No. 5: Columbus College of Art and Design appoints new Vice President of Academic Affairs

Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD) President Dennison W. Griffith announced that Kevin J. Conlon will become CCAD’s new Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA), effective June 23, 2011.

“Kevin Conlon has a keen grasp of contemporary academic challenges and trends, rich experience in the nurturing and development of art and design faculty and students, and a clear love affair with our distinctive kind of higher education,” said President Griffith. “As both artist and administrator, he brings the sensibilities and sensitivities we need to continue to sharpen our work and elevate our quality. I couldn’t be happier about his appointment and am very eager to have him join the CCAD family.”

Conlon most recently served as the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Ringling College of Art and Design, a position that he held since 2008. He previously served as Dean of Undergraduate Studies at Savannah College of Art and Design from 2004 to 2008. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of South Alabama and his Master of Fine Arts from The Ohio State University.

In addition to his administrative positions, Conlon also works as a writer and consultant in the fields of interaction design, architectural restoration, foundry work, curriculum design and institutional effectiveness. He has written papers and articles for numerous conferences and publications, including the Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC), (October 2010); Interactions Magazine (March/April 2008), the College Art Association (Philadelphia, 2002), and the National Trust for Historic Preservation (Savannah, 1998).

Conlon has also maintained his studio practice for over 25 years. His distinctive sculptural works in bronze, cast resin, clay, and fiberglass, as well as oil paintings and works on paper have won many awards and honorariums, and have been exhibited widely.

Conlon said he is “thrilled to be on board at CCAD” and is looking forward to working with faculty and staff when he arrives in Columbus. “I feel that CCAD is perfectly poised to take advantage of unique synergies being developed around the idea of creativity and creative thinking as a force for change,” he continued. “You see, the kind of thinking that artists and designers do every day is not only being realized in today’s very powerful creative economy, but also being recognized as a potent way to seek and solve today’s problems. This means that CCAD students are going to remain well-poised to become not only the next generation of visual communicators, but also the next generation of global leadership.”

The VPAA serves as the Chief Academic Officer and is expected to lead the continuous improvement of academic programs by shaping the academic and cultural tone of the institution, which values collaboration, transparency, mutual support, creativity, and a nurturing climate that balances initiative, freedom and responsibility for both students and faculty.

The VPAA performs an essential role in orchestrating faculty and academic leadership’s creation of a coherent and forward-looking platform for design-based, cross-disciplinary education while amplifying the quality of its academic, art and design outcomes as measured against the field’s other top performers. Conlon will assist the President in formulating policy and in strengthening/developing partnerships with other academic institutions.

Dean of Fine Arts and Foundation Studies Julie Taggart and Associate Professor Duncan Snyder, immediate past chair of Faculty Council, were on the search committee for the position. “I was extremely pleased with the quality and caliber of the candidates that applied for the position of Vice President of Academic Affairs,” Dean Taggart said. “I was looking for an individual with creative vision and leadership experience within an institution like CCAD. I feel confident that Kevin’s ideas, energy and enthusiasm will accelerate the progression of innovative concepts that fuel a dynamic curriculum.”

Speaking on behalf of the faculty, Professor Snyder added, “The faculty is excited to work with Kevin. Not only does he bring academic rigor and leadership to CCAD, in addition he is a working artist. The faculty feel confident that with his first hand knowledge of the struggles all artists have balancing their artistic pursuits that he will bring insight to enrich the faculty in teaching, art making, and the pursuit of excellence at CCAD and beyond.”

Of his administrative vision, Conlon says, “My continued interest and enthusiasm for administrative work is motivated by what I see as accelerating changes in the needs of both the learner and teacher populations in higher education. In general, these populations struggle with decreases in funding concurrent with increased scrutiny in the form of amplified expectations for the demonstrable value and effectiveness of the post-secondary experience. In my role as an administrator, I’ve worked to facilitate delivery on these expectations by establishing and maintaining a robust dialogue with other administrators, faculty and students to look at pedagogy issues relative to learning styles, technology convergence and the evolving scholarship and practice expectations of disciplines within the context of a strong liberal arts framework.”


Posted on May 31, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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