Assistant Professor, Critical Studies Program, California College of the Arts

Assistant Professor, Critical Studies Program
Ranked Non-Tenure, Part Time
April 6, 2018


Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (CCA) is an independent non-profit art college with undergraduate programs in architecture, design, fine arts, visual studies, and writing and literature.  The college also has graduate programs in architecture, comics, design, interaction design, curatorial practice, design strategy, fine arts, film, visual and critical studies, and writing.  Through these programs, the college has created a dynamic and interdisciplinary environment to fulfill the school’s motto of “Make art that matters.”  Diverse cultural perspectives enrich the CCA community and the college believes that continuing to expand the horizons of the students and faculty is essential to achieving its educational objectives. CCA represents over one hundred years of dedication to its mission, whose character reflects its location in the San Francisco Bay Area, where histories of radical politics and technological innovation inform a culturally rich academic community infused by art schools, research universities, world-renowned museums, galleries, start-ups and community-run institutions. With campuses in Oakland and San Francisco, CCA currently enrolls 1,950 full-time students and is embarking on a major campus planning project that will unify the college in one location and ensure its academic excellence for the next century.


The Program in Critical Studies develops students’ curiosity and awareness of human cultures and the natural world through critical reading, discussion, and hands-on exploration. Our goal is to produce well-rounded, analytical, culturally aware and socially responsible creative practitioners who are prepared to contribute to the world around them in meaningful ways. Courses in social sciences and history enhance cultural and information literacy. Philosophy and critical theory nourish critical thinking. Science and mathematics sharpen evidence-based reasoning and problem-solving skills. Together, Critical Studies courses help students connect the dots between their own lives and ideas and the lives and ideas of others.


The CCA Critical Studies Program is seeking candidates for a ranked non-tenure-track Assistant Professor in Science to begin Fall 2018. The position requires a commitment to continued professional work and participation in college-wide service. Ranked, non-tenure faculty positions are filled by three-year renewable appointments and specifically designed for regional practitioners. Ranked, non-tenure faculty teach between three classes and four classes per year.

The successful candidate will have an active professional practice at the intersection of science/math and the art/design fields; a demonstrated commitment to teaching; demonstrated leadership ability; and experience with recruiting and mentoring faculty. This position comes with the expectation of service as the faculty Coordinator for Science and Mathematics. The Science and Math Coordinator will assist the Critical Studies Chair in building a balanced and relevant curriculum including life, earth, material, and physical sciences as well as mathematics, digital technologies, and engineering. They will also oversee learning assessments and cultivate a strong community and pedagogical practice among approximately 8-10 Science and Math faculty. Ideally, applicants will have potential to teach interdisciplinary (non-science) courses exploring the cultural and political history and theory of science, especially as it intersects with creative practice.

We are especially interested in applicants whose expertise is located in any of the following three broad domains:

  1. Creative applications of digital tools (e.g., hacking, Processing, Arduino robotics, MAX/MSP)

Relevant forms of professional practice will feature creative explorations and uses or repurposings of digital tools at the nexus of science and art/design/architecture practice. Candidates will demonstrate their ability to design assignments that use digital tools to develop both scientific and critical thinking.

  1. Research and/or creative practice rooted in a life science

We welcome candidates whose professional practice intersects with food systems and/or permaculture; human anatomy and movement; or zoology and animal studies. Preferred candidates will have demonstrated experience in supporting students who draw on scientific techniques and information for creative ends.

We especially welcome candidates with the skills and experience to take a leadership role in designing and building college-wide support for an interdisciplinary Environmental Studies minor.

  1. Materials science for makers (e.g. metallurgy, glassblowing, ceramics)

Candidates with expertise in materials science will be expected to develop courses in which students from many majors learn why certain craft processes work as they do, and explore the relationship between the scientific properties of materials and their potential creative applications.


  • MA/MS or MFA degree with demonstrated training and sustained engagement in a scientific or mathematical area of study and practice
  • Significant interdisciplinary teaching experience
  • Demonstrated leadership skills
  • Experience in mentoring other Science & Math faculty members as they develop their pedagogical and assessment skills.


Commensurate with qualifications and includes a comprehensive benefits package.


Applications must be received by April 6, 2018. 


Qualified applicants must complete the online application by uploading the following materials:

  • Letter of interest
  • Brief statement of teaching philosophy, highlighting areas of pedagogic concentration
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Samples of professional work (recommended)
  • Examples of course syllabi, student work, and student evaluations from recent courses taught at the college level
  • Contact information for three professional references

EEO Statement As an educational and cultural institution, California College of the Arts has a responsibility to provide access and opportunities for all people, with special attention to supporting groups historically underrepresented in higher education. We believe that a culturally diverse campus is integral to academic excellence, and our student, faculty, staff, and trustee bodies should reflect the diverse world in which we live, with attention to race, ethnicity, religious creed, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and ability. California College of the Arts is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from individuals who will contribute to its diversity.