Director of Popular Music Program – School of Music

Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University

The School of Music in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University seeks a dynamic leader of outstanding reputation to serve as Director of the Popular Music program. This is a full-time appointment, appointment type and rank based on experience, beginning fall 2020.

About ASU

Arizona State University is a new model for American higher education, an unprecedented combination of academic excellence, entrepreneurial energy and broad access. This New American University is a single, unified institution comprising four differentiated campuses positively impacting the economic, social, cultural and environmental health of the communities it serves. Its research is inspired by real world application blurring the boundaries that traditionally separate academic disciplines. ASU serves more than 80,000 students in metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, the nation’s fifth largest city. ASU champions intellectual and cultural diversity, and welcomes students from all fifty states and more than one hundred nations across the globe.

About the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, the largest comprehensive design and arts school in the nation, is a vibrant example of the New American University philosophy. With nearly 5,000 students, more than 400 faculty and faculty associates, 135 degree options and a tradition of top-ranked programs, the Herberger Institute is built on a combination of disciplines unlike any other program in the nation. The institute includes the School of Art, School of Arts, Media and Engineering, The Design School, School of Film, Dance and Theatre, School of Music, and the ASU Art Museum. Through recognizing that design and the arts are critical resources for transforming society and solving complex problems, ASU’s Herberger Institute is committed to positioning artists, scholars, designers, and educators at the center of public life. For more information on the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, visit

About the School of Music

Located in one of the most expansive metropolitan centers in the United States and situated in the Sonoran desert, the ASU School of Music supports a broad range of inquiry. Programs within the School of Music lead to the degrees of Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Music with an optional concentration in Music and Culture; Bachelor of Music (BM) in Music with concentrations in music performance, jazz studies, music theatre, music education, music theory and composition, and music therapy as well as three minors in music performance, music studies, and musical theatre; Master of Arts (MA) in Music with concentrations in ethnomusicology or music history and literature; and Master of Music (MM) in composition, conducting, music education, music performance, performance pedagogy, or music therapy. In addition, the school offers a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in composition, conducting, or performance and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) with a concentration in music education or musicology, as well as a graduate certificate in theory pedagogy. With one of the largest comprehensive music programs in a public research university in the United States, the ASU School of Music plays a prominent role within the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and is located on the ASU Tempe campus. For more information on the School of Music, please visit

The ASU School of Music is launching a concentration in Popular Music in its Bachelor of Arts in Music degree beginning fall 2020. The popular music program welcomes and accommodates 21st century musicians interested in popular music, music industry studies and entrepreneurship, including but is not limited to, singers and songwriters, laptop performers or composers, DJs, producers, guitarists, bassists, keyboardists, MCs, and other instrumentalists and vocalists whose musical practices and playing styles are representative of varied popular music idioms, and music production, audio recording, and music industry specialists. All students gain a working knowledge of the music industry and music business, and the entrepreneurial skills necessary to gain meaningful employment upon graduation. Students participate in individual applied study in a chosen specialization, and a variety of group performance and production opportunities. Internships associated with specialization courses provide opportunities for students to apply their learning in a real-life context. A capstone course allows students to further develop their original work in their chosen area of emphasis. A curriculum for the program is currently in development and will increase meaningful pathways in the School of Music for students whose interests, skills, and goals lie outside the Western art music tradition. The curriculum will also provide opportunities for all students to develop flexible musicianship. 

We seek an innovative individual who will participate in and further our effort to reimagine what arts education means in the 21st century. The successful candidate will lead the popular music program and manage the teaching and recording facility opening in downtown Phoenix in fall 2021; initiate meaningful collaborations with faculty colleagues, the larger university community and regional professional arts organizations; build external partnerships with area music professionals and venues; teach in the candidate’s areas of expertise, which may include specialties such as the music and recording industry, music creation/production, artist management, legal issues, and/or music performance; and mentor students through the specialization and capstone processes. Further responsibilities will include recruiting high-quality students regionally, nationally and internationally, and mentoring and assisting students in developing their professional goals. The candidate is expected to possess a broad knowledge of the music industry as well as significant first-hand experience working within it, and to continue to pursue a professional career and actively participate in creative activity and/or research at the school. The candidate is also expected to demonstrate excellence in teaching with the ability to instruct at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and to work effectively with faculty colleagues and administration in service to satisfy and advance the mission of the ASU School of Music. 

Required Qualifications:

  • National and/or international music career in popular music and/or the popular music industry.
  • Vision to guide a 21st century popular music program.
  • Demonstrated excellence in teaching in relation to popular music and/or the popular music industry.
  • Evidence of ability to collaborate with professional arts organizations and corporations and to create meaningful partnerships within the music industry.
  • Master’s degree in music or commensurate professional experience.
  • Evidence of a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in creative activity and research, teaching and service.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Expertise in multiple popular music practices, such as performing, producing, recording, music industry, etc.
  • Demonstrated excellence in teaching music at the college level in relation to popular music and/or the popular music industry, or a related area.
  • Experience leading a popular music program.
  • Experience in program administration and budgeting.
  • The ability to advance innovative teaching practices and envision new paradigms of arts education.
  • The ability to work and collaborate across artistic disciplines, with people outside the arts, across campus, and in the community.
  • The ability to attract resources, including grants or other sources of support that advance the Herberger mission.
  • Experience teaching performance, music education and/or music therapy majors and students from other disciplines.

Instructions to Apply:

Please submit the following materials: 

  • Letter of interest addressing how the candidate uniquely meets the qualifications for the position, in particular: work experience, creative activity (i.e. performance, song writing, producing or other) and/or research, and innovative teaching;
  • Curriculum vitae;
  • A one-page vision statement describing an ideal bachelor of arts popular music program;
  • A one-page statement addressing the candidate’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion;
  • Names and contact information of three references; and,
  • At least three and no more than five examples of candidate’s recent (within the last 5 years) creative work (audio/video recordings, scholarly writing). Candidates may include recordings of creative work examples by submitting a document with live hyperlinks to recordings. For detailed instructions on how to create a document with live hyperlinks, please click here.

All applications must be submitted electronically via

Application Deadline: The application deadline is November 21, 2019. Applications will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis for a reserve pool.  Applications in the reserve pool may then be reviewed in the order in which they were received until the position is filled.

ASU conducts pre-employment screening for all positions, which includes a criminal background check, verification of work history, academic credentials, licenses and certifications.

Arizona State University is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor and an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will be considered without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. See ASU’s complete non-discrimination statement at See ASU’s Title IX policy at

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