Company Logo


ArtCenter College of Design k

Pasadena, CA

Oct 14
Job Description

Search for the President

ArtCenter College of Design

Pasadena, California

ArtCenter College of Design (ArtCenter or the College), one of the world’s top schools of art and design known for its industry connections and art and design making, seeks a builder and visionary leader to serve as its next President. Reporting to the Board of Trustees, and working alongside an inspiring community of creatives (students, staff, alumni, and faculty practitioners), the President will have a unique opportunity to build upon ArtCenter’s legacy and to reimagine the future of a 21st century art and design education. Upon the retirement of Dr. Lorne Buchman, the President will inherit an institution with a very strong financial base and reputation for excellence and innovation, and will be tasked with leading the institution into the future – crafting a vision for the design and delivery of a world-class education that is truly accessible, affordable, and inclusive for all learners across the globe.

Founded in 1930, ArtCenter’s mission is to educate creative leaders through an emphasis on cutting-edge practice, career success, industry partnerships, and social innovation. ArtCenter artists and designers impact the world around us in seen and unseen ways, from the cars we drive, to the chairs we sit in, the magazines we read, the online sites we engage with, the movies we go to, and the physical and virtual spaces we inhabit. ArtCenter faculty are considered global thought leaders in their fields and reflect a rich diversity of experiences and identities; they and alumni change the way we live and our material culture, and what they make sits at the juncture of access, equity, and social justice. Today, ArtCenter stands at a crucial turning point in its history. For the past nine decades, the College has maintained a very strong brand and reputation, but continues to face increasing competition from specialized institutions around the world, as well as from universities offering art and design programs of their own. The College has also attracted an increasingly diverse student body, not only in terms of identity and origin but also in terms of age and point of career progression. As ArtCenter continues to evolve, the President will need to lead the College through significant culture change, best equipping the members of its community to thrive personally and professionally.

The next President – only the sixth in ArtCenter’s history – will join the College at a moment of strength and immense potential. In the last ten years, the College has experienced steady enrollment growth and students consistently find employment at top-tier companies after graduation. Mindful, however, of its financial model and tuition dependency, and its place in a much more diverse, digital, and global age, ArtCenter seeks new ways to design and approach arts education, preparing graduates to stand at the cutting edge and lead the way into the future. The next President will embrace this charge, and in concert with students, staff, faculty, alumni, the Board, and ArtCenter community, chart a collective path forward. To be successful, the next President will be expected to address a set of key opportunities and challenges, detailed below:

• Reimagine the future of arts education and move ArtCenter forward as a community of access, affordability, and inclusion
• Implement strategic decisions to invest in ArtCenter’s immediate and long-term success
• Engage with a community of creatives and build upon ArtCenter’s collaborative culture to enhance organizational excellence
• Craft a sustainable financial model through strong budget management, strategic investment, and fundraising
• Collaborate with and cultivate the Board of Trustees
• Elevate ArtCenter’s visibility and reputation locally, domestically, and globally

ArtCenter has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in this search. Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. For more details, including the full position profile and to submit inquiries, nominations, referrals, and applications, please see the Isaacson, Miller website for the search: Electronic submission of materials is strongly encouraged.

Regan Gough, Ludi Chow, and Casey Gallagher

Isaacson, Miller

1000 Sansome Street, Suite 300

San Francisco, CA 94111

Phone: 415.655.4900

ArtCenter is committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity and does not discriminate against its employees or applicants on the basis of race, color, religious creed, sex, ancestry, national origin, age, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic characteristic pregnancy, marital status, military, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, transgender identity, gender expression, or any other characteristic protected by applicable state or federal law. Equal employment opportunity is extended to all persons in all aspects of the employer-employee relationship, including without limitation, recruitment, hiring, upgrading, training, promotion, compensation, benefits, leave of absence, transfer, discipline, layoff, recall and termination. This commitment applies to all persons involved in the operations of ArtCenter and prohibits unlawful discrimination by any employee of ArtCenter.