Job ID: 220708

Assistant Professor in Art and Design (Graphic Design)

California Polytechnic University

  • Sep. 5, 2023
  • Assistant Professor in Art and Design (Graphic Design)
  • Art and Design
  • California Polytechnic University
    San Luis Obispo, CA
  • Open until filled
  • September 2024
  • Assistant Professor
  • Design - Graphic Design/Illustration

ART AND DESIGN ‐ Assistant Professor of Graphic Design, full‐time, academic year, tenure track position beginning September 11, 2024, in the College of Liberal Arts at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience. 

The Department of Art and Design at Cal Poly is seeking a designer‐educator with demonstrated expertise in inclusive and equity-minded teaching, who is enthusiastic about teaching in an undergraduate, student-centered educational environment. The ideal candidate should demonstrate an area of focus related to DEI (including accessibility practices) in the fields of design/technology such as: culturally sensitive design, bias in design, identity research, gender equity practice, and/or design activism. Teaching responsibilities will include graphic design courses from introductory to advanced, with a focus on developing visual communication knowledge and skills such as branding/advertising, interactive experiences, digital products and packaging, signage/wayfinding, and motion design. Classes may include but are not limited to all levels of graphic design, interaction design, and typography; advertising; package design; motion graphics; illustration; and design history. Concepts of equitable, inclusive, and accessible design are built into all design courses; the successful candidate will continue to enhance and develop this DEI focus in the curriculum through course design and new course proposals. The Art and Design Department offers a NASAD-accredited BFA in Art and Design with concentrations in graphic design, photography/video, and studio art. All faculty are expected to participate in the following: curriculum development, cross-disciplinary dialogue and critiques with colleagues, mentorship and supervision of student-related activities and organizations, departmental recruiting, and committee service within the department, college, and university. 

Salary commensurate with education and experience of the individual selected. Anticipated hiring range:  $79,500 - $85,000 per year. 

The College of Liberal Arts (CLA) sees diversity as central to its mission and is committed to fostering an equitable and inclusive environment within the college and university. We value our diversity of complex and intersecting identities, while striving to maintain an environment that is socially just, equitable, respectful, and inclusive. The successful applicant should be able to clearly demonstrate how they have infused these values and student learning objectives into their work. They should be prepared to present clear examples of how they would infuse these areas into their work as a faculty member. 

Cal Poly is committed to the teacher-scholar model. All faculty members are expected to develop and sustain an active program of scholarship and/or creative activity at a national/international level as well as demonstrate a commitment to, or potential for teaching excellence. The College of Liberal Arts is committed to enhancing the diversity, equity, and inclusion of the campus community and the curriculum. Candidates who can contribute to this goal in their teaching and scholarly work are encouraged to apply and identify their strengths and experiences in these areas. The successful candidate must have the ability to work effectively with students, staff, and faculty from diverse ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as those with different abilities. 

The typical teaching load is 12 units (three courses) per quarter with a reduction in course load in each of their first two years to facilitate a smooth transition to Cal Poly and a positive start to their professional career. Cal Poly is undergoing a conversion to semesters scheduled for completion by fall 2026. Initial appointment is for two years, subject to renewal.   

Required Qualifications / Specialized Skills 

  • A Master of Fine Arts (MFA), Master of Design (MDes), Master of Art and Design (MAD), Master of GraphicDesign (MGraph) or equivalent advanced degree in graphic/visual communication design is required by the time of appointment
  • Strong evidence of professional work and technical ability
  • DEI-focused scholarship, creative practice, and teaching
  • Demonstrated experience working with underrepresented students and communities of color in research,teaching, service, advising, and mentoring.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate the relevance of design in all areas of society and within a liberal artsenvironment is an essential part of this position.
  • Evidence of strong skills in inclusive design, human-centered design, and traditional graphic design
  • Demonstrated background of creative engagement in design research and professional work
  • Proven knowledge of contemporary design issues and design history
  • Evidence of mastery in appropriate software applications for both interactive and print communications
  • History of teaching industry-standard technical skills to undergraduate students.

Preferred Qualifications / Skills 

  • Two or more years of college level teaching experience in graphic/visual communication design is preferred.
  • Industry experience is strongly desirable.
  • The ability to bridge areas of design such as visual identity, publication, environmental, and interaction design motion and animation; advertising and branding; and data visualization is highly regarded.
  • Interest in cross-disciplinary collaborations and connections, strong ties 

About the Department 

The Art and Design Department offers a four-year curriculum leading to a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. The curriculum prepares students for professional participation in three concentrations: graphic design, photography and video, or studio art. The department offers a balanced experience in the arts that includes: 2-D, 3-D, and 4-D studio art, art history, graphic design, interaction design photography and video, critical theory, and general education in liberal arts. 

How to apply 

To apply, please visit: a required online faculty application and apply to Requisition #530631. Please upload the following required materials as part of the electronic application: 

(1) a cover letter addressing the required and preferred qualifications 

(2) current resume/curriculum vitae 

(3) a statement of diversity and inclusion describing how you would demonstrate a commitment in these areas as an instructor at Cal Poly and how you would create an inclusive learning environment 

(4) unofficial transcripts of highest degree earned (official sealed transcripts will be required prior to appointment) 

(5) teaching philosophy 

(6) sample syllabi and teaching materials with project descriptions and curriculum development 

(7) candidate’s professional portfolio and examples of recent student work. For the portfolio: provide images of current creative work (maximum of 20 pages) and images of student work, if applicable (maximum of 20 pages). These documents must be submitted as a single PDF file, no larger than 150mb (provide links to online content within the PDF when necessary). Candidate may also submit a link to a portfolio website. 

Please be prepared to provide three professional references with names and email addresses when completing the online faculty application. Cal Poly will directly solicit letters from the individuals listed by applicants. Official sealed transcripts showing highest degree earned will be required prior to appointment.

Projected Start Date: September 16, 2024 

Review Begin Date: November 1, 2023. Applicants with complete files by the Review Begin Date will be given full consideration. 

Please contact Charmaine Martinez if you have any questions about this position at 

  • The person holding this position is considered a 'mandated reporter' under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.

    Following a conditional offer of employment, a background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate may start work with Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may result in the withdrawal of the offer of employment. Note: Cal Poly cannot deny an applicant a position solely or in part due to a criminal conviction history until it has performed an individualized assessment and linked the relevant conviction history with specific job duties in the position being sought.

    Please note: Current employees who are offered positions on campus will be required to undergo a background check for any position where a background check is required by law or that Cal Poly has designated as sensitive. Sensitive positions are those requiring heightened scrutiny of individuals holding the position based on potential for harm to children, concerns for the safety and security of people, animals, or property, or heightened risk of financial loss to Cal Poly or individuals in the university community.

    For health and well-being, Cal Poly is a smoke & tobacco-free campus. The university is committed to promoting a healthy environment for all members of our community.

    The CSU requires faculty, staff, and students who are accessing campus facilities to be immunized against COVID-19 or declare a medical or religious exemption from doing so.  Any candidates advanced in a search process should be prepared to comply with this requirement The systemwide policy can be found at CSU Vaccination Policy and any questions you have may be submitted to

    In accordance with the California State University (CSU) Out-of-State Employment Policy, the CSU is a state entity whose business operations reside within the State of California and prohibits hiring employees to perform CSU related work outside of California.

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Contact Information

  • Charmaine Martinez
    Art and Design
    California Polytechnic University
    San Luis Obispo, CA

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