Jay Coogan, former provost at the Rhode Island School of Design, was named the 16th president of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design
on March 31, 2009. David Hartwell, Chair of MCAD's Board of Trustees, announced Coogan's appointment to the College community.
"I am extremely proud that Jay Coogan has been offered and has accepted the position of president of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design," Hartwell said. "He brings to MCAD an enormous amount of experience leading one of the most prestigious art and design colleges in the country."
Coogan plans to take office in July 2009, succeeding Michael O'Keefe, president of the College since July 2002. O'Keefe announced his plans to retire last May.
Coogan has been at the forefront of RISD's successes in maintaining the mission and quality of its programs, as well as in connecting the school to national and international educational initiatives. Beginning as a faculty member in 1982, he has assumed multiple leadership roles, most recently serving as RISD's provost from 2005 to 2008. In his new role as MCAD president, Coogan looks forward to strengthening the College's regional connections, building new partnerships and elevating MCAD's reputation as a leader in discovering and developing creative talent.
"MCAD is a major contributor to the dynamic art and design environment in the Twin Cities," Coogan said. "I look forward to further integrating the College's educational goals with the needs of the region as well as developing global opportunities for MCAD's students and faculty."
Among Coogan's many achievements at RISD was establishing a dual degree program with Brown University. He demonstrated a steadfast commitment to connecting with the greater Providence community, which led to his creation of an Office of Public Engagement and a comprehensive internship program. Coogan also spearheaded the development of the Center for Integrative Technologies, a new interdisciplinary facility to provide studio space for graduate students, and helped to secure more than $5 million in external funding for the project.
"Jay's deep understanding of art and design, his leadership skills and his collaborative spirit will benefit both MCAD and the Twin Cities community as a whole," Hartwell said, "and his track record shows he's a skilled strategist who knows how to strengthen existing programs as well as look for opportunities to create new ones where appropriate."
"Among my former peers, Jay is perhaps the most important contributor to modern art and design school administrative practice and to clarity about the mission of these institutions in the 21st century," said Roger Mandle, president of RISD from 1993 to 2008.
An accomplished visual artist, Coogan's sculptural work includes the creation of sculptural objects and installations and the making of functional works. He has created public commissions for the cities of Cambridge, Mass.; Boston; Providence, R.I.; and Green Bay, Wis. He has also completed private commissions for Fidelity Investments, Hasbro Inc. and Zambarano Hospital in Rhode Island. His work has been shown at numerous museums and galleries and is represented in many corporate and private collections.
A native of Massachusetts, Coogan holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture from Hunter College, The City University of New York, and a Bachelor of Arts degree, Magna cum Laude, in Visual Arts from Brown University.
"Meeting members of the MCAD community has strengthened my belief in the creativity and potential of the College," Coogan said. "As MCAD approaches its 125th anniversary in 2011, it will be a pleasure to celebrate its distinguished contributions to art and design education. I look forward to building the future of MCAD and introducing my family to an exciting new phase of our lives in the Twin Cities."