Assistant Professor – Fashion Merchandising

Richmond, Virginia
13 Jan 2022
13 Feb 2022

Assistant Professor – Fashion Merchandising

Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts (VCUarts)

Department of Fashion Design and Merchandising

This full-time, 9-month position is at the rank of Assistant Professor, is tenure-eligible, and begins August 16, 2022.

Application Deadline: Review of applications begins January 14, 2022 and continues until the position is filled. For best consideration, applications are due by January 14, 2022.

The Opportunity:

The VCUarts Department of Fashion Design & Merchandising ( invites collaboration-minded applicants with qualifications, experience, and demonstrated strengths in fashion merchandising honed from significant and productive years in the fashion industry, to integrate and apply these skills into contemporary merchandising practice and contribute to strengthening the program’s orientation toward the future. The qualified candidate must be forward-thinking with strong skills in building online merchandising portfolios and  experience exploring and teaching in standard and innovative software applications used in the fashion industry. 

Department of Fashion Design and Merchandising:

The Department of Fashion Design and Merchandising is an undergraduate program with 350 students offering a BA track in fashion merchandising and a BFA track in fashion design. The Department encompasses a unique partnership between the visual, technical and business aspects necessary for merchandising, design, and production. Students are prepared to enter the fashion industry by learning technical and problem solving skills, including, but not limited to, relevant computer skills, line development, retail math, branding, creative entrepreneurship, and textiles for fashion. Market identification, analysis, and interpretation are emphasized in the merchandising track, with a new focus on understanding apparel construction as well, in order to compete in the global economy.  Principles of design research, design process and construction, balanced with illustration, the business of fashion, computer presentation skills, and creation of a final thesis collection are emphasized in the design track. The crossover skills of the BA and BFA tracks are a primary focus of the department. In addition, the department maintains an active relationship with its sister program located on the School’s branch campus in Doha, Qatar. Exciting opportunities exist for collaboration and partnership between the two programs.

Major Responsibilities:

This position is a 9-month tenure-eligible faculty position in the VCUarts Department of Fashion Design and Merchandising with an academic rank of Assistant Professor. Instructional responsibilities comprise development and teaching courses in the fall and spring semesters in the fashion merchandising track. Effective and successful instruction will be informed by a deep knowledge of merchandising used to teach innovative methodologies and concept development. A particular focus of instruction will be on developing and facilitating curricular connections between the merchandising and design tracks. Additional courses could be taught in the faculty member’s area of research specialization. Course assignments will change based on demand and will be at the discretion of the Chair.

The faculty member is expected to be a passionate mentor and creative leader for an enthusiastic and diverse community of students; integrate innovative pedagogical and technological approaches, and multicultural perspectives into instructional methods; bring experience in developing initiatives that contribute to a meaningful arts education accessible to underrepresented or disadvanted groups; foster collaborative teaching and educational opportunities through diverse and innovative projects and experiences; promote the efforts of the department across the university and throughout the community. In support of the department’s strong commitment to diversity, the faculty member is expected to foster a welcoming, equitable, and inclusive learning environment for all students.

The faculty member will contribute to new knowledge in the fashion industry or a related discipline through scholarly and/or creative research, which could be in the form of an active professional practice, and will reflect a high standard of quality. The faculty member will aspire to be recognized for creative and/or scholarly contributions at the national and/or international level and will show the potential to secure external funding, as appropriate, to advance their creative research agenda. The faculty member’s scholarly activities should be related to the program’s curriculum, and be consistent with and support the broader mission and initiatives of the department, School, and University.

As a member of a community-oriented, tight-knit department and School, the faculty member will provide service to  support student, department, and school-wide initiatives; supporting recruitment activities; fostering community engagement opportunities; and serving on department/School/University committees. In addition, the faculty member is expected to serve as a peer reviewer, organizer of conferences and/or conference sessions, and to retain membership in professional associations and provide professional service. Other responsibilities may be assigned by the Chair or university administration.



  • Master’s degree preferred, or professional, high-level fashion industry experience and training, which equates to a graduate degree
  • Significant professional/industry executive experience exceeding eight years in lieu of advanced degree
  • Discernable interest in developing productive connections across fashion merchandising and design disciplines
  • Ability to maintain and build upon current connections to the fashion industry and its professionals, and use these connections to create opportunities for students and to elevate the profile of the department
  • Evident experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment, or commitment to do so as a faculty member at VCU
  • Intermediate skills in Excel and presentation software, and adept at speaking to large audiences
  • Demonstrated skills using the latest fashion industry technology
  • Exceptional communication skills, written, oral and interpersonal




  • University level teaching experience
  • A developed research agenda
  • International experiences that bring an understanding of other cultures to the classroom

Application Instructions:

Virginia Commonwealth University is committed to organizational diversity, equity and inclusion – an environment where all can thrive in their pursuit of excellence. VCUarts strongly encourages applications from all racial, ethnic, gender, and social identities.

Applicants are requested to submit a Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (typically between 150-300 words) providing your career aspirations and contributions toward promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Through this statement, you can share how your lived experiences, and academic and professional activities will impact your contribution to VCU’s mission of promoting equity and inclusion.

Note: Examples include working with others to further the goals of equity and inclusion; leading in any capacity that tangibly promotes an environment where diversity is welcomed, fostered, and celebrated; creative activity, research and scholarship that promotes equity and parity; teaching and mentoring students, and/or engaging with faculty and/or staff from traditionally underrepresented groups to create a positive and successful organizational experience. For additional guidance on writing a Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

To apply, please submit application materials via VCU Jobs Website at Only electronic applications will be accepted.

Application materials should be to the attention of Jarvis Jefferson, Assistant Professor and Chair of the search committee. The following documents should be included:

  • A Letter of Interest, which conveys relevant academic and professional experience and describes experiences and/or professional service that inform a collaborative and community-engaged approach to teaching fashion merchandising
  • Current CV/Resume
  • A list of five current references including names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses (references will not be contacted prior to applicant’s approval)
  • Portfolio of work— a link to appropriate selections of documentation of the applicant's experience in their area of expertise within the industry. This could include traditional and/or non-traditional examples of one's work from a broad cross-section and/or combination of experience from a variety of roles within the fashion merchandising and design fields.

Review of applications begins January 14, 2022 and continues until the position is filled. For best consideration, applications are due by January 14, 2022.


To read more about VCUarts:

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