Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty

Cleveland Institute of Art

Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty


Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA), one of the nation's leading accredited independent colleges of art and design, seeks a creative, collaborative, transparent and strategic leader to serve as vice president of academic affairs and dean of faculty.

CIA is a community anchor and has served as the hub of art and design education in Cleveland, Ohio, since 1882, nurturing the intellectual, artistic and professional development of students and community members through rigorous visual arts and design education. CIA’s vision is to advance culture, community and global quality of life. Through a comprehensive range of majors, CIA cultivates individuals with both a strong sense of social awareness and professional responsibility that allows artists and designers to face the ethical and practical challenges presented by today's complex landscape. Approximately 600 students, 50 full-time and 60 adjunct faculty members and 96 staff live and work in breathtaking, state-of-the art facilities in Cleveland’s University Circle, which was recently named the Best Arts District in the Country by USA Today and as "one of the ten prettiest communities in the country" by Forbes Magazine. CIA graduates are competitive as studio artists, designers, photographers, animators, contemporary craftspeople and educators, and they change the way we look at the world.

Reporting directly to the president and CEO and serving as a member of the executive cabinet, the vice president of academic affairs and dean of faculty (VPAA) is the chief academic officer, providing leadership and oversight for CIA's current and future undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs, and all other matters integral to the academic program success. The new VPAA will join a community that works together to solve problems, is nimble and agile in its ability to respond to change and is enthusiastic about the future of CIA. There has never been a better time to become an artist or designer, and the VPAA will play a critical role as CIA continues to prepare leaders in art and design for an evolving world.

Creativity matters! With ever-changing market demands in mind, the VPAA will bring an outside-the-box vision for what an art and design curriculum might look like in a post-COVID era. The VPAA will offer an innovative approach to enhance the quality of the CIA's academic programs, uphold educator excellence and deliver a vibrant curriculum that can attract students who reflect the diverse global society. Leading program assessment and evaluation, investing in teaching and learning initiatives and ensuring diversity, equity, inclusion and justice play out in the curriculum and in processes, policies and procedures at CIA will be critical to the role. The recently-announced Cleveland Innovation District and the campus' location in University Circle offer opportunities for CIA to partner with local organizations, and the VPAA will play an integral role in helping CIA expand its influence and deepen its engagement within the community.

The ideal candidate will have an understanding and appreciation of an arts education; knowledge of student affairs and its connection to the classroom experience and, ultimately, student success; direct experience in accreditation and institutional effectiveness; and proficiency in navigating a shared governance environment. Honesty and transparency when communicating data and decisions, a collaborative and resourceful nature and the ability to make tough decisions while keeping student success at the forefront will be essential.

All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes described in the leadership profile, which can be found at

WittKieffer is assisting Cleveland Institute of Art in this search. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by January 7, 2022.

Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal.

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to:

Shelley Arakawa, J.D. and Lauren Bruce-Stets


Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) is committed to increasing diversity in our community and actively pursues individuals from all backgrounds. Additionally, CIA complies with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and provides equal opportunity in all educational programs and activities, admission of students, and conditions of employment for all qualified individuals regardless of race, color, sex, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, protected veteran status, gender identity or national origin.