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Open Position: Director of the Department of Cultural Analysis (ZHdK)

17 August 2020

With around 2,800 students, Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) is one of Europe’s leading arts universities. Our manifold degree programmes and research activities cover the fields of design, film, fine arts, media, music, dance, theatre, arts education and transdisciplinary studies.
We are now inviting applications for the following position:

Director of the Department of Cultural Analysis

The broad portfolio of the Department of Cultural Analysis includes several degree programmes (art education, cultural journalism, curatorial studies and transdisciplinary studies), foundation courses in the arts and design, as well as the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, Switzerland’s largest design musuem. The Department’s research focuses on cultural analysis, the art pedagogy, aesthetic theory and, in the field of artistic research, transdisciplinarity. The Department has numerous interfaces with other ZHdK departments and hosts several university-wide professorships. Since art academies in Switzerland do not have the right to award doctorates the doctorate programmes are offered in cooperation with universities in Switzerland and abroad. The Department’s active involvement in international networks and cooperations ensures “state of the art” teaching and research and provides students with access to global issues and themes. The ZHdK campus (“Toni-Areal”) provides the Department’s approximately 300 students, senior and junior faculty, administrative and technical staff with excellent infrastructure and a stimulating, interdisciplinary environment.
Duties and Responsibilities:
Working closely with his or her management team, the postholder will be responsible for the Department’s strategic orientation, distinctiveness and quality assurance. The future director will ensure the provision of state-of-the-art and future-oriented programmes. He or she will embrace the changes ongoing at the University and in its environment, driven in part by digitisation, as an opportunity, particularly for implementing the new university-wide major-minor study model on the departmental level. The postholder will promote sustainable cooperation within and outside the University, thus expanding teaching and research resources. He or she will have a strong international outlook. The future director will represent the interests of the Department of Cultural Analysis both within the University and in national and international networks. He or she is expected to cultivate constructive partnerships with individuals and institutions in the arts, politics, society and business. We expect genuine interest in and a willingness to actively promote interdisciplinary topics. As a member of the University Board, the new director will make a significant contribution to developing the University.
The successful candidate will have a university degree, preferably in a field represented at the Department or in a related discipline. We expect a strong international network and an excellent track record in the management of complex organisations, ideally in higher education. The future director will be familiar with questions surrounding organisational development as well as staff and financial management.  He or she must also have proven experience of successfully initiating and implementing innovation processes. Other requirements include a knowledge of the current and future requirements of art education, outreach programmes and the world of museums.  The incoming director will also foster the transfer of artistic and creative methods to other areas of society and the economy. We expect a good knowledge of the Swiss education system or, failing this, a willingness to familiarise oneself quickly with it.
The successful candidate will have a vision to connect global questions and societal interests with regional challenges. He or she will be an inspiring and effective leader who supports a culture of collaboration and is able to productively integrate the Department’s various interests and perspectives and to connect these with ZHdK’s other departments. He or she will welcome unconventional solutions, without losing sight of objectives and feasibility. Excellent communication skills and knowing how best to apply these are a must.
The current postholder has been appointed director of the Zurich Centre for Creative Economies (ZCCE) at ZHdK.

The new postholder will take office by arrangement.

Interviews will be held on 13th of October and 21st of October (two rounds).
Enquiries: Prof. Dr. Thomas D. Meier, President of ZHdK, rektorat@zhdk.ch, Tel. + 41 43 446 20 04.
Submit your application here.
Application deadline: 18th of September 2020

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