Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts- Director, College and Graduate School of Art

Washington University in St. Louis invites nominations and applications for the position of Director of the College and Graduate School of Art in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. The Director will also hold the Jane Reuter Hitzeman and Herbert F. Hitzeman, Jr. Professorship in Art.


The Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts is a global model for the transformative roles art, architecture, and design play within the research university. By successfully uniting the visual creative fields—and a prominent art museum—the Sam Fox School distinguishes Washington University among the world’s excellent research and teaching institutions. The School is an interdisciplinary community of artists, architects, designers, curators, and scholars who are focused on responding to the global realities of our times. Students and faculty engage deeply in innovative teaching, practice, exhibition, and research with a commitment to the environment, diversity, social justice, cultural expression, and the enduring value of the arts.


The College of Art offers the professional BFA degree in Art with concentrations in painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, or no concentration; Communication Design with significant emphasis in graphic design, illustration, and interaction design; or Fashion Design. The College recently introduced a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Art or Design, which offers an alternative track to undergraduates enrolled in the Sam Fox School who are seeking more elective coursework or wish to pursue a double major in Arts & Sciences, Engineering, or Business. The Graduate School of Art offers the MFA degree in Visual Arts through an academically rigorous, individualized course of study that encourages creative activity and collaboration across disciplines and media. Emerging artists in the program deepen their inquiry into ideas that drive their studio work by engaging with disciplines across campus such as social work, architecture, biology, philosophy-neuroscience-psychology, women and gender studies, performing arts, environmental studies, and art history. Starting in the fall of 2019, the Graduate School will offer a new MFA degree in Illustration and Visual Culture. The College and Graduate School of Art enrolls approximately 300 undergraduate and 40 graduate students with 60-70 full-time and part-time faculty members. The College is a founding member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.


Washington University in St. Louis is a global leader in research and education with approximately 12,500 full-time students divided evenly between undergraduate and graduate/professional programs. The university has 3,000 full- and part-time faculty members and more than half a billion dollars in annual research expenditures. Founded in 1853, the University is an independent, Research 1 institution with nearly 60 graduate and undergraduate programs ranked in the top 25 by US News & World Report. The University’s undergraduate program is currently ranked 14th overall and seventh in admissions selectivity, and the School of Medicine is number 6 nationally. Washington University attracts students and faculty from all 50 states and more than 100 countries, and offers more than 300 programs leading to bachelors, masters, doctoral, and professional degrees. The University is organized into seven academic units:  the School of Engineering & Applied Science, the School of Medicine, the Olin Business School, the Brown School of Social Work, the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, the School of Law, and Arts & Sciences. The University has just completed a capital campaign that surpassed $3.3 billion and is in the early stages of planning strategy for the next ten years.

The new Director will join the Sam Fox School at a formative moment in its history with a host of new facilities and opportunities for ongoing cultural and academic coalescence. As the chief academic and administrative officer of the College and Graduate School of Art, the Director is responsible for developing and nurturing creative, scholarly, and research activities; promoting excellence in teaching; shaping an evolving curriculum; facilitating dialogue among faculty within the school and across the University; and providing strategic direction for facilities and budget planning. The Director oversees faculty affairs, sets program priorities, and works closely with the communications and admissions teams. The Director is part of a collaborative team of academic leaders in the Sam Fox School, including the Director of Architecture and the Director of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum. The Director works closely with the Dean and the leadership team to advance the goals and resources of the College of Art, including stewardship of alumni to advance the School’s reputation and fundraising efforts.


Competitive candidates will have relevant administrative experience at the university level as an area head, department chair, or director and a significant record as an artist/designer/scholar and teacher. Candidates will also demonstrate successful leadership and advocacy for students, faculty, and staff, as well as a commitment to community service and to intellectual and social diversity. Applicants for this position are expected to hold a terminal degree from an accredited institution and qualify for an appointment as a full professor with tenure. The ideal candidate for Director will be a creative, energetic, and accomplished leader who can guide the College and Graduate School of Art in alignment with the mission and goals of the Sam Fox School. They will be nationally and internationally connected in their professional realm and will demonstrate the ability to bring others into greater visibility and prominence.


Inquiries, nominations, and applications are invited.  Although the search will remain open until the position is filled, review of candidate materials will begin immediately. Candidates should provide, in confidence, a curriculum vitae, a letter of application, and the names and contact information of five references.  References will not be contacted without prior knowledge and approval of the candidates.  Materials should be sent electronically via e-mail to the university’s consultant, Dr. Jonathan Fortescue of Park Square Executive Search, at Documents that must be mailed may be sent to Jonathan Fortescue, Ph.D., Managing Partner, or Maddie Reeg, Associate, Park Square Executive Search, LLC, 125 Summer Street, 18th Floor, Boston, MA 02110. Phone: 617-391-9164.


Washington University in St. Louis is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Washington University welcomes difference on our campus in the form of gender, race, ethnicity, disability, geography, socioeconomic status, age, politics, religion, philosophy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression and veteran status. All applicants who share this goal are encouraged to apply.