Jobs & Opportunities

CDS Courses Director, Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University


CDS Courses Director

Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University


The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values. The CDS community is committed to sharing values of diversity and inclusion to achieve and sustain excellence. CDS is committed to fostering a diverse educational environment and encourages applications from members of underrepresented groups. Duke University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer.


The CDS Courses Director at the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) is responsible for planning, managing, and evaluating educational courses, workshops, programs, events, and materials that teach documentary skills and methods—in photography, audio, film/video, writing, and experimental and new media—for beginning, emerging, and professional documentary artists. In keeping with the CDS mission and priorities, the program emphasizes documentary work grounded in collaborative creation and community partnerships, in-depth fieldwork, and individual artistic practices that involve people whose story is being told in the telling itself.

Consistent with the CDS mission and strategic priorities, the CDS Courses Director will shape and lead a program focused on teaching, using, and sharing documentary tools in ways that center inclusive, equitable, and diverse experiences and perspectives—mindful of justly navigating the power dynamics inherent in doing documentary work and of intentionally increasing access to documentary resources for underrepresented groups and individuals.

Responsibilities include faculty recruitment and strategic curriculum planning for continuing education courses and a certificate program, documentary institutes and workshops, screenings and instructional discussions, and visiting documentary artist and lecture programs tied to accessible learning experiences for people of all ages, backgrounds, and levels of expertise. The CDS Courses Director works in close collaboration with the DocX Director to design and execute learning opportunities for working documentary artists seeking new skills and/or project support. The CDS Courses Director also works in collaboration with the CDS Undergraduate Education Director and other CDS program directors to offer educational opportunities that maximize and strengthen faculty and student resources. Duties involve program planning and management and administrative functions, including fundraising, budgeting, event coordination, and marketing. The CDS Courses Director supervises the CDS Courses Coordinator and reports to the Director of the Center for Documentary Studies.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Evaluate and organize institutional capacity for delivering high-quality continuing education at CDS, both onsite and online; evaluate, nurture, and manage ongoing offerings and make critical adjustments as needed; and develop long-term objectives and plans to build a relevant, sustainable program.
  • Manage the overall course offerings and the Certificate in Documentary Arts program offered through CDS Courses, including budgeting, equipment planning and purchases, course catalog listings, marketing, and other administrative matters.
  • Meet with students on a regular basis to evaluate program offerings and determine needs; advise certificate students on course selections and final projects as needed.
  • Recruit and retain quality instructors from a diverse array of backgrounds and mediums, in line with program goals, and evaluate instructor course proposals.
  • Evaluate continuing education courses through visiting classes, working with instructors on course design where appropriate, monitoring course evaluations, and soliciting student feedback.
  • Communicate with course instructors through faculty meetings and encourage coordination among instructors in different mediums and approaches. 
  • Develop and maintain database of all continuing education students; implement communication tools to remain in contact with students, especially certificate graduates, and reinforce connections to CDS.
  • Develop archive system and potential presentation vehicles for certificate projects and other finished works, such as institute projects.
  • Evaluate structure and offerings and manage growth of documentary institutes and workshops; work with appropriate CDS program directors, especially the DocX Director, to develop long-term objectives for institutes and workshops and to design and implement those offerings; evaluate staff and facility resources and, where appropriate, explore additional institute venues.
  • Coordinate visiting instructors and manage volunteers and additional staff needed for institutes and intensive workshops.
  • Ensure that computer and equipment resources are adequate and available.
  • Manage any necessary vendor relationships for the program.
  • Collaborate with the Southern Documentary Fund to plan and manage Fresh Docs: Works in Progress screenings.
  • Plan, coordinate, and facilitate daylong/weekend/three-day courses or workshops with visiting documentarians, in conjunction with the DocX Director and other CDS program directors.
  • Manage existing, and initiate and develop additional, community educational programming for CDS as deemed strategic in conjunction with CDS leadership.
  • Work with CDS staff to explore possibilities for development of educational documentary materials that can be distributed via the Web or in print to interested audiences.
  • Work with CDS communications staff to effectively market and publicize all CDS Courses offerings.
  • Work with the CDS Courses Coordinator to handle all administrative duties, including evaluating and managing course registration and payment systems; budgets; contracts; course proposals; and evaluations.
  • Research, assess, and lead effective implementation and use of a learning management system.


Works requires analytical, communications, and organizational skills generally acquired through completion of a bachelor’s degree program.


Work generally requires three years of experience in educational administration or a related field to acquire skills necessary to provide program management, advising, and general administrative support. Candidates should possess demonstrated knowledge of and ability to work effectively with individuals from diverse communities and cultures. Familiarity with the documentary arts, continuing education, and distance learning programs highly preferred.



Candidates must demonstrate successful project management experience, including meeting numerous deadlines and objectives and managing multiple concurrent projects with limited resources. Excellent communication skills are required, including writing, presentation, and interpersonal. Needs experience and comfort in interacting with students and instructors from a variety of different communities, age groups, and professional backgrounds. Required technical skills include proficiency with Word, PowerPoint, and Excel as well as a willingness and ability to master a learning management system.

Must have a strong work ethic and be able to work in a fast-paced, results-oriented team environment. Ability to work evenings, weekends, and travel as needed. Creativity, adaptability, diplomatic skills, and sense of humor needed to be successful in this job.

Duke University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status. 


Two (2) steps are necessary. Please note applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

  1. Send cover letter, resume, and three references to or to the mailing address below. (References will not be called without the candidate’s knowledge).
                 CDS Courses Director Search
                 Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University
                 1317 West Pettigrew Street
                 Durham, NC  27705
  2. Go to the Duke University jobs site and follow the instructions to submit an application for the following requisition number: 13933.