Dean, School of Media Arts

Columbia College Chicago

Columbia College Chicago actively promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion as vitally important to its present and future success. These principles are essential to the educational experiences of our students, staff, and faculty.


Columbia College Chicago seeks an innovative, entrepreneurial, and collaborative leader to serve as the next dean of the School of Media Arts (SMA). Reporting directly to the senior vice president and provost, the dean will have the opportunity to lead a consistently top-rated school and a talented community of faculty, staff and students dedicated to the expansive field of media arts. To that end, the next dean will model curiosity and take a keen interest in supporting education and creative practice trends within media arts while continuing to improve the college’s standing as a hub of expertise and innovation.   

Located in the heart of downtown Chicago’s Cultural Mile, Columbia College Chicago is a private, not-for-profit institution that creates a dynamic, challenging, and collaborative space for students, faculty, and staff to see the world through a lens of creativity. The School of Media Arts provides a cutting-edge, multidisciplinary environment for students to learn, lead, and grow into the next generation of media artists. Columbia’s intent is to educate students who will communicate creatively and shape the public’s perceptions of issues and events and who will author the culture of their times. Supporting a wide variety of programs housed in four academic departments, Audio Arts and Acoustics, Cinema and Television Arts, Communication, and Interactive Arts and Media,  the dean of SMA will assume the leadership of a school with a strong reputation that is home to two of the largest programs in the College. This role will provide the dean with the opportunity to work alongside a faculty comprised of industry leaders and academics who marry boundary-pushing technical skills and thought-provoking critical theories to deliver an educational experience that is distinctive and rooted in praxis.

Columbia seeks an exceptional leader who will hit the ground running and actively engage the constituencies within the school, articulating and building support for a clear programmatic vision, generating productive departmental strategic direction, and embracing shared governance. Serving as a conduit between the provost’s office and SMA, the dean will help Columbia College Chicago achieve institutional goals, as well as ideate, implement, and assess a strategic direction for the continued success of the School of Media Arts in light of the contemporary challenges facing higher education – and in particular, creative arts institutions. The ideal candidate will thrive in a collaborative environment and embody the vision and values of the college and school; will be a cutting-edge thinker who can translate ideas into action; a strong communicator with a high degree of emotional intelligence, compassion, and charisma; a champion for centering the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access within all facets of the dean’s and the School’s work; and an excellent people manager dedicated to the recruitment, retention, and development of exceptional faculty and staff. Professionally, the dean will have deep experience in at least one of the disciplines represented within SMA; a fundamental understanding of best practices related to media arts within higher education; an expansive network within the working and professional industry of media arts; and an unwavering commitment to building and maintaining relationships with internal and external partners, industry leaders, alumni, and potential philanthropic supporters.

Columbia College Chicago has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in this search. All inquiries, nominations, and applications should be directed in strict confidence to the firm as indicated at the end of this document.


Confidential inquiries, nominations/referrals, and/or resumes with cover letters may be submitted electronically to:

Jackie Mildner, Partner
Stephen Kalogeras, Associate
Lehman Robinson, Associate
Pamela Carty, Senior Search Coordinator
Isaacson, Miller
1800 K Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20006

Applications, inquiries, and nominations may be submitted here.

Columbia College Chicago is an equal opportunity employer and complies with all local, state, and federal laws and regulations concerning civil rights. The college does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law.

Columbia College Chicago seeks individuals with a demonstrated ability to work with students from a wide range of social and cultural backgrounds and whose creative, scholarly, and/or professional work aligns with our commitment to dismantling systems of privilege and oppression. All faculty members are expected to advance the College’s DEI mission. For more information on the Office of Academic Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, please visit:

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