Seeking Academic Dean

Seeking Academic Dean

Cranbrook Academy of Art

Cranbrook Academy of Art. Photo: PD Rearick.

March 9, 2023
Seeking Academic Dean
Cranbrook Academy of Art
39221 Woodward Ave.
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
United States
Hours: Monday–Friday 9am–5pm

T +1 248 645 3300
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Applications are invited for the position of Academic Dean at Cranbrook Academy of Art. Through its unique educational model, Cranbrook has inspired and achieved substantial artistic, educational, and institutional impact since it was founded in 1932.  

The Academy is in a transformational period, as we embrace opportunities for innovation and growth, and plan for the next chapter in our history. In filling this position, we are seeking a creative leader who is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, passionate about organizational development, and experienced in the evolving landscape of graduate education in the arts.

One of the nation’s leading schools devoted exclusively to graduate education in art, architecture, and design, the Academy continues to produce artists who change the way we see the world. Free from conventional classes and a fixed curriculum, the structure of the program is nimble and always changing. The Academy offers graduate study in one of 11 departments: 2D Design, 3D Design, 4D Design, Architecture, Ceramics, Fiber, Metalsmithing, Painting, Photography, Print Media, and Sculpture. Each of these departments is led by a single Artist-in-Residence (faculty member) within a creative community of roughly 150 students. 

The Academy’s facilities provide private studio space for graduate students and Artists-in-Residence, shared workshops for technology, media and fabrication processes, and an extensive research library devoted to the visual arts featuring more than 40,000 volumes, periodicals, and reference materials. Cranbrook Art Museum is an integral partner in its mission to present and collect significant works of art, with a special focus on Academy alumni and underrepresented artists from Detroit.

The Academic Dean reports to the Director and is responsible for formulating, implementing, and evaluating academic programs and policies of the Academy. This position serves as the primary liaison between the Director and Heads of Departments, providing onboarding, support, and mentorship for Artists-in-Residence. Additionally, the Academic Dean seeks and promotes professional enrichment opportunities including residencies, fellowships, workshops, exhibitions, lectures, and teaching opportunities, for the Academy community.

As the lead administrator for academic affairs, the Academic Dean oversees processes concerning student grievances, academic probation, disciplinary action, and Title IX reports. This position also has supervision of the Dean of Student Services. Working with this direct report, the Academic Dean fosters an equitable and transparent student culture and works with key staff members in retention and recruitment efforts of graduate students across all program areas.

In helping to shape the graduate program, the Academic Dean leads the Critical Studies Program, curates guest critics for graduate reviews, coordinates student awards and oversees the Academy-wide professional practices program. This position is also responsible for bringing centralized coordination to the Academy-wide lectures and as well as overseeing the Gilbert Visiting Artist program, which seeks to amplify the work of artists and designers of color, while bringing diverse voices to the Academy.

The Academic Dean is a key member of the Academy’s senior leadership team and will play a lead role as a thought partner to the Director in increasing diversity, building partnerships in the City of Detroit, and developing new revenue-generating initiatives. This work is supported by a recent 30 million USD gift from the Gilbert Family Foundation, to accelerate the school’s efforts surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion.

This position requires a person who thinks strategically, is collaborative, empathic, well-organized, and is able to manage a diverse portfolio of projects. This is a senior management position and involves the supervision of other members of the staff.

Successful candidates must have a broad understanding of art and culture as it relates to graduate school education, alongside a willingness to think in new and expansive ways. This position requires knowledge of academic programs in various disciplines of art, design, and architecture, and the ability to use a multidisciplinary approach in creating solutions to program issues. Knowledge of the fields of contemporary art and design is necessary, and familiarity with the cultural sector of Detroit is highly desired but not required. 

Qualifications include: PhD, MFA, or other terminal degree; substantial experience with graduate-level program management; administrative experience with a strong record of service is preferred; excellent interpersonal, communication and leadership skills; and the ability to work collaboratively with a diverse set of constituencies.

Creativity is necessary to evaluate and assess the design and structure of programs within the unique pedagogy of the Academy, as well as to develop new academic and professional enrichment opportunities for faculty and students.

The position commences late spring to early summer, 2023.

Applicants will be required to submit:
–Cranbrook Educational Community application
–Cover letter detailing interest in the position and relevant experience
–Curriculum vitae
–A statement of philosophy of graduate education in an Art and Design setting
–A statement of commitment to DEI and the importance of that work in a graduate degree context

Applications received by March 31, 2023, will be given priority consideration. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Cranbrook Application Form here. Materials should be sent to humanresources [​at​] For more information about the Academy and its programs, please visit our website.

Cranbrook Academy of Art statement of non-discrimination:
Cranbrook is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes a diverse work environment. Cranbrook Academy of Art does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, sex, height, weight, marital status, disability, veteran status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, or any other basis prohibited by local, state or federal law in its programs and activities.

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Cranbrook Academy of Art
March 9, 2023

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