Seeking Director of Foundations Studies – Minneapolis College of Art and Design

FULL Job posting


Priority will be given to those who respond by February 5, 2021.
The position begins July 1, 2021.


The Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD), a college distinguished for 134 years of advancing art and design, is seeking a collaborative, highly creative, and visionary individual for the position of Director of Foundation Studies. The newly created role of Director of Foundation Studies will cultivate a first-year experience, in collaboration with other MCAD constituencies, that sets the stage for the next generation of creative cultural leaders. This position offers a unique opportunity for an empathetic, motivated individual with vision to work collaboratively and generate a measurable and decidedly positive impact on the members of our creative community, and the cultural society in which we reside.

MCAD is committed to maintaining a robust, cross-disciplinary foundational experience which meets the needs of a diverse student body. Our faculty and staff support the total experience of students at MCAD—their personal, academic, and professional growth—so that students graduate with a strong, internal foundation shaped by their individual sense of meaning and purpose.The existing foundation program is overseen by the college’s department chairs who each contribute to the overall curriculum and manage the teaching of classes as per their respective departments. The establishment of the new Director of Foundation Studies position anticipates the need for focused leadership as we integrate expanded models of pedagogy and modes of learning in art-and-design education based on global perspectives. In addition to initiating broader programical strategies, the Director will also assist with advising and mentoring as these artists and designers navigate their first year of study.

With the vision of a new President and new Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA), MCAD is poised to strengthen its position as a leading art-and-design college through the creation of innovative learning opportunities across the entire first-year experience. The Director of Foundation Studies will report directly to and work closely with the VPAA, as well as with the department chairs, faculty, and support staff to accomplish the above stated goals. As a key member of academic leadership, the Director will serve on the Academic Cabinet and the college’s Curriculum Committee, as well as support efforts to recruit faculty who contribute to the overall diversity of the college.

The Director will provide thoughtful and empathetic leadership to uphold the college’s values–maintaining open critical discourse, embracing multifaceted identities, celebrating transformational ideas, and supporting community-based, collaborative, shared experiences. Examples of recent and ongoing collaborations include the fall 2019 exhibition, As, Not For: Dethroning Our Absolutes, an incomplete historical survey of work created by African-American graphic designers over the last century. Curated by Jerome Harris, the exhibition aimed to promote the inclusion of neglected Black practitioners and their developed methodologies, and to challenge the ubiquity of White and anti-Black aesthetics in our designed world. MCAD students, alumni, faculty, and staff have been active in confronting the murder of George Floyd and engaging the mission of Black Lives Matter through concerted efforts, such as community activism, creating public artworks, and volunteering with local food shelves and other organizations. The college has also supported important partnerships with local, grassroots organizations, such as the Little Earth Native Youth Arts Collective, Juxtaposition Arts, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, and Whittier Neighborhood Alliance, the neighborhood in which we are located.

The Director of Foundation Studies position is a full-time (12-month) position reporting to the Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA). The Director will be responsible for teaching two courses each year with Faculty rank commensurate with experience.


The Minneapolis College of Art and Design is dedicated to educating the next generation of cultural leaders. Founded in 1886 as the Minneapolis Society for Fine Arts connected to the Minneapolis Institute of Art, MCAD became a wholly independent nonprofit institution in 1988. Since then, MCAD has grown into a successful, stable, and fully accredited art and design college, with a current enrollment of approximately 700 undergraduate and graduate degree-seeking students.