Dean of Design

California College of the Arts (CCA), located in the San Francisco Bay Area, is seeking a Dean of Design. The dean joins the institution—a leading art and design college renowned for its interdisciplinarity, breadth of programs, and a student and faculty body dedicated to “making art that matters”—at a time of great opportunity and change. The dean will play a key role in growing a shared identity for the Design Division, and furthering a transdisciplinary understanding of design that will help attract students and build industry connections. The school's proximity to Silicon Valley and its deep roots in the Bay Area creative scene are enviable; the Design Division is distinctly positioned to be a model of 21st century education, poised to further leverage the college's maker history with technological innovation and new thinking.

Established in 1907, CCA is home to an energetic and productive community of designers, artists, architects, writers, curators, and scholars. The college offers 34 programs in four disciplines: fine arts, architecture, design, and writing. CCA enrolls approximately 1,500 undergraduate and 450 graduate degree-seeking students, employs more than 500 faculty and 250 staff, and boasts more than 18,000 alumni. With a progressive past and an imaginative present, the Bay Area is home to one of the world's most influential design communities. CCA brings this community into focus and play in an educational setting whose social and cultural mission attracts luminaries and activists. Close ties to Silicon Valley, the Bay Area, and ongoing exchanges with the Pacific Rim and Latin America make CCA a center of creative engagement with the future.

CCA has ambitious and bold plans for the years ahead. The transition to a consolidated, single San Francisco campus has already begun and exciting design activities are under way. The college is in the process of developing newly acquired land, it has an engaged set of community partners to work with, and will be embarking upon a new capital campaign shortly. The Dean of Design, along with other senior leadership members, will play a critical role in amplifying and redefining arts education and practice, and will develop the campus facilities of the future to support this cutting edge transdisciplinary work.

The ideal candidate will be a designer with a deep history of professional practice, a recognized design scholar and/or an organizational leader with strong experience in institution building and management. To be successful, the dean must address a number of key opportunities and challenges, including:

  • Craft a compelling vision and shared identity for the Design Division;
  • Develop and cultivate strategic partnerships to increase and strengthen the division's visibility and reach;
  • Serve as a key leader in campus planning and design while simultaneously forging strong divisional and college-wide collaborations; and
  • Nurture and develop an extremely talented faculty, staff, and student body.

CCA has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in this search. Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the completion of the search process/until the position is filled. For more details, including the full position profile and to submit inquiries, nominations, referrals, and applications, please see the Isaacson, Miller website for the search: Electronic submission of materials is required.

Regan Gough and Brett Barbour

Isaacson, Miller

1000 Sansome Street, Suite 300

San Francisco, CA 94111

Phone: 415.655.4900

California College of the Arts is an equal opportunity employer.