The Board of Trustees of the Art Academy of Cincinnati has named John Sullivan, former Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, as President.
Under the leadership of Trustee Abby Schwartz, the Presidential Search Committee recommended the appointment of Sullivan as the Art Academy's new president, and the Board of Trustees unanimously approved the committee's recommendation.
Sullivan brings to the Art Academy 23 years' experience in higher education, including 10 years' experience in administrative roles in college and university settings. Having served as Vice President, Dean, Associate Dean, Department Chair and Associate Professor, Sullivan is prepared to lead the Art Academy during its resurgence in enrollment, campus expansion and community engagement.
At Watkins College, Sullivan led the effort to stabilize enrollment at a sustainable level while improving retention, actively recruited and attracted top-quality faculty members from a national pool and stabilized turnover by creating an environment of professional and collegial support and respect. Sullivan's successes at Jackson State University include laying the groundwork for attaining accreditation of an HBCU school whose viability was at risk, an achievement that captured the attention of recruiters at Watkins.
Sullivan's professional foundation includes 35 years as an exhibiting artist, graphic designer and design consultant. His extensive exhibition record includes an exhibition juried by acclaimed conceptual artist, Sandy Skoglund. From 1971-1981 Sullivan served in the United States Army in Active Duty as a Vietnam Era Veteran and as a Staff Sergeant at the Louisiana Military Academy while enlisted in the Louisiana Army National Guard.
The new president's open-door policy and lively, dynamic presence makes him a personable and effective leader for the Art Academy of Cincinnati. "Bring it on," Sullivan said. "I'm ready for it. The president is the leader of the pack," he added.
Sullivan's rich and varied background positions the Art Academy of Cincinnati well for continued success in reaching and nurturing diverse populations on campus and throughout the larger community. His work at Jackson State provided him a great opportunity to work with a diverse faculty and student body and to work closely with issues associated with under-served populations. The Art Academy's students, faculty, staff and trustees welcome and support Sullivan as he takes on similar challenges in Over-the-Rhine.
Sullivan holds a Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Louisiana Tech University and a Bachelor of Science in Advertising Design from Northwestern State University.
President Sullivan will hold an on-campus "meet and greet" with students, faculty, staff and members of the Board of Trustees on Monday, February 6 from 11:30 am - 12:30 pm. A special Final Friday celebration on February 24 will include an opportunity for the community at large to meet the new president from 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm in the Commons.