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Art school dean to take new position in March 2010
10/14/09

Joseph S. Lewis III, a nationally acclaimed artist, educator, administrator and writer, will leave his position as dean of the School of Art & Design at Alfred University in March 2010 to become dean of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at the University of California – Irvine.

“This is a significant professional opportunity for Dean Lewis,” said Charles M. Edmondson, president of Alfred University. “The Claire Trevor School of the Arts is well-regarded nationally for its programs in music, dance, drama and studio art. Its location in Irvine, CA, places it in one of the busiest and most visible arts venues in the country.

“I am sure that everyone at Alfred University joins me in thanking Joe for his contributions to this institution, as well as in expressing our best wishes for Joe, Phuong, and Joey as they leave Alfred. We recognize the opportunities such a move opens for all of them,” Edmondson said in an announcement to campus.

Lewis will remain in his post as dean of Alfred’s art school until March 24, 2010, when his new appointment becomes effective.

In citing Lewis’ contributions Joe has made to the School of Art & Design as dean, Edmondson noted Lewis and the faculty developed a strategic plan that outlines a new mission and vision for the School. He also fostered international relationships, most significantly with the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, and was instrumental in providing our Master of Fine Arts students an opportunity to exhibit their work in Beijing.

Through his efforts, both undergraduate and graduate students have had shows at New York City galleries, enhancing the reputation of both the School and the students.< Edmondson noted.

During Lewis’ tenure, the School of Art & Design maintained its number one ranking as the top Master of Fine Arts Program in ceramic art, and earned the number two ranking for MFA in glass art in the U.S. News and World Report guide to “Best Graduate Schools.”

Other noteworthy accomplishments include leading the process for the design of the McGee Pavilion, an addition to Harder Hall that will provide the School with additional classroom and display space. Lewis’ partnerships with the College of Business led to the creation of a program that will allow alumni and faculty to sell their work online as part of a student-operated business, and a marketing program that incorporates a graphic design course, giving AU students a unique edge.

His collaborations with the Kazuo Inamori School of Engineering have enhanced the opportunities for students in both schools to enjoy cross-disciplinary programs unavailable elsewhere.

Among the achievements of which Lewis is most proud is laying the groundwork for the School of Art & Design’s future. During the past five years, he has hired eight faculty members. “They are the next generation of faculty leaders for the School,” said Lewis.

Prior to coming to Alfred, Lewis was dean of the School of Art & Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology. He was previously chair of the art department at California State University at Northridge, and a member of the faculty at California Institute of the Arts.

Lewis noted the move will give his wife Phuong, who is completing her MBA degree from Alfred, increased professional opportunities, and also bring them closer to family.