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Office of the President

 

Advancing Human Creativity

Through a community-led, strategic planning process we have defined our shared priorities and a vision for the future of UArts. Learn more about our core values, mission and 2019-2022 strategic plan.

Mission & Values

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President and CEO David Yager
President David Yager joined University of the Arts in January 2016 as the institution’s fourth president since it gained university status in 1987. An accomplished visual artist, photographer and designer, he also has an extensive background as an academic, a researcher utilizing design to improve the healthcare space, an entrepreneur and a business executive.

President Yager Provides an Update on UArts Day Plans

With the rise of the delta variant and ever-changing public health recommendations, this year we cannot invite our entire community, plus external partners, to travel and converge in the in-person ways we are accustomed to.

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President Yager Unveils COVID Dashboard, Updated Masking Requirements

Due to the heightened risks we are facing relative to the delta variant and in an effort to ensure our in-person instruction, performances and activities can continue, we are strengthening our masking policy and suspending most academic exemptions.

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President Yager Provides an Update on Vaccination Rate and COVID Testing

It has been truly wonderful to see you all back on campus within our studios, classrooms, performance spaces and shops. As we complete our second full week of courses, I wanted to take a moment to first thank you for your continued support and observance of our COVID-related health and safety protocols, and also provide a few important updates.

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President Yager Shares a Message of Gratitude for the UArts Community

As classes have begun, and as so many of you have worked tirelessly over the past several weeks - even months - to prepare for the return of our students, I would like to extend my gratitude. Your combined efforts have been extraordinary. You are an extraordinary community.

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President Yager Shares Overview of Fall Reopening Plan

As regulations evolve in light of new variants, including the City of Philadelphia's recent mask mandate, so too does UArts' strategy for combating the spread of COVID-19.

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President Yager Announces Updated Masking Policy for Fall 2021

Effective Friday, August 5, University of the Arts will require masks in most indoor settings of all students, staff, faculty, contractors and visitors to our campus.

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President Yager Appoints Director for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Maurice Baynard, currently associate professor of Critical Studies and co-chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, will transition to the role of director for diversity, equity and inclusion in the Office of the President.

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University of the Arts Announces Fall 2021 Vaccine Policy

In support of UArts’ commitment to health and safety for all members of its community, the university will be updating its immunization requirements for students to include a COVID-19 vaccine.

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President Yager Announces Honorary Degree Candidates

University of the Arts will honor two extremely accomplished individuals at this year’s virtual Commencement ceremony: Agnes Gund and Carrie Mae Weems.

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President Yager Addresses Violence in Atlanta

On Tuesday, in Georgia, a white gunman murdered seven women and one man at three spas and wounded yet another man.

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President Yager Announces Commencement Plans

As we begin the spring 2021 semester, I write to you today with an important update on our plans for this year’s Commencement.

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President Yager Announces Spring 2021 Plan

I write to you today with an important update regarding our plan for opening this spring. The global pandemic continues to wreak havoc across our country and around the globe, and little has improved since this summer and fall—indeed, in some areas the impact has worsened.

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President Yager Addresses the Death of Walter Wallace

Today is a tragic and urgent day. Yesterday yet another Black man was killed by the police, this time here in Philadelphia. Walter Wallace Jr. was fatally shot by two officers in West Philadelphia.

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President Yager Announces Election Day Holiday

As you are well aware, a Kentucky grand jury has failed to hold three officers accountable for the brutal death of Breonna Taylor, who was killed in her own home and unarmed, earlier this year.

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President Yager’s Response to United Academics of Philadelphia Faculty Union

We have received your request for voluntary recognition of a faculty union represented by United Academics of Philadelphia. In our current environment, a fair and transparent voting process is one of the most important parts of our democratic society and culture.

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President Yager Calls for Applicants to DEI Fellows Program

We are pleased to announce a call for applicants for the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Student Fellowship, furthering the University's goal to empower students to play a meaningful and leading role in institutional anti-racism and diversity work. This compensated position will begin this academic year 2020-2021.

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President Yager Addresses Racial Violence in Wisconsin

Earlier this week, we prepared to send an announcement and call for applicants for the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Student Fellows program. Though I am proud of the initiative, I am so appalled by the recent shooting of Jacob Blake that I must address this recent deplorable event today.

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President Yager Welcomes Students to Fall 2020 Semester

As we approach the start of classes, I want to extend a personal welcome as we commence a semester like no other. Over the weeks and months ahead, you are going to have big choices to make.

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President Yager Announces Student Support Challenge

UArts exists for one purpose, and one purpose alone: our students. I’ll be blunt: Some of our students are in trouble, and we need your help to make a difference in their lives.

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President Yager Announces Juneteenth Holiday at UArts

As you may know, yesterday Mayor Kenney signed an executive order declaring Juneteenth (June 19) a citywide holiday to honor and celebrate the end of slavery in the U.S., aligning with Governor Wolf’s declaration from last year that named Juneteenth “National Freedom Day” throughout Pennsylvania.

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UArts Community Message from David Yager on Anti-Racism Actions (June 10, 2020)

How is UArts turning from words of acknowledgement and commitment to actual and identifiable change? I would like to share a few steps of action we are taking right now.

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President David Yager Responds to Racial Violence (June 2, 2020)

It is with continued sadness I write to you this afternoon - on the eighth day of protest across the country in direct response to the unjust death of George Floyd and systemic racism that continues to plague our nation.

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President David Yager's Response to Events in Minnesota (May 29, 2020)

May 29, 2020: Dear students, faculty and staff,I write to you again this afternoon, but this time with great sadness and grief as we continue to follow and reflect on the horrific event of George Floyd dying face down on the street under the knee of a police officer in Minnesota.

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Message from the President: Lightbox Film Center to join UArts

October 14, 2019 - I write with exciting news for the University and for the Philadelphia cultural community. The Lightbox Film Center, which has been a program of International House Philadelphia (IHP) for more than 40 years, will transfer from IHP to University of the Arts starting in January 2020.

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Message from the President: Freedom to Speak Without Being Bullied

April 29, 2019 - No UArts community member, whether faculty, staff or student, should face fear or intimidation in exercising their rights to free speech, dissent or demonstration. We will not stand by quietly while abusive critics—all from outside our campus community—seek to divide us.

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Message from the President: Freedom of Expression

April 10, 2019 - Across our nation it is all too common that opinions expressed that differ from another’s—especially those that are controversial—can spark passion and even outrage, often resulting in calls to suppress that speech. That simply cannot be allowed to happen. I firmly believe that limiting the range of voices in society erodes our democracy.

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Update: Excellent Middle States Report

March 13, 2019 - The Middle States Commission on Higher Education review team, visiting campus as part of the eight-year accreditation cycle, praised UArts for many of our recent accomplishments.

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New University Brand Standard & Style Guide

November 9, 2018 - At its core, UArts’ brand is our reputation, I am pleased to share we are launching a new brand standard and style guide for the University that will be rolled out over the next several months.

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Message from the President: UArts Transgender Students, Faculty and Staff

November 7, 2018 - At a time when the federal Health and Human Services Department is reportedly looking into narrowing the legal definition of gender under Title IX, I want to strongly reaffirm the University of the Arts’ support of our transgender, non­-binary and gender nonconforming students, faculty and staff.

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Message from the President: Vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6

November 2, 2018 - On Tuesday, November 6, you will have the opportunity to do something extraordinary—to have a real say in the direction of our nation.

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Message from the President: Tragedy in Pittsburgh

October 29, 2018 - I am grieving for the Jewish community in Pittsburgh, and most especially for the members of the Tree of Life synagogue. Our nation was stunned this weekend by the hateful and senseless killings there.

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President's Office

Shelton
Shelton Walker

Chief of Staff / Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives
Deborah
Deborah Duffy

Director for Institutional Research

Senior Staff

carol
Carol Graney

Vice President for Academic Affairs
Stephen
Stephen Lightcap

Vice President for Finance & Administration
Andrew
Andrew Pack

Vice President for Advancement
Shelton
Shelton Walker

Chief of Staff / Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives

President's Council

carol
Carol Graney

Vice President for Academic Affairs
Stephen
Stephen Lightcap

Vice President for Finance & Administration
Andrew
Andrew Pack

Vice President for Advancement
Shelton
Shelton Walker

Chief of Staff / Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives
Dean Erin Elman_headshot
Erin Elman

Dean, Graduate & Professional Studies; Interim Dean, School of Art
Donna Faye Burchfield Headshot
Donna Faye Burchfield

Dean, School of Dance
Kym Moore headshot
Kym Moore

Dean, School of Theater
Mark Tocchet
Mark Tocchet

Dean, School of Design
Micah Jones
Micah Jones

Dean

Dean, School of Music
Wendy Weinberg
Wendy Weinberg

Dean, School of Film

Board of Trustees

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Contact Us

Hamilton Hall, Room 110
320 S. Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
215-717-6380
president@uarts.edu

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