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MICA Appoints Assistant Dean

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) has appointed Clyde Johnson, Jr. as assistant dean of diversity and intercultural development

Posted 06.26.08 by MICA Media Relations

Clyde Johnson

BALTIMORE--Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) has appointed Clyde Johnson, Jr. as assistant dean of diversity and intercultural development, leading the newly created Office of Diversity and Intercultural Development. Johnson succeeds Dr. Frankie Martin, who retired in May as director of multi-ethnic & international student affairs, after 15 years at the College.

The Office of Diversity and Intercultural Development, housed within the Division of Student Affairs, will focus on creating a comprehensive diversity and intercultural development program with impact on programs and institutional policy throughout the College. The decision to change the name and expand the focus of the Office, as well as to elevate the College's primary diversity officer from director to assistant dean level, reflects a new phase in MICA's Diversity and Inclusion Initiative.

Johnson will staff a new President's Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, which will provide input on the development of institutional initiatives related to diversity, from strategies to create a campus climate that is welcoming and inclusive to hiring and curriculum. Johnson will work closely with MICA President Fred Lazarus, who leads this committee. Lazarus observed, "His role on the committee will allow Clyde to very quickly build a network throughout MICA. His will be a visible role on campus."

Johnson joins MICA's staff on July 7. He comes to MICA from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., where he was assistant director of Multicultural Student Services and coordinator of the Hugo A. Owens African American Cultural Center. "I am excited about the opportunity to work on a smaller campus," he said. "At MICA I'll be able to have much more one-on-one interaction with students, and I also look forward to working closely with faculty to explore how to enhance a diverse perspective in the classroom." Johnson noted that there are particular opportunities to do this in an art college environment. "The challenge is often to understand and explore the cultural values in one's work, and to help students grow as artists without losing their identity," Johnson explained.

Cheryl Garner, associate dean of student development, who led the search process that brings Johnson to MICA, believes that his expanded role supports "the diversity learning model that is at the heart of MICA's focus on preparing all students to live, work, and succeed in a diverse world."

Johnson is also prepared to continue the work begun by Frankie Martin. During her time at MICA, Martin established the Mentoring Network to support African-American students and oversaw the Multi-Ethnic Student Program Committee, which plans and coordinates programs that serve the cultural needs of MICA artists. She also implemented services and groups that support MICA's international student population. Under her watch, MICA launched many signature events that celebrate and highlight diversity: Black Student Union Fashion Show, International Education Week, Caribbean Carnival, and, new in 2008, a participatory Unity Week celebration that honored the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She received MICA's 2008 Medal of Honor at the May 19 Commencement.

The new Office of Diversity and Intercultural Development will be housed on the student services floor of Bunting Center (1401 Mount Royal Avenue), where it will create a welcoming environment for all with a specific focus on the academic, social, and cultural needs of students' concerns related to issues of culture, class, race, gender, and sexuality.

Johnson will expand the scope of his position's outreach to constituencies that include African-American, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender students. His office will place special emphasis on developing co-curricular initiatives and programs to enhance cultural understanding that complement course offerings and programming of other offices on campus, and will focus on contributing to a community in which all students are empowered to recognize and act on one's social responsibility in relation to domestic and global issues.

"Diversity is a priority for the college and an important value across campus," said Dusty Porter, vice president for student affairs and dean of students. "Diversity rose to the surface as a priority of faculty, staff, and students in the self-study process we are engaging in this year, and this new office will help address those priorities."

Johnson holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in clinical psychology from Virginia State University in Petersburg, Va. His primary responsibilities at Old Dominion University included fostering the cultural, social, and academic development of students through developing, implementing, and monitoring programs, activities, and events. He also served two years as assistant director in the Office of Minority Affairs at Eastern Virginia Medical School. His seventeen years of professional experience range from direct client care in the mental health arena to higher education, which will be invaluable in meeting the departmental goals and objectives of the Office of Diversity and Intercultural Development.

For more information, call 410-225-2300.


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 52 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. With art and design programs ranked in the top ten by U.S. News and World Report, 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.