Iowa State University

The Department of Architecture in the College of Design at Iowa State University is seeking an accomplished leader with demonstrated achievements in architecture for the role of Department Chair to support and promote the interdisciplinary and collaborative work of all departmental faculty and staff. As a Carnegie Foundation designated Research-Extensive institution, we seek an individual in the field who will support the department’s long-standing scholarly excellence in education, research, and design. The Chair will be expected to foster collegiality and enhance our unique land-grant university status by upholding and inspiring our work both on- and off-campus. The new Department Chair will enrich our community as we pursue an appropriate balance in knowledge building and sharing, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Position Overview

The successful candidate will oversee a dynamic department comprised of about 330 undergraduate students, 40 graduate students, and 40 faculty across the areas of architectural design, building technology, design communication, history/theory/culture, design education and professional practice. The Chair will be an advocate for members of the department in their relationships with allied programs, college and university administration, alumni, the profession, and the public. We seek a candidate who supports all three dimensions of the land-grant mission: education, research/creative inquiry, and outreach. Candidates must demonstrate experience and aptitude in strategic planning and facilitating communication to support success for all students, faculty, and staff. As an academic leader, the candidate must show an in-depth knowledge of their own field, an understanding of the breadth of architectural research and creative practices and exhibit an appreciation and respect for allied disciplines.

The Chair is the designated executive officer of the department and is responsible for personnel matters, including faculty recruitment and advancement, budget, student recruitment, departmental governance, collaborative engagements, and external relations. The chair also oversees central administrative operations of the department, including curriculum and teaching as well as assessment and accreditation. In this capacity, the Chair serves at the pleasure of the Dean of the College of Design. The proposed start date for the position is January 1, 2025 or until the position is filled, and is a full-time appointment at the rank of associate or full professor with tenure.

Duties of the Chair

  • Provides leadership, strategy, and vision for the department working with faculty, students, and administrators;
  • Articulates departmental mission, values, and interests, within the university and beyond;
  • Implements a clear vision for advancing the department in all three dimensions of the land-grant mission: education, research/creative inquiry, and outreach;
  • Supervises curriculum and teaching and oversees program assessment and accreditation;
  • Supervises all faculty within the department;
  • Mentors and supports departmental faculty members through promotion and advancement;
  • Plans and manages departmental financing, budget, and workforce in coordination with finance and human resources support;
  • Maintains and strengthens interdisciplinary connections with other college/university programs, as well as with communities, professionals, and other external stakeholders (alumni, donors, and industry partners);
  • Supports college/department/university efforts in recruitment, marketing, communication, and fundraising;
  • Promotes the visibility and impact of the department and its students and alumni in national and international contexts; and
  • Engages in scholarship and/or teaching activities.

Required Minimum Qualifications

  • A terminal degree in architecture or a closely related field
  • An exemplary record of achievement in design, scholarship, and/or professional practice sufficient to qualify for appointment as a tenured faculty member.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Significant recognition in research and/or teaching in one or more of the following areas: architectural design, building technology, design representation, history/theory/culture, design education, professional practice, or a related field;;
  • Experience in academic administration and/or relevant project management and supervisory experience,
  • Demonstrated abilities related to fiscal duties, negotiation, personnel management, and fostering collegiality
  • Evidence of successful public relations, fund raising, and/or donor cultivation

Department/Program and College Description

The Iowa State University College of Design is a comprehensive design college. The Department of Architecture, with accredited programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, has a long history of excellence and is consistently ranked one of the top programs in the country. The College of Design brings together prestigious programs in architecture, studio arts, industrial design, graphic design, interior design, landscape architecture, and community & regional planning. The collaborative opportunities that emerge from the close interaction of these disciplines are one of the college\’s greatest advantages. The College of Design is home to about 1,920 (330 architecture) undergraduate and 160 (40 architecture) graduate students. Personnel in the college are dedicated to the broad, interdisciplinary education of design professionals. We are committed to the expanded role of design as an agent of positive change in society and advocate for sustainable practices. The successful candidate is expected to share and advance these values.

About Iowa State University and Ames

In addition to being classified as a Carnegie Foundation Doctoral/Research University – Extensive, Iowa State is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top public universities in the nation.  Close to 30,000 students are enrolled and are served by over 6,200 faculty and staff. Iowa State is a global and culturally diverse university committed to providing an inclusive, equitable, and diverse environment for learning and employment. These values are put into action by seeking individuals who demonstrate a commitment to these ideals as described in Iowa State University’s Principles of Community.

Iowa State is located in Ames, IA, a community of approximately 66,000 people, located approximately 30 minutes north of Des Moines, a fast-growing metropolitan area in the Midwest.

Application Instructions

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. To receive full consideration, applications should be received by September 9, 2024.

Candidates should submit the following documents in PDF format:

  • A letter of interest describing why you seek the position and how you meet the qualifications
  • A curriculum vitae
  • A philosophy statement addressing leadership, teaching, and research/creative practice as appropriate
  • Work samples to include: Creative portfolio (20 page maximum) and/or research portfolio (30-page maximum, e.g., recent article or book chapter) and/or evidence of teaching excellence (20-page maximum)
  • Contact information for three references including name, mailing address, email address and phone number

Buffkin/Baker, an executive search firm, is assisting the university in this search. Inquiries of interest, nominations, and applications should be submitted electronically, in confidence, to:

Mr. Martin M. Baker, Managing Partner

Ms. Chelsie Whitelock, Principal


Disclaimer: Iowa State University is an EO/AA employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or protected Veteran status.


Iowa State University is a global and culturally diverse university committed to providing an inclusive, equitable, and diverse environment for both learning and employment. We know that diversity in experience and perspective is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and building an inclusive academic community. At Iowa State, we translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience working with diverse students, colleagues, and constituents. The university has an expectation that all employees will demonstrate a contribution to diversity and inclusion as embodied in