ArtCenter Names First Woman President

Karen Hofmann Is 6th President

ArtCenter College of Design‘s Board of Trustees have named educator and industrial designer Karen Hofmann as its next president and chief executive officer. Hofmann, an ArtCenter alumna, is the sixth president and first woman to hold the position in the 90+ year history of the College.

Following a career in product design, automotive design, and consumer and design research, Hofmann returned to the College in 2002 to assume increasing responsibilities in education, first as an instructor, then chair of the Product Design department beginning in 2010. Hofmann was named provost of ArtCenter in 2018 and, for the last four years, has helped lead the College through significant cultural and operational changes.

In making the announcement, Board Chair Su Hale said: “Throughout the search process, the Board was impressed with Karen’s vision for balancing ArtCenter’s legacy with a commitment to redefining art and design education for our students and faculty, and the professional industries that employ our graduates. It was critical to the Board that our next president understand the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion to lead ArtCenter’s students and faculty, as well as remain relevant in a global world. Given Karen’s experience as our current provost, and also as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, she displays a deep understanding of ArtCenter’s commitment to make advancements in access, affordability and inclusion as outlined in the College’s strategic agenda.”

Hofmann’s role as president is effective July 1, 2022. She will work closely with current ArtCenter president Dr. Lorne M. Buchman on a transition plan, including an interim strategy to fulfill the provost’s responsibilities and initiate a comprehensive search for a new provost over the next few months. Buchman said, “I’m thrilled to know that ArtCenter is in such capable hands. It has been an honor to work with Karen these last several years, and I’m confident she has the vision and essential skills to lead this venerable institution. She will do a great job.”