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Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) President Jay Coogan was recently elected as the chair of the board for the Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design (AICAD). Coogan began serving his term in early May.

“I am very excited to lead the AICAD Board of Directors which represents this distinguished group of art and design colleges from the US, Canada, Ireland, and Israel, as we embark on setting new strategic priorities for the association,” said Coogan. 

The Association is a non-profit consortium of forty-two leading art schools in the United States and Canada. It was founded in 1991 by a group of twenty-five presidents who felt a need for the similarly structured art schools to come together in order to mutually develop their schools and programs. The mission of the organization is to help strengthen the member colleges individually and collectively, and to inform the public about these colleges and the value of studying art and design. 

Coogan, a native of Massachusetts, serves as the sixteenth president of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Prior to coming to MCAD, he served as a faculty member and provost for the Rhode Island School of Design. Coogan holds a master of fine arts degree in sculpture from Hunter College, the City University of New York, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in visual arts from Brown University. An artist himself, Coogan’s sculptural objects, installations, and functional works have been shown at numerous museums and galleries, and include public commissions for the cities of Cambridge, Boston, Providence, and Green Bay. 

Since assuming the presidency of MCAD in 2009, Coogan has been instrumental in launching and overseeing a variety of new strategic initiatives at MCAD, including: 

  • Strengthening board governance structures and policies and expanding board capacity by doubling the number of trustees of the college
  • Developing a new strategic plan for the college and working with the college’s board, faculty, and staff to implement major plan components
  • Restructuring the college’s Institutional Advancement and Finance departments and embarking on the college’s first ever comprehensive capital campaign
  • Redesigning MCAD’s approach to financial aid and more than doubling the amount of annual scholarship disbursements made by the college between 2009 and 2016
  • Investing in the college’s physical facilities through a variety of capital improvements, including a 13,000+ square foot renovation of the school’s media facilities in 2014
  • Expanding the college’s academic offerings by developing two new minors, two new post-baccalaureate certificates, and a new degree program


Recognized nationally and internationally for its innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to visual arts education, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design is home to more than 700 students and offers professional certificates, bachelor of fine arts and bachelor of science degrees, and graduate degrees.