Human Resources

Alma College MFA Program—Founding Director

Alma College seeks an individual with vision, a passion for writing, and a deep commitment to quality to serve as the founding Director for our new low-residency Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program. The individual selected will have a unique opportunity to nurture a distinctive and vibrant writing community. Candidates for the position should have significant professional experience in writing or the production of literature. The ideal candidate will be a skilled and creative administrator who values collaboration and embraces the challenge of bringing a vision to life.

The Director will hold a full-time, twelve-month administrative appointment. Working in coordination with Alma’s English Department and reporting to the Provost, the Director will oversee all elements of the new MFA program. Ongoing responsibilities include:

  • Providing academic leadership in
    • recruiting, training, and mentoring MFA program faculty;
    • making recommendations for all teaching assignments;
    • overseeing the program’s curriculum and, working with program faculty and the English department, recommending revisions to it;
    • planning summer and winter residencies;
    • assessing the program, its faculty, and its learning outcomes; and
    • providing periodic program reports to the Alma College campus.
  • Working in consultation with designated Alma College administrative offices to develop and implement marketing, recruiting, and admissions plans.
  • Working with students and colleagues to build a dynamic and durable writing community.
  • Ensuring that students are surrounded by a robust network of professional opportunities and academic support.
  • Promoting ongoing outreach to alumni, the Alma campus, and the external community.
  • Managing the program budget.

During implementation, the Director will work with the English department to ensure that the program is developed in accordance with AWP Hallmarks for low-residency MFA programs. Specific tasks include revising the proposed curriculum, establishing a regular rotation of residencies, creating ongoing links to the Alma campus and the professional community, and completing all necessary program approvals. Once implementation has been completed the Director, depending on interests and qualifications, may assume duties in teaching or the production of literature.

Candidates for the Director position should have a deep knowledge of and passion for contemporary writing, including emerging genres; a significant record of professional accomplishment in writing or the production of literature; strong professional connections to existing writers’ networks; and proven administrative skills, preferably in higher education. The Director must be an individual who is collaborative but decisive, and adept at balancing vision with the pragmatics of implementation. A terminal degree in writing or literature is desirable but not required; experience in marketing and student recruitment is also desirable.

Interested candidates should submit a letter outlining their qualifications to lead the new MFA program, a c.v., and the names of three references. The letter should describe your goals for the program and the three or four steps you think are most important in establishing a program of quality. Please send the materials to the MFA Director Search Committee, c/o Daneene Held, helddl@alma.edu. Review of applications will begin on February 17, 2020 and continue until the position is filled.

A Phi Beta Kappa institution, Alma is a selective baccalaureate liberal arts college committed to academic excellence and an equal opportunity employer committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty, staff and student body. For more information about the College, visit www.alma.edu.

Story published on January 10, 2020