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Associate Professor, VR Storytelling – ASU @ Mesa City Center

The New American Film School

Job description:

The Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University seeks to hire an Associate Professor in Virtual/Extended Reality Storytelling. This full-time, academic year, tenure/tenure-track position at the rank of Associate Professor will begin August 2021 and will be a joint appointment between the New American Film School and the School of Arts, Media and Engineering. The person hired for this position will be a leader in the development of new graduate curricula and research/creative programs in extended realities practices and immersive experience design as part of the new ASU @ Mesa City Center facility, the emerging media technologies center opening in May 2022.

This joint appointment between the New American Film School (tenure home) and the School of Arts, Media and Engineering will have duties primarily related to the ASU @ Mesa City Center facility and its programs, including the teaching and mentoring of graduate students, the development of curricula across and between disciplines (including online and hybrid deployment courses), and instruction of courses in VR/AR/XR technologies/practices and related areas. In addition, the successful candidate will be expected to maintain a program of research and creative activity commensurate with a tenured/tenure-track associate professor in the fields of virtual/extended reality (potentially including but not limited to: VR film, game design, simulation, and/or experimental applications of XR technologies), including cultivation of transdisciplinary/cross-disciplinary collaborations, successful grant seeking/sponsored project development, and other collaborations with industry and community partners.


About ASU:

Arizona State University is a new model for American higher education, an unprecedented combination of academic excellence, entrepreneurial energy and broad access. This New American University is a single, unified institution comprising four differentiated campuses positively impacting the economic, social, cultural and environmental health of the communities it serves. Its research is inspired by real world application blurring the boundaries that traditionally separate academic disciplines. ASU serves more than 80,000 students in metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, the nation's fifth largest city. ASU champions intellectual and cultural diversity, and welcomes students from all fifty states and more than one hundred nations across the globe.

About the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts:

ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts is the largest comprehensive design and arts school in the country, built on a combination of disciplines unlike any other program nationally and located within a dynamic research university focused on transformative change. The Herberger Institute comprises the schools of Art; Arts, Media and Engineering; Music, Dance and Theatre; The Design School; The New American Film School, and the ASU Art Museum. The Herberger Institute is committed to redefining the 21st-century design and arts school through developing and scaling ideas to strengthen the role of designers and artists across all areas of society and culture and to increase the capacity of artists to make a difference in their communities. For more information on the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, visit herbergerinstitute.asu.edu.

About the New American Film School

TheNew American Film School is dedicated to educating the next generation of cinematic storytellers, digital media artists, and innovators of the imagination. With a foundation in ethical and collaborative creative practices, hands-on instruction with industry standard technology, and focused pre-professional training and career planning, we aim to be the most inclusive, most affordable, and most innovative film and media production program in the country. Our award-winning faculty combines years of industry success with a passionate commitment to teaching and student success, and our graduates jump-start their careers through engagement with Film Spark, our Los Angeles-based industry relations hub. In The New American Film School, each student's unique creative vision and career aspirations are brought to life, giving voice to communities, stories and ideas that can be shared and treasured on screens in cinemas, in our homes, or in the palms of our hands. For more information on The New American Film School, visit film.asu.edu.

About the School of Arts, Media and Engineering

The School of Arts, Media and Engineering offers a dynamic, cross-campus, student-customizable curriculum that prepares students with tangible skills in new media, AI, games, wearable technology and more. We believe the liberal arts degree for the 21st century needs to create citizens who are conversant with hard skills in emerging technology as well as with the soft skills that employers increasingly demand. The School of Arts, Media and Engineering trains students to be socially aware, critically thinking global citizens who strive to bring about positive change, in a society that will be increasingly shaped by incoming revolutions in emerging and new technologies. For more information on the School of Arts, Media and Engineering, visit artsmediaengineering.asu.edu.

About ASU @ Mesa City Center

Arizona State University has joined forces with one of the nation’s fastest growing cities to build a digital innovation center in Mesa. ASU @ Mesa City Center will open doors for students in emerging industries while helping transform Mesa’s downtown area into a bustling innovation district. Once fully developed, this 118,000 square-foot space will leverage its soundstages, audio laboratories, immersive laboratories, screening theaters, fabrication labs and design studios to encourage collaborations aimed at solving problems today and in the future—from visualizing new systems of urban transportation to testing new designs for hospital rooms. This world-class media production site will host hundreds of students making films, video games and other immersive media, as well as extended reality experiences of all kinds. Our inclusive programming will train some of the best storytellers and media entrepreneurs in the world, and the facility will also be an open and inviting place for the public as well as a source of inspiration, entertainment and education.

Required qualifications: 

Required qualifications:

Candidates for this position must have demonstrated excellence in and commitment to teaching (need not be in a formal, higher education setting). They must demonstrate dedication to equity, diversity and inclusion. Candidates must have an established national/international profile in the fields of virtual/extended reality or related practices, including but not limited to VR film, transmedia storytelling, gaming, creative pre-visualization/visualization, and/or virtual production. They must also have completed a terminal degree in film, media arts, computer science, or a related field.

Desired qualifications: 

Desired qualifications:

Highly-qualified candidates for this position will possess:

  • Detailed knowledge of established and experimental workflows for XR and awareness of emerging developments in the field(s)
  • Demonstrated experience in developing curricula for emerging media
  • Clear and demonstrable awareness of and connections to the fields/industries of entertainment, technology, design, and/or the arts
  • Experience teaching online or creating resources for education in an online environment
  • Commitment to research, creative activity and/or scholarship that has public impact outside of the academy, including work related to community engagement, social justice, communication of science, cross-cultural communication or similar endeavors.
  • Experience with a variety of distribution channels and/or the production of work for public distribution, including but not limited to streaming/OTT distribution channels. software applications, exhibitions, entertainment venue development, or professional commissions
  • Experience in applying XR technologies and practices to other applications and modes, including but not limited to: training/workforce development, crisis preparedness, healthcare/rehabilitation, immersive entertainment/performance, public policy, science communication
  • Demonstrated expertise in multiple tools for authoring media in a VR/XR environment, potentially including but not limited to: Unity, Unreal, Avid, Adobe, 3D modeling/animation applications, coding/scripting languages, spherical video cinematography, ambisonic sound recording/editing, etc. Experience teaching these skills to others is a plus.
Instruction to apply: 

Instruction to apply:

Please submit:

  1. CV
  2. A letter of interest
  3. A statement addressing how your past and/or potential contributions to diversity, equity, inclusion, and/or racial justice will advance ASU’s commitment to inclusive excellence.
  4. Portfolio of work submitted electronically, as a website or via a downloadable link or application (file size limit 100mb).
  5. The names and contact information of three professional references.

All applications must be submitted electronically via apply.interfolio.com/81877.

Application deadline: 

Application deadline:

The application deadline is January 29, 2021. Applications will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis for a reserve pool. Applications in the reserve pool may then be reviewed in the order in which they were received until the position is filled.


ASU conducts pre-employment screening for all positions, which includes a criminal background check, verification of work history, academic credentials, licenses and certifications.

Arizona State University is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor and an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will be considered without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. See ASU's complete non-discrimination statement at https://asu.edu/aad/manuals/acd/acd401.html. See ASU’s Title IX policy at https://www.asu.edu/titleIX/.

In compliance with federal law, ASU prepares an annual report on campus security and fire safety programs and resources.  ASU’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report is available online at https://www.asu.edu/police/PDFs/ASU-Clery-Report.pdf  You may request a hard copy of the report by contacting the ASU Police Department at 480-965-3456.