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Faculty job opportunity

Senior Vice Provost and Dean of The Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

Arizona State University invites applications and nominations for the next Senior Vice Provost and Dean (SVP/Dean) of The Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts (the Institute).

ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts is the largest comprehensive design and arts school in the country, located within a dynamic research university focused on transformative change. Built on a unique combination of disciplines, the Institute is committed to developing and scaling ideas that strengthen the role of designers and artists across all areas of society and culture and to increasing the capacity of artists and designers to make a difference in their communities.

Over the past decade, the Herberger Institute has built a reputation as a hub of creativity and innovation that elevates the relevance of design and arts in public life and shapes the future of the creative workforce. Serving as a cultural anchor for the university, the Institute is home to exceptional facilities and leading-edge research centers in Tempe, Mesa, Phoenix, and Los Angeles. The Institute offers 125 degrees across a wide range of disciplines, including visual arts, dance, music, theatre, film, architecture, landscape architecture and urban design, industrial design and graphic design, fashion, and transdisciplinary digital media programs. The Institute has a budget of approximately $90 million annually and is the academic home to 8300 students and 750 faculty across four campuses plus growing global online enrollment.

The Herberger Institute has built a platform like no other to advance talented students from every background, to connect art and design with other sectors and disciplines throughout the university and beyond, and to drive innovation in the technologies of human expression. The new SVP/Dean will have the opportunity to articulate the strategic value that the Institute contributes and to shape and execute the vision for the Institute’s next chapter. Candidates must have a record of scholarly achievement in research and/or practice commensurate with an appointment as a tenured full professor at ASU.

A search committee of faculty and administrators has been formed to support this search. Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, has been retained to assist in the recruitment process. All inquiries, applications, and nominations should be directed in confidence to Isaacson, Miller as noted at the end of this profile.


The Senior Vice Provost and Dean is the chief executive and academic officer of The Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, accountable to the President and the Provost for all academic and research programs within the Institute. Deans play a vitally important role at ASU and are expected to work with the faculty and University leadership to identify, develop, and implement a vision for the future direction of the educational, research, and outreach programs of their units and – together – for the University. The SVP/Dean is a member of the Provost’s Deans Council and collaborates closely with other deans and senior leaders at ASU.

The SVP/Dean oversees a budget of approximately $90M and 16 direct reports. This includes six school directors, the director of the ASU Art Museum, the director of the Creative Economy Hub, a vice dean, an executive dean, an associate dean for Students and Curriculum, an associate dean of Culture and Access, an Executive Dean of Enterprise Design, an executive director of Operations and Finance, an executive director of Institute Affairs, the Chief of Staff, and several senior advisors. The SVP/Dean, along with school directors, is also responsible for approximately 20 research centers and labs.

The SVP/Dean will work closely with the President, the Provost, and senior leadership at the University to identify and advocate for appropriate resources and a sustainable budget model that supports the continued success of both The Herberger Institute and the University. This will require a combination of skillful and creative budgeting, appropriate investment to support enrollment and research growth, proactive fundraising from philanthropic sources, familiarity with various funding sources, and the support and expansion of programs that generate additional revenue. The SVP/Dean will connect with and capitalize on the growing philanthropic community in Phoenix and the surrounding areas and engage with the alumni base to continue the Herberger Institute’s success in fundraising.


Lead with a clear and integrated vision for the Institute

The Herberger Institute is known for its rapid expansion and innovative blend of creative disciplines. The new SVP/Dean will have the opportunity to articulate the strategic value that the Institute contributes and to shape and execute the vision for the Institute’s next chapter. In concert with the faculty and in close partnership with leadership across the Institute’s academic programs and art museum, the SVP/Dean will support the ongoing development and delivery of curriculum, research, and programs across all levels and encourage activities that strengthen connections across disciplines both within and beyond the Institute and ASU.

The next SVP/Dean will advance and support a range of programs in the performing and visual arts, design, film, fashion, media, and technology, with an emphasis on balancing tradition and innovation across the institute and within creative industries. This will require vision and skillful approaches to integrating and facilitating collaboration across these diverse disciplines and sectors. Additionally, the SVP/Dean will build a culture and an operational approach that effectively manages a growing academic enterprise across locations in four cities, and with thousands of additional students online.

Drive new investment and support for the Institute

As ASU enters its next capital campaign, the Herberger Institute has an opportunity to significantly increase its annual giving, endowment, and gifts to support facilities and special initiatives. The Institute currently raises between $5 million and $10 million each year with expectations to double giving in the next five years. The next SVP/Dean will elevate fundraising and identify new creative strategies for building a more robust pipeline of donors and funding partners to advance Arizona programs and support the Institute’s Los Angeles expansion.

Engage deeply in local, national, and global communities to amplify the Institute’s impact and reputation

The ASU mission is directly tied to the economic, social, and cultural vitality of Arizona and the growing Phoenix metropolitan area. The next SVP/Dean will be a champion for the value of design and arts education. The SVP/Dean will be an inspirational and respected ambassador of the Institute internally and externally, developing strong partnerships with state and local leaders and defining arenas for mutual investment that will meaningfully impact the metro area and the broader Arizona economy. Moreover, the remarkable diversity that is present in Arizona, particularly within ASU, mirrors the evolving demographics of the United States. This unique landscape offers the SVP/Dean an extraordinary chance to craft forward-thinking initiatives that can serve as a national blueprint for addressing and influencing societal changes and challenges.

Deepen cross-campus collaboration to propel ASU’s broader mission

 ASU is focused on co-creating solutions to the critical social, technical, cultural, and environmental issues facing society, whether by launching a new medical school to address pressing healthcare needs or spearheading groundbreaking research at the Global Futures Laboratory. The Institute plays a pivotal role in these endeavors, as the depth and breadth of its reach are intrinsically linked to ASU’s overarching goals. Recognizing this, the SVP/Dean will critically engage in the broader institutional agenda, amplify cross-disciplinary research opportunities, strengthen existing partnerships, and expand transdisciplinary programs across the University. The SVP/Dean will work closely with the University leadership to establish incentives and structures that facilitate and empower these collaborative efforts, driving ASU toward a future defined by transformative solutions.

Build on the Institute’s record of success in student recruitment, retention, graduation rates, and post-graduation outcomes

The Herberger Institute is on track to grow its enrollment to more than 10,000 students by Fall 2027, realizing the vision of the first design and arts college at a top research university that is open to all qualified students from every background. Undergraduate enrollment is expected to grow in film, fashion, popular music, gaming, and inter-disciplinary design, with graduate enrollment growing in a suite of degrees in new media, extended reality, film and architecture. As the population of both online and campus immersion students grows, the SVP/Dean will collaborate with the provost’s office to enhance and expand student success efforts. This includes ensuring adequate student services, advising resources, and financial support, particularly for undergraduate and graduate students from historically underserved communities.

The next leader of the Institute will motivate and support faculty to expand studio-based education that delivers on the promise of personal education at scale. To meet enrollment targets and to maintain its commitment to inclusive excellence, the next SVP/Dean will deploy creative methods and motivate leadership across the Institute to recruit and retain students at even higher levels.

Invest in inclusive excellence through world-class programming and faculty recruitment

The Institute is one of the only top-rated design and arts colleges whose student body is representative of the country’s changing demographics. Forty-two percent of its students are minority and almost one-quarter are first generation. The Institute has tripled its Black, Indigenous and Hispanic faculty over the past 10 years, from fewer than 20 to more than 75 full-time faculty. The Institute’s 10 Native American faculty make it one of the leading colleges for Indigenous approaches to art and design. The Institute also has a thriving Office of Culture and Access that creates programming to celebrate and support the college’s diverse student, staff and faculty population and the many cultures they represent.

 In the coming years, the Institute can become the first arts and design college whose faculty mirror the backgrounds of its students. With hundreds of artists and designers visiting the campus every year, the majority of whom come from underrepresented backgrounds, the Institute will continue to define creative education in an age of pluralism, cultural exchange, and global diversity.

Design and Launch the Creative Economy Hub Los Angeles

The next SVP/Dean will further develop and advance the Institute’s important work in downtown Los Angeles, including growing enrollments and industry relations for the film School, fashion, design, and other creative economy disciplines. The Creative Economy Hub will be an ASU-wide approach to building a learning community in Los Angeles that connects industry with the university around curriculum, human capital development and professional education, technology advances, sustainability, research, globalization, and the overall health of the creative industries in Southern California. The Institute expects to enroll thousands of degree-seeking students in Los Angeles, forge new industry partnerships, and support the continuous exchange and flow of students between California and Arizona.

Shape the future of education and access through technologies of human expression

New technologies of human expression – AI, extended reality technologies, immersive media, ubiquitous computing – will continue to influence how humans experience art and culture, how they tell stories, how they connect to one another, and how they imagine their futures together. ASU has the talent and the technology to lead the world in the design and use of these technologies and how artists and designers will deploy them for the public good. The Institute has initiated a range of programming that is poised for expansion, including the MESH Studio for AR/VR world-building, the XRtsTM fellowship, partnership with Dreamscape Learn for creating immersive learning environments, and the launch of the Endless Lab for Games and Learning to explore ASU’s Realm 5 learning space – infinitely scalable learning by building global education and work pathways through gaming. These technologies must be accessible, and they must be shaped by the ideas, experiences, and aspirations of the full creative diversity of our country.


The SVP/Dean will join ASU at an exciting time following its rapid and groundbreaking transformation over the past 20 years into one of the nation’s preeminent research universities, a distinction recognized by ASU’s recent inclusion among the prestigious Association of American Universities. ASU has also earned a ranking as one of the top 100 most prestigious universities in the world and a number one ranking in global impact by Times Higher Education.                                                                                          

As the “New American University”, ASU thrives on an unprecedented combination of academic excellence, entrepreneurial energy, and broad access, and the ASU Charter, adopted in 2014, reflects that vision: ASU is a comprehensive public research university, measured not by whom it excludes, but by whom it includes and how they succeed; advancing research and discovery of public value; and assuming fundamental responsibility for the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities it serves. With research expenditures over $795 million in 2022, ASU experienced nearly five-fold growth in research spending during this period and is now on track to reach $1 billion. Research at ASU is inspired by real-world applications, blurring the boundaries that often separate academic disciplines.

ASU is deeply committed to innovating while sustaining a welcoming, supportive, and empowering environment for all members of the community. Ranked #1 in innovation for nine consecutive years, ASU pursues innovation in educational delivery across five realms of teaching and learning: Realm 1 - Campus Immersion: Fully immersive, technology-enhanced, campus-based learning for traditional P-20 and post-graduate learners; Realm 2 - Digital Immersion: Digitally immersive, online, asynchronous learning for P-20 and post-graduate learners. Realm 3 - Digital Immersion – massively open: Digitally immersive, online, open scale, individualized and flexible learning for P-20 and post-graduate learners. Realm 4 - Education through Exploration: High-intensity, technology-based learning experiences for P-20 learners and beyond. Realm 5 - Infinitely Scalable Learning: Massively distributed, personalized, adaptive learning solutions.

ASU is home to more than 175,000 undergraduate and graduate students learning on campus or online, who hail from all 50 states and 157 countries, demonstrating the University’s commitment to educational access and providing world-class education at scale. Out of more than 59,000 Arizonans enrolled in the fall of 2023, ASU welcomed nearly 16,500 first-year, transfer, and graduate students.

In 2022, ASU was named a Hispanic-serving institution. One in three on-campus undergraduates are the first in their families to attend a college or university. Out of all ASU’s undergraduates, one in four identifies as Hispanic/Latino, totaling more than 27,000 students. Those growing numbers follow a year where ASU earned a second seal certification by Excelencia in Education, and joined the Presidents for Latino Success.


ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts is the largest comprehensive design and arts school in the country, located within a dynamic research university focused on transformative change. The Institute’s academic programs, museums, and research centers span the visual and performing arts, film, media, fashion and design disciplines. The Institute is a key driver of innovation within ASU, and a leader in educating artists and designers that are engaged in issues that impact both local and global communities.

Over the past 10 years, the Institute has expanded from 4,500 students to more than 8,300 students and from one campus in Tempe to three additional cities – downtown Phoenix, Mesa and downtown Los Angeles. The college comprises six schools – The Design School; the School of Arts, Media and Engineering; the School of Art; the School of Music, Dance and Theatre; The Sidney Poitier New American Film School; and ASU FIDM (fashion). In addition to the schools, the Institute comprises the ASU Art Museum, with a collection of more than 12,000 objects and a deep commitment to the creative expression of diverse artists and cultures, as well as the ASU FIDM Museum in Los Angeles, home to a 15,000-piece collection that covers over 400 years of fashion history.   

The Institute advances ASU’s charter of inclusive excellence as one of the few egalitarian design and arts colleges operating at the highest level of creative and academic success. The Institute’s students are majority non-white, almost one-fourth are first generation, and each of the six schools has achieved top ranked programs with world-renowned faculty (MacArthur Fellows; Guggenheim Fellows; Design Excellence winners; National Science Foundation Career scholars; Creative Capital artists; United States Artists Fellows; and more) and state-of-the art facilities.

The Herberger Institute leads the nation in research in Arts and Design; the Institute broke into the top 10 in research expenditures three years ago and now sits at number 7 in the HERD rankings. With new research-based facilities like the MIX Center, opportunities to participate in the state’s Impact Arizona Initiatives, and collaboration with several new initiatives and schools across ASU, the Institute is poised to lead all arts and design colleges in research expenditures.


Over the past decade, the Herberger Institute has doubled its enrollment by embracing new pedagogical approaches to studio-based learning, removing barriers that previously limited access to majors and degrees, expanding courses and degree pathways that represent more diverse cultural forms, and offering degrees closely related to the growing creative industries. The Institute has also pioneered innovative online degrees that are among the best available today. The diversity of the Institute’s students – by age, economics, and race – has increased alongside expanded access through both on-campus immersion and online offerings.


Located primarily in the northwest corner of the Tempe campus, the Herberger Institute venues and facilities make up the university's “design and arts district” and are adjacent to downtown Tempe. The ASU Art Museum, in the iconic Antoine Predock building, houses more than 12,000 objects across 45K square feet of gallery space, a conservation lab, a print study room, and an education maker space. Also noteworthy are the Paul V. Galvin Playhouse, Margaret Gisolo Dance Theatre, and the Music Building, which provide four distinctive performance spaces. The Design North and South buildings house architecture and design studio and research spaces, and the School of Art includes student galleries and exhibition venues in its Tempe facility as well as graduate studios and exhibition spaces in its Grant Street Studios in downtown Phoenix. The School of Arts, Media and Engineering includes technology labs and learning spaces as well as an e-sports facility.

The Institute has expanded its physical footprint over the past decade – growing by approximately 420,000 square feet, including a new arts and design dorm set to open in 2025; a 70,000 square foot interdisciplinary studio, media, and performance hub (ASU Gateway) opening in Fall 2024; the 118,000 square foot Media and Immersive eXperience Center (MIX Center) in downtown Mesa opened in Fall 2022; Fusion on First with 60,000 square feet of world class studio and maker spaces in downtown Phoenix for popular music and fashion opened in Fall 2021; expanded design studio space in the Novus Innovation Corridor and the Mirabella residencies; and more than 100,000 square feet of space for film, new media, fashion, and design in two historic buildings in downtown Los Angeles. In total, the Institute occupies more than 30 facilities across four cities in two states, giving it what is almost certainly the largest footprint of any arts and design college in the U.S.


The Herberger Institute has become one of the leading arts and design colleges in the world for advancing new knowledge, growing its externally funded research expenditures to more than 3 million annually, with close to 30 million a year in submitted research proposals. The Institute is ranked 7th in the U.S. in the HERD rankings for funded research in arts and design. 

The Institute hosts nationally distinctive labs and research centers such as the Center for Philosophical Technologies; the Center for Science and the Imagination; the Center of Building Innovation; the Acoustic Ecology Lab, the Geometric Media Lab; Meteor Studio, the Resilient Visions CoLab, the Social and Digital Systems Groupthe SHaDe Lab; Innovation Space; the Studio for Creativity, Place and Equitable Communities; the Kax Herberger Center for Children and the Arts; the Indigenous Design Collaborative; DeSmart Lab; MEDIAted eXperiences Lab; the Center for Imagination in the Borderlands; the SUN Design Lab; the Transformation Lab; BIT Lab; the Haptics for Inclusion Lab; and the recently launched Endless Lab for Games and Learning.


ASU’s mission is directly tied to the economic, social, and cultural vitality of Arizona and the growing Phoenix metropolitan region. The University serves one of America's youngest, largest, and fastest-growing cities. To learn more about Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, and the surrounding region, see www.visitphoenix.com, www.tempe.gov or www.mesaaz.gov.


Reporting to the Executive Vice President and University Provost, the SVP/Dean will be the chief executive and academic officer of the nation’s largest comprehensive school for design and the arts at a major research university. A successful candidate will exhibit leadership and strategic vision and bring to the position most of the following desired qualifications:

  • A record of innovative leadership
  • Demonstrated commitment to promoting inclusive excellence
  • Demonstrated experience managing financial planning and budgetary processes
  • Demonstrated commitment to promoting excellence in research, scholarship, and creative activities, and increasing externally funded research 
  • Demonstrated commitment to serving the needs of a diverse student population and/or reaching out to diverse communities
  • Demonstrated understanding of the research, instructional, and service needs of an academic institute that encompasses a wide range of creative disciplines
  • Experience with fundraising, grant development, and/or cultivation of external professional partnerships
  • Experience managing student enrollments and strategies that promote student success
  • Demonstrated commitment to promoting inter/transdisciplinary approaches to research, creativity, and learning 
  • Experience working day-to-day in a collaborative, team-oriented environment
  • Experience managing a significant number of high-level staff and/or associate deans
  • Demonstrated interpersonal skills that allow for open, honest, and genuine communication with a variety of constituents and stakeholders as well as the ability to effectively communicate and articulate a vision for the college and/or creative arts and design;
  • Commitment to the ideals of ASU’s mission and charter: https://www.asu.edu/about/charter-mission
  • A terminal degree is preferred and a proven record of achievement commensurate with an appointment at the rank of full professor is required


All inquiries, nominations/referrals, and applications (including resume and letter of interest responding to the requirements outlined in the position profile) should be submitted via Isaacson, Miller’s website.

Andrew Lee, Managing Partner

Ben Tobin, Partner

Nella Young, Senior Associate

Isaacson, Miller


Electronic submission of materials is required.

Apply now

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 receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. (See https://www.asu.edu/aad/manuals/acd/acd401.html and 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.