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Chair, Division of Multi-disciplinary Design, University of Utah

University of Utah, Division of Multi-disciplinary Design k

Salt Lake City, UT

Sep 20
Job Description

The University of Utah College of Architecture + Planning is seeking candidates to fill the position of Chair of the Division of Multi-Disciplinary Design at the rank of tenured associate professor or professor.

The Chair is the leader and administrator for the MDD division, charged with partnering with faculty, staff, and students to continue and enrich the division’s aspirations in alignment with the vision of the College.

The Chair is responsible for student and faculty recruitment, hiring and evaluation, curriculum development, budget oversight, and division governance. In addition, the Chair will be a faculty member and is expected to contribute their perspective, research, and teaching effort (one class per semester) to complement our team of scholars and educators.

The successful candidate will:

1) articulate a compelling vision for the future of the MDD program, building upon the strengths that have been established;

2) have demonstrated ability to form relationships within affiliated design areas and outside such as business, engineering, medicine, and the broader design community;

3) be a strong advocate for design’s ability for transformative positive social change, with a demonstrated focus on environmental, heath, racial and/or spatial inequities and disparities;

4) Have an exceptional record of creative, professional, scholarly and/or academic activities and demonstrate the ability to mentor diverse faculty in their creative work, research and practice;

5) demonstrate and value the importance of place and sense of belonging in design education;

6) demonstrate a balance between practice and academic leadership; and

7) exhibit the ability to lead through exemplary collaborative and open processes and within shared governance.

Minimum qualifications include a terminal degree in a design discipline (such as product, experience, platform, architecture) or closely related field; tenurable in a design or design-related program; professional practice experience; and a strong record of creative and research work including publications, built works, and exhibits.

Previous administrative experience and participation in design-related organizations at the international and national levels are all highly desirable characteristics. Also, the demonstration of facilitating a diverse community of scholars is important.

Qualified applicants must submit:
1) a curriculum vitae;
2) a letter of intent that includes statements of pedagogical objectives for professional education, personal scholarship objectives, and how they are related;
3) a 1-page statement addressing the School’s Statement on Systemic Racial Injustice ( );
4) a selected portfolio (8MB max) and/or link to online material demonstrating their strengths for this position;
5) a list of three references (with a phone number, physical, and email addresses, and relationship to the candidate) in support of the application. References will not be contacted prior to receiving the candidate’s consent.

All materials should be uploaded via

The review of applications begins December 1, 2021, and will continue until a candidate is appointed. The appointment is targeted to start July 1, 2022. Please address questions for this position to Jim Agutter, Chair Search Committee,

The University is a participating employer with Utah Retirement Systems (“URS”). Eligible new hires with prior URS service, may elect to enroll in URS if they make the election before they become eligible for retirement (usually the first day of work). Contact Human Resources at (801) 581-7447 for information. Individuals who previously retired and are receiving monthly retirement benefits from URS are subject to URS’ post-retirement rules and restrictions. Please contact Utah Retirement Systems at (801) 366-7770 or (800) 695-4877 or University Human Resource Management at (801) 581-7447 if you have questions regarding the post-retirement rules.

This position may require the successful completion of a criminal background check and/or drug screen and immunizations.

University of Utah, Division of Multi-disciplinary Design

Multi-Disciplinary Design (MDD) at the University of Utah was founded in 2013 as a digital, physical, and platform product design program. MDD is a new approach to undergraduate design education that has proven innovative and successful in educating design professionals, leaders, and scholars. Our curriculum acknowledges the diverse and complex context in the professional community into which our students enter, and seeks to educate thinkers and makers to the highest standard. This broad perspective encourages students to see the connections between these design specialties and focus on the process of design as a creative idea and development framework as well as a creative pursuit. Our courses and activities emphasize critical framing skills to understand when it is appropriate to have a design response and when it is not, and calibrate their response to the given circumstance, place, and people that it affects.
The program currently offers a Bachelor of Science and a Minor in Design. The program has over 220 declared majors, minors, and pre-majors. Please visit our website to see faculty and student work:

College of Architecture & Planning
The College of Architecture + Planning at the University of Utah comprises award-winning and highly recognized faculty, entrepreneurial students, and staff who form an innovative, creative community. The College’s vision is centered on “the ethic of care” and focuses on four commitments in all of our teaching, scholarship, and service: responsibility, resilience, respect, and response. It is known for its Utah Anti-Racism Agenda, its close connection with Utah’s professional communities (including its Downtown Center), and its culture of nurturing risk-taking and innovation. Structurally, the College comprises the School of Architecture, the Department of City and Metropolitan Planning, and the Division of Multi-Disciplinary Design. The College is a diverse and vibrant community of scholars with a wide range of scholarship interests. Positioned on the East Bench of the Wasatch mountain range and part of the “silicon slopes,” the University of Utah is the flagship of the state higher education system and a member of the American Association of Universities (AAU). The U is a comprehensive university that includes a robust health science and research campus that provides ample collaboration opportunities. The Milken Institute rates the U as having the second-most creative innovation ecosystem in the nation. Located in a unique regional landscape, Salt Lake City has beautiful scenery, multiple outdoor recreation opportunities, convenient transit, and an active design and art community. In addition, Salt Lake City has a large LGBT population and a vibrant foodie scene.

The University of Utah is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and does not discriminate based upon race, national origin, color, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, status as a person with a disability, genetic information, or Protected Veteran status. Individuals from historically underrepresented groups, such as minorities, women, qualified persons with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply. Veterans’ preference is extended to qualified applicants, upon request and consistent with University policy and Utah state law. Upon request, reasonable accommodations in the application process will be provided to individuals with disabilities. To inquire about the University’s nondiscrimination or affirmative action policies or to request disability accommodation, please contact: Director, Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, 201 S. Presidents Circle, Rm 135, (801) 581-8365.

The University of Utah values candidates who have experience working in settings with students from diverse backgrounds, and possess a strong commitment to improving access to higher education for historically underrepresented students.