It has been announced today that Dr. Walter Massey has been named the new President of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. This is a really hard article to write since it’s difficult to find much about Walter Massey in any kind of Art context and his business context is pretty basic as well.
Walter Massey, who currently sits on the board of McDonald’s (which is headquartered in Chicago lets remember), recently retired from the Bank of America board, president emeritus of Morehouse College in Atlanta, has worked in the Unviersity of California system and at Brown University, former board member of BP, National Commission on Smoking and Public Policy & ran Argonne National Laboratory is more like a madlibs result for the executive level of Chicago Business/General Science Education world. It’s a little of this and a lot of that.
The resume reads like a interim president who was a Chicago culture buff and said “yea, I’ll do it” when no one else would?
I know I am not the only one that realizes there is 15% unemployment (even for executives) but there is no one else eligible for this position? Someone who is a tad more focused in areas of use to the SAIC? Someone other then a 72+ year old scientist whose college administration background is “leading” his Alma mater (the self described “only all male historically black institution of higher learning in the United States”) for 12 years after he had retired from a career of Science advocacy?
How is this even close to the needs of the SAIC and Art community in the 21st century other then he is a warm body that I am sure has a Rolodex (a literal Rolodex I mean) full of moneyed contacts.
I know the Art world lives on nepotism and dresses it up as “vetting someone” but could you at least try to hide it more in the future cause it really reads poorly to a lot of people right now?
More information has come out from, SAIC Chairman of the Board, Cary D. McMillanhas (who is also on the McDonald’s board) who by telephone from vacation in Italy told the Chicago Tribune that Walter Massey is a interim President brought on to release pressure from Elissa Tenny, who has been appointed to the newly created position of SAIC provost and senior vice president of academic affairs.
By end of the first semester, we’ll probably have a good idea of what direction we want to go, and probably begin a search some time after that. We didn’t want to be feeling that we were rushed to hire someone, and Walter is just such a great guy
Nowhere in the press release that the School issued is the term Interim even mentioned or hinted at. I am sure Dr. Massey is a great person, wonderful guy and might via his connections or mere presence help others feel more free to make the changes or growth they need but no one thought to mention that in the press release? That the Chairman needs to clarify while on vacation in Italy 7 hours ahead of Chicago for the Tribune’s late night post; the fact this in actuality an interim position?
More can be read at the Tribune’s Article here
This has nothing to do with Art in even the most remote way but I would be amiss to not post this since it is some of the best comedy for a while and doesn’t appear on TV, Cable or Cinema. No, it’s specifically made and shown on Funny or Die. I could say much more but it would only ruin the best casted skit almost ever.
This is quite possibly the first time you have every SNL Presidential Doppelgänger on screen at the same time ever (just missing Rich Little) and showcases Will Ferrell, Chevy Chase, Jim Carrey, Fred Armisen, Darrell Hammond, Dan Aykroyd, Maya Rudolph, Dana Carvey & Directed by Ron Howard to promote the Consumer Financial Protection Agency that is under debate/creation right now. Here is a behind the scenes video of the shoot.
From Chicago Tribune
On Thursday, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago named Wellington Reiter, an architect and urban designer as its next president, a choice reflecting the broadened scope of its disciplines.
After considering candidates since the fall, the school selected Wellington Reiter, dean of the college of design and an architecture professor at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz., for the last five years. Before that he was an associate professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is to start Aug. 25, four days before his 51st birthday.
Reiter will succeed Tony Jones, who has led the school for 18 years, a period of great expansion in enrollment, programs and Loop real estate for the school. Jones will become chancellor for a year and then retire.
Jones said the school sought the best candidate, not necessarily one with a design background. He said he thought Reiter would further efforts to “rebalance” a curriculum that once was weighted toward the fine arts but that now includes fashion, design and architecture, media and technology, and the humanities.
Reiter said he would try to smooth the relationship between art and design and would consider literally breaking down walls if more-open settings facilitated instruction and discourse.
The private school’s reputation has spread widely—18 percent of last fall’s 2,932 undergraduate and graduate students were from outside the U.S. But Reiter said the school needs to raise its profile in and “deepen its engagement” with Chicago.
He said he plans to introduce himself to all the design firms here. He said he met Mayor Richard Daley in April when they both spoke at a conference in Phoenix. Reiter’s topic: the 1909 Burnham Plan of Chicago.
The School of the Art Institute has about the same enrollment as the college of design at Arizona State. As that school’s dean, Reiter helped shape a major expansion of ASU’s Phoenix campus, a project transforming the downtown. He also lobbied for a $879 million bond issue passed by Phoenix voters in 2006 that allocated about $232 million to the new campus.
“That project is under way and, frankly, doesn’t need my supervision,” he said. “I am not leaving anyone in the lurch.”
ASU President Michael Crow said Reiter “has been a force within ASU and in metropolitan Phoenix. It is no wonder that other institutions have had their eye on him.”
Reiter also has worked on projects in Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Ft. Worth, Texas. He has designed public art, buildings and museum installations, and his architectural drawings are in the collections of several museums.
Reiter has architecture degrees from Tulane and Harvard Universities. He is married and has two sons, ages 20 and 17.