Assistant Professor, Animation and Motion Media – University of Massachusetts Amherst

Job Description

The Department of Art at the University of Massachusetts Amherst seeks talented applicants for a full-time nine-month tenure-track Assistant Professor position in Animation and Motion Media Design. Under exceptional circumstances, highly qualified candidates at other ranks may receive consideration. The department values diversity as a factor in academic and artistic excellence. Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience. Expected start date: September 1, 2022.

We seek applications from exceptional artists with rich and varied skill sets to teach animation and related courses within an interdisciplinary art and design curriculum. We are particularly interested in candidates with experimental/hybrid/interdisciplinary approaches to narrative and/or immersive animation. The successful candidate will have an active art or design practice and a regional and national screening/exhibition record and have experience teaching production. The appointed faculty member will actively participate in the BA, BFA, and MFA degree programs, teaching undergraduate and graduate studio courses in foundational principles of animation, computer animation, and interdisciplinary topic-based seminars. The typical teaching load is two courses per semester. Other teaching responsibilities include serving on BFA and MFA thesis committees, student advising, and overseeing animation facilities and equipment.

A commitment to the academic success of all students and to creating an environment that acknowledges and encourages diversity and difference is essential to a successful candidacy. We prioritize applicants who have worked in a multicultural environment, have experience with practices of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), or have engaged in scholarship on how to teach students from a broad range of cultural backgrounds. Also, the successful candidate will demonstrate strong departmental citizenship. Our department welcomes candidates committed to equitable labor practice in providing service to the University, profession, and community and working productively and collaboratively with colleagues and staff.

Minimum Qualifications

  • An earned MFA, or similar terminal degree, in Animation, Art, Motion Design or a closely related field from an accredited institution (or equivalent);
  • Two years full-time teaching at college-level teaching beyond graduate school or the equivalent of eight college-level courses.

Essential Qualifications

  • Ability to critically engage students with aesthetic, conceptual, technical, and historical understandings of animation and motion media;
  • Demonstrated engagement with narrative traditions in animation and cinema;
  • Ability to teach undergraduate and graduate courses in 2D and 3D computer animation. Courses may include: Animation Fundamentals, Media Motion Graphics, Introduction to Computer Animation, Computer Animation II, Moving Image, and Senior Seminar;
  • Commitment to curriculum and course development;
  • Commitment to mentoring undergraduate and graduate students;
  • Commitment to strong departmental citizenship and equitable labor practice.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with concept design;
  • Demonstrated knowledge and expertise using computer-aided 3D modeling, animation, texturing, lighting, rigging, and visual effects;
  • Understanding of VFX (e.g., destructible objects, lighting systems, reflection, volumetric lights) and their contribution to animation;
  • Experience with interactive software (sensing/input/output) and physical computing (installation, motion capture, etc.);
  • Experience in script to screen production;
  • Knowledge of programming and/or coding;
  • Experience with incorporating traditional media in motion production;
  • Experience or research interest in interactive media, extended reality (XR) and/or game design as it applies to animation, motion media, and design;
  • Commitment to and demonstrated experience in trans-disciplinary collaboration.

Additional Information

The Department of Art at the University of Massachusetts Amherst offers post-secondary education in a range of disciplines that include painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, animation, and intermedia. Interdisciplinary study is at the core of our philosophy, and we encourage students to
pursue experience across art disciplines while also exploring the diverse fields of arts, humanities, and sciences open to them at this premier research university. We offer a Bachelor of Fine Arts Program
tailored to students who plan to become professional artists and a Bachelor of Arts in Art degree for Art majors seeking the broadest available liberal arts education. Future primary and secondary school art
teachers are comprehensively prepared in our Bachelor of Fine in Art Education program.

The UMass Amherst MFA degree program is a three-year immersive course of study for graduate students who wish to expand their critical thinking and disciplinary technique and develop the experience needed for careers in academia and the arts more broadly. We also offer a Master of Arts Degree in Art Education for artists who want to pursue careers in teaching and for current teachers seeking to engage in advanced professional development.

Our campus hosts six galleries dedicated to exhibitions of student and professional work. Situated in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, UMass is an ideal base from which students may join the rich creative community of the artists and craftspeople who live and work in this area.

Application Instructions

The online application is a two-part process.

1) Please submit the following items to PageUp at

  • Cover letter addressing qualifications and understanding of collegiality and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Cover letter should be addressed to: Alexis Kuhr and Susan Jahoda, Co-Chairs, Search Committee, Department of Art
  • CV, including a list of courses taught
  • Statement of teaching philosophy
  • Two sample syllabi
  • Names and contact information of three references

2) Please submit the following portfolios to SlideRoom at:

  • PDF portfolio of professional work with links to time-based material (not to exceed five minutes); links to longer time-based excerpts/works are welcomed for later stages of review
  • PDF portfolio of student work with links to time-based materials (not to exceed five minutes)

Start date is September 1, 2022. Applications will be considered until the position is filled;
however, applications should be received by January 10, 2022 to ensure full consideration.

UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the
University. To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans. It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.


UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth’s flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.