Carol Strohecker Named New Dean of the University of Minnesota College of Design

From the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost:

College of Design Alumni and Friends,

Carol Strohecker

Please welcome Carol Strohecker as dean of the University of Minnesota College of Design, effective August 31, 2017, and pending approval by the Board of Regents at its May meeting.

As dean, Carol Strohecker will provide intellectual and strategic leadership and administrative oversight of the College of Design, one of the country’s most comprehensive design colleges. She will work with faculty, staff, students, and a highly engaged alumni and professional community to enhance synergy among the college’s diverse design disciplines and will also collaborate with other campus deans to advance the University’s collective mission.

Carol brings to the University a wealth of experience as an innovative and collaborative leader who has advanced interdisciplinary research, education, and creative work in a variety of settings. Most recently, from 2013 to 2016, she was vice provost for academic affairs at the Rhode Island School of Design, in Providence, RI. She served from 2006 to 2013 as inaugural director of the Center for Design Innovation, a multi-campus, multi-disciplinary research and design center of the University of North Carolina system. There she held concurrent roles as chief research officer at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and as a tenured professor in art and visual studies at UNC’s Winston-Salem State University.

Previously she was principal investigator for the Everyday Learning research group at Media Lab Europe–the European research partner of the MIT Media Lab–where she developed a research agenda in design and education and was a member of the executive team.

As vice provost at RISD, she led assessment of the school’s academic programs in arts and design as part of school-wide accreditation processes, enhanced ongoing academic program review, and collaborated with faculty and students to improve academic policies supporting student progress. She co-directed an interdisciplinary dual degree program with Brown University, contributed to the development of a campus master plan, and collaborated in a variety of ways to seed or enhance cross-institutional research and community engagement initiatives.

In her previous position with CDI, she led–from startup to national prominence–a collaborative center to accelerate growth of the knowledge economy and creative industries in the north-central region of North Carolina.

Carol holds a Ph.D. in media arts and sciences and a master of science in visual studies, both from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has published and presented widely on topics related to learning theory and the development of environments in which people can learn through creative processes. Her portfolio includes creative works in various media, as well as collaborative work in interactive media tools and methods that has resulted in four U.S. patents. She has received fellowships from the Artists Foundation of the Massachusetts Council for the Arts and Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. She is cofounder of the Network for Sciences, Engineering, Arts, and Design, an international community of practice, launched through a National Science Foundation grant, aimed at integrating arts, design, and STEM disciplines.

Please join me in welcoming Carol Strohecker to the University of Minnesota. I am confident that her breadth of leadership experience, her entrepreneurial energy, and her strengths in interdisciplinary research and creative activity will advance the excellence of the College of Design–building on the outstanding work of interim dean Becky Yust over the last two years, as well as the 18-year deanship of Tom Fisher.

I want to extend my appreciation to College of Education and Human Development Dean Jean Quam for chairing the search and all members of the search committee for their hard work and dedication. I also want to thank the faculty, staff, students, and friends of the college for active engagement in the search process.


Karen Hanson
Executive Vice President and Provost