University of the Arts Names Kirk E. Pillow Provost

Provost and Interim President at Corcoran College of Art + Design to become University's chief academic officer in March

December 17, 2010

Kirk E. Pillow, Ph.D., has been named provost of the University of the Arts by university President Sean T. Buffington. He will begin his new role in March 2011.

Currently, Pillow serves as provost and interim president of Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, D.C. At the Corcoran, he has overseen all programs and operations of the College, and is also among the senior management of the Corcoran Gallery of Art. He is vice president of the board of Washington's Cultural Development Corporation and also serves on the board of AICAD, the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design.

"I'm very pleased that Kirk has accepted this position," said Buffington in making the announcement. "He is an outstanding scholar and a tremendously accomplished academic leader. His insight and creativity will be critical to the success of our ambitious institutional and academic plans. I couldn't ask for a better partner."

The appointment comes as the University is implementing an innovative new academic plan, and developing a new strategic plan to support those significant curricular and structural changes.

At the Corcoran, Pillow has overseen a 28 percent increase in enrollment in three years, a thorough revision of the undergraduate curriculum, the adoption of a fully revised faculty handbook, and the introduction of several new degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

"The University of the Arts is a remarkable institution that I will be honored to join," said Pillow. "The University's comprehensive visual and performing arts education mission has immense appeal. I look forward to supporting and advancing the University's ambitious plans for the future."

Pillow earned a doctorate in philosophy from Northwestern University in 1995, specializing in aesthetic theory. His Sublime Understanding was published by MIT Press in 2000; the book turns classical German theories of the sublime into a theory of interpretation for works of art and for experience more broadly. He joined the faculty of Hamilton College in upstate New York in 1996, and was awarded tenure there in 2003. After serving as chair of the Philosophy department, he spent three years as Hamilton's associate dean of faculty before joining the Corcoran in 2007. 

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