Updated: CalArts Selects Ravi Rajan as 4th President

Ravi Rajan has been named the new President of California Institute of the Arts.
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Ravi S. Rajan, the Dean of the School of the Arts at Purchase College, State University of New York, has been named as the fourth President of the California Institute of the Arts, the school’s Board of Trustees announced Tuesday.

Rajan follows the 29-year tenure of outgoing president Steven Lavine at the school which Walt Disney himself envisioned more than 50 years ago.

He’ll begin his tenure June 1, 2017.

Rajan’s selection was officially announced to the CalArts community late Tuesday following a unanimous board vote.

“CalArts is a beacon in the higher ed and arts community that has left an indelible mark on the artists who are forging the future monuments of culture and society,” said Rajan in a statement.

Rajan had proven himself to be an innovative and thoughtful leader, Chairman of the Board of Trustees Tim Disney said in a statement released Tuesday evening. His passion and vision for arts education aligns with the CalArts community.

“Ravi showed the fiery passion for the arts that was at the core of CalArts’ founding,” Disney said. “His commitment to excellence and exploration and innovation will help continue CalArts’ rich legacy and unbounded future.”

As Dean of the School of Arts at Purchase College since 2012, Rajan has started a 3-phase $100 million capital renovation of the art and design facilities at Purchase College, the first such renovation in the program’s history.

Rajan’s advocacy reportedly helped strengthen a culture of philanthropy, resulting in the college securing the largest individual donations since its founding.

He also spearheaded the creation of a new Master of Arts in Entrepreneurship in the Arts, the first graduate degree of its kind in the world.

Rajan has extensive experience in the production of art, music, theatre/dance, and film/video, as well as in senior executive roles in higher education, the board said.

“I’ve known and experienced the amazing work of CalArts’s faculty and alumni for decades, and have marveled at the innovation and transformation that has occurred under President Lavine’s leadership,” Rajan said.

“I’m humbled by this opportunity, excited to be a part of this great community, and look forward to building upon the innovative pedigree of CalArts.”

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