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Research at MICA

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) names Gunalan Nadarajan as Vice-Provost for Research

Posted 03.13.08 by MICA Media Relations

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) has named Gunalan Nadarajan as Vice-Provost for Research. Nadarajan joined MICA's senior leadership team on March 3, 2008. With this appointment, MICA is the first art college in the United States to create a senior academic leadership position dedicated to research. This move acknowledges the central role of art and artists in the global economy. With the rise of the creative economy and of creative industries, research and development activities focused on art and design are shaping a wide array of activities: from public health communications to entertainment to interface and product design. The creation of MICA's Office of Research reinforces the College's ongoing commitment to developing strategic research collaborations and initiatives and to identifying new opportunities for artists and designers. The centrality of creative individuals to emerging and established industries is presenting new opportunities for top colleges of art and design, and MICA, acknowledged by its peers as an innovator in higher education in the visual arts, is now the first to fully embrace its dual roles as a teaching and research institution.

According to MICA president Fred Lazarus, "Creating the Office of Research was the logical next step in furthering our core mission. It provides an infrastructure to strategically focus the ongoing research projects of our faculty, and, by providing systematic support for faculty research efforts, to provide our students with a vigorous array of hands-on, real-world learning and professional development opportunities. As our past research collaborations have shown, the participation of artists and designers has real value in advancing knowledge and practice in many activities that improve human lives and economic development."

"For many years, MICA has championed the notion of research in an art college," said Ray Allen, MICA's provost and vice president of academic affairs. "Not since the Renaissance have artists and designers played so powerful a role in the continuing formation of our culture. The way artists think and approach experience-whether working alone or in partnership with other disciplines-is solving problems and creating new knowledge in a variety of social and scientific fields. Participation in research internships, creative incubators, and interdisciplinary teams focused on creative solutions to sponsored projects challenges our students to apply their knowledge and skills in new and unexpected ways, enhances their professional development, and ensures the continuing relevance of their educational experience."

MICA has long engaged undergraduate and graduate students in research and hands-on learning, often in collaboration with scientists and practitioners in non-art-related fields. These research efforts were initially focused on providing professional development opportunities for students, but in recent years, other institutions have actively sought out MICA artists and designers as valuable participants in their own research efforts. The Office of Research will allow MICA to formalize and enhance ongoing collaborative partnerships with other research organizations, such as The Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health, Urban Health Institute, and Carey School of Business.

Nadarajan is extremely qualified to become the first Vice Provost for Research at an art college in the United States. He has more than 17 years experience in tertiary education-at the National University of Singapore, the

LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts, Singapore, and The Pennsylvania State University. In these posts, he has held lecturing, academic administration, research and research administration positions. As professor of art and associate dean for research and graduate studies at Penn State's College of Arts and Architecture, Nadarajan developed research projects and led grant applications to funding agencies not typically associated with funding for art and design, including the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Guggenheim Foundation. As dean of visual arts at LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts and the college's first dean of research & creative industries, he was responsible for oversight of research initiatives and academic imperatives related to creative industries.

"I am extremely excited to be given this opportunity to establish and oversee the Office of Research at MICA," Nadarajan said. "The College is uniquely poised to redefine the traditional role of art colleges through the development of pioneering research initiatives. I am eager to venture into new territory and provide leadership and oversight to ensure the sustainability of this vision. A cohort of MICA faculty is already engaged in significant, ongoing research. I look forward to expanding the research culture at MICA, and to working with the faculty, students, and administration to expand MICA's leadership role in shaping art and design."

The creation of the Office of Research and the position of Vice Provost for Research were made possible by a generous gift from a long-time MICA supporter, who acknowledges MICA's role as a key cultural and higher education institution and contributor to the economic health of the region.

For more information on MICA and the Office of Research please visit www.mica.edu or 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.