Fall 2008 Academic Affairs Newsletter

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Dear Faculty:

Warmest greetings at the beginning of a new academic year at CCA! I hope that you all enjoyed a summer that was as productive or as restful as you had desired, and I expect that you are as eager as I am to dive into the exciting year ahead with an agenda even more full than usual. Last May, Stephen Beal assumed his position as the ninth president of CCA, and since June, I have been serving as the interim provost. I am looking forward to working closely with you all on a number of important initiatives this year.

CCA’s current strategic plan will conclude this year, and this fall we will assess the progress we have made on the 2004-2009 plan as a platform from which to embark on our next planning process. There will be multiple occasions for you to participate in shaping the agenda our of next plan, a plan that will be both visionary in its assertion of CCA’s values and goals and pragmatic in its strategies and metrics.

This spring we will conduct our final Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) accreditation visits. Last year, we successfully completed our WASC Capacity and Preparatory Review, and the visiting team was overwhelmingly impressed with CCA. None of the areas of improvement noted in the commission action letter is unexpected, and I am confident that we are well positioned for successful reviews in March 2009.

Our most important task in preparing for the WASC Educational Effectiveness review will be to show greater progress on the systematic review of programs and learning outcomes. Additionally, last spring we submitted information on a number of our newer programs to NASAD for approval, and this week, WASC confirmed its approval of our new MBA in Design Strategy program. I encourage you all to familiarize yourselves with the WASC reports and stay tuned for additional ways in which you can become involved in this year’s process as we prepare for our final visits from NASAD, March 4–6, and WASC, March 11–13.

New Academic Structure

As you all know, we have been in a state of transition in Academic Affairs, and while this has been a challenging situation, it has given us an opportunity to take a fresh look at CCA’s academic leadership. Over the summer, a faculty committee, the Academic Leadership Transition Committee was formed with membership suggested by the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate.

The committee worked to determine the best way for faculty to be integrally involved in academic leadership. Minutes from the committee meetings are posted on this website, and I am happy to announce that a new structure has been put in place, with several personnel changes.

Four faculty members have been appointed to newly created director positions that replace the associate deans. In this new structure, each of the new directors provides administrative leadership for one of four academic divisions, which incorporate both graduate and undergraduate programs.

The directors’ duties will combine teaching and administrative responsibilities. (position description). The new directors, recommended by the transition committee with input from the program chairs, are Ila Berman, director of architecture, Leslie Becker, director of design, Deborah Valoma, director of fine arts, and Rachel Schreiber, director of humanities and sciences. The directors will report to Provost Mark Breitenberg.

To provide further administrative support for the divisions, three CCA program managers have been promoted to assistant director positions. Judy Krasnick is assistant director of architecture, Lisa Stoneman is assistant director of design, and Dominick Tracy is assistant director of humanities and sciences. Former Associate Dean Mark Takiguchi will become the associate director of fine arts.

In addition, Lauren Dyer will be moving into an augmented role as manager of Graduate Studies. Although the graduate programs are now situated within discipline-specific divisions, there is still need for work on a variety of graduate issues, including enrollment, student community, curricula, facilities, and communications. Lauren will work with the graduate program chairs and coordinate these cross-divisional matters.

2008-09 Academic Organization Chart

We hope that the new structure will help with collegewide goals of creating alliances, strengthening programs and grad/undergrad connections, increasing interdisciplinary opportunities, and providing a leadership track for faculty. I’m pleased to see these expanded opportunities for both faculty and staff, and I look forward to working with the new leadership on upcoming academic initiatives.

New Programs

This fall CCA welcomes its inaugural class for the MBA in Design Strategy. The first U.S. program of its kind, this innovative MBA unites the studies of design, finance, and organizational management in a unique curriculum aimed at providing students with tools and strategies to address today's complex and interconnected market. The program's approach encompasses performance, strategy, innovation, and the encouragement of meaningful, sustainable social change. Chaired by Nathan Shedroff, this low-residency program has enrolled 26 students in its first class, demonstrating an interest even higher than expected.

Program Chair Update

Diversity Studies
Melinda de Jesus will assume the leadership position of this important curricular area.

Graduate Fine Arts
Ted Purves has been appointed to a three-year term as chair.

Dugald Stermer continues as chair, and Alexis Mahrus assumes the role of assistant chair.

Industrial Design
With Kiersten Muenchinger’s departure, Colin Owen takes over responsibility as assistant chair, and Yves Behar remains as chair.

Jewelry/Metal Arts
Curtis Arima will serve as interim chair during Marilyn da Silva’s sabbatical.

Media Arts
Barney Haynes has returned from sabbatical and returns to Media Arts to cochair the program with Rob Epstein. (**Note: As of 3/15/2010 Media Arts was renamed Film Program with Rob Epstein as chair.)

Richard Elliott takes over the chairship of Textiles as Deborah Valoma moves into her new position as director of Fine Arts.

Visual Studies
Mitchell Schwarzer is taking a sabbatical year. During 2008–9, Maria Makela will serve as interim chair.

Writing & Literature
Juvenal Acosta is taking a sabbatical, and Aimee Phan is stepping into the chairship for a three-year term.

CCA Program Chair Directory

Faculty Changes and Additions

Before addressing the many additions to our faculty, I would like to take a moment to remember one of our colleagues who passed away last May. Steve Reoutt received his BFA from CCA in 1961 and began teaching at the college in 1967. He taught courses in both Illustration and Graphic Design and was chair of the Graphic Design program from 1982 to 1987. Steve retired last spring after 41 years of teaching at the college and was honored with the status of professor emeritus. Steve will be remembered for his significant contributions to the study of design and his inspirational teaching.

One of CCA’s greatest assets is its outstanding faculty body; nothing contributes more to the college’s identity, excellence, and national visibility. Last year we completed a number of national and regional searches for ranked faculty. These searches are very labor and resource intensive, and I would like to thank those who served on faculty search committees. Please join me in welcoming your new colleagues, congratulating the advancement of old friends, and offering good wishes to those moving on.

Promotions to Rank

Sincere congratulations to Juvenal Acosta and Ila Berman who were awarded tenure as well as Lisa Findley and Donald Fortescue, our newest full professors! In addition, last year was the first time the Appointments, Promotions, and Tenure Committee reviewed faculty for the new ranking of senior adjunct. Congratulations to the 26 adjuncts who were promoted.

New Tenure-Track Hires

Lynda Grose: Lynda has been actively engaged in designing and researching socially and environmentally advanced clothing and textiles for the past 13 years. After receiving a fashion design honors degree from Kingston University in London in 1981, Lynda began a career in fashion design. In 1988 she joined Esprit as a sweater designer and become head designer for the Esprit Collection in 1989. In 1990 she cofounded Esprit’s Ecollection division, and now as an independent designer with a focus on sustainability, Lynda works with companies and organizations around the world.

Elizabeth Mangini: Elizabeth will join the tenure-track faculty of Visual Studies in spring 2009; she is an art historian who specializes in social histories of postwar and contemporary art, including photography. Her current research projects include a study of Arte Povera in Turin c. 1968 and identity politics in American art of the 1980s and ‘90s. She has held curatorial positions and postgraduate fellowships at the Museum of Modern Art, the Walker Art Center, and MASS MOCA. Elizabeth received her PhD from City University of New York, her MA from Williams College, and her BA from Stanford University.

Emily McVarish: Emily holds an MA from Camberwall College of Art in London and a BA from University of California, Berkeley. She is a writer, designer, and book artist, and she has operated her presses, Axel & Otto, in both commercial and experimental ventures since 1990. Her work is in the collections of several major museums and libraries, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Harvard University Printing and Graphic Arts Collection, and the British Library American Collections.

Jordana Saggese: Jordana joins CCA’s Visual Studies program from Santa Clara University where she most recently taught. She received her PhD and MA from University of Illinois and her BA from Vanderbilt University. Jordana is an art historian who specializes in contemporary art with attention to the visual culture of African-Americans and the African Diaspora. Her dissertation focuses on the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat and the contemporary theories of interpretation.

Allison Smith: Allison holds an MFA from Yale, a BFA from Parsons School of Design, and a BA from New School for Social Research. She comes to CCA’s Sculpture program from New York, where she has been actively working and exhibiting. Allison has taught at numerous schools including Institute for American Universities in France and Maryland Institute College of Art. Her recent performative and interactive sculptural pieces explore American history and Civil War reenactments.

Jon Sueda: Jon joins the tenure-track faculty in Graphic Design this fall. He holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts and a BS from University of California, Davis. Jon teaches typography and his work ranges from the commercial to the experimental. Jon’s design is featured in numerous exhibitions and publications, and most recently he has been involved in ATRANDOM, an independent design lecture series, the graphic design and visual culture focused Task Magazine, and the design partnership, Stripe.

New Ranked, Nontenure Hires

Russell Baldon: Russell joins the Furniture program, having received his MFA in Woodworking and Furniture Design at San Diego State University in 1998 and his BFA from CCAC in 1992. Russell founded Pokensniff Studio, a cooperative shop creating furniture and architectural details, in 1998. He has participated in exhibitions in numerous institutions, including Museum of Craft and Folk Art in San Francisco.

Wendy Ju: Wendy received her PhD in Design, Mechanical Engineering from Stanford Univeristy, her MS from MIT, and her BS from Stanford. An interaction designer, Wendy joins the core faculty of CCA’s Graduate Design program to take on a leadership role in the interaction design track. She has worked for companies such as Intel and Motorola, taught at UC Berkeley and Stanford, and founded Ambidextrous Magazine, a quarterly, cross-disciplinary magazine for the academic and professional design community.

Raffi Minasian: Raffi is a freelance designer, widely published illustrator, and educator. He holds degrees in both product and transportation design and joins the ranked faculty of the Industrial Design program. Over his 25-year design career, Raffi has worked for a wide array of clients, including Boeing, Mattel, Microsoft, Toyota, and the Franklin Mint. In addition to his professional practice, Raffi maintain an active practice as an educator and serves on many nonprofit and educational boards.

Visiting Faculty

The growing international reputation of CCA has once again helped us attract an impressive group of visiting artists, architects, designers, writers, and scholars. We are welcoming eight new visiting faculty during this academic year.

Walead Beshty: Joining the Photography Program, Walead has taught at the Art Institute of Chicago, Bard College, University of Southern California, and California Institute of the Arts most recently. He received his MFA from Yale and his BA from Bard College. In just the past two years, he has had solo exhibitions in New York, Berlin, Brussels, and Los Angeles. In addition, Walead’s photography is showcased in the 2008 Whitney Biennial.

Katya Bonnenfant: Katya is a visiting artist in the Media Arts Program. She studied graphic design, fine art, and philosophy in Paris and has been a freelance designer since 2000. Her work emerges in a continual conversation between her practice as a designer and her visual-art research, through web design, sound, animations, installations, video, and performing art. Katya teaches multimedia design at the Nationale Fine Art School of Lyon in France.

Darell Fields: Darell received his PhD and MArch from Harvard University and his BS from University of Texas at Arlington. He practiced architecture in Dallas where he also received an award for the NASA Astronaut’s Memorial Competition. Darell is an associate professor at University of Arkansas and cofounder of Appendx, an interdisciplinary project focused on issues of race in the field of architecture. His scholarship focuses on the realization of black modernity within architectural discourse.

Eve Fowler: Eve is a Los Angeles-based artist who has become known for her series of portraits. For the past few years she has been photographing the women she knows, mostly those who are either gay and/or transgender women. Eve received her MFA from Yale and she currently teaches at UCLA. Her work is in the collections of the SFMOMA, the Smithsonian Institute, and the New Museum in New York.

Doug Hall: Doug Hall is a visiting artist in the Graduate Program in Fine Arts. His large-scale photographs of public architectural spaces provide a detailed examination of leisure’s touristic, recreational, and cultural manifestations. He received his MFA from Maryland Institute of Art and his BA from Harvard. Doug taught in the New Genres department at San Francisco Art Institute since 1981, and during the last decade he has turned from collaborative video and performance to large-format photography and digital imaging.

Walter Kitundu: Walter is the Wornick Distinguished Visiting Professor of Wood Arts at CCA this fall. His studio furniture course focuses on works that utilize natural phenomena such as wind, water, tides, geologic movement, temperature, and animal behaviors. Raised in Tanzania and living most of the time in San Francisco, Walter is a visual artist, instrument builder, photography, and composer. He specializes in hand-built record players powered by natural forces.

Doug Sheppeck: A visiting artist in the Animation Program, Doug is a character animator who has worked on most of Pixar’s films, including Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, and Wall-E. He also went to New Zealand for two years to animate for Wetefx on The Lord of the Rings. Doug received his BFA from CalArts.


At the conclusion of the 2007–8 academic year, two of our ranked faculty members left the college. Doug Akagi retired after teaching at CCA for 24 years, and Kiersten Muenchinger relocated to Oregon to become the director of the Product Design program at the University of Oregon. Congratulations to both!

Other News

More detailed information has been emailed to you, but this summer has been busy with facilities and technology projects.
On the Oakland campus, the bottom floor of Irwin has been turned into a residence hall to accommodate our largest class of first-year students, and the studios and offices formerly in Irwin have been relocated throughout the campus.
In San Francisco, two new drawing rooms have been completed in the Hooper complex, the boardroom and lecture hall have been renovated with new technology, the graduate design studios have been completed, the upper-right quadrant of 80 Carolina has been outfitted for faculty offices, and a new media arts complex has been added to the Montgomery campus. The new media facilities include the 2000 square foot Carmen M. Christensen Production Stage, postproduction classrooms and labs, as well as individual editing suites and a sound-capture booth.

For continual updates from Academic Affairs, please be sure to regularly check your cca.edu email account as well as this website.

Finally, I would like to thank Barry Katz and Doug Akagi for their years of service as president and vice president, respectively, of the Faculty Senate. And I would like to welcome Tammy Rae Carland, chair of Photography, as the new president, and Ila Berman, Director of Architecture, as the new vice president. I know I join you all in great anticipation of what will doubtless be a productive and exciting year at CCA.

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