Cranbrook Academy of Art

Cranbrook Academy of Art

Cranbrook Academy of Art

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Cranbrook is committed to Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and nondiscrimination in all aspects of employment. As an EEO employer, Cranbrook’s policy is that employment-related decisions shall be made without regard to an applicant’s or employee’s race, color, national origin, religion, creed, sex, height, weight, marital status, disability, veteran status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, or any other basis prohibited by local, state or federal law.

Academic Dean

Applications are invited for the position of Academic Dean at Cranbrook Academy of Art. Through its unique educational model, Cranbrook has inspired and achieved substantial artistic, educational, and institutional impact since it was founded in 1932.  

The Academy is in a transformational period, as we embrace opportunities for innovation and growth, and plan for the next chapter in our history. In filling this position, we are seeking a creative leader who is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, passionate about organizational development, and experienced in the evolving landscape of graduate education in the arts.

One of the nation’s leading schools devoted exclusively to graduate education in art, architecture, and design, the Academy continues to produce artists who change the way we see the world. Free from conventional classes and a fixed curriculum, the structure of the program is nimble and always changing. The Academy offers graduate study in one of 11 departments: 2D Design, 3D Design, 4D Design, Architecture, Ceramics, Fiber, Metalsmithing, Painting, Photography, Print Media, and Sculpture. Each of these departments is led by a single Artist-in-Residence (faculty member) within a creative community of roughly 150 students. 

The Academy’s facilities provide private studio space for graduate students and Artists-in-Residence, shared workshops for technology, media and fabrication processes and an extensive research library devoted to the visual arts featuring more than 40,000 volumes, periodicals and reference materials. Cranbrook Art Museum is an integral partner in its mission to present and collect significant works of art, with a special focus on Academy alumni and underrepresented artists from Detroit.


The Academic Dean reports to the Director and is responsible for formulating, implementing, and evaluating academic programs and policies of the Academy. This position serves as the primary liaison between the Director and Heads of Departments, providing onboarding, support and mentorship for Artists-in-Residence. Additionally, the Academic Dean seeks and promotes professional enrichment opportunities including residencies, fellowships, workshops, exhibitions, lectures, and teaching opportunities, for the Academy community.

As the lead administrator for academic affairs, the Academic Dean oversees processes concerning student grievances, academic probation, disciplinary action, and Title IX reports. This position also has supervision of the Dean of Student Services. Working with this direct report, the Academic Dean fosters an equitable and transparent student culture and works with key staff members in retention and recruitment efforts of graduate students across all program areas.

In helping to shape the graduate program, the Academic Dean leads the Critical Studies Program, curates guest critics for graduate reviews, coordinates student awards and oversees the Academy-wide professional practices program. This position is also responsible for bringing centralized coordination to the Academy-wide lectures and as well as overseeing the Gilbert Visiting Artist program, which seeks to amplify the work of artists and designers of color, while bringing diverse voices to the Academy.

The Academic Dean is a key member of the Academy’s senior leadership team and will play a lead role as a thought partner to the Director in increasing diversity, building partnerships in the City of Detroit, and developing new revenue-generating initiatives. This work is supported by a recent $30 million gift from the Gilbert Family Foundation, to accelerate the school’s efforts surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion.


This position requires a person who thinks strategically, is collaborative, empathic, well-organized, and is able to manage a diverse portfolio of projects. This is a senior management position and involves the supervision of other members of the staff.

Successful candidates must have a broad understanding of art and culture as it relates to graduate school education, alongside a willingness to think in new and expansive ways. This position requires knowledge of academic programs in various disciplines of art, design, and architecture, and the ability to use a multidisciplinary approach in creating solutions to program issues. Knowledge of the fields of contemporary art and design is necessary, and familiarity with the cultural sector of Detroit is highly desired but not required. 

Qualifications include: Ph.D., MFA, or other terminal degree; substantial experience with graduate-level program management; administrative experience with a strong record of service is preferred; excellent interpersonal, communication and leadership skills; and the ability to work collaboratively with a diverse set of constituencies.

Creativity is necessary to evaluate and assess the design and structure of programs within the unique pedagogy of the Academy, as well as to develop new academic and professional enrichment opportunities for faculty and students.


Position commences late spring to early summer, 2023.


Applicants will be required to submit: 

  1. Cranbrook Educational Community application
  2. Cover letter detailing interest in the position and relevant experience
  3. Curriculum vitae
  4. A statement of philosophy of graduate education in an Art and Design setting
  5. A statement of commitment to DEI and the importance of that work in a graduate degree context

Applications received by March 31, 2023, will be given priority consideration.  Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.   


Cranbrook Application Form:  

Materials should be sent to  

Head of Fiber & Artist-in-Residence

Cranbrook Academy of Art, ranked nationally as one of the top graduate programs in art, architecture, and design, is now accepting applications for the Head of Department & Artist-in-Residence (faculty) in Fiber.  This position requires a forward-facing vision for the Department that embraces a broad range of perspectives, from traditional forms of production in art, craft, and design to social practice and community-based projects. The Academy is a unique educational model, free from conventional classes. Instead of a fixed curriculum, we provide a self-directed approach to graduate education that centers the questions and interests of artists who choose to come here as they strive to make sense of an ever-changing world.

The Academy is comprised of eleven departments, with roughly 15 students each across 2D Design, 3D Design, 4D Design, Architecture, Ceramics, Fiber, Metalsmithing, Painting, Photography, Print Media, and Sculpture. The Head of Department & Artist-in-Residence is the single leader of their program areas. They are given the autonomy to determine the department’s pedagogy and the responsibility for its success. Primary responsibilities of this position include mentorship and teaching as well as administration of their respective departments (recruiting, budgets, curating visiting artists, guiding travel experiences, etc.). Candidates for this position must be unusually well qualified to provide open, independent learning, resulting in rigorous production, critique and discussion. It is expected that the Head of Department & Artist-in-Residence will also maintain an active and visible professional practice, which is seen as central to the larger academic model. The Head of Department & Artist-in-Residence is provided with a private studio, housing on campus, and benefits in addition to salary.  Successful candidates for this position must hold a terminal degree in fiber or a related field, with a sustained record of professional activity; preferred 5 years or more of college-level teaching with dedicated experience at the graduate level; excellent communication and leadership skills; the ability to foster an inclusive, diverse, and equitable learning environment; and the capacity to make a significant contribution to the field and Academy.   

Through its unique educational model, Cranbrook Academy of Art has inspired and achieved substantial artistic, educational, and institutional impact since it was founded in 1932. The Academy of Art is part of the larger Cranbrook Educational Community, situated on a 300-acre campus located just outside of Detroit.  Founded by George G. Booth and designed by Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen, Cranbrook is a community of educators, artists, architects and designers, living and working together. Over the years, significant new buildings have been commissioned as the institution has evolved, from architects including Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, Rafael Moneo and Steven Holl, among others. Listed as a National Historic Landmark, the highly celebrated campus continues to inspire people today through its remarkable beauty and sense of purpose. Comprising the Cranbrook Art Museum, the Center for Collections and Research, the Institute of Science and a private school serving students from kindergarten through high school, the Cranbrook community offers a singularly unique backdrop for teaching and learning. 

Position commences September 2023.  



Applications consist of two pieces: a single PDF document and a completed Cranbrook Faculty Application form.

Cranbrook Faculty Application Form: 

The PDF should contain a cover letter, a statement that outlines your approach to teaching at the graduate level, an overview of your vision for the department, and a statement on how your teaching supports an inclusive and diverse community. Supplemental materials must include a curriculum vitae, name and email contact for three references, a portfolio of the candidates’ work (20 image samples) and links to relevant websites and projects. The PDF should be labeled as FirstInitial.LastName.pdf.  


Applications received by December 1, 2022, will be given priority consideration. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled and materials should be sent to    


Please visit the following websites for additional background on the Cranbrook Academy of Art and the larger resources of the Cranbrook Educational Community. 


Cranbrook Academy of Art Statement of Non-Discrimination: 

Cranbrook is an equal-opportunity employer and welcomes a diverse work environment. Cranbrook Academy of Art does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, sex, height, weight, marital status, disability, veteran status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, or any other basis prohibited by local, state or federal law in its programs and activities.