Jay Coogan

PDF Version of Press Release

Minneapolis, MNJuly 30, 2018—Jay Coogan, president of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD), has announced his plans to depart from the college on September 14 after more than nine years at the helm.

“We are incredibly grateful for Jay’s years of service—his impact on students, faculty, and staff, and the broader MCAD community—as well as his presence in the arts and cultural scene across the Twin Cities,” says Greg Heinemann, chair of the MCAD Board of Trustees.

Coogan, who came to MCAD by way of the Rhode Island School of Design in 2009, raised the national profile of MCAD through the launch of an award-winning identity system, the development of NEXT, the college’s magazine, the introduction of Product Design and Entrepreneurial Studies degree programs, four new minors, countless positive academic changes, including two successful reaccreditation visits, and the successful completion of the college’s first-ever capital campaign, raising more than $23 million for programs, facilities, and scholarships.

Coogan’s dedication to increasing student scholarship support is a hallmark of his tenure. His full embrace of MCAD’s “students first” commitment resulted in great advances in student scholarship support with an increase from $4 million annually to more than $12 million last year.

Karen Wirth, vice president of academic affairs, has been appointed interim president for the college. “While Jay will be missed, we are confident that Karen Wirth will ensure a seamless transition and will maintain the momentum established during Jay’s tenure,” says Heinemann. Wirth has served in leadership roles at the college for fifteen years, the last seven as the vice president, overseeing faculty, curriculum, and academic facilities, staff, and budgets.

In a personal statement to the MCAD community, Coogan wrote, “I have been deeply touched by the many students who have graduated and the relationships I have with faculty and staff. I will miss MCAD and Minneapolis. With a Campus Master Plan and a three-year strategic plan in process, I believe MCAD is well-poised for its next level of success under a new president.”

Coogan, who also serves as the president of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design, has accepted the position of president at the IYRS School of Technology & Trades, in Newport, Rhode Island.

The Minneapolis College of Art and Design is recognized nationally and internationally for its innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to visual arts education and is home to more than 750 students and offers bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and continuing education classes for all ages.