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Specialist - Teacher-Fixed Term

Back to search results Apply now Job no: 901872
Work type: Faculty/Academic Staff
Major Administrative Unit / College: College Of Arts And Letters
Department: Art Art History And Design 10004068
Sub Area: FAS- Fac./Acad Staff
Salary: Salary Commensurate with Experience
Location: East Lansing
Categories: Education/Training, Fixed Term Academic Staff, Full Time (90-100%), Union

Position Summary

This 12-month, annual year fixed-term academic specialist appointment works to sustain and advance the research, curricular mission, and vision of Ceramics in coordination with the mission and vision of the Department of Art, Art History, and Design in the College of Arts & Letters at Michigan State University. The position will begin January 1, 2024.

The position carries a 1-1 teaching load with one course each semester during the academic year. This position will also manage the facilities and studios in ceramics, working with faculty and staff to implement the ceramics curriculum and special initiatives. This position plays a critical role in the safety and success of our students and community members in the department. These duties are outlined below:

Characteristic Duties – Responsibilities

  • Manages the Studio Art ceramics instructional and research facilities
  • Fires all gas kilns for scheduled classes.
  • Instructs faculty, staff, students, and visiting scholars in the operation of various laboratory and/or instructional instruments, equipment, and procedures.
  • Manages inventory and storage of raw materials in labs and storage.
  • Prepares facilities and/or materials for scheduled scholarly workshops.
  • Supervises, hires, and schedules student employees and directs workflow.
  • Designs, fabricates, assembles, disassembles, and repairs one-of-kind 3D equipment in order to assist faculty, researchers, students, and visiting scholars.
  • Coordinates the installation of instructional equipment. Coordinates design layouts, project documentation, construction, testing, modification of both indoor and outdoor kilns and/or the installation and removal of subsystems.
  • Coordinates maintenance of inventories of equipment and furniture in ceramics and processes records pertaining to facility supplies and equipment.
  • Researches and recommends equipment purchases.
  • Specifies and requisitions parts, components, and systems. Locates and/or contacts appropriate vendors for same.
  • Solves operational problems with equipment and responds to work emergencies.
  • Researches and develops new processes and procedures for incorporation into studio practices, developing new reduction and oxidation glazes for studio application, specialty clay bodies, and atmospheric glazes.
  • Provides engineering and/or technical assistance for faculty, students, visiting scholars, and clients.
  • Prepares, organizes, updates and modifies documentation of equipment, facilities, and operations.
  • Establishes and maintains quality control, preventive maintenance, and appropriate safety programs for ceramics. Creates, updates, and disseminates safety procedures and personal protection equipment for all equipment in areas. Conducts safety training sessions, checkoff processes, and approves use of equipment.
  • Participates in writing safety reports. (Example: EHS adopted airborne hazards safety check off system as a standard procedure for all MSU clay and glaze facilities, hazardous waste reports, eye wash logs.) 
  • Evaluates procedure performance, determines user access to equipment, and schedules their use.

This position requires a valid vehicle operator's license where needed to perform duties of the position, along with the ability and license to operate a forklift.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, age, disability or protected veteran status.

Required Degree


Minimum Requirements

The job requires a BFA in Ceramics and/or Sculpture or a related field plus a minimum of three to five years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in glaze chemistry/calculation and clay chemistry, kiln design, engineering, and construction; ability to operate machinery and oversee proper tool and equipment usage.

Desired Qualifications

MFA in Ceramics/Sculpture

Required Application Materials

Qualified applicants should submit

  1. a cover letter
  2. current curriculum vitae
  3. A 1-page summary of your philosophy of diversity, equity, and inclusion as it pertains to intellectual leadership in the areas of teaching/curriculum development, research/creative activities, service, outreach, advising, and/or administration. The statement should also include an explanation of related past or planned activities/endeavors as well as how the candidate will advance our goals of inclusive excellence. For more about MSU’s DEI efforts, see For more information about writing diversity statements, see 
  4. the names and email addresses of 3 potential referees.

Special Instructions

Review of applications will begin 10/04/2023 and will continue until the position is filled. Applications must be submitted electronically to the Michigan State University Human Resources website Posting number 901872.

For more information, contact Paul Kotula, Chair of the Search Committee at

Persons with disabilities have the right to request and receive reasonable accommodation.

Review of Applications Begins On


Summary of Physical Demands

Lifting heavy items, working with kilns.

Summary of Health Risks

Use of glazes in ceramics work. EHS has been consulted on area safety and all proper procedures are followed.


Department Statement

The College of Arts & Letters recognizes that only an academic and organizational culture, which actively seeks out and strengthens diverse voices and perspectives among its members results in true excellence. We are an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. The College of Arts & Letters is particularly interested in candidates of all backgrounds who are committed to the principle that intellectual leadership is achieved through open access and pro-active inclusion

MSU Statement

Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.

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