Donald L. Tuski named next president

Donald L. Tuski named next president

College for Creative Studies

Donald L. Tuski. Courtesy Pacific Northwest College of Art. 

April 29, 2019
Donald L. Tuski named next president
College for Creative Studies
201 E. Kirby
Detroit, Michigan 48202
United States
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Effective July 1, 2019, Donald L. Tuski, Ph.D., will begin his tenure as CCS’s new president. A three-time college president and Michigan native, Tuski has led Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) in Portland, Oregon, since 2016 and previously was president of Maine College of Art and Olivet College in Michigan. He succeeds Richard L. Rogers, who is retiring from CCS after 25 years.  

President and professor of anthropology at PNCA since 2016, Tuski has led substantial growth at the private institution, which offers 11 undergraduate degrees in art and design and eight graduate programs. In fall 2018, PNCA welcomed the largest first-year class in its 110-year history—a nearly 18 percent increase over two years—and the incoming MA/MFA class and enrollment also achieved all-time highs.

This spirit of inquiry across disciplines and creative collaboration accompany Tuski, who welcomes the opportunity to build on CCS’s solid foundation and to continue advocating for the value of an art and design education.

“It’s very forward thinking to have ‘creative studies’ in your name and to have such a range of art and design offerings. So there’s not only Transportation Design, for example, but also Crafts and Fine Arts,” said Tuski, explaining why he was inspired to join CCS. “It really is one of the few art and design colleges to embrace such a range. It’s not easily done, and CCS does it in a very robust way. That’s powerful in a city that, historically, is all about art, design and crafts.

“Creativity is an important part of the future of higher education, as well as society,” he continued. “The world needs more artists and designers, because they often are the first people to point out problems and contradictions. They come up with something new, authentic or original. There’s a power to creativity historically—it’s not just ‘art for art’s sake,’ which is still important, but ‘art for society’s sake.’”

The search for president was chaired by Trustee William U. Parfet. The search committee included CCS trustees, faculty, staff and alumni. Paul H. L. Chou, Co-Managing Director, Global Education Practice at Korn Ferry International, conducted the search.

“I was honored to serve as chair of the presidential search,” said Parfet. “Don Tuski has all the qualifications we were looking for. He’s the right person to lead the next phase of CCS’s development as a world-class college of art and design.”

Incoming Board of Trustees Chair James M. Nicholson added, “Don’s demonstrated experience, enthusiasm and ingenuity came shining through the search process. I’m confident he will lead us to success in this rapidly evolving world. Our shared goal is to grow the College for Creative Studies’ reputation and role as developer of the best global practitioners of art and design.”

At Maine College of Art (MECA) in Portland, Maine, Tuski led a sustained period of development as president from 2010 to 2016, increasing enrollment by 22 percent and growing revenue by 39 percent. During his tenure, philanthropic gifts more than doubled, and Tuski secured the college’s largest individual gift at the time: 3,000,000 USD from the Crewe Foundation to launch what is now the Bob Crewe Program in Art and Music.

Prior to joining MECA, Tuski spent 25 years in various roles at Olivet College, a private liberal arts college in Olivet, Michigan (and Tuski’s alma mater), where he served for nine years as president (2001–10). Enrollment increased by more than 50 percent, fundraising totaled 22,000,000 USD and, from 2006–09, the college raised a record-breaking 16,000,000 USD for its capital campaign, Embracing Opportunity and Responsibility since 1844: The Campaign for Olivet College. He also secured 3,500,000 USD for the completion of a new LEED-certified art building and led numerous upgrades and enhancements to campus facilities, housing and classrooms.

Donald L. Tuski holds a BA in biology from Olivet College and MA and doctoral degrees in anthropology from Michigan State University.

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April 29, 2019

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