In hiring new faculty, the requirements of the position will
dictate to a large extent how and where to find applicants.
If the person is to be used at the introductory level, it
is wise to select someone from a strong pedagogical background
or someone who has an established record teaching at the beginning
level. Too often, administration stresses the need to hire
someone with a professional reputation, especially a Head.
It is assumed that anyone successful in the profession will
be equally successful in teaching. This is often a false presumption.
If a person is needed to teach at the Senior level, finding
a person with good work experience and having values consistent
with program objectives is a logical choice. Frequently there
are professionals who welcome a change of career and they
have valuable experience to pass on to students. Looking for
someone with special expertise such as typography, letterform,
computers, or photography is equally suggestive of where to
look. Programs with outstanding reputations in specialized
fields are also good sources.
programs rely on graduates of their own program as teachers.
I have done this myself on several occasions and there are
advantages. Graduates are familiar with the curriculum and
program, they are a known quantity and their adjustment is
relatively smooth and quick. Yale has relied on hiring graduates
more than any other program within the scope of my experience,
and they have been reasonably successful with this practice.
However, there can be distinct disadvantages to the practice
of hiring graduates, but it is best to avoid this practice
except under unusual circumstances.
must have meaningful experiences between graduation and the
time they return such as graduate school, professional employment
or teaching experience at other institutions. No matter how
talented the person, it invariably is a mistake to hire a
graduate to teach in the same program without intermediate
have found that running ads in journals advertising an open
position is the most wasteful and unproductive procedure for
hiring a new instructor. Equal Opportunity Employment regulations
force this practice on every program seeking new faculty.
My position on Equal Opportunity Employment requirements is
that my first responsibility is to the students. At the same
time, I am sympathetic to the objectives of affirmative action
for women, minorities and veterans, but I will not recommend
them in place of a more qualified candidate. I know of situations
where upper administrators have mandated to search committees
that a recommended candidate must be a Black or Hispanic female
and no other recommendations will be accepted. This is wrong.
It twists the intent of affirmative action, it sends the wrong
message to search committees and it can have serious impact
on the quality of instruction. I have never hired a new faculty
member as the result of an ad.
has worked best for me is to identify someone I know who is
teaching or someone a faculty member knows, whose work and
teaching effectiveness are established. These individuals
are contacted to determine their interest in moving, and if
so, they are encouraged to make application. Another approach
is to contact those people in teaching and professional practice
whom I respect, and ask them for recommendations. These individuals
are contacted to find out if there is interest in teaching,
if so, they are requested to make application. If there is
no success with the first two procedures, I look for Graphic
Design programs that in my opinion are outstanding and call
the Head for recommendation of recent graduates who might
be interested in teaching.
programs in Graphic Design are generally built on a strong
pedagogical base with a structured curriculum. Graduates from
this type of background make the best teachers in my opinion
because they understand theory, sequence, standards and they
are effective teachers. There are many talented designers
who have succeeded in practice that came from weak educational
backgrounds. These individuals tend to operate on an intuitive
basis and they experience difficulty verbalizing about design
or articulating criticism of student work. No matter how talented,
the intuitive designer usually does not function well at the
introductory level, but they might contribute at advanced
of the least tapped sources for Graphic Design teachers and
program leadership is women. This is even more important today
because most Graphic Design programs enroll fifty to seventy
percent female students. Yet, there are still far too many
all male Graphic Design faculties. In recent years, more women
have been hired as teachers, but there are still too few women
as Department or Program Heads.
minority representatives is a much more complex problem. The
pool of highly qualified minority designers is small, and
they are usually more interested in professional practice
because of the difference in remuneration between working
and teaching. There is no question but what minority teachers
are valuable and in demand today because of the numbers of
a minority student performs well, understands the program
and has all the qualities to be a successful teacher, I always
discuss with them the good they could do in education. My
thought is that an internship program in teaching for qualified
minority graduates with potential and interest in education
would move more of them into teaching. The principal consideration
is the quality of program chosen for internship and the length
of time spent as an intern.
I look for first in a candidate is their values Ð what is
important about design to them? What do they stress in evaluation
of students? Education is built on value judgments from grading
to criticism of student work.
I have never been interested in prima donnas as they
usually are a divisive element in the faculty and have difficulties
working with colleagues. Faculty members working together
is extremely important to the success of the program and learning
experience for students. Maturity or sense of responsibility,
dedication to education and students are equally desirable
qualities in a teacher.
for Graphic Design
Graphic Design is a multidisciplinary program and requires
a number of instructors with a variety of expertise. Teachers
must cover both theoretical and professional studies; this
may demand experience in basic design, letterform, drawing,
color, systems, communication, typography, photography and
computer graphics. There are technical requirements in photographic
processes, video or film, typesetting, printing production
and computer-aided design. The educational requirements for
a credible program in Graphic Design entails four to six faculty
members for a program with approximately one hundred students.
Even smaller programs require at least four teachers because
of the range of course content.
is a tendency in many institutions to over rely on part-time
instructors and this seldom works to the best interests of
students. If the program is located in or adjacent to a major
professional community where recognized professionals can
be brought in to teach, it can be beneficial for students
at advanced levels. However, many programs are in outlying
areas where the pool for part-time teachers is small or the
quality of professionals is not consistent with educational
objectives. The balance between tenured, tenure track, contract
and part-time teachers should be a serious concern.
are far too many Graphic Design programs at state universities
advertising a program as being professional that is woefully
understaffed. There is no excuse for this happening with such
regularity. If the university represents itself as having
a professional program in Graphic Design, then it has the
responsibility to provide adequate staffing and other resources.