Job Details


Professor/Director, School of Architecture + Design (A+D)

Post Date:

September 30, 2019


Virginia Tech


Blacksburg, VA


Professor - Director, School of Architecture + Design (A+D)

Job no: 511013

Work type: Teaching & Research Faculty

Location: Blacksburg Area

Categories: Instructional/Teaching Faculty

School of Architecture + Design, School Director

The College of Architecture and Urban Studies, (CAUS) at Virginia Tech invites applications for the position of Director, School of Architecture + Design (A+D). One of four schools in CAUS, A+D includes programs in architecture, industrial design, interior design, and landscape architecture. These programs offer bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in Blacksburg and the WAAC, in northern Virginia.

The new director will provide strategic leadership to A+D faculty, staff, and students and represent the school within the college and throughout the university. The school director will work with faculty, alumni, and other stakeholders to promote the school's current programs while expanding their interdisciplinary foci and international scope and impact; engage in fundraising and enhance alumni relations; advance scholarship, collaboration, and creative synergies among A+D programs, faculty, staff, and students and across the university; assume responsibility for effective and equitable administrative and fiscal management of the school within an incentive-based framework; and engage in some teaching and advising. The Director of A+D is a member of the Dean's executive leadership team with associate deans and other directors as well as the expanded leadership team comprising program chairs, school managers, and research center directors.

The School of Architecture + Design has 85 full time equivalent faculty and teaching staff who generate about $280,000 in annual research expenditures, 17 full-time staff, and 2,200 students (including 70 PhD candidates) located primarily on the main campus in Blacksburg and at the WAAC in the Washington Metro Area. The Director will be based in Blacksburg and will interact regularly with faculty, staff, and students in both locations as well as leading the school's activities at the Riva San Vitale campus in Switzerland.

The school's reputation for excellence in design education has been built upon fifty years of pedagogical experimentation and innovation drawing on the guiding principles of the Bauhaus. All four of the school's programs are accredited by the relevant professional accreditation authority. The school has established important collections in the Ferrari Archive and the International Archive of Women in Architecture and holds an important collection - the Marco Frascari library. The school is internationally renowned for its work in the design and construction of innovative buildings, and in particular the Futurehaus. The new director will need to lead the school in developing new futures from these past strengths extending them into new technological frontiers as they intersect with the human condition, and aligned with the strategic strengths and direction of the university.

Persons seeking this position must have a terminal degree in one of the four disciplines of the school together with credentials enabling appointment as a tenured professor within the school. A relevant PhD is preferred but not essential. Candidates must have achieved national and/or international recognition and have a track record of proven success in scholarship, leadership, and administration. They should also have a comprehensive knowledge of and strong networks within contemporary architecture and design practice.

The director will be expected to work with the College in furthering key strategic initiatives in the realization of the University's Beyond Boundaries, vision and the following CAUS initiatives: smart design and construction (including the Living Lab and Falls Church projects); development of the practice-based PhD cohort in the EDP PhD program; establishment of a new health design research laboratory situated at the Roanoke Health Science and Technology campus; and the project-based Bachelor's degree for Global Challenges currently under development. The new director will work with faculty and the college to realize both curricula and research opportunities inherent in each of the college's key strategic initiatives. The director will support the school's programs in their efforts to maintain continued accreditation and academic and professional rankings.

Required attributes: experience in fund-raising; previous leadership of interdisciplinary programs; excellent communication, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills; commitment to collaborative capacity-building and transparent leadership; and a strong commitment to equity and diversity. Candidates will be assessed according to these attributes and against the following criteria:

  • Global Reach: ability to further the School's global inter connectivity and reputation.
  • Change: an ability to lead the School through a period of change at the university, recognizing the quality and achievements of the existing programs and faculty research and aligning those strengths with new opportunities and strategic priorities of the College and University.
  • To lead the school in pursuing the university's strategic priority to establish further differentiated programs both in research and teaching.
  • To lead the school through the college's further transition into the university's new Partnership and Incentive-Based Budget model and to contribute to college efforts to create more transparent budget and resource allocation processes that lead to sustainable and equitable outcomes for students and research programs.
  • T-shaped learning and discovery, ability to lead the School in developing programs that foster disciplinary depth, interdisciplinary breadth, teamwork and problem-solving skills, and a commitment to serving the public.
  • Experiential/personalized learning: ability to lead the development of experiential learning within the curriculum.
  • Partnerships: ability to develop fruitful industry and corporate partners to enhance discovery and learning and the ability to raise funds and realize resources to support the school's research and programs.
  • Track record in working collaboratively with and creatively across the disciplines of the school.
  • Track record in and ability to work collaboratively with the other schools of the college and in particular to be able to work into professional disciplines (including building construction), art, and public policy.
  • Demonstrated appreciation of the dual nature of the applied/professional and academic/scholarly missions of A+D's programs.

Applications and supporting documents will be treated confidentially and must be submitted online at, (paper documents will not be accepted).

Applications must include: 1) Cover letter 2) Full curriculum vitae 3) Complete contact information for at least three individuals willing to provide references 4) Statement outlining interest in the position and possible areas of future potential for the School 5) Statement of research and scholarship Questions concerning the position should be directed to the Chair of the Search Committee, Alumni Distinguished Professor Rosemary Blieszner, Senior Fellow, Virginia Tech Center for Gerontology: 540-231-7657;

Correspondence concerning electronic applications should be addressed to Christine Mattsson-Coon, College of Architecture and Urban Studies, 1325 Perry Street, 202 Cowgill Hall MC 0205, Blacksburg, VA 24061, Phone 540-231-6416 or by email to

Application review will begin October 14, 2019 and the search will remain open until the position is filled.

Virginia Tech has a strong commitment to the principle of diversity and, in that spirit, seeks a broad spectrum of candidates including women, minorities, veterans, and people with disabilities. Individuals with disabilities desiring accommodations in the application process or needing this material in an alternate format should notify the Chair of the Search Committee or the Virginia Tech Relay Service, 1-800-828-1120.

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

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