Director of the Bennington Writing Seminars

Bennington, Vermont, United States

Bennington College announces the search for the director of its renowned graduate writing program. Founded in 1994 and consistently ranked among the best low-residency writing programs in the country, the program leads to a Master of Fine Arts degree in Writing and Literature. With an exceptional faculty and staff, competitively selected students, and an active and devoted alumni body of more than one thousand, the program is home to a vibrant writing community. We seek a director who has a dedication to the life of letters; a strong publication record; exceptional leadership ability; and an innovative and strategic vision for how to build on the strengths of the program and position it for success in the future.

The two-year, low-residency program in fiction, nonfiction, or poetry places equal emphasis on reading and writing. The program consists of two intensive, 10-day residency periods for faculty and students at Bennington’s campus in southern Vermont each year in January and June followed by a correspondence period. The program has a staff of four and currently enrolls approximately 85 students, with 17 faculty, and numerous visiting associates.

The director provides the academic, strategic and administrative leadership of the MFA program. The position is full-time and the director is required to be on campus during both residencies as well as four to five times throughout the year, as needed.

The successful candidate will:  

  • Set the strategic vision, direction, and long-term priorities of the program;
  • Lead the Seminars team in developing and executing admissions strategies for the recruitment and retention of a talented and diverse student body;
  • Fundraise on behalf of the program and be a visible spokesperson for the program and the College;
  • Identify, hire, support, and provide ongoing evaluation of Writing Seminars faculty and staff;
  • Develop the annual budget and oversee the strategic allocation of resources;
  • Enhance and amplify the connection to the College’s long history in letters and legacy of undergraduate writing; and
  • Collaborate with College advancement staff to expand the support and engagement of Writing Seminars alumni.  

Successful candidates must have:

  • An established professional practice in writing and publishing of national and/or international significance;
  • Knowledge of the MFA landscape and its changing demographics; as well as familiarity with current writing in the three genres (Poetry, Nonfiction, Fiction);
  • A strong record of excellence in teaching and a commitment to the importance of teaching literature and writing;
  • An advanced degree in relevant field or equivalent experience;
  • Experience in fundraising;
  • A commitment to bringing multiple perspectives to the curriculum and Writing Seminars community and to fostering inclusive practices; and
  • Evidence of entrepreneurial, hands-on, and collaborative leadership.

Candidates should apply online to by submitting: a) letter of interest outlining the candidate’s vision for the opportunity and for fostering a diverse and inclusive environment; b) curriculum vitae; and c) contact information for three references. Review of applications will begin April 15, 2017 and continue until an appointment is made. The anticipated start date is August 1, 2017. Bennington College encourages candidates from underrepresented groups to apply.

For more information about the MFA writing program and Bennington College, click here.