Director of The School of Communication and Multimedia Studies
The Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters at Florida Atlantic University seeks an experienced, innovative, and visionary leader to serve as the twelve-month Director of the School of Communication and Multimedia Studies (SCMS) beginning summer 2019. The Director will lead accomplished faculty and staff who deliver three transdisciplinary undergraduate degree programs and two graduate degree programs (MA and MFA), while also participating in the interdisciplinary PhD program of the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. SCMS currently includes BA’s in Communication, Multimedia Studies, and Multimedia Journalism, an MA in Communication, and an MFA that includes film, video, interactive media, and computer animation. The Director oversees the development and implementation of the School’s vision and strategic plan as it articulates with the University’s plan. More information on the School and the position can be found on our website. Additional information on the College of Arts and Letters is also available. FAU serves a culturally and ethnically diverse seven-county region in Southeast Florida (Broward, Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, and St. Lucie counties) whose total population is more than six million people. FAU has recently been named a Hispanic-serving institution.
Ideal applicants for this position will have a strong scholarly background, as well as substantial administrative or leadership experience, preferably in a multidisciplinary Communication School/College/Department like FAU’s. The ideal candidate will also be attuned to the changing landscape of the disciplines in Communication and Multimedia Studies with an eye toward future opportunities to establish unique, attractive programs to meet demand in our large, vibrant, diverse, metropolitan South Florida region. The Director will work toward raising the national profile of the School, pursue fundraising opportunities, develop a stronger alumni network, create new opportunities, and provide support for a large contingent of faculty and students. The Director will do the above in the context of FAU’s stated goal of breaking into the Top 100 public university rankings by 2025.
Application must include a cover letter of intent which includes a vision statement for the School, an academic cv, copies of academic transcripts, and contact information for three references. Materials must be submitted by February 25, 2019.
- Maintaining existing and developing additional meaningful internal and external partnerships, co-ops, and internships with media and communication entities throughout the region
- Fundraising to support the School, its faculty, staff, and students
- Overseeing the internal and external communications that promote and develop the School, its faculty and its students
- Participating as a member of the Dean’s senior leadership team
- Working collaboratively with academic leaders throughout the University
- Overseeing successful mentorship programs to ensure timely promotion and advancement of School faculty
- Continuing and enhancing the School’s excellent record of teaching, research and service
- Managing School budgets, advocating for School resources, maintaining and developing state-of-the-art production facilities, allocating space, equipment and technology needs
- Managing School enrollment while expanding opportunities for growth on our main campus and partner campuses
- Leading the continual review, assessment, and renewal of all academic programs in the context of performance funding and accountability metrics
- Overseeing personnel matters of full-time and part-time faculty and staff, including other faculty administrators in the School, and graduate teaching assistants
- Terminal degree (PhD or MFA) in field
- Advanced Associate or full Professor
- Significant leadership experience and a record of success
- Commitment to fundraising and creating strategic alliances with industry and artistic communities
- Experience promoting diversity and inclusion
- Exceptional communication skills
- Attentiveness to current trends and best practices in one or more of the School’s disciplines and in modern higher education
About the School of Communication and Multimedia Studies
With an internationally known and award-winning faculty, the School provides innovative and dynamic opportunities for study for those interested in a wide array of human communicative activities, ranging from face-to-face human interactions to mediated communication to computer animation.
As one of Florida Atlantic University's largest and most dynamic program areas, The School of Communication and Multimedia Studies (SCMS) offers two distinct, yet aligned, baccalaureate degree programs with over 1,200 majors, a Masters of Arts in Communication Studies, and a Masters of Fine Arts in Media, Technology, and Entertainment.
The B.A. in Communication Studies (approximately 700 majors) is a problem-focused program that emphasizes contemporary cultural concerns while situating these within the broader historical context of communication and cultural theory. The purpose of the degree is to provide students with the awareness, knowledge, motivation and skills to develop communication strategies to address the problems of a global society, and the emphasis is on all forms of civic engagement. Rhetoric and intercultural communications are also emphasized.
The B.A. in Multimedia Studies: Film, Video and New Media concentration (approx. 300 majors) is a comprehensive curriculum including courses in film and television studies, video production, computer animation and new media. Courses analyze the power and responsibility of American and international film and video and new technologies from formal, historical, economic, and ideological perspectives. Courses consider both mainstream and alternative media and include industrial and artistic approaches, linking production techniques and aesthetics to industry, history and politics.
The B.A. in Multimedia Journalism concentration (approx. 300 majors) prepares students to work in the new media convergence environment. Students are expected to develop strong basic writing and analytical skills, become adept at writing and producing for multiple media platforms simultaneously, exhibiting the versatility necessary to succeed in a quickly evolving and growing media market, as well as to fully exercise the civic responsibilities of journalists for the lively functioning of democratic institutions.
The Master of Arts in Communication Studies program is designed to help students navigate as well as understand the rapidly changing communication landscape. The program trains students to conduct original research that both promotes new knowledge in the field of communication and inspires new career trajectories in academia, the media industries, the public sector, and non-governmental organizations. Critical study of political communication, persuasion, rhetoric, gender and the media, digital media, radical film, social media, documentary, political economy of the media, as well as interpersonal and intercultural communication represent some of the primary areas of study for our school’s faculty and graduate students. The program has approximately 30 active students and is supported by 12 Graduate Teaching Assistant positions.
The Master of Fine Arts in Media, Technology, and Entertainment (MTEn) program, located principally on our Davie campus, combines film, video, interactive media and computer animation faculty with computer science and engineering faculty with the aim of fostering innovative approaches to digital entertainment that stretch creative and scientific boundaries. Students are challenged to think in artistic, scientific and industrial terms about: 1) innovative forms of digital media practice within film and video production, video gaming, web-based interactive media and mobile media; 2) new pipeline models for media production, such as 3D processing for film and game development and physics-based medical and scientific visualization; 3) practical applications, such as interface design, hardware and software, enhanced content delivery and ubiquitous computing. The program has approximately 12 active students and is supported by 6 Graduate Teaching Assistant Positions.
In addition to their coursework, students in SCMS are involved with many aspects of co-curricular life at FAU. From public debates and Speakers' Corner events, to participation in events promoting understanding, tolerance, and civility in public discourse, to film festivals and exhibitions, to student clubs such as the Film Club and Zeta Iota (the FAU chapter of the national communication honorary society Lambda Pi Eta), to digital media initiatives such as Wavelengths and South Florida Journal, to cooperation in student run media such as The University Press, OWL Radio, or OWL TV, SCMS students have myriad opportunities to apply skills learned in the classroom to their engagement in campus and community life.
The School of Communication and Multimedia Studies includes 30 full-time faculty (including 20 tenure-line and 10 instructor-line faculty), two emeritus faculty, approximately 15 part-time or adjunct faculty. SCMS has full-time and part time staff supporting the program on both the Boca Raton and Davie campuses.
SCMS faculty are active in initiatives in the College, University and in engagement efforts with the community. Several of our faculty serve as associates for the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, on the Peace, Justice, and Human Rights university-level initiative, and on the Executive Committee of the University Leadership Minor. Our faculty members also volunteer as advisors for various student clubs (e.g. Owl Film Club, Japanese Animation Media Society, Lambda Pi Eta), and three of our journalism faculty members fulfill the important function of advising for FAU’s Student Media (especially The University Press and Owl TV). In addition, several faculty members play active roles in faculty governance, with roles that include chair of the College faculty assembly, elected Senators in Faculty Senate, and chairs or members of many key committees in the College and University (e.g, College P&T Committee; College Graduate Programs Committee).
The School’s faculty is also active in professional service to our discipline. Our faculty serve as committee members and officers in major professional associations including the National Communication Association and Southern States Communication Association. Currently, one of our instructors is the president of the Florida Communication Association, one of our professors is president of Romanian Studies of America, and one of our professors is Immediate Past President of the Kenneth Burke Society. Our faculty members are also journal editors (Journal of Literacy and Technology) and manuscript reviewers and/or editorial board members for the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Philosophy and Rhetoric, the Western Journal of Communication, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Jumpcut, the Journal of Media and Cultural Politics, Argumentation & Advocacy, The Journal of Argumentation in Context, Oxford University Press, and Routledge, among others. Our faculty members also serve as manuscript reviewers for academic conferences, including The National Communication Association, the Southern States Communication Association, the European Conference on Argumentation, and the Kenneth Burke Society. One of our Professors is co-director of the Biennial Wake Forest Argumentation Conference (including the “Venice Conference” versions), a long-standing international conference on argumentation. SCMS also hosts the International Center for the Advancement of Political Communication and Argumentation, a small research consortium.
Because our academic programs in the School emphasize engaged citizenship, many of our faculty are active in civic engagement initiatives. Our School, through the Multimedia Journalism program, manages and hosts Wavelengths (FAU’s internet radio) as well as South Florida Journal, a radio program which examines local government, education, human services, the environment, and the arts. Faculty in the Multimedia Journalism program also play leadership roles in FAU’s annual Constitution Day celebrations and the Robert J. Bailyn Symposium on the First Amendment. Faculty in Film, Video, and New Media developed FAU Faculty Chat, which offers post-screening discussions to area patrons of the Living Room Theatre (housed in the Culture & Society Building on the FAU campus). Faculty also routinely host various film series and lectures (for example, the recent Latin American Film and Documentary symposium). Video production faculty are active in ACM SIGGRAPH, an organization which hosts speaking events and digital video screenings.
For over a decade, the School has hosted an annual series of six student cross-examination policy debates on campus which are open to the public. Similarly, annual student led civic engagement events in Democracy Plaza are hosted each year by the School (some examples include navigating difficult conversations, workshops on strategies for social activism, teach-in on the Occupy Wall Street movement, and political engagement and voter registration). Communication Studies faculty also direct individual and small group service learning projects with their students (examples include volunteering for Helping Hands [an organization offering meals and shelter to the homeless], recreational therapy programs for nursing home residents, supply drives for animal shelters, and college preparedness programs for at-risk high school students). Finally, several faculty members are active in a variety of community organizations, boards, and councils. They serve as guest speakers, members, and officers (e.g. Palm Beach County Scholastic Achievement Foundation, Coalition for Black Student Achievement, Palm Beach County Democratic Executive Committee). Many of the SCMS faculty are also active in the United Faculty of Florida, including the current UFF President, Secretary, and Recruiting Office as well as the previous Chief Bargainer for the Union.
Presence and Partnerships
SCMS has a substantial and impactful presence on both the Boca Raton and Davie campuses as well as in the vibrant, diverse and technologically-driven South Florida region. SCMS enjoys a unique cooperative, public-private alliance with The Living Room Theaters, a four-theater complex located with the School in FAU's Culture and Society Building. Commercials theaters by night, the Living Room Theaters serve as important teaching spaces during the day for our film classes. We also have joint partnerships with the main library (where we recently launched a post-production editing lab) and with Student Media for a video production cost center that will be available to both internal and external partners. We eagerly seek additional partnership opportunities with other entities in and outside the university.
For more on the School, its degree programs and faculty visit http://www.fau.edu/artsandletters/scms/
About the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
The Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters offers students an outstanding educational experience in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. The college is home to award-winning authors, fellows of distinguished scholarly societies, Fulbright scholars, and critically acclaimed artists and performers. The College’s 16 academic programs offer 22 bachelor’s degrees, 17 minors, 12 certificate programs and 19 graduate degrees – including a PhD in Comparative Studies – that combine the best of a traditional and liberal arts education with cutting-edge research and creative achievement in emerging fields.
A hallmark of the College is its commitment to experiential learning opportunities for students at all levels of the curriculum, including faculty-led study abroad programs, archeological digs around the world, a commercial recording studio with a recording label, various student media outlets (newspaper, radio, TV), the award-winning Leon Charney Diplomacy Program, and competitive internships in myriad organizations and businesses that seek the critical and creative thinking skills our students offer. The College’s Center for Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is the oldest in the State of Florida and brings together faculty and students from across multiple disciplines.
The College’s public performance and exhibition spaces include the 500-seat University Theatre, two black box theaters, and FAU’s resident professional theater company, Theatre Lab. Annually, these venues present more than 30 concerts, eight-to-twelve different theater performances, three dance performances and dozens of lectures. There are also two galleries on campus; the Schmidt Center Gallery and the Ritter Art Gallery. Each gallery presents four to six exhibitions during the academic year. Cinematic theaters in the Living Room Theaters complex are used for film study classes in the School of Communication and Multimedia Studies during the day, and are open at night and on weekends showing independent and foreign films, and serving lunch and dinner.
The College has prepared over 22,000 students for successful advanced study and careers in fields as diverse as law, archaeology, museum curatorial work, international business, and journalism. Study in the College’s programs prepares these students to lead lives of greater aesthetic richness, civic purpose, resilience and reflection, multicultural sensitivity, and personal challenge. In addition to their classroom-based education, students may choose to attend archaeology or culture and language field schools in Sicily and Ecuador; participate in study abroad programs with faculty across the globe; participate in an award winning diplomacy program which trains students in the art of diplomacy, conflict resolution, and debate; work for a campus commercial recording studio and recording label; assist in a web-based classical radio station; help conduct linguistic studies in our multicultural community; work with internationally known visual artists; participate in internships; or perform chamber music with concert artists.
The College prides itself on a long and rich tradition of fostering transformational community engagement and partnership. The College provides unparalleled engagement with the community and the approximately 50,000 members of the public who visit FAU campuses annually to attend performances, exhibitions, screenings, or public lectures. Whether it is nurturing talent and young lives through music education programs, stimulating civic dialogue through the Jack Miller Forum, or striving to usher in a more peaceful world by inviting esteemed guests such as Jane Goodall, Angela Davis, Madeleine Albright, or the Dalai Lama to campus, the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters represents the face of Florida Atlantic University and serves a vital role in fostering an engaged and empowered community.
About Florida Atlantic University
Florida Atlantic University (FAU) was founded in 1964 in Boca Raton on an 850-acre site located near the Atlantic Ocean. With 145,000 alumni, today FAU serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students on six campuses and sites along more than 100 miles of Florida’s east coast. One of the largest employers in South Florida, FAU has more than 3,000 employees, including 1,000 dedicated faculty members.
FAU’s largest campus in Boca Raton is conveniently located half way between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale and offers a broad range of academic programs, activities and services. FAU is home to ten distinguished colleges that offer more than 180 degree programs in fields that span the arts and humanities, the sciences, medicine, nursing, accounting, business, education, public administration, social work, architecture, engineering, computer science and more.
Academically accomplished students take advantage of honors programs in their major on the Boca Raton campus and the complete, four-year honors curriculum offered by the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College on the John D. MacArthur Campus in Jupiter.
Florida Atlantic University students come from all 50 states, every county in Florida and more than 180 countries. With more than half of its student body classified as minority or international students, FAU ranks as the most racially, ethnically and culturally diverse institution in Florida’s State University System. In 2014, the University was ranked one of the top 100 four-year colleges in the nation conferring undergraduate and graduate degrees to minority students, according to a survey in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, a magazine published bi-weekly that informs leaders from academe, industry and public policy about current trends and issues in the United States. FAU ranks 34th in the nation for conferring bachelor degrees to all minorities combined. For conferring bachelor’s degrees to Hispanics in all disciplines combined, FAU ranked 24th in the nation. As of fall 2015, the University became a Hispanic Serving Institute.
The University’s strategic plan, The Race to Excellence , provides vision and direction for enhancing a culture of student and faculty success and excellence in research and inquiry. In particular, the plan outlines areas of focus to guide institutional goal setting, resource allocation and action plans.
Four Pillars define institutional programs focused on creating knowledge that benefits Society. The Pillars leverage location attributes including FAU’s coastal location and South Florida demographics and reflect great faculty strengths as well as strategic partnerships with Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience and The Scripps Research Institute, both located on our northern campus in Jupiter.
Nine Platforms represent scholarly activities that apply to and support Pillars and represent important research and curricular initiatives as well: Big Data Analytics; Community Engagement and Economic Development; Diversity; Global Perspectives and Participation; Healthy and Environmentally Sustainable Campus; Leadership, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship; Peace, Justice, and Human Rights; South Florida Culture; and Undergraduate Research and Inquiry. The Platforms identify crossdisciplinary avenues for achieving strategic plan goals, such as synergy among faculty and developing a sense of place through engagement with South Florida communities.