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KCAD’s Dean Wright Elected to Board of Directors for International Council of Fine Arts Deans

Posted January 29, 2018 in CampusPublic

Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) Dean of Academic Affairs Charles Wright has been elected to the Board of Directors for the International Council of Fine Arts Deans (ICFAD). Dean Wright will serve ICFAD for a three-year term from 2017-2020.

Since its founding in 1964, ICFAD has been vehicle through which deans and arts executives in higher education institutions around the world enhance their leadership capabilities. The organization provides professional development opportunities and facilitates forums for the exchange of ideas, information, and issues of common concern to strategically advance the importance of the arts in higher education.

KCAD Dean of Academic Affairs Charles Wright

Dean Wright is one of three newly elected members of the ICFAD board. He, Susan Picnich, dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication at Towson University, and Aldemaro Romero Jr., dean of the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences at City University of New York’s Baruch College, were elected by ICFAD members at the organization’s 54th Annual Conference.

Members of the Board of Directors serve as representatives of the membership, assuring that the organization runs in accordance with the agreed upon mission, policies and laws of the membership. 

“We are thrilled to count Charles among our directors. After holding the association’s 53rd Annual Conference in Grand Rapids, it was evident how valuable a leader from Kendall College of Art and Design would be for the organization’s board,” said ICFAD President George Sparks. “After traveling internationally with Charles, and seeing firsthand his commitment to art and design education, we knew he would bring great insight to our leadership.”

Dean Wright brings extensive leadership experience with national professional organizations to the ICFAD board. In 2016, he served on ICFAD’s Committee for Diversity and Inclusion. He has also served on the board of directors (2010-16) for the College Art Association (CAA). In 2014, the CAA board elected Wright to the position of Vice President of Committees, a post that represents the membership and best interests of the CAA. Since 2012, he has also participated as a member of the Task Force on Fair Use Committee as well as chaired the Professional Practices Committee for CAA.

As a member of the ICFAD board, Dean Wright will continue to champion the creative arts as essential to the future success of higher education institutions, the students they serve, and the world at-large.

“To continue preparing students to be leaders in the visual arts, KCAD must also strive for leadership itself,” said KCAD President Leslie Bellavance. “I am confident that Dean Wright will bring the same vision, dedication, and energy to the ICFAD board that he brings each and every day to his work at KCAD. As an arts administrator and an artist, his deep experience and broad perspective will be invaluable to ICFAD and its mission.”

“Creativity has the power to expand perspectives, communicate ideas, and bridge cultural divides. It drives the human ingenuity that enables us to solve complex, layered problems. Nurturing that creative expression is more important now than ever before,” said Wright. “As educators and leaders, we have a responsibility to advocate the value of creativity in ways that move the needle, and I look forward to doing just that alongside my ICFAD colleagues.”

Dean Wright assumed the role of Dean of Academic Affairs at KCAD in July of 2017 after having previously served as chair of the department of art at Coastal Carolina University and professor and chair of art at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Ill. His 30 years of experience in higher education include curriculum and program development; accreditation evaluations and reporting; recruitment planning; facilities and equipment needs and safety; galleries and exhibitions; budget development and advancement; and human resources.

Dean Wright holds an MFA in Sculpture from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., and a BFA in Painting and Sculpture from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. He is also an accomplished sculptor, maintaining his studio practice and exhibiting regularly across the country. His work is held in the collections of Franklin Wallis and the Caldwell Arts Council of Lenoir, N.C.