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Assistant Professor in Graphic Communication - UI & UX (24/25)

Apply now Job no: 532634
Work type: Instructional Faculty – Tenured/Tenure-Track
Location: San Luis Obispo
Categories: Unit 3 - CFA - California Faculty Association, Faculty - Letters/Humanities, Tenured/Tenure-Track, Full Time, Faculty - Communications/Journalism
Position Description

Assistant Professor in Graphic Communication

The Graphic Communication Department in the College of Liberal Arts at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, is seeking applications for a full-time, academic-year, tenure-track Assistant Professor to begin September 16, 2024. Areas of specialization preferred for this position include in some of the following areas: interaction design, user research, usability testing, information architecture, visual design, data visualization, interactive prototyping, and accessibility.

Anticipated Hiring Range: $81,888 - $87,550/year, $6,824-$7,296/month 
(Note that hiring level will be commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the candidate.)

Although Cal Poly is primarily a teaching university, our faculty are expected to balance teaching with an active program of research/professional development (including publication), student supervision and advising, and participation in service activities at the department and college/university level. The typical teaching load is 12 units (three courses) per quarter, with a reduction in course load in each of the first two years to help new faculty establish an active program of research and professional development. Cal Poly strongly values diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), especially in the classroom and among its areas of study.

The College of Liberal Arts (CLA) sees diversity as central to its mission and is committed to fostering an equitable and inclusive environment within the college and university. We value our diversity of complex and intersecting identities, while striving to maintain an environment that is socially just, equitable, respectful, and inclusive. The successful applicant should be able to clearly demonstrate how they have infused these values and student learning objectives into their work. They should be prepared to present clear examples of how they would infuse these areas into their work as a faculty member. 

At California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, we believe that cultivating an environment that embraces and promotes diversity is fundamental to the success of our students, our employees, and our community. Bringing people together from different backgrounds, experiences, and value systems fosters the innovative and creative thinking that exemplifies Cal Poly's values of free inquiry, cultural and intellectual diversity, mutual respect, civic engagement, and social and environmental responsibility. Cal Poly's commitment to DEI informs our efforts in recruitment, hiring, and retention. California Polytechnic State University is an equal-opportunity employer.

Due to CSU policies, the person hired must reside in the state of California at the time of hire and for the entirety of the appointment.  


Master’s degree in graphic communication, media, communication, business, management, computer science, data analysis, or a closely related field at the time of appointment.

Demonstrated or documented experience in teaching, research, and/or industrial experience, in two or more of the following areas:

  • User research: The ability to conduct user research to understand the users’ needs, motivations, and behaviors. In particular, users from populations that have been historically marginalized, to ensure people with different cultural backgrounds, abilities, and perspectives are included.
  • Information architecture: The ability to organize information in a clear and understandable manner for different groups of people.
  • Interaction design: The ability to design user interactions and user flows that are intuitive and user-friendly to many populations. A particular emphasis to inclusive and accessible design is crucial – this emphasis could be related to physical disabilities (mobility, sight loss, etc), and/or language (e.g., making sure that it is clear, and translation is considered) are two examples of important aspects of interaction design.
  • Usability testing: The ability to conduct inclusive usability testing to evaluate the usability of a product or service of various populations.
  • Visual design: The ability to create visually appealing and aesthetically pleasing designs, and also translate those visual designs for a diverse group of users including those who have sight loss and/or forms of colorblindness.
  • Data visualization: The ability to graphically represent information and data to support decision making.
  • Prototyping: The ability to create interactive, accessible, and inclusive digital and physical prototypes to test and refine the design.
  • Communication: The ability to communicate ideas and concepts effectively, both verbally and in writing in ways that are understood by user populations that include people from multiple cultural groups (i.e. accurate translations, logical paths to multiple languages, etc).
  • Collaboration: The ability to work collaboratively with diverse, cross-functional teams, including product managers, developers, and other designers.
  • Empathy: The ability to empathize with various users with different backgrounds and understand their needs and pain points.
  • Physical UX: such as new packaging structure, and other physical prototypes built with physical accessibility in mind.
  • Continuous learning: The ability to stay up to date with the latest trends and technologies in equitable and accessible UX design and continually improve skills and knowledge


  • A Ph.D. or a terminal degree in related fields
  • Demonstrated experience in three or more areas from the list above
  • Demonstrated industry experience
  • A track record of committed research focus in related areas,
  • Demonstrated university experience


All CSU employees are designated “mandated reporters” under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act. As a condition of your employment, you will be required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 and any subsequent amendments.

Following a conditional offer of employment, a background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate may start work with Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may result in the withdrawal of the offer of employment. Note: Cal Poly cannot deny an applicant a position solely or in part due to a criminal conviction history until it has performed an individualized assessment and linked the relevant conviction history with specific job duties in the position being sought.

Please note: Current employees who are offered positions on campus will be required to undergo a background check for any position where a background check is required by law or that Cal Poly has designated as sensitive. Sensitive positions are those requiring heightened scrutiny of individuals holding the position based on potential for harm to children, concerns for the safety and security of people, animals, or property, or heightened risk of financial loss to Cal Poly or individuals in the university community.

For health and well-being, Cal Poly is a smoke & tobacco-free campus. The university is committed to promoting a healthy environment for all members of our community.

In accordance with the California State University (CSU) Out-of-State Employment Policy, the CSU is a state entity whose business operations reside within the State of California and prohibits hiring employees to perform CSU related work outside of California.


The Graphic Communication Department (GrC) is the leading four-year university program in graphic communication education in the U.S. The GrC program is the home of over 30,000 square feet of laboratories that are equipped with industrial-standard software and state-of-the-art equipment. The accredited program provides students with hands-on experience, and an updated curriculum in both digital and printed products for communication. The program emphasizes the connection between creativity, technology, and business aspects of communication. Cal Poly’s Graphic Communication Department celebrates its diverse body of faculty, staff, and students, and is always seeking diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and life challenges to create a rich environment for strengthening department culture. The department celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2022. Learn more about the Graphic Communication Department at


To apply, please visit, complete a required online faculty application and apply to Requisition #532634. Please upload the following required materials as part of the electronic application:

  • Current curriculum vitae
  • Cover letter addressing teaching philosophy and qualifications
  • Diversity Statement: Statement of demonstrated commitment to DEI in teaching, scholarship, and/or service describing past experience, contributions to DEI efforts, the impact on students, faculty, staff and/or your field, and a description of how you will demonstrate a commitment in these areas in teaching, research, and/or service at Cal Poly
  • Unofficial transcripts showing highest degree earned, official transcripts showing highest degree earned will be required prior to appointment
  • Teaching portfolio and evidence of teaching effectiveness (with course syllabi and student evaluations), if applicable
  • Example(s) of scholarship work, if applicable.

Please be prepared to provide three professional references with names and email addresses when completing the online faculty application. For full consideration apply by the REVIEW BEGIN DATE: November 27, 2023. Applications received after this date may be considered.

Projected Start Date: September 16, 2024

Review Begin Date: November 27, 2023. Applicants with complete files by the Review Begin Date will be given full consideration.

For questions about the position please contact Bruno Ribeiro via email at


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