Employment at ArtCenter

Product Design Program

Director, Product Design

Working with the Chair of the department, the Director of Product Design is responsible for administering the day-to-day activities of the department and assisting in implementing the strategic plan (including recruitment, curriculum, marketing, organizational administration). This entails working closely with the department's 30+ faculty and 230+ students, as well as leadership of ArtCenter's other departments. The incumbent works closely with Chair on building curricular strategies including new educational initiatives, technology and facilities (layouts), conferences and faculty enrichment workshops. The incumbent schedules all undergraduate Product courses and manages the department’s faculty body, including adjunct and full-time faculty members and also oversees the CMF lab.

Reports to: Department Chair

FLSA status: Exempt

Salary grade: 9

Job posted 9/25/19. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Qualified applicants should send application materials including employment application to HR@artcenter.edu and reference “Director, Product Design” in the subject line.

Applicants responding to posted job openings are asked to include a completed employment application with the application materials listed in the job posting.

Download ArtCenter Application


  • Bachelor’s degree in business administration, art and design or related field from an accredited college or university
  • At least 6 years in managing a department, including budgeting, project management and supervisory responsibilities
  • Ability to problem solve, organize and complete multiple tasks simultaneously with close attention to detail and prioritization to meet deadlines; ability to work effectively both independently and within groups
  • Effective oral and written communication skills in order to communicate with staff, the campus community, corporate sponsors, alumni, donors and press and to collaborate, establish and maintain cooperative working relationships
  • Ability to cultivate and maintain good working relationships with various internal and external stakeholders related to the ongoing operations of the Product department, including professional associates, outside partners, executive leadership, administrators, faculty, staff, students and alumni
  • A commitment to diversity, and the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships within ArtCenter’s diverse communities
  • Ability to handle all information with tact and discretion and recognizes the confidential nature of ArtCenter business
  • Demonstrated experience in and a commitment to diversity, and the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships within Art Center’s diverse communities

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in art and design or related field from an accredited college or university
  • Experience as a designer in the product or related industry
  • Prior experience in higher education

Essential Functions

Department Operations — 50%

  • Oversee the day-to-day operations of the department — this includes scheduling, records, budgeting, and ensuring all essential department functions are performed accurately and in a timely manner, such as course scheduling, department meetings, purchase orders, expense reports, reimbursements, etc.
  • Serve as the main link between the Department Chair, Track Directors, Faculty Advisers and faculty at large to answer questions/concerns of students and faculty
  • Oversee recruitment, hiring, orientation, training and supervision of department staff, faculty and contractors; oversee performance evaluation process, ensuring consistent use of all applicable policies and procedures; apply performance management for improved performance, make recommendations in discipline and terminations, as required
  • Provide departmental leadership and oversight, overseeing the department budget, strategic planning, logistics, events, administrative support to implement operations
  • Works closely with Directors team to manage priorities set by the Chair
  • Collaborate with faculty to support and improve classes, create new courses, support sponsored class projects and lead program review
  • Work with Chair to establish goals and priorities for the department and then working to achieve those goals
  • Responsible to ensure all faculty hiring and training, before the beginning of each term in all tracks in collaboration with the faculty directors, to maintain the highest quality of education in all tracks
  • Work with Technical Skills department to anticipate and ensure an adequate supply of materials and resources for each term
  • Keep apprised of technology developments and work to bring improved resources to the College
  • Help coordinate sponsored projects and identify and cultivate future projects; work with Development staff to strategize and execute fundraising opportunities
  • Oversee the management of the CMF Lab
  • Plan and execute strategic initiatives and project objectives set by the department chair and faculty directors, in a timely and thorough manner
  • Provide regular tracking and review of initiatives and operational reporting
  • Direct and manage special projects and events such as sponsored projects, Workshops, Open House, Grad Show, recruitment events, project documentation, publications etc.
  • Recruit, hire, manage and evaluate all paid student workers serving as TAs and office related jobs
  • Engage with faculty in evaluating support needs each term and creating a plan for TAs that works within budget constraints
  • Engage with Admissions to strategize and execute outreach for prospective students
  • Engage with Marketing and Communications on Product Design focused outreach and stories
  • Build assessment workflow, document and archive assessment materials; coordinate with ACCD on assessments needs; responsible for assessment for WASC and NASAD reports, capture and organize necessary data and work samples, write the department assessment review
  • Adhere to and support all College policies and foster/promote safety and security polices with the department

Student Engagement — 35%

  • Working closely with the chair, faculty directors and faculty, advise and support students with college administrative and school life need to include advising on curriculum, scheduling, and answering questions/concerns related to add/drop, waive/sub, independent study, internship and other policy-specific approval
  • Help students navigate college procedures, resources, and departments
  • Manage class enrollment projections, coordinate term class scheduling with Enrollment Services and the Humanities and Sciences departments, including cross-listed courses
  • Work with Institutional Research, Academic Advising and other student support functions to ensure student success and retention
  • Work with Career and Professional Development for student internships and industry recruitment
  • Create supplemental resources to meet students’ educational needs in collaboration with other educational departments (such as the mentorship program)
  • Work with the chair to develop and administer new orientation for all students
  • Engage with faculty in regularly collecting syllabi and examples of student work
  • Maintain department archive of student work, files and images

Recruitment and Outreach — 10%

  • Effectively present the Product Design program to organizations, potential students, and visitors
  • Serve as department advisor for student government and/or other clubs and organizations
  • Assist in the organization and management of the new student application, ELL requirements and acceptance process and assist with interviews and all related communications
  • Stay abreast on industry trends, needs and opportunities in industries and markets related to the field
  • Keep current on educational trends, competitors, and best practices related to the Product Design program
  • Work with the chair and other faculty leaders on all external relations and outreach
  • Establish network opportunities for the department — this may include study abroad programs for students, internships, collaborations with product design companies and studios

Other Duties — 5%

  • Maintain memberships and active involvement in applicable professional organizations
  • Serve on college-wide committees
  • Fill in for Department Chair in various meetings and committees, such as Chairs Council, when needed
  • Other duties as assigned

Mandatory Duty to Report

All employees who know or have reason to know of allegations or acts that violate ArtCenter’s Title IX Policy prohibiting discrimination, harassment, retaliation, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence, dating violence, and stalking shall promptly inform the DHR Administrator and Title IX Coordinator, or designee or the Assistant Dean of Students or designee. Faculty with a mandatory duty to report are required to disclose all information including the names of the parties, even where the person has requested their name remain confidential.

Pursuant to the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA), all employees who know of or have reason to suspect child abuse or neglect involving alleged victims under age 18 shall promptly inform local law enforcement or the county welfare department.

Physical Demands and Working Environment

The conditions herein are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential job functions.

This position requires a full-time work schedule. (Regular business hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30AM-4:30PM.) The position may require flexible hours to accommodate department needs and programs, including nights and weekends.

Environment: Work is performed primarily in a standard office setting with frequent interruptions and distractions; extended periods of time viewing computer monitor; interactions with other individuals. Due to the nature of the work environment, there is regular exposure to fumes, chemicals, dust and noise.

Physical: The position is generally performed in an office setting. Primary functions require sufficient physical ability and mobility to work in an office setting or attend/work events; to stand or sit for prolonged periods of time; to occasionally stoop, bend, kneel, crouch, reach, and twist; to lift, carry, push, and/or pull light to moderate amounts of weight (up to 30 pounds); to operate modern office equipment requiring repetitive hand movement and fine coordination including use of a computer keyboard; and to verbally communicate to exchange information. Regular and consistent attendance are required for most positions. Ability to travel between campuses and attend events nights and weekends.

Vision: Must be able to have the visual capacity to perform activities such as preparing and reading reports, developing graphics, taking photos, viewing a computer terminal and other normal office work with or without correction.


The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by the employee assigned to this job; they do not purport to describe all functions. Employees may be assigned other duties, and the essential functions may be changed from time to time as necessary.



ArtCenter College of Design is committed to excellence through the establishment of a diverse faculty and staff that best represents our student body and its surrounding communities. The College considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, medical condition, marital status, veteran status, or disability. Applicants who wish to request an accommodation for a disability may contact the Human Resources Department at (626) 396-2270.