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University of Connecticut

Storrs, Connecticut - United States
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Asst Professor in Game Art/3D Modeling

Description

Assistant Professor in Game Art/3D Modeling (Tenure Track or In-Residence)


The Digital Media & Design Department (DMD) in the School of Fine Arts at the University of Connecticut (UConn), Storrs invites applications for a full-time position in Game Art/3D Modeling at the rank of Assistant Professor (tenure-track) or Assistant Professor in-Residence (non-tenure track). The anticipated start date is August 23, 2020.

Recognizing a great demand and building on the department’s existing expertise, we seek an experienced game artist. The faculty hired will have a role in expanding curriculum and initiatives including a planned cross-disciplinary Industrial Design minor. This minor will be an initiative of the new endowed Krenicki Arts & Engineering Institute, which fosters collaboration between UConn’s Schools of Fine Arts and Engineering. The candidate will be an affiliate faculty member of the Institute and will be expected to participate in interdisciplinary research and teaching initiatives. The ideal candidate has significant professional experience in game art production, with a preferred focus on runtime 3D modeling, texturing, and lighting techniques. Acknowledging a lack of diversity in the game industry, DMD welcomes and embraces an inclusive environment and is particularly interested in receiving applications from members of under-represented groups and strongly encourages women, persons of color, LGBTQ and gender-nonconforming individuals to apply. 

The successful candidate will be expected to contribute to research and scholarship through extramural funding, high quality publications, impact as measured through citations, performances and exhibits, and national recognition such as honorific awards. The successful candidate will share a deep commitment to effective instruction at the undergraduate and graduate levels, innovative courses and instruction methods, and mentoring of students in research, outreach, and professional development. Successful candidates will also be expected to broaden participation among members of under-represented groups; demonstrate through research, teaching, and/or public engagement the commitment to, and support of, diversity in the learning experience; integrate multicultural experiences into instructional methods and research tools; and provide leadership in developing pedagogical techniques designed to meet the needs of diverse learning styles and intellectual interests.

Founded in 1881, the UConn is a Land Grant and Sea Grant institution and member of the Space Grant Consortium. It is the state’s flagship institution of higher education and includes a main campus in Storrs, CT, four regional campuses throughout the state, and 13 Schools and Colleges, including a Law School in Hartford, and Medical and Dental Schools at the UConn Health campus in Farmington. The University has approximately 10,000 faculty and staff and 32,000 students, including nearly 24,000 undergraduates and over 8,000 graduate and professional students. UConn is a Carnegie Foundation R1 (highest research activity) institution, among the top 25 public universities in the nation. Through research, teaching, service, and outreach, UConn embraces diversity and cultivates leadership, integrity, and engaged citizenship in its students, faculty, staff, and alumni. UConn promotes the health and well-being of citizens by enhancing the social, economic, cultural, and natural environments of the state and beyond. The University serves as a beacon of academic and research excellence as well as a center for innovation and social service to communities. UConn is a leader in many scholarly, research, and innovation areas. Today, the path forward includes exciting opportunities and notable challenges. Record numbers of undergraduate applications and support for student success have enabled the University to become extraordinarily selective.

The Digital Media & Design (DMD) department is a uniquely interdisciplinary academic unit led by faculty from the fine arts, business, STEM, and humanities fields. Established in 2013, this innovative and evolving department currently has 20 full-time faculty members, 320 undergraduate and 14 graduate students (MFA and MA) and offers BFA and BA degrees in the following concentrations: Game Design (BFA), 3D Animation (BFA), Motion Design and Animation (BFA), Web/Interactive Media Design (BFA), Digital Film/Video Production (BFA), Digital Culture, Learning, & Advocacy (BA), and Digital Media Business Strategies (BA)

All of our concentrations place a strong emphasis on collaboration and experiential learning, best preparing our students for the challenges they may face when working in industry. The department has established strong working partnerships with large and small companies, start-ups, public institutions and charitable nonprofits, giving students hands-on, real-world opportunities that benefit the creative economy of the state.

The UConn Storrs campus is located in a beautiful area of New England, with a moderate cost of living and proximity to major cultural, recreational, and urban centers of the Northeast. The University community provides residents with a rich diversity of cultural, artistic, athletic, and historic experiences. UConn is ranked as the top public university in New England, and among the top 25 public universities nationwide.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The successful candidates will teach existing and create new courses in Game Art and 3D Modeling including 3D modeling for games, concept art, previsualization, prototyping physical objects through 3D printing, and other techniques utilized in video game engines and design applications that support the Krenicki Institute curricular initiatives. Inline with our department’s collaborative nature, faculty are encouraged to build relationships across disciplines. Therefore, excellent communication skills and a collaborative predisposition are essential. Additionally, a successful tenure-track candidate must be able to maintain an active academic research agenda and engage in service activities consistent with the position. 

The position has a 2/3 teaching load, comprised of five 3-credit courses per year - at all levels of Game Art/3D Modeling, from freshman to senior capstone through graduate level - as well as additional independent studies, supervised internships, and student advising. Successful candidates are expected to broaden participation among members of under-represented groups through research, teaching, public engagement, and richness of diversity in the learning experience; integrate multicultural experiences into instructional methods and research tools; demonstrate leadership in developing pedagogical techniques designed to meet the needs of diverse learning styles and intellectual interests. Other duties as assigned.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

  • A strong artistic portfolio
  • Expertise in character and/or environment modeling for games
  • Technical expertise of low-resolution game topology, UV's in Maya, 3DStudio Max, Modo, Cinema4D or similar 3D software
  • Ability to produce high-quality textures for PBR workflows utilizing software such as Adobe Photoshop, 3D Coat, or equivalent
  • Proven ability to integrate and optimize 3D art in Unity, Unreal, or similar professional-level game engine 
  • Demonstrated interest or experience in broad applications of 3D modeling, including collaborations with the sciences and design applications
  • Ability to contribute to the diversity and excellence of the learning experience through innovative research, teaching, and public engagement
  • FOR TENURE TRACK: Terminal Degree (MFA or Ph.D) in Game Art, Game Design, Digital Media, New Media or other appropriate fields. Equivalent foreign degrees are acceptable 
  • FOR NON-TENURE TRACK: BFA, BA, or BS in Art, Digital Media, Game Art, or other related fields AND 10+ years of professional industry experience

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • At least 5 years of professional game art experience with at least two published credits
  • At least 2 years of university teaching experience 
  • Ability to realize concepts using drawing, sculpting, or other analog mediums
  • Production experience with Substance Painter/Designer and Quixel Suite or equivalent
  • Experience with realtime lighting and post-processing techniques to develop atmosphere and mood
  • Ability to create 3D files suitable for factory quoting and 3D printing for form and fit testing utilizing software such as Rhino, Solidworks, or similar 3D Package
  • Experience with sculpting high-resolution props and hard surface models in Zbrush, 3D Coat, Modo, or equivalent 

APPOINTMENT TERMS

This is a full-time, 9-month appointment with a start date of August 23, 2020.  The successful candidate’s primary appointment will be at the Storrs campus with the possibility of travel to regional campuses on occasion. Faculty may also be asked to teach at one of UConn’s regional campuses or online as part of their ordinary workload. Salary is competitive and based on background, qualifications, and professional experience.

TO APPLY

Please apply online to Academic Jobs Online (https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/15790) and submit the following application materials:

  1. A cover letter specifically addressing your credentials relative to the minimum and preferred qualifications listed above, and indicating which rank you are applying,
  2. A complete curriculum vitae,
  3. A digital portfolio consisting of personal artwork, and student work samples, if applicable
  4. A one to two-page research/scholarship statement,
  5. A statement of teaching philosophy
  6. A one-page commitment to diversity and inclusion statement,
  7. Names and contact information for three professional references.

Review of applications will begin on January 15, 2020 and will continue until filled. If you have questions related to the search, please send a detailed inquiry to Stacy Webb, Administrative Assistant for the Department of Digital Media & Design, at stacy.webb@uconn.edu, with #494206 GAME ART FACULTY SEARCH in the subject line. For more information regarding the Department of Digital Media & Design, visit http://dmd.uconn.edu.  

Employment of the successful candidate will be contingent upon the successful completion of a pre-employment criminal background check. (Search #494206) 

This position will be filled subject to budgetary approval.

All employees are subject to adherence to the State Code of Ethics which may be found at http://www.ct.gov/ethics/site/default.asp.

The University of Connecticut is committed to building and supporting a multicultural and diverse community of students, faculty and staff. The diversity of students, faculty and staff continues to increase, as does the number of honors students, valedictorians and salutatorians who consistently make UConn their top choice. More than 100 research centers and institutes serve the University’s teaching, research, diversity, and outreach missions, leading to UConn’s ranking as one of the nation’s top research universities. UConn’s faculty and staff are the critical link to fostering and expanding our vibrant, multicultural and diverse University community. As an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer, UConn encourages applications from women, veterans, people with disabilities and members of traditionally underrepresented populations.

 

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