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9 Dec 2021

Full-Time Director, Sustainable Design Program

Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) – Posted by aamadoublegen Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Job Description

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 Sustainable Design. Launched in 2004 as a lecture series, which has since evolved into a thriving graduate program, MCAD’s master of arts in sustainable design program was the first accredited online program, not exclusive to architecture, focusing on sustainability methodologies that can be applied to any effort. Students come from all industries, cultures, and career stages to share ideas and insights while learning how to apply systems thinking, along with other sustainable design frameworks, to their own work. In addition to designers, business and government decision makers find they not only learn how to work in an applied sustainability environment, but also learn design thinking methodologies—sparking real and long-term impact and innovation.

The Director will provide 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. This position offers a unique opportunity for a motivated individual with vision to work collaboratively and generate a measurable and decidedly positive impact, both locally and globally. The Director of the MA in Sustainable Design, as a member of academic leadership, serves on the Academic Cabinet and the College’s Curriculum Committee.

Primary Function:

The Director of Sustainable Design Program is responsible for developing, maintaining and improving an innovative program of Sustainable Design education that includes a 30-credit Master of Arts degree, and individual continuing education course offerings, and to develop curricula, recruit instructors and students, as well as promote and market the program through speaking events, workshop facilitation, one-on-one meetings, webinars, campaigns and digital media assets. The Director of Sustainable Design Program must be sensitive to college needs, employee and student goodwill, and overall brand equity of MCAD as an employer and educational institution.


  • Develop, implement and maintain academic policies and advising procedures for the program.
  • Remain current on developments and trends in sustainable design, online education and training. Present at, and attend sustainability focused conferences and events.
  • Prepare annual budget rationale and request for the program, submitting recommendations to the Director of Continuing Education.
  • Evaluate curriculum and instructional programs for continuous improvement, recommend appropriate actions and implement approved changes.
  • Recruit and hire new and replacement faculty as needed. Work with new and existing faculty on course development or improvement processes.
  • Act as the academic advisor to all students in the program (assist with registration, thesis questions, etc.) Provide ongoing guidance to all students in the program to ensure academic success and retention.Teach 6 credits per year in the program.
  • Manage the thesis process for all students, including coordinating the mid-program review, thesis brief, and thesis proposal process. Assist MA students with thesis brief and thesis proposal development and thesis advisor selection, recruitment, and contracts.
  • Work with the Communications and Marketing Strategy and Admissions teams to plan program marketing and promotion. Publicize the program globally through the development and maintenance of social media assets (Facebook page, Twitter account, LinkedIn group, etc).
  • Correspond and meet with prospective students and applicants to field specific questions about the program related to content, framework, syllabi, faculty, current students and alumni, potential careers, etc. (in conjunction with Admissions).
  • In consultation with admissions, MA faculty, and other MCAD staff make formal recommendations for admission or rejection of new students into the MA program after reviewing application packages.
  • Performs other duties as assigned by the Senior Director of Continuing Education.
  • Represents MCAD’s vision, purpose, and values in day to day work and interactions with MCAD students, staff, faculty, and campus guests, as well as the greater community.
  • Participate in Academic Cabinet and Curriculum committees, as well as other committees as assigned.


Minimum Qualifications

Education: Master’s Degree or equivalent desired. Educational background in design or sustainability preferred.


  • Online teaching experience in a higher education environment.
  • Demonstrated evidence of professional work in sustainable design
  • Experience working in an academic institution
  • Demonstrated program management experience
  • Experience hiring and evaluating faculty.


  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Leadership skills with strong follow through
  • Knowledge and experience in instructional design, teaching and/or training in an online environment.

This position has been identified as security sensitive and as such will require a background check. At the discretion of the college, various background checks may be done during the term of employment.

Preliminary interviews will be conducted via Google Meet. A background check will be made prior to employment.

Applications should include the following:

  1. A cover letter that describes the candidate’s interest in the position, relevant qualifications, and a reflection on the candidate’s potential to contribute to a diverse and inclusive environment;
  2. A curriculum vitae or resume;
  3. Complete information for three professional references: names, institutional affiliations, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers;
  4. Salary requirements or expectations.

Priority consideration will be given to applications received by January 10, 2022.

MCAD’s community of staff and faculty enjoy a dynamic, creative, and inclusive work environment. We offer a comprehensive benefits package which includes medical, dental, and 403(b) retirement plans, commuter benefits, and generous paid time off. In addition, after six months of service, full-time employees and their eligible dependents can receive free tuition at MCAD, as well as the potential to receive reduced tuition at more than 600 colleges nationwide.

MCAD is especially interested in candidates from under-represented groups as well as individuals who have experience with diverse populations who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the MCAD community. MCAD welcomes diversity of identity, experience, and thought. Members of marginalized communities are encouraged to apply.

How to Apply

Please apply on the MCAD website via this link.

Job Categories: Sustainability. Job Types: Full-Time. Salaries: 40,000 - 60,000.

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