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Undergraduate Program Reorganization Brings New Associate Dean and Vice Provost Roles

Undergraduate academic programming now consists of foundation, liberal arts, fine arts, and design and media divisions

Posted 01.09.12 by MICA communications

Jan Stinchcomb '82, vice provost for undergraduate studies and faculty

BALTIMORE - MICA announces the recent reorganization of its undergraduate academic programming, in accordance with the College's long-range plan, into four new divisions: foundation, liberal arts, fine arts, and design and media. As part of the new structure, associate dean positions were created as well as a position of vice provost for undergraduate studies and faculty. Dennis Farber, Michael Weiss '96, Joseph Basile and Alexander Heilner, who come from the College's faculty, will serve as undergraduate associate deans under Jan Stinchcomb '82, vice provost for undergraduate studies and faculty.

The administrators will work to ensure the integrity, excellence and ongoing development of MICA's undergraduate programs. "This was a critically needed move, one that intended to streamline decision making and help everyone at MICA," Stinchcomb said. "The College has grown so much, and given our increasing size and complexity, we need a management structure that allows us to more effectively support programs in the undergraduate area."

Jan Stinchcomb '82, vice provost for undergraduate studies and faculty, joined MICA in 1986 as a faculty member. Since 2006, Stinchcomb has overseen the comprehensive management and coordination of MICA's undergraduate programs. At the College, she has held the roles of dean of undergraduate studies and faculty, associate dean of academic affairs and foundation chair, as well as taught in the M.F.A. in Studio Art (Summer Low-Residency), fine arts and foundation programs. Stinchcomb holds a M.F.A. from Queens College, City University of New York and a B.F.A. from MICA.

Foundation, the largest department at MICA, provides students with the necessary skill sets to succeed in their subsequent majors. Dennis Farber, associate dean for foundation, has taught in the Foundation Department since coming to MICA in the 1990s. Previously, he taught at the University of New Mexico and has spent decades in both the New York and Los Angeles art worlds. At MICA, he served as co-chair of the department in the 2010-2011 academic year as well as held the position of graduate director for five years. Farber has an M.F.A. from Claremont Graduate University, Calif., and a B.A. from Trinity College, Hartford, Conn.

The Fine Arts Division includes drawing, painting, general fine arts, ceramics, interdisciplinary sculpture and fiber. Michael Weiss '96, associate dean for fine arts, has been a fulltime faculty member in MICA's Foundation and Painting departments since 2000 and has played various leadership roles within the College, serving last year as the chair of the faculty assembly. He has exhibited widely throughout the region, and his work is a part of numerous private and corporate collections. Weiss received his M.F.A. from MICA's Mount Royal School of Art and a B.A. from Dickinson College, Penn.

The Liberal Arts Division is made up of art history, theory and criticism and humanistic studies, two of the largest departments at MICA. Joseph Basile, associate dean for liberal arts, became MICA art history faculty in 1994, and his administrative leadership has included being art history chair. As an archaeologist, Basile has excavated in the United States, Greece and Italy, and as an art historian, his research focuses on hybrid and syncretic art in Classical antiquity, Greek vase painting and the history of archaeology. Basile has a Ph.D. and M.A. from Brown University, R.I., and a B.A. from Boston University.

Animation, environmental design, graphic design, illustration, interaction design and art, photography, printmaking, and video and film arts constitute the new Design and Media Division. Alexander Heilner, associate dean for design and media, joined MICA's photography faculty in 2003 after teaching photography and video production at New York University and the School of Visual Arts in New York. His leadership at MICA has included serving twice as the interim director of the M.A. in Digital Arts program. Heilner's photography, electronic art, video and installation projects have been exhibited and screened internationally. Heilner holds a M.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts, N.Y., and a B.A. from Princeton University, N.J.

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.