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Art: Assistant Professor in Social Design

Position overview

Position title: Assistant Professor, tenure-track
Salary range: Commensurate with qualifications and experience; academic year (nine-month basis).
Anticipated start: July 1, 2022, with the academic year beginning in September 2022. Degree requirements must be met by June 30, 2022 for employment effective July 1, 2022.

Application Window

Open date: September 24th, 2021

Most recent review date: Wednesday, Dec 1, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Thursday, Jun 30, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

The Art Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) invites candidates working in the field of Social Design to apply for a tenure-track faculty position recruited at the level of assistant professor.

The Art Department seeks an artist accomplished in Social Design whose work shows potential to attain national and international recognition and impact, and bridges the gap between art, design and technology while demonstrating a commitment to the environment and a just and sustainable future. This position will lead the way to new approaches to complex social concerns using creative tools and design thinking and engage real world problems through collaborative, interdisciplinary arts practice to help shape and inform society. Our goal is to build a community of researchers in the field of social impact design who will inspire and prepare creative change-makers. The scope of research will include an intersection between social intervention design, technology and social sciences. We are seeking candidates with a multidisciplinary orientation, working through the lenses of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), whose possible related areas of research and teaching might include the following: social impact design, design and technology, design literacy, graphic design, human-centered design, and digital drawing.

Our BA program is an interdisciplinary program, in which Art majors are encouraged to study a variety of courses within the Art Department as well as in other departments. Faculty in this position will be teaching students with visual arts backgrounds as well as students who study sociology, environmental studies and other fields related to social design. The chosen candidate will also teach in our new MFA program in Environmental Art and Social Practice headed by internationally-recognized artists and including affiliate faculty from across campus. The ability to contribute significantly to graduate education and mentor graduate students is essential.

The successful candidate will contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through their research, teaching, and service. The successful candidate must be engaged in DEI, committed to dismantling systems of oppressions and working with students, faculty and staff from a wide range of racial, gender, social and cultural backgrounds. The campus currently operates on a schedule of three eleven-week quarters per academic year. The successful candidate will be expected to teach four graduate/undergraduate five-unit courses per year, or their equivalent, in accordance with the department’s workload policy; advise and mentor students; actively engage in research activity and participate in administrative responsibilities for the department, affiliated college and the campus.

The Arts Division supports cross disciplinary research funded through the Arts Research Institute the university awards research and teaching grants awarded through the Committee on Research, the Committee on Teaching, and others.

The University of California Santa Cruz is a Research-1 institution with a long history of supporting environmental research, environmental justice, social justice, and social mobility. The campus is located among redwood forests and meadows overlooking Monterey Bay, along California’s Central Coast in close proximity to Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area.

UC Santa Cruz values diversity, equity, and inclusion and is committed to hiring faculty who will work to support these values. UC Santa Cruz is a Hispanic-Serving Institution with a high proportion of first-in-family students. To be considered, candidates must demonstrate an understanding of the barriers facing women and people of color and describe their experience and future plans to promote equity and inclusion in teaching, mentoring, and research.

The chosen candidate will be expected to sign a statement representing that they are not the subject of any ongoing investigation or disciplinary proceeding at their current academic institution or place of employment, nor have they in the past ten years been formally disciplined at any academic institution/place of employment. In the event the candidate cannot make this representation, they will be expected to disclose in writing to the hiring Dean the circumstances surrounding any formal discipline that they have received, as well as any current or ongoing investigation or disciplinary process of which they are the subject. (Note that discipline includes a negotiated settlement agreement to resolve a matter related to substantiated misconduct.)

Art Department:


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

Masters, M.F.A. or Ph.D. (or equivalent foreign degree) in an area of expertise related to Social Design/Practice Art. Degree requirements expected to be completed by June 30, 2022.

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter - Letter of application outlining scholarly and creative background as well as current and future research plans.

  • Portfolio of Completed Works - Provide one PDF document with links to your online works and be sure to include a brief description of each work.

  • Samples of Student Work - As evidence of successful instruction, provide one PDF document with links to current/previous student's online work and include a brief description of each work. Please ensure to provide links to ten different images.

  • Writing Sample (1 of 2 required)

  • Writing Sample (2 of 2 required)

  • Statement of Teaching* - Teaching statement describing your teaching experience and teaching interests.

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion* - Statement addressing your understanding of the barriers facing traditionally underrepresented groups and your past and/or future contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion through teaching and professional or public service. Candidates are urged to review guidelines on statements (see before preparing their application.

    *Initial applicant screening will focus only on these elements: Statement of Teaching and Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Please review the guidelines on the elements of a good diversity statement and the search committee’s rubric for assessing diversity statements. See UCSC guidelines for statements.

Reference requirements
  • 3-5 required (contact information only)

Applicants must provide the names and contact information of their references. The hiring unit will request confidential letters** from the references of those applicants who are under serious consideration. Note that your references, or dossier service, will submit their confidential letters directly to the UC Recruit System.

**All letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. For any reference letter provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service, career center), direct the author to UCSC’s confidentiality statement at

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Campus Information

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees. Inquiries regarding the University’s equal employment opportunity policies may be directed to the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 or by phone at (831) 459-2686.

Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Certain UCSC positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check (see The university sponsors employment-based visas for nonresidents who are offered academic appointments at UC Santa Cruz (see

UCSC is a smoke & tobacco-free campus.

If you need accommodation due to a disability, please contact Disability Management Services at (831) 459-4602.

UCSC is committed to addressing the spousal and partner employment needs of our candidates and employees. As part of this commitment, our institution is a member of the Northern California Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (NorCal HERC). Visit the NorCal HERC website at to search for open positions within a commutable distance of our institution.

The University of California offers a competitive benefits package and a number of programs to support employee work/life balance. For information about employee benefits please visit

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy.All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of Full Vaccination or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, and/or Religious Objection) or Deferral (based on pregnancy) no later than the applicable deadline. New University of California employees should refer to Appendix F, Section II.C. of the policy for applicable deadlines. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.) Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements. Additional information and resources for compliance are located on the campus COVID-19 Vaccines webpage.


Job location

Santa Cruz, California