Position type: FAC - Tenure Track FacultyLocation: Allendale, MichiganCategories: College of Liberal Arts & Sciences


The Department of Visual and Media Arts at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) invites applicants for a full-time, 9-month, tenure-track assistant professor specializing in Visual Studies and Studio Foundations. The successful candidate will focus on teaching, leadership, and engagement in contemporary, contextual, and digital studio practices. This position will begin August 6, 2024.

This position is part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Cluster Hire in Society, Technology, and Environment, a cohort hire of scholars devoted to innovative curricular and multidisciplinary research initiatives. The successful candidate will be a tenure-track faculty member in the Department of Visual and Media Arts. They will be expected to collaborate with humanities teacher-scholars, writers, and artists/designers in CLAS and in other parts of the university to explore the relationships between human communities and the technologies and environments that influence them. The department also invites candidates for another position that is part of the same cohort in Responsible Graphic Design and Studio Foundations.

Teaching responsibilities will include 6 courses/year, including courses in Visual Studies emphasis area and multiple sections of Making + Meaning. There is also the potential for teaching other courses in Studio Foundations, Studio Art, or Introduction to Art.

Visual Studies is one of eight emphasis areas in Studio Art, which is one of five major programs within the Department of Visual and Media Arts. Visual Studies uses innovative pedagogies to address rich contexts in contemporary art practice. In Time Studio, Interactive Studio and Image Studio, students engage the prevalence of digital media and networks in human experience by making and thinking critically about these media. In Civic Studio, Curatorial Studio and Space Studio, students design and implement special contexts and engagements to learn about human experience and power. Visual Studies operates integrally with other visual and academic methodologies within the Department, University, and Community. For more information about Visual Studies at GVSU see

Making + Meaning is a studio foundations course required for Studio Art and Art Education majors and Studio Art Minors. It is also a course in the General Education program at GVSU. The course engages meaning through an introduction and analysis of representation, context, interactivity, and cultural production in studio practice.

The position will be filled at the Assistant Professor rank. Credit toward tenure, extra compensation, and/or reassigned time will be negotiated with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Required Qualifications and Education

Applicants must have:

·      Master of Fine Arts (or terminal degree in related discipline) with knowledge and ability to teach the Studio Foundations course Making + Meaning, as well as two or more of the six studio courses in the Visual Studies area:

o   Civic Studio: Art in Public

o   Time Studio: Art, Video, Sound, Action

o   Image Studio: Art, Production, Meaning, Display

o   Space Studio: Art, Installation, Environment, Site

o   Curatorial Studio: Art, Exhibitions, Events

o   Interactive Studio: Art, Interface, Collaboration

·      Ability to organize and maintain a healthy, safe, and productive studio learning environment

·      Work with digital media in relation to other studio and intellectual ways of knowing

·      Ability to implement student learning using visual and digital resources

·      Ability to produce high-quality public programs and materials

·      Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access, along with an understanding of, or at least interest in, social justice education and initiatives and/or intercultural training

·      Strong communication and interpersonal skills, such as the ability to interact with others with respect and empathy

Preferred Qualifications and Education:

·      Candidates with expertise teaching courses/content comparable to Civic Studio (Art in Public) and Time Studio (Art, Video, Sound, Action)

·      Experience teaching contemporary, contextual, digital practices in art

·      Engagement with theory and writing in Contemporary Art and Design, Digital Media/Culture, and Art and Foundations pedagogy

·      Minimum two years of undergraduate teaching experience in contemporary, contextual, digital practices in art (teaching assistantships will be considered)

·      Experience in developing and/or managing public, cultural productions

·      Engagement with multiple areas of skill and knowledge

·      A history of mentoring students under-represented in higher education, and/or experience using inclusive pedagogies, and/or scholarship focusing on marginalized populations, social inequality, or social justice, and/or other related experiences, including authentic community engagement and intercultural knowledge and training

Responsibilities - Essential Functions

The chosen candidate will:

·      Teach 6 courses/year (3/3) in a NASAD-accredited undergraduate program. Teaching responsibilities will include courses in Visual Studies, multiple sections of Making + Meaning, with the potential for teaching other courses in Foundations, Studio Art, or Introduction to Art

·      Provide leadership in the Visual Studies area, including vision in curriculum development

·      Help advise a variety of Studio Art majors, including those in the Visual Studies emphasis

·      Help develop high-impact learning experiences

·      Contribute organizational support as part of Foundations

·      Participate in student reviews at the sophomore, junior and senior levels

·      Participate in service activities as assigned/volunteered

·      Remain current by undertaking professional development opportunities to improve their disciplinary knowledge, competence, or skills


The salary will be commensurate with experience. Relocation expenses and reassigned teaching time must be approved by the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The university offers an excellent comprehensive package that includes health/vision/dental plans, life insurance, retirement, sick/leave disability, tuition waiver, adoption resources, wellness coaching, and free access to campus fitness facilities. Family and childcare options on and off- campus are also available. For a detailed description of benefits, please visit


As a community of educators, artists, and scholars, the Department of Visual and Media Arts values the examination of the world through diverse cultural discourses which inform pedagogy and scholarship, and diverse forms of collaboration with university, local, and regional communities. We seek a faculty member who is well-rounded, committed to undergraduate teaching excellence and mentoring, able to teach throughout the Visual Studies curriculum, understands emerging trends in the areas of contemporary, contextual, digital practices in art, and is committed to diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts in studio art practice.

The department is located on the Allendale campus and has 38 full-time faculty and 627 majors. 20% of the students reported being from an underrepresented minority (African American or Black, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, Hispanic or Latinx, Two or more races, International, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander). 33% of the department majors have reported being first-generation college students.

The Department offers NASAD-accredited undergraduate degrees in Art History (BA), Art Education (BA/BS), Film and Video Production (BA/BS), Photography (BA/BS), and Studio Art (BA/BS/BFA). The BFA in Studio Art degree has emphases in Ceramics, Graphic Design, Illustration, Jewelry and Metalsmithing, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, and Visual Studies. The department also offers minors in Art History, Photography, and Studio Art. Several courses offered by the unit serve the institution through its General Education program or are courses for non-majors.

The Department is well-equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for digital and physical media, including computer labs, digital fabrication labs, digital printing labs, animation labs, a film studio, a woodshop, a metal shop, a print shop, studios for painting and ceramics, and a darkroom. Further information about the department is available at

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) is the largest college at Grand Valley, offering over 50 Bachelor’s degrees and a growing number of advanced degrees in the natural and mathematical sciences, the fine arts and humanities, and the social sciences. CLAS is a student-centered and diverse learning community that engages in critical inquiry, extending knowledge to enrich and enliven individual and public life. Our faculty are active teacher- scholars committed to equitable, inclusive, career-connected, and community-engaged liberal arts and sciences education. There are many opportunities for collaboration within CLAS and across a broad group of partners on and off campus. This year, six CLAS departments are collaborating to center diversity, equity, and inclusion in our hiring process. We are interested in attracting a cohort of new faculty committed to these core values as we seek to foster a community where members from all backgrounds can live, learn, and thrive together.

Campus and Community

Grand Valley University (GVSU) is a public comprehensive institution located in West Michigan with campuses in Allendale, downtown Grand Rapids, and Holland, plus centers in Muskegon and Traverse City. The University attracts more than 23,000 undergraduate and graduate students with high quality programs and state-of-the-art facilities, and has been nationally recognized for innovativeness and its contribution to students’ social mobility. The greater Grand Rapids metropolitan area has a population of around one million people, is affordable and rich in cultural amenities, and is located in easy driving distance of Chicago, Detroit, Lake Michigan beaches, and many other superb summer and winter recreational venues. Grand Valley is highly rated for safety, sustainability, and veteran and LGBTQ friendliness, and is committed to supporting employees and their families in work-life balance. Culturally, the Grand Rapids area is an active hub for art and design, housing the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the Grand Rapids Public Museum, the South Division Street Corridor known as Avenue for the Arts, and the international art competition ArtPrize.

How To Apply

The online application will allow applicants to attach these documents electronically. A complete application must include:

1.    A cover letter addressing qualifications and your interest in and potential contribution to the cluster

2.    A statement that describes ongoing and anticipated activities to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in teaching, research/creative activity, and service, with particular attention to experiences engaging and supporting a diverse student body (submitted as “Leadership Philosophy”)

3.    A portfolio (PDF or URL) of 8-10 scholarly/creative works (submitted as “Research Interests”)

4.    A curriculum vitae

5.    A sample syllabus for a course you have previously instructed that may be similar to an existing Visual Studies course at GVSU, or a syllabus for/description of a course that you aspire to teach at GVSU (submitted as “Teaching Evaluations”)

6.    A teaching philosophy that highlights the candidate’s experience with learner-centered techniques (submitted as “Teaching Statement”)

7.    A copy of graduate transcripts (the unofficial versions issued to students are acceptable to apply)

8.    A portfolio (PDF or URL) of 10-20 student works (submitted as “Other Documents”)

9.    Contact information for three professional references

Applicants selected for interviews will be required to submit official transcripts prior to the interview. If you need assistance, call Human Resources at 616-331-2215. For inquiries about the position, please email inquiries regarding the position to Professor Brett Colley, search committee chair at [email protected]. Please allow 3–5 days for a response. 

Preliminary candidate interviews will occur over the phone/online. Candidates should have reliable access to technology that will allow the use of videoconferencing software such as Zoom, MS Team, Google Meet, or Skype. Accommodations within reason will be provided for qualified applicants.

Application Deadline: Consideration of applications will begin on January 8, 2024. The position will remain open until filled and may be closed at any time at the discretion of the university.

The University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution, consistent with its obligations as a federal contractor. It encourages diversity and provides equal opportunity in education, employment, all of its programs, and the use of its facilities. It is committed to protecting the constitutional and statutory civil rights of persons connected with the University. Members of the University community, including students, employees, faculty, staff, administrators, Board members, consultants, vendors, others engaged to do business with the University, candidates for employment or admissions, and visitors or guests have the right to be free from acts of harassment and discrimination, including sexual misconduct, as defined by this policy. In accordance with applicable federal and state law and this policy, acts of discrimination or harassment by members of the campus community are prohibited if they discriminate or harass on the basis of age, color, disability, familial status, height, marital status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex/gender (including gender identity and expression), sexual orientation, veteran or active duty military status or weight. This includes inappropriate limitation of, access to, or participation in educational, employment, athletic, social, cultural, or other university programs and activities. The University will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities. Limitations are lawful if they are: directly related to a legitimate university purpose, required by law, or lawfully required by a grant or contract between the university and the state or federal government. For the purposes of this policy, sex-/gender-based harassment includes sexual misconduct, sexual assault, interpersonal or relationship violence, and stalking. See TDD Callers: Call Michigan Relay Center at 711 (in State) or 1-800-833-7833 (out of State).

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Must have the physical stamina to work long hours and/or more than 5 days per week. The requirements listed are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The information contained in this job description is for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act as amended by the ADA Amendment Act (2008), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and other applicable federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. GVSU will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request.

Advertised: 17 Oct 2023 Eastern Daylight TimeApplications close: