, offering 18 bachelor’s degrees, six master’s degrees and one doctoral degree. Students can receive a MFA in Design (3 concentrations), Fine Arts (10 concentrations), Theatre (4 concentrations), a MA in Art History (2 concentrations), or a Master of Music or of Art Education. School of the Arts offers a Ph.D. in Art History (2 concentrations). Additionally, School of the Arts partners with the College of Humanities and Sciences and the Robertson School of Media and Culture for an interdisciplinary doctoral program in Media, Art, & Text (MATX), as well as a joint Education Ph.D. with a concentration in Art Education with VCU School of Education. The School of the Arts has an annual budget of $32 million and an endowment of more than $14 million.

VCU is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. VCU is designated as a research university with very high research activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education and is recognized as a community-engaged institution by the Carnegie Foundation. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 225 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Seventy-nine of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college.

The ideal candidate must have a terminal or equivalent degree in an arts-related discipline or substantive experience sufficient to warrant a tenured position at the level of full professor in the School of the Arts. In addition, the applicant should have a demonstrated record of administrative accomplishment in fiscal, facilities and personnel management in the arts, academia, or an arts related field, as well as experience or suitable preparation for success in fundraising and development. Candidates must be able to cultivate an environment that will stimulate the development of initiatives that support student development, faculty goals, and sustainability within the School and across the university. The successful candidate should also possess an entrepreneurial spirit, a passion for embracing diversity, a record of advocacy for the arts and building relationships internally and externally and a talent for fostering cross-disciplinary collaboration. The applicant should possess a forward-looking vision for the role of the arts and the ability to inspire a community towards its fulfillment.

Inquiries, nominations, and applications are invited, and the position will remain open until filled. For priority consideration, please apply before Jan. 16, 2017.

Search committee

Search committee co-chairs
John Ulmschneider, University Librarian
Darryl Harper, Associate professor and chair, Department of Music
Search committee members
Holly Alford, Associate professor, Department of Fashion Design and Merchandising
Andrea Alvarez, Director of exhibitions, The Depot Gallery
Dina Bangdel, Ph.D., Director, Art history, VCU School of the Arts in Qatar
Marcel Cornis-Pope, Ph.D., Professor, Department of English
Christine Costello, Administrative coordinator, Art Foundation Program
Sarah Cunningham, Ph.D., Executive director of research, School of the Arts
Alan Dow, M.D., Assistant vice president, Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Care
Mary Eisendrath, Assistant chair and assistant professor, Department of Sculpture and Extended Media
Lisa Freiman, Ph.D., Director, Institute for Contemporary Art
Sonali Gulati, Associate professor, Department of Photography and Film
Christina Hairston, Student, School of the Arts
Babatunde Lawal, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Art History
Christina Lindholm, Ph.D., Associate dean for curriculum and assessment, School of the Arts
William "Bill" Royall, Founder, Royall & Company
Nancy Scott, Associate dean for academic administration, School of the Arts
Jody Symula, Assistant dean for student affairs, School of the Arts
Roberto Ventura,  Assistant professor, Department of Interior Design
Stephen Vitiello, Professor and graduate program director, Department of Kinetic Imaging
Richard Woodward, Curator, African art collection, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Search committee ex-officio members
David Clemmons, Faculty recruiting partner, Office of Faculty Recruitment and Retention
Kathleen Shaw, Vice provost for planning and decision support


Virginia Commonwealth University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution providing access to education and employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, political affiliation, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or disability.