Employment at ArtCenter

Provost Office


Founded in 1930, ArtCenter’s mission is to educate creative leaders through an emphasis on cutting-edge practice, career success, industry partnerships, and social innovation. With an operating budget of $100 million, the college enrolls approximately 2,200 students representing 44 countries. ArtCenter offers 11 undergraduate and 7 graduate degrees in a wide array of disciplines, including many forms of design and the visual arts. It also offers a joint MS/MBA program with the Drucker School of Management and a minor in social innovation through the Designmatters program. ArtCenter has been consistently ranked among the nation’s top schools in art and design education and has built a strong reputation through its entrepreneurial culture, rigorous curriculum, and extensive partnerships. For more information about ArtCenter, please see http://www.artcenter.edu/.


The successful candidate will be joining a talented and stable leadership team of a growing, robust institution of distinction. From its iconic Craig Ellwood-designed building on its Hillside campus, ArtCenter has more recently added a second South campus that includes three buildings and plans for student housing. The College has also attracted an increasingly diverse student body that, together with its facility expansion, is undergoing significant cultural change. As ArtCenter continues to evolve, the Provost will serve as its intellectual leader with proven ability to manage and lead through this dynamic period of change. The Provost will have a strong appreciation for and commitment to faculty governance, and will have a proven ability to develop administrative and financial structures to advance strategic goals. To that end, the next Provost will be expected to address a set of key opportunities and challenges, detailed below:

  • Further strengthen ArtCenter’s academic focus through successful implementation of the new strategic plan;
  • Build a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community;
  • Enhance student success and craft a holistic academic experience;
  • Lead and further develop ArtCenter’s academic affairs organization;
  • Seize opportunities for greater operational efficiency and cohesion;
  • Serve as ArtCenter’s education ambassador; raise the profile and reputation of the institution locally and globally.

Reports to: President

Nominations, applications, and inquiries are being accepted for the position. Consideration of candidates will continue until the position is filled. Each candidate must submit a curriculum vitae and a cover letter. All correspondence should be directed to Isaacson, Miller. E-mail correspondence is strongly encouraged.

David Bellshaw, Regan Gough, Samantha Weigand and Ludi Chow

Isaacson, Miller

1000 Sansome Street, Suite 300

San Francisco, CA 94111

Email: 6307@imsearch.com

About ArtCenter College of Design

Founded in 1930 by Edward A. “Tink” Adams, ArtCenter was among the first institutions to focus on preparing artists and designers for leadership roles in the fields of advertising, publishing, and industrial design. To maintain this focus, ArtCenter hired a faculty of working professionals to teach the most relevant skills and to foster relationships among students and professionals in their chosen fields. Over the course of its 87-year history, ArtCenter has consistently anticipated cultural shifts and technological innovations and has continued to offer top-ranked academic programs which in turn produce some of the world’s most talented art and design professionals.


Today, ArtCenter is home to approximately 2,000 undergraduate students and 240 graduate students on its Hillside and South Campuses in the greater Pasadena area. It employs 112 full-time faculty, 328 part-time faculty and 272 staff. The College offers undergraduate and graduate programs in a variety of art and design fields, including a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Advertising, Film, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Illustration, and Photography and Imaging, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Entertainment Design, Environmental Design, Interaction Design, Product Design, and Transportation Design. Graduate programs include a Master of Fine Arts in Art, Film, Graphic Design, and Media Design, as well as a Master of Science in Environmental Design, Industrial Design, and Transportation Systems and Design. Many of these programs emphasize professionalism through project-based learning, through collaborations with partner organizations such as Nike, Microsoft, NASA, and BMW, or in the case of Designmatters (an academic department that offers a minor in social innovation), NGOs and non-profits such as UNICEF or Doctors Without Borders to apply design research and implementation in addressing issues affecting local communities and to promote positive social change. The partnerships provide students with invaluable learning experiences, practical knowledge and networking opportunities. Additionally, the college runs a satellite studio in Berlin, Germany, which provides educational opportunities and valuable cultural immersion for students from across disciplines, in partnership with European institutions and companies. These and other interdisciplinary programs influence how students learn, experiment, and grow as creative individuals.


The College also supports a number of public programs that aim to provide community access for children, teens, teachers, and adult learners who are looking for exceptional instruction, facilities, and networking opportunities. Such programs feature a varied and evolving curriculum led by a dedicated faculty of professional artists and top design practitioners, many of whom are ArtCenter alumni.


In 2003, ArtCenter became the first design school to receive Non-Government Organization (NGO) status from the United Nations Department of Public Information, largely due to the influence of its academic programs such as Designmatters. ArtCenter is fully accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

ArtCenter is at an exciting juncture in its history as it is poised to build upon a strong financial foundation and record of steadily increasing enrollment growth. In addition, the College has developed a master plan for the future that includes continued renovations in three new buildings, expanded communal spaces, and inaugural student residential facilities on the South Campus, which will transform the character of the school from a commuter campus to a campus with a residential community.


ArtCenter is also thoughtfully embracing technology as a means to enhance student access and academic programming. This includes developing a “third campus,” which will provide students and faculty alike an online learning platform from which to conduct coursework and review. A major facility project is under development to support these efforts, including a future digital studio for video production and online learning funded by a generous alumni donation. A search is currently underway for an Associate Provost for Online Education, who will lead the implementation and strategic growth of online learning initiatives.


ArtCenter’s student demographics have also shifted dramatically over the last 10 years with a growing number of international students and younger students matriculating after high school. ArtCenter students hail from around the world, with 35% of students coming from outside the United States. Among domestic ArtCenter students, the largest populations are Asian (30%), Caucasian (17%), and Hispanic (12%). As of Fall 2016, 52% of students identified as female and 48% of students identified as male. To support a diverse student body, a number of student success initiatives have continued to grow in scope and variety, led by the Center for the Student Experience, that include international student advising, new student orientation, student leadership programs, campus life events, mental health counseling and health and wellness programs; along with Academic Advising, and the addition of the Council for Diversity and Inclusion in the College’s shared governance structure.

ArtCenter prides itself on providing innovative and relevant curriculum, and has continued to expand the focus of its work. Over the years, award-winning curricular initiatives have included Designmatters and the Media Design Practices MFA, while new academic programs have been introduced, including Entertainment Design and Interaction Design. With an evolving campus identity, exciting advances in technology and a renewed vision for the future of art and design, ArtCenter is well poised to be one of the most innovative centers for education in the world.


ArtCenter Mission and Strategic Plan: Create Change 2.0


ArtCenter describes itself as a professional school with a conservatory spirit and a mission of providing students with an immersive experience through deep mentorship and hands-on training. This involves focused programs that maintain active dialogue with industries and organizations in their fields, educational systems that build capacity for diversity and inclusion within the curriculum and professional practice, effective and current teaching practices, specialized learning environments with leading-edge equipment and technology, a culture that encourages experimentation and values skill in making, and an atmosphere that supports lifelong learning and generates strong, diverse social networks. ArtCenter engages and supports its global creative alumni community through ongoing educational professional development programs through our alumni hubs and our satellite studio in Berlin, Germany.


To align with this vision, ArtCenter has established a new strategic plan, Create Change 2.0, that outlines ArtCenter’s future direction over the next five years. This plan aims to build on the first strategic plan launched in 2011, with a focus upon impacting student success, educational innovation and strategic infrastructure to support a new and shifting student body. To learn more about Create Change 2.0, visit: http://www.artcenter.edu/about/get-to-know-artcenter/mission-and-vision.html.


Role of the Provost

Serving as ArtCenter’s chief academic officer, the Provost reports to the President and will lead the coordination of the college’s education programs. This includes oversight over all academic departments, including Undergraduate and Graduate programs, Public Programs, Designmatters, Student Affairs, Faculty Affairs, Faculty Development, Academic Affairs, Academic Advising, Institutional Research, Professional Development and Industry Engagement, Career and Professional Development, Educational Partnerships, Exchange and Study Away, Enrollment Services, Exhibitions, and the College Library.


The Provost sits on the Executive Cabinet and plays a vital role on campus-wide committees, such as the Budget Committee, College Facilities Committee, Third Campus Committee, and the Council for Diversity and Inclusion. The Provost is also an active collaborator and engager with the Faculty Council, Chairs Council, Staff Council and Student Government.


Currently, the Provost has direct oversight over a $40M academic budget and 28 staff, including the Executive Director of Designmatters, VP of Professional Development and Industry Engagement, Associate Provost of Faculty Affairs, Associate Provost of Student Affairs, Director of Faculty Affairs, the 18 leaders of the College’s graduate and undergraduate programs, and a soon-to-be-hired Associate Provost of Online Education.


Key Opportunities and Challenges for the Provost

The Provost will be a seasoned academic leader with proven experience in influencing positive organizational and cultural change. To be successful in this work, the Provost must address a set of key themes outlined below:

Further strengthen ArtCenter’s academic focus through successful implementation of the new strategic plan


The Provost will play a key role in articulating ArtCenter’s vision for a 21st century design education. This vision will include a contemporary understanding of innovations across the art and design fields and will encourage exploration of new avenues of inquiry and thinking, including the development and support of new models of educational partnerships and creative leadership programs. In addition, in concert with the department chairs, the Provost will assess and evaluate the College’s core strengths and work to shape its content and pedagogy to reflect the needs of ArtCenter’s shifting student demographics. This vision will establish a greater sense of shared institutional identity and purpose and take into account the growing importance of research and graduate education, in addition to excellence in undergraduate education. Furthermore, the Provost will drive the implementation of the strategic plan with emphasis upon marshaling cultural change and will work to craft greater cohesion across units by promoting closer interdisciplinary connections.


Build a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community


The Provost will provide sophisticated leadership around issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion and will promote increased cultural sensitivity and understanding among employees and students. This work will include building greater community engagement and connections by providing additional venues for dialogue and learning. The Provost will also support further diversification of the staff, and faculty body to better reflect the diversity of its student population, including but not limited to identities of race, gender, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and national origin. In addition, the Provost will enhance support services and curricular innovations that take into account different perspectives, student demands and experiences, and teaching methods. Lastly, the Provost will also support ongoing diversity training and professional development for faculty and staff and will build administrative structures and policies that ensure accountability.


Enhance student success and craft a holistic academic experience


The Provost will ensure ongoing curricular innovation that is relevant for the increasingly agile and talented ArtCenter student today. Working in collaboration with the chairs and academic leadership, the successful candidate will ensure that programs remain cutting edge and market driven, yet also interdisciplinary in nature, with increased capacity to harness technology and connect across fields, teams, and disciplines.


In addition, the Provost will continue to develop student support services with an eye toward supporting more diverse and younger students. Working closely with the Center for Student Experience, Academic Affairs, and Admissions, the Provost will improve the quality of academic advising, health and wellness promotion, registration, career counseling services to all students, and more specialized support for students of diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. The Provost will also support a new vision for a fully engaged campus with an active co-curricular life and innovative programming outside of the classroom, including venues for community-building and other social activities.


Lead and further develop ArtCenter’s academic affairs organization


The Provost will help reshape the academic affairs organization and determine the optimal reporting structure. This work will continue to leverage and harness ArtCenter’s creativity, while aiming for enhanced management and effectiveness. The Provost will also help to encourage connectivity amongst College-wide administrative functions particularly related to employee hiring, onboarding and training, and other employment matters, specific to faculty contracts and compensation. The Provost will continue to encourage a spirit of shared governance and transparency, and will articulate clear roles and responsibilities and structures for decision making and priority setting. Finally, the Provost will enhance great teaching and service and ensure strong faculty and staff professional development and support.


Seize opportunities for greater operational efficiency and cohesion


The Provost will help nurture a stronger culture of academic planning and efficiency. This activity includes building more consistency and coherence around curricular development and course scheduling, with an eye toward assessing ArtCenter’s three-term academic calendar. The Provost will also have oversight of the academic budget with responsibility for the prioritization and allocation of funds. In addition, the Provost will oversee accreditation, program reviews, and regulatory compliance, and improve overall mechanisms for tracking key institutional data and metrics to encourage decisions that are data-driven and systematic in nature.


Serve as ArtCenter’s academic ambassador; raise the profile and reputation of the institution locally and globally


Finally, the Provost will play an important external role, participating in events, exhibitions, presentations, and a myriad of other engagements to make the case for an ArtCenter education and the value it brings globally. The Provost will be a thought leader both internationally and domestically, championing innovation and big-picture thinking about issues of access and affordability in higher education broadly. In addition, the Provost will promote and publicize the achievements of faculty, students and ArtCenter alumni and cultivate relationships broadly, including with prospective parents and students, donors, and other professional groups, associations and industry partners.


Compensation and Location


Compensation will be commensurate with experience. ArtCenter is located in the Southern California community of Pasadena, just beneath the San Gabriel Mountain range and only minutes from downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood. Pasadena has a pleasant, relatively dry year-round climate and has many vibrant neighborhoods. The Pasadena area is home to the Norton Simon Museum, Huntington Library, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena Community College, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and famous Rose Bowl and Rose Parade. Art Center’s Hillside campus is located in the residential Linda Vista neighborhood, nestled above the Rose Bowl stadium, and ArtCenter’s South campus sits at the north end of the Los Angeles metro system’s Gold Line train, which connects Pasadena to downtown Los Angeles. For more information about Pasadena, please see http://www.pasadenacal.com/.


Qualifications and Characteristics


The Provost may come from a variety of professional backgrounds including education, art or design, media, business, technology, or public administration. A bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree in a relevant field and/or ten or more years experience in higher education administration is highly desirable; a proven track record of successful leadership, change management, entrepreneurship and integrity is essential. Other traits desired in the next Provost of ArtCenter include:

  • Demonstrated intellectual capacity, innovation and accomplishment in academic and/or art/design leadership; College level design/art teaching experience required;
  • Broad knowledge of the art and design fields and of the critical issues that the art and design fields are currently facing;
  • Commitment to education and a deep understanding of the structures and issues specific to educational governance and community building;
  • Demonstrated success leading teams through organizational change management within a complex environment;
  • Proven ability to foster a positive culture within a complex organization, respecting diversity of all kinds;
  • A record as a transparent, collaborative, and creative leader;
  • Exceptional relationship building and interpersonal skills; excellence in written and oral communications;
  • Track record in strong fiscal management and in growing numerous sources of revenue;
  • A strong, positive reputation within various professional networks;
  • An understanding and appreciation of the power of art and design to drive positive change in the world and a desire to promote extraordinary opportunities for learning; and
  • Uncompromising integrity.

ArtCenter Leadership

Lorne M. Buchman began his tenure as the fifth president of ArtCenter in 2009. Under his leadership, the College has made significant strides with campus expansion, endowment growth, scholarships and financial aid for students. His current focus is on the development of new academic facilities, on-campus student housing, completing ArtCenter’s $100M capital campaign, and spearheading the evolution of effective shared governance on campus.


Fred Fehlau was appointed provost at ArtCenter in November 2010. He oversees the College’s eleven undergraduate and seven graduate educational departments, Public Programs, Student Affairs, Faculty Affairs, Archives and Exhibitions. Previously, Fehlau held the position of dean of Academic Affairs, and served in a variety of academic administrative roles. A long-time faculty member and alumnus of the Fine Arts program, he has been at ArtCenter for a total of 31 years. After serving as ArtCenter’s Provost for the past seven years, Fehlau announced his decision to retire at the end of December 2017. He will continue his relationship with ArtCenter as a consultant for special projects, including a planned NASAD accreditation review in 2018.

Inquiries, nomination, and application information

Nominations, applications, and inquiries are being accepted for the position. Consideration of candidates will continue until the position is filled. Each candidate must submit a curriculum vitae and a cover letter. All correspondence should be directed to Isaacson, Miller. E-mail correspondence is strongly encouraged.

David Bellshaw, Regan Gough, Samantha Weigand and Ludi Chow

Isaacson, Miller

1000 Sansome Street, Suite 300

San Francisco, CA 94111

Email: 6307@imsearch.com

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.