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Assistant Teaching Professor or Assistant Professor of Practice in Visual Communication

Northern Arizona University Full-Time  Anywhere 6 Jan 2023
visual communication

Job Description

Assistant Teaching Professor or Assistant Professor of Practice in Visual Communication

Location: School of Communication

Regular/Temporary: Regular

Job ID: 606904

Full/Part Time: Full-Time

Workplace Culture

NAU aims to be the nation’s preeminent engine of opportunity, vehicle of economic mobility, and driver of social impact by delivering equitable postsecondary value in Arizona and beyond.

NAU 2025 – Elevating Excellence

Special Information

The School of Communication at Northern Arizona University invites applications for an Assistant Teaching Professor or Assistant Professor of Practice to teach courses in the Visual Communication major, expected to start in August 2023.

This is a full-time position and will be hired at the rank of either Assistant Teaching Professor OR Assistant Professor of Practice beginning August 2023. This position is teaching-focused, non-tenure eligible, and is renewable with potential for promotion. Renewal is contingent upon the successful completion of a probationary year, effective performance, continued funding, and departmental needs.

The is located in a $14.5 million state-of-the-art facility that includes five computer labs, digital imaging labs, a student media complex, editing bays, television broadcast studios, and modern electronic classrooms and seminar rooms. Other highlights include a Visual Design Lab (VDL), Visual Communication Print Lab, and an Advanced Media Lab (AML).

NAU and the School of Communication are committed to hiring and developing a diverse faculty, and we encourage candidates from underrepresented groups as well as individuals who have experience working with diverse communities.

The NAU Visual Communication program offers a creative and intellectually stimulating environment, with a history of over seventy-five years. We nurture our students to focus on their role as designers and their use of visual communication techniques, methods, and processes. The program’s pedagogical approach is centered on a strong design foundation, based in theory, innovation, experiential learning, and comprehensive studio practice that leads to well-rounded and successful designers.

Job Description for Professor of Practice in Visual Communication Postion

The School of Communication at Northern Arizona University invites applications for an Assistant Teaching Professor or Assistant Professor of Practice to teach courses in the Visual Communication major. The successful applicant will teach courses from among the following areas: animation, graphic design, typography, UI/UX design, motion design, or other courses as required by the Visual Communication degree curriculum. The major has two emphases, Graphic Design, and Animation. The successful applicant will focus on foundation courses in the Animation emphasis, and also teach introductory courses in Graphic Design.

Your application should reflect your ability or potential to successfully:

  • Teach courses such as design history, design software, graphic design, typography, motion design, and animation.
  • Implement currently used industry standard software into coursework such as the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, Toon Boom Harmony, After Effects, and Cinema 4d for 2D & 3D animation
  • Support and promote the college and school missions centered on excellence in teaching and learning through quality instruction, curriculum enhancement, and service.
  • Collaborate with the director, faculty, and peers to evaluate, revise, and develop curriculum to cultivate the mastery of course content.
  • Provide students with a frequent, timely assessment of and clear feedback regarding academic performance.

Teaching stream faculty will (a) make broad contributions across our curricula and to critically-important student mentorship activities (e.g., capstone, independent study, and undergraduate and graduate student research) and (b) achieve curricular excellence through adoption and advancement of evidence-based pedagogical best-practices (e.g., active learning, experiential learning, multi-contextual learning), providing broad benefits to all students and especially supporting the learning needs of underserved students. Effectively advancing curricular excellence requires teaching stream faculty to apply pedagogical expertise in line with disciplinary understandings of effective instruction, including scholarly perspectives, and sustain this expertise through continued engagement in professional development.

The proposed workload will be the equivalent of four courses per semester. Faculty have responsibilities in advising, mentoring, and contributing service to the school, university, and the discipline. The position begins in August 2023.

Minimum Qualifications Professor of Practice in Visual Communication candidates must have:

  • A terminal degree in studio practice, such as MFA, MAD, MDes, MGraph, or related areas completed by Aug. 15, 2023
  • Creative and/or professional practice in Animation or Motion Design as supported by a demo reel.
  • Teaching experience in Animation, or graphic design as supported by CV.
  • A complete Application Package as indicated below.

Professor of Practice in Visual Communication candidates must have:

  • A bachelor’s degree in studio practice, such as an Art and Design BFA, BA or BS with a major in Visual Communication, Graphic Design, Motion Design, Animation or a closely related field.
  • Creative and/or professional practice in Animation or Motion Design as supported by a demo reel.
  • A minimum of 5 years of established professional practice in Animation, Graphic Design, Motion Design, or a closely related field, as described in the resume or CV.
  • A complete Application Package as indicated below.

Preferred Qualifications: The following qualifications will add strength to the candidacy:

  • University or college teaching experience
  • Creative experience with 2d animation or 3d animation (narrative, storytelling, and/or commercially driven).
  • Creative and/or professional practice in Graphic Design, or a closely related field as supported by a portfolio.
  • A high-quality animation demo reel of professional, scholarly, and/or creative work.
  • A high-quality portfolio of students’ animation or design work.
  • Evidence of teaching experience and effectiveness of animation, motion design, and/or graphic design studio courses or promise of teaching effectiveness.
  • Demonstrated ability to contribute to diversity, equity, and inclusion goals of the college and University, as evidenced by the diversity statement included in the application.

General Information

Northern Arizona University has a student population of 29,569, including approximately 21,000 on its main campus in Flagstaff and the remainder at more than 20 locations statewide and online.

Committed to a diverse and civil working and learning environment, NAU has earned a solid reputation as a university with all the features of a large institution but with a personal touch, with a faculty and staff dedicated to each student’s success. All faculty members are expected to promote student learning and help students achieve academic outcomes.

While our emphasis is undergraduate education, we offer a wide range of graduate programs and research. Our institution has carefully integrated on-campus education with distance learning, forming seamless avenues for students to earn degrees.

Flagstaff has a population of about 70,000, rich in cultural diversity. Located at the base of the majestic San Francisco Peaks, Flagstaff is 140 miles north of Phoenix at intersection of Interstate 17 and Interstate 40.

For information about diversity, access and equity at NAU, see the

Background Information

Northern Arizona University requires satisfactory results for the following: a criminal background investigation, an employment history verification and a degree verification (in some cases) prior to employment. You may also be required to complete a fingerprint background check. Additionally, as an employer in the state of Arizona, NAU is required to participate in the federal E-Verify program that assists employers with verifying new employees’ right to work in the United States. Finally, each year Northern Arizona University releases an The report is a result of a federal law known as the Clery Act. The report includes Clery reportable crime statistics for the three most recent completed calendar years and discloses procedures, practices and programs NAU uses to keep students and employees safe including how to report crimes or other emergencies occurring on campus. In addition, the is combined with the Annual Security Report for the NAU Flagstaff Mountain Campus as this campus has on-campus student housing. This report discloses fire safety policies and procedures related to on-campus student housing and statistics for fires that occurred in those facilities. If you would like a free paper copy of the report, please contact the NAUPD Records Department at (928) 523-8884 or by visiting the department at 525 E. Pine Knoll Drive in Flagstaff.


Commensurate with experience.


This is a Faculty (FAC) position. NAU offers an excellent benefit package including generous health, dental and vision insurance; participation in the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) or the Optional Retirement Program (ORP); sick leave accruals and 10 holidays per year; and tuition reduction for employees and qualified family members. More information on benefits at NAU is available at the NAU Faculty are hired on a contract basis, renewable according to terms of the Employees offered a position will be eligible for state health plans (including NAU’s BCBS Plan). Employees will have 31 days from date of hire to enroll in benefits, and their benefits will then be effective the first day of the pay period following their completed enrollment. If a new employee chooses the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) retirement option, participation in the ASRS Plan (and the long-term disability coverage that accompanies it) will begin on the first of the pay period following 183 days of employment. New employees who choose to participate in the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP; an alternative to the ASRS plan) will begin to participate on the first day of employment. The long-term disability plan that accompanies the ORP will begin on the first day of the pay period following 90 days of employment. More information about NAU benefits is available at the NAU

Immigration Suppt/Sponsorship

NAU will not provide any U.S. immigration support or sponsorship for this position.

Submission Deadline

This vacancy will be open until filled or closed. Review of applications will begin on January 23, 2023.

How to Apply

To apply for this position, please click on the “Apply” button at the end of the job description if viewing this position through the NAU HR website. Otherwise, to view the original post and to apply, proceed to, follow the ‘Current Openings’ links, locate vacancy 606904 and then “Apply” at the bottom of the page.

Application must include: (1) Letter of application explaining how you meet the minimum and preferred qualifications, and which track you are applying for – Assistant Teaching Professor or Assistant Professor of Practice; (2) a curriculum vitae; (3) A separate .pdf expressing your teaching philosophy as it relates to design education; (4) A separate .pdf about your commitment to equity-based pedagogy and the infusion of diverse perspectives into undergraduate curriculum; (5) A 1-minute animation demo reel highlighting the candidate’s work in 2d or 3d animation, submitted as a link, publicly viewable; and (6) names and contact information (names, titles, addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers) for three references. Save all items as PDF and/or Word documents.

  • If Graphic Design experience applicable, submit:
  • A separate .pdf with 10 – 15 samples of professional, scholarly, and/or creative work.
  • If teaching experience applicable, submit:
  • Previously taught courses at the college or university level.
  • A separate portfolio of student work with 10-15 samples delivered as a pdf and/or video reel.
  • Syllabi
  • Printed samples will not be accepted.

If you need assistance completing your application there are instructions available on the or in person in the Human Resources Department located in Building 91 on the NAU Campus – on the corner of Beaver and DuPont Streets.

If you are an individual with a disability and need reasonable accommodation to participate in the hiring process, please contact the Disability Resources Office at 928-523-8773,, or PO Box 5633, Flagstaff AZ 86011.

FLSA Status

This position is exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and therefore will not earn overtime or compensatory time for additional time worked.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Northern Arizona University is a committed Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. NAU is responsive to the needs of dual career couples.

NAU is an Employer of National Service. AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other National Service alumni are encouraged to apply.

To apply, visit

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