Program Director, Product Design, BFA and MDes employment with the University of the Arts


DEPARTMENT: Product design, BFA and MDes, School of design

REPORTS TO: Dean, School of Design


This position is responsible for providing leadership to faculty, students, and staff in the BFA and MDes undergraduate product design programs. The Program Director sets a vision for the program that is aligned with the overall goals of the school and advances it by ensuring that the curriculum and relevant evolving goals stay current with art forms and fields to which it aligns. Promotes inclusiveness throughout the program and department.

The Product Design Program Director is a renowned and forward-thinking designer-educator who continues to build on our uniqueness, amplify our voice in the national discourse on design and design education, and increase our international visibility and prestige as a leading educational institution for product design. . They have the foresight, desire, and experience to transform our existing graduate and undergraduate product design programs into those that prepare students for a variety of practices to meet the design challenges of the future.

The Program Director will be innovative in the wide range of opportunities available in an ever-changing field and inspire students and faculty in learning communities to further develop the culture of shared design that is the School of uArts design.

Program directors receive compensation and course waivers for their administrative work, as outlined in their administrative appointment letters.

Essential tasks and responsibilities:

  • Provide academic leadership of the program and sit / assist on relevant committees within the School and University; facilitate program faculty meetings.
  • Have the knowledge to shape the educational vision of the new undergraduate program – as the core curriculum is developed, the program director is expected to modify and refine the program as each year of the degree evolves.
  • Teach a course load that includes a wide range of product-related topics from beginner to advanced level (in both undergraduate and graduate programs), lecture in an engaging manner, and teach their courses as a whole with other instructors to create learning communities.
    Supervision of teachers and staff
  • Hire new full-time and part-time faculty and staff; sit on committees looking for new professors.
  • Appoint study program coordinators.
  • Supervise and mentor faculty (and staff, if applicable), maintaining strong and effective leadership, relationships and communication; solve problems.
  • Provide ongoing faculty review and assessment and provide classroom observations, annual conversations, biennial assessments, and renewal and promotion exams.
    VSstudy programme
    • Maintain and supervise compliance with the standards of the study program; review all course programs.
    • Work with faculty on course development, evaluation, and improvement.
    • Develop courses and revise the program as needed, in consultation with the Dean, to maintain the relevance of the program to industry standards and practices.
    • Collaborate with program directors and deans of the University to offer academic and interdisciplinary paths to students.
    • Create all class schedules.
  • Participate in strategic planning and studies and reviews of academic and accreditation programs; write all documents, answers, self-study and study program proposals.
  • Organize and participate in student counseling and mentoring; coordinate counseling activities with the Counseling Center.
  • Coordinate student events including, but not limited to thesis reviews, juries, exhibitions, performances, awards, external competitions and events.
  • Collaborate / coordinate / supervise external initiatives for students such as internships and community partnerships.
  • Maintain the support and maintenance of all program facilities, working with OTIS as needed.
    • Develop annual budgets and prepare all budget documents for the year.
  • Manage and supervise the expenses of the department, including materials and supplies and the restricted account for scholarships, programs and awards.
    Recruitment and Marketing
    • Support / coordinate / participate in school / admissions recruitment efforts e.g. open houses, student accepted programs and other initiatives.
    • Assist university marketing by providing up-to-date material such as student assignments, descriptive copy, and testimonials regarding the program and / or discipline.
    • Promote the program and manage its publications on social networks.
  • Oversee all program orientation presentations.
  • Support / participate in university development efforts, p.
  • Work with the Dean and the Advancement Office on corporate or foundation grants.
  • Foster mentoring relationships between alumni and recent graduates.
  • Seek creative partnerships with other regional universities and colleges.
  • The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by the incumbent; they do not claim to describe all functions. The incumbent may be entrusted with other tasks, and the essential functions may change from time to time if necessary.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by the incumbent; they do not claim to describe all functions. The incumbent may be assigned other duties, and essential duties may change from time to time as necessary.


  • The college seeks applicants with professional experience, preferably with an MFA degree, although a BFA degree combined with extensive professional experience will also be considered.


  • Corresponds to that of an associate professor or a full professor.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage resources and personnel, and other management experience related to the above responsibilities.

Skills, knowledge, skills and abilities:

  • A leader in the field and a demonstrated record of excellence and professional achievement in the industry, with a wide range of professional accomplishments, knowledge, awareness and experience in product design; commitment to professional commitment with their own art.
  • Strong ties with the product / industrial design community, as evidenced by conference presentations, guest lectures and professional networks.
  • Ability to create visions for programs, develop new courses and contribute ideas for the evolution of existing courses; a commitment to teach and advance the discipline.
  • Includes user experience design, product conceptualization and development, prototyping and construction; advanced visualization and sketching capabilities are essential; a strong sense of developing memorable solutions and product aesthetics is essential, as is a thorough understanding of the design process.
  • Experience and interest in teaching numerical and physical modeling methods, and / or identifying an appropriate production scale, both manual and robotic; be able to competently respond to complex local and global production and manufacturing contexts and engage students with a diversity of skills, experiences and interests.
  • Demonstrates innovative educational approaches in one or more of the following areas: product development, sustainable design, engineering, systems, smart and emerging technologies, healthcare and / or human factors.
  • Commitment to advance product design through the innovative use of constantly evolving technologies, methodologies, traditional and new media.
  • Ability to inform creative practice with practical application.
  • Familiar with the professional fields adjacent to product design and showing an interest in exploring how the fields can effectively interact with each other.
  • Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
  • Effective leadership skills with a commitment to building an inclusive culture that fuels creativity and encourages, supports and celebrates diverse voices.

Supervisory responsibility:

  • Supervises all full and part time faculty and staff.

About the university:

The mission of the University of the Arts is simple: to advance human creativity. Founded in 1876, UArts believes creativity is the most essential skill for success in today’s society and has trained generations of revolutionary artists, performers, designers and creative leaders for over 141 years . After obtaining university status in 1987, the University of the Arts has grown into the largest institution of its kind in the country, offering programs in design, fine arts, media arts, crafts, music, dance, theater and writing. It now includes 30 undergraduate arts programs, 15 graduate programs, and the country’s first doctoral program in creativity. UArts is also home to innovative centers across disciplines, including the Center for Immersive Media, Lightbox Film Center, Philadelphia Art Alliance, and Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery. Learn more about UArts.

TO APPLY: Interested and qualified applicants should submit application letters and resumes to the Human Resources department by email to [email protected] Please make sure the job title is in the subject line.

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