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Games and Playable Media MS: Program Director (Open Until Filled; Initial Review 7/17/15)

We are no longer accepting applications for this recruitment


The Master of Science in Games and Playable Media (GPM MS) at UC Santa Cruz invites applications for its Program Director. Reporting to the Program Chair, the Program Director is a key leadership position, including: (1) program and curriculum planning, management, and evaluation; (2) teaching, mentoring, and advising students in the program; and (3) ongoing professional work and/or research in the games field. The GPM MS program is hosted at the UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley facility, located in Santa Clara, California. The Program Director has their primary office in Santa Clara, and is expected to spend part of their week in Santa Clara and part in Santa Cruz.

In curriculum development and oversight, the Program Director’s role includes working with the Creative Director and Program Chair to determine course content, planning and executing curriculum improvements and extensions, recruiting lecturers as needed, and bringing in high-profile visitors from industry and other universities. It also includes program planning, management, and evaluation — serving as the program’s lead administrative officer, developing short- and long-term plans and vision for the program, evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of courses and the program overall, holding responsibility for the overall program budget and facilities (supported by School of Engineering staff), and participating in the planning and development of games initiatives at UC Santa Cruz. The Program Director role includes shaping the external image of the program, and includes development of marketing and outreach plans, oversight of the development and maintenance of web and social media presence, visits to universities and events to promote the program, development of events sponsored by the program, completion of surveys related to national program rankings, and development and oversight of the program’s external advisory panel. The Program Director is the supervisor for the Program Administrator, an administrator in dedicated support of the program.

In teaching and advising students, the Program Director’s role includes teaching courses as needed in the curriculum. These may include courses in the core Game Development sequence (GAME 270-273), courses that build student strength in particular areas of game creation (e.g., GAME 210: Game Art Intensive), and/or courses that build professional competency (GAME 221-223) — depending on the Program Director’s strengths and interests. The Program Director also works with the Creative Director to organize educational visits to local companies and conferences, including the yearly Game Developer’s Conference. The Program Director also serves as the advisor for the program’s graduate students and leader of the admissions process (supported by School of Engineering staff), works to build a positive and supportive program environment, and nominates students for awards and other forms of recognition. The Program Director oversees efforts to identify job opportunities for students, and advises students on how to successfully present themselves to prospective employers.

In ongoing professional work, the Program Director’s role includes continuing her/his individual work in the games field, potentially including research in game design and/or development, game scholarship, game creation, etc. In this area the Program Director will also develop relationships with potential project partners and other collaborators, identify opportunities for students, and lead the program’s public presence (through public speaking, organizing events, developing online presence, etc.).

The Games and Playable Media program is administered by the newly formed Computational Media Department, which is dedicated to the creation, enhancement, and study of media forms where computational processes enable deeply interactive and generative experiences. As a pioneering department, we are seeking people who are excited to help us define and grow this emerging area. The department emphasizes the construction of technologies that make possible novel media experiences, while simultaneously embracing and engaging in theoretical and practical approaches from the arts, humanities, and social sciences. The Computational Media Department is located within the Baskin School of Engineering of the University of California, Santa Cruz.

BASIC QUALIFICATIONS: A combination of academic degree and experience: B.A./B.S./B.F.A. and 10 years of experience or M.A./M.S. and 5 years of experience, experience in the creation of computer games, and experience lecturing on game design and development at game conferences and workshops and/or in higher education.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS: Ph.D. or M.F.A. degree. Demonstrated leadership in the games and playable media field through a mix of publications, speaking engagements, citations, awards, and/or game credits. Demonstrated ability to build team communication skills. Ability to sensitively engage the complex issues surrounding diversity and identity within the games industry and game culture. An established network of contacts within the gaming industry. Established game-related research, experience leading interdisciplinary teams. Experience in curriculum and program planning at the university level. Ability to simultaneously manage a wide variety of complex, time-sensitive projects and understanding of budgets, which may be demonstrated by experience in a producer-style role on a game or playable media project. Understanding of the university environment and university technology research.

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Document requirements
  • Letter of Application

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

  • Portfolio Site or Game Projects - Please upload separate PDF with a link to website.

  • Portfolio Site or Game Projects - Please upload separate PDF with a link to website. (Optional)

  • Portfolio Site or Game Projects - Please upload separate PDF with a link to website. (Optional)

  • Portfolio Site or Game Projects - Please upload separate PDF with a link to website. (Optional)

  • Portfolio Site or Game Projects - Please upload separate PDF with a link to website. (Optional)

  • Portfolio Site or Game Projects - Please upload separate PDF with a link to website. (Optional)