But the classroom called him back. A teaching assistant while at MCAD, in 1966 he began an impressive career in academia by joining the Kansas City Art Institute, first as registrar and dean of students, and eventually as vice president and dean of the college. Then in 1977 he was named president of Detroit's Center for Creative Studies—College of Art and Design (now called the College of Creative Studies), from which he retired in 1991.
Grove's academic posts were all creative as well as administrative, because in each position he met the needs of students as well as the institutions. In Kansas City, he broadened student recruitment and addressed faculty participation as well as college efficiency. At the Center for Creative Studies—a unique art and design school originally formed to serve the needs of America's automobile industry—Grove broadened the college's connections with its region and the world, joining multiple arts and design advisory groups and traveling abroad.
Retirement, in 1991, didn't exactly mark a slowdown for Grove; he moved to Florida where he started an art school and opened two galleries. As with many other MCAD graduates, his job titles didn't entirely explain his continuing creativity.