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Craig Barton Joins School of Art Institute of Chicago as Top Academic Officer

Elissa Tenny and Craig Barton. COURTESY SAIC

Elissa Tenny and Craig Barton.


The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has announced the appointment of its new provost and senior vice president of academic affairs, the institution’s chief academic officer.

Craig Barton, who comes to SAIC from Arizona State University, will also serve as a professor in the school’s architecture, interior architecture, and design objects department, starting August 1. Barton is a trained architect and designer, whose practice addresses issues of race, memory, and identity, specifically as they apply to African-American communities. He also served as the editor of the anthology Sites of Memory: Perspectives on Architecture and Race.

Barton will replace Elissa Tenny in the role, as she transitions to the role of the school’s president, beginning July 1. Tenny, whose promotion was announced last April, will take over from Walter E. Massey, who served as president for six years and will become the school’s chancellor. Tenny, who joined SAIC in 2010, has previously worked at Bennington College in Vermont, as provost and dean, and at the New School, in various roles for 25 years.

“As an educator and designer, Craig will help to ensure our academic initiatives advance our history and values,” Tenny said in a press release. It seems that this appointment will be the first of the changes to come under Tenny’s leadership at SAIC, which is currently celebrating its 150th anniversary.

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