Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture

Director, School of Design

CELA (Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture)

Director, School of Design

Director, School of Design

Virginia Tech

The new College of Architecture, Arts, and Design (AAD) at Virginia Tech invites applications for the inaugural position of Director of the School of Design, with an ideal start date of January 10, 2023, with some flexibility. One of four schools in the AAD, along with the Schools of Architecture, Performing Arts, and Visual Arts, the School of Design includes undergraduate programs in Industrial Design, Interior Design, and Landscape Architecture and graduate programs in both Interior Design and Landscape Architecture. Currently consisting of over 15 full-time faculty and staff, the School of Design serves approximately 400 majors as well as a growing number of non-majors through its minors in Industrial Design, Design + Technology + Creative Expression, and Landscape Architecture.

This is an opportunity for an enthusiastic and creative leader, along with the faculty, staff, and students of the school, to foster a thriving and inclusive learning community. This individual will embody four key qualities: compassionate leadership, strategic focus, capacity building, and design mindedness.
● We believe that the new director will focus on building up others through compassion: developing caring and authentic relationships.
● We believe that our new colleague will focus on the intersection of the school’s goals with those of the university – enabling strong scholarly achievements and strategic regional, national, and international contexts.
● We believe that the School of Design director will champion resourcing for students, faculty, and staff, building up our people, our spaces, and our funding to support our capacity for current and future growth.
● We believe that our new director will exhibit a mind, heart, and passionate advocacy for design that impacts society in deeply meaningful, personal, and globally-conscious ways.

The director of the School of Design will be responsible for the following, and candidates will be assessed on their potential and/or proven ability to excel in these areas:

Compassionate Leadership
● Collaborates regularly with program chairs, faculty, and students on course design, curricular opportunities, and design expression
● Catalyzes the school’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, where differences are appreciated and celebrated in and out of the classroom or studio
● Cultivates and enables a culture in the School of Design that champions AAD’s broader goals for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
● Listens to the stories of students, faculty, and staff and considers how these stories impact the school
● Engages in table talks and brown bag lunches with students, faculty, and staff
● Participates actively in the day-to-day stewardship of the school, and keeps “open door” office hours

Strategic Focus
● Initiates and supports the strategic planning process for the development of the new School of Design with faculty, staff, and students
● Considers both short and long-term goals in the strategic planning process
● Makes certain that school goals are in conversation with both college and university goals
● Champions plan implementation

Capacity Building
● Leads school operations and manages tasks in partnership with staff
● Values and encourages professional development for faculty, students, and staff
● Explores and extends partnerships and collaborations in the school and across the college community
● Understands and works with the budget and university policies to capitalize on opportunities
● Creates opportunities for fund development to support the school
● Builds an advisory board composed of design-minded thinkers, doers, and donors

Design Mindedness
● Leads school with a design thinking mindset that empowers innovation
● Encourages a human-centered approach to design that focuses on optimism, empathy, and growth
● Invests resources creatively to turn faculty, student, and staff ideas into reality
● Fosters a collaborative environment both within and outside the College of Architecture, Arts, and Design.

The College of Architecture, Arts, and Design at Virginia Tech affirms our collective responsibility to encourage, build, and embrace the polyculturalism of our world. We do this by acknowledging and addressing our past, recognizing our current responsibility, and acting in the interests of building and sustaining communities that are truly safe, supportive, and inclusive for all. Our commitment is to continually and proactively engage in these processes for the benefit of our students, staff, and faculty across the college, and the communities around the world we aim to serve.

Required Qualifications

• Credentials enabling appointment as a tenured professor within the school including a terminal degree in a related field, and national and/or international recognition in one’s field
• Record of success in scholarship, academic leadership, and administration
• Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion
• Excellent communication, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills

Preferred Qualifications

• Comprehensive knowledge of and strong networks in contemporary arts and design
• Previous experience in arts or design leadership
• Experience leading organizational development and culture building
• Familiarity with processes related to working in a large, complex institution
• Commitment to values embodied in ‘Ut Prosim’
• Success in fundraising, including experience working with advisory boards and donor cultivation and stewardship

Appointment Type


Salary Information

Commensurate with experience

Review Date

Wednesday, November 9, 2022 - review of candidate submissions will commence on this date and continue until the position is filled

Additional Information

The successful candidate will be required to have a criminal conviction check.

About Virginia Tech

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers more than 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eight undergraduate colleges, a school of medicine, a veterinary medicine college, Graduate School, and Honors College. The university has a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices and research centers. A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or military status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Julie Weaver at during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

Additional Info

Organization/School : Virginia Tech

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