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Director of the School of Art

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POST DATE 10/11/2017
END DATE 12/12/2017

University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR

Fayetteville, AR
AJE Ref #
Job Classification
Full Time
Job Type
Company Ref #
Mid-Career (2 - 15 years)




The School of Art will shape a new generation of artists, historians, designers and teachers with a unique understanding of the hope art can bring to communities, said Alice Walton, chairwoman of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art s board. The unparalleled access to meaningful American art will connect the heartland to the world.

The Director position provides a transformational opportunity for growth, innovation, and partnership under the direction of a visionary leader. The School of Art will create a signature program that uniquely positions it as the place for the study of and research in American art and the art of the Americas. Because of the strong current faculty, programs, and students, the new Director will have the ability to build from a solid foundation of achievement in the areas of art history, art education, graphic design, and studio art. Channeling an established and demonstrated passion for community engagement, the mission of the new School will include enhancing the land-grant mission for the arts through outreach and service to the local, state, and regional community.

Supported by the Walton Family Foundation gift and significant financial commitment from the university, this opportunity requires a builder, a futurist, a storyteller, and a results-oriented leader. The School seeks excellence and quality in all initiatives and programs it undertakes. The long-term vision of the School is to become a catalyst for excellence in the arts and to achieve increased rankings for the School and its individual programs, as well as in an increased reputation and presence within national and international circles.

GROWTH. Over a 5-year period the School seeks to build a national model for diversity and inclusion, as it adds 26 new faculty members, including eleven endowed professorships. Additional priorities will include the development and growth of new graduate programs in art education and art history as well as a focus on Visiting Professorships. Significant student scholarship funds will support growth in the quality and numbers of students. The Edward Durell Stone Fine Arts Center will be renovated and serve as the academic and research hub for the School of Art.

INNOVATION. Through a culture of collaboration, the school will motivate, inspire, and redefine possibilities of experimentation by breaking down barriers across disciplines and with unexpected players. The reach of the School of Arts will extend across the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences and include collaborations with many of the university s academic units. Externally, the land grant values of teaching, outreach, and service will ground the School through exposure and access of the arts throughout Arkansas. A leader with an appetite for experimentation and innovation will enable the unit to serve as a catalyst for art s interconnectedness to a larger ecosystem. This potential for intersection will create the opportunity for bringing Arkansas to the world and the world to Arkansas through the education of and exposure to art.

PARTNERSHIP. Through a fully integrated partnership with Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, internationally recognized collections, exhibitions and education programs will provide a foundation for signature programs grounded in object-based teaching. Available to all School of Art program areas and across campus, this framework will build a unique ecosystem to benefit students, faculty, research, and K-12 and community outreach. Continuing a strong connection with the regional community, the School will enhance its national and international reputation through other potential partnerships including other institutions, museums, cultural organizations, etc. The recruitment of a preeminent advisory board will be an early priority for the new Director.


The ideal candidate will be a visionary and creative strategist who will build upon the 142-year history of the art program and develop its reputation as a top School of Art regionally, nationally, and internationally. The Director will take the lead in shaping the future of the School, helping to advance and define its standards of excellence, directions of growth, and multi-disciplinary connections across the university and throughout the world. Through enhanced partnership with Crystal Bridges, the new leader will collaborate with the museum to realize the potential for the unique relationship between a world-renowned museum and academic School of Art.

The Director will oversee the School s strategic advancement in the areas of curriculum, technology, personnel, finances, community relations, and operational functions. The Director will engage in student-focused initiatives and assure continued focus on students, both undergraduate and graduate. The Director will be expected to recruit and retain diverse and talented faculty colleagues.

The Director will need to advocate judiciously for the school internally within the context of the mission of this public university. Additionally, the director will be responsible for endowment management, alumni/donor relations, and fundraising. The Director must have experience in evaluating tenure and promotion dossiers, supervising faculty and staff, overseeing performance reviews, managing budgets and endowments, and continuing existing relationships while developing new relationships with the community both locally and globally.

The Director should have strong interpersonal and communication skills and demonstrated success in administration in higher education programs in art education, art history, graphic design, and/or studio art as well as the ability to foster strong and collegial relationships among faculty, staff and students, and build strong ties with the college, university, region, state, and nation.


The University of Arkansas is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution. The university welcomes applications without regard to age, race, gender (including pregnancy), national origin, disability, religion, marital or parental status, protected veteran status, military service, genetic information, sexual orientation or gender identity. Persons must have proof of legal authority to work in the United States on the first day of employment. All applicant information is subject to public disclosure under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.

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