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Appointment Expands Role of Research in Graduate Studies

Gunalan Nadarajan becomes vice provost of research and graduate studies

Posted 07.19.11 by MICA communications

Gunalan Nadarajan

BALTIMORE - To create connections between graduate education and research, MICA announces the appointment of Gunalan Nadarajan, MICA's vice provost for research, to be the vice provost of research and graduate studies.

Enhancing graduate education is one of MICA's foremost priorities. By the end of the decade, MICA plans to increase graduate student enrollment by 64 percent and the number of programs by 82 percent when compared to 2010. With M.F.A. programs ranked 4th nationally by U.S. News and World Report, MICA currently offers 15 graduate programs in fine art, design, education, business and community arts leading to M.F.A., M.A., M.A.T. and M.P.S. degrees and post-baccalaureate certificates.

"I am excited about this opportunity to integrate and create greater synergies between MICA's twin strategic imperatives of research and graduate studies," Nadarajan said. "As one of the nation's top colleges for graduate studies in art and design, MICA is at the forefront not only of teaching and learning through world-class graduate programs but also in the research and generation of innovative ideas and practices that will drive contemporary developments in art and design."

Initiatives Nadarajan hopes to accomplish in his new role include: supporting greater interdisciplinary dialogue and interaction between the various graduate programs; enhancing the international reputation and reach of the programs; and improving and diversifying the professional and career development opportunities for graduate students.

Nadarajan's original appointment in 2008 represented the first senior academic leadership position dedicated to research at an American art college, and he has led the way in modeling the role of research at an art institution. The Office of Research, led by Nadarajan, focuses on developing art and design research with the potential to affect society, policy, commerce, science and technology through the College's three research centers in design practice, design thinking, and race and culture, among other departments. Nadarajan has been instrumental in forging research partnerships with city, state and federal entities, such as The Johns Hopkins Medicine Brain Science Institute, the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the Maryland Energy Administration. That role correlates with the graduate school's goal of producing innovative leaders who can solve complex societal problems through art and design.

"Gunalan Nadarajan has helped establish a sustainable infrastructure to support faculty and student research and creative work, like the development of an institutional intellectual property policy and a sponsored studio structure to support project-based learning," said Ray Allen, vice president for academic affairs and provost. "Guna unquestionably has emerged as the kind of knowledgeable, visionary leader that is needed to realize the potential for graduate study at MICA."

Nadarajan has more than 20 years of experience in academic administration, teaching, and research development and oversight. Prior to joining MICA, Nadarajan was professor of art and associate dean for research and graduate studies at the College of Arts and Architecture at Pennsylvania State University. His academic background includes the following degrees: Master of Arts from University of Warwick, United Kingdom; and Master of Social Sciences, Bachelor of Social Sciences and Bachelor of Arts, all from National University of Singapore.

To read more about Nadarajan and the Office of Research, visit the website here.

Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls nearly 3,500 undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students from 49 states and 65 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. Redefining art and design education, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation, research, and community and social engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe, even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty and other established artists.