College of Design
College of Design

Dean Search

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College of Design, University of Minnesota


Introducing Carol Strohecker, the next dean of the College of Design

Carol Strohecker has been named 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, uniquely situated within a highly ranked, globally engaged public research university and in one of the country’s foremost design communities. 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, said Executive Vice President and Provost Karen Hanson in announcing the appointment. Most recently, from 2013 to 2016, Carol 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. (See complete cv)


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,” Provost Hanson said in a message to the college community. “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.”


Provost Hanson expressed 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. She also thanked the faculty, staff, students, and friends of the college for active engagement in the search process.




The University of Minnesota shall provide equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Search Process

Executive Vice President and Provost Hanson has announced the appointment of Carol Strohecker as the next dean of the College of Design following a national search convened in May 2016. The search was stewarded by a 12-member search committee, with input from internal and external stakeholders. Public interviews with four finalists took place in late 2016.



Related Links


Position Profile (PDF)


Search Committee


Search Updates


About the College of Design


About the
University of Minnesota


For More Information


Jean Quam,

Search Committee chair

Kate Tyler,

Assistant to the Provost and lead staff to committee





Contact Information

College of Design

Saint Paul Offices

32 McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108

P: 612-626-9068 | F: 612-625-1922

[directions and maps]

Minneapolis Offices

101 Rapson Hall, 89 Church St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-626-9068 | F: 612-625-7525

[directions and maps]

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