KyCAD selects Moira Scott Payne as its First Dean

LOUISVILLE, KY, April 27, 2017 — The Kentucky College of Art + Design at Spalding University (KyCAD) has selected Moira Scott Payne to be its first Dean.

Scott Payne was chosen after a national search that began last fall. She will begin her new role as KyCAD’s chief academic officer on June 15 and will report to Spalding President Tori Murden McClure.

Scott Payne was born in India in 1959, but spent most of her life in Scotland, United Kingdom. An artist whose research focuses on cultural heritage, Scott Payne has worked with international institutions throughout Europe and North America. Recent projects have included art and technology partnerships and the development of innovative interdisciplinary curricula. Scott Payne has received international arts awards and research funding that has allowed her to develop a diverse folio of projects rooted in technology, nature and society.

She received a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) degree from the Glasgow School of Art in 1981, was awarded a funded Postgraduate Certificate from the same institution a year later, and a Diploma of Education from the Dundee College of Education in Dundee, Scotland, in 1986.

Scott Payne most recently served as Provost, Research, and Provost, Vice President of Academic Affairs for Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. Before that she was Director of the Art and Media Program at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee University.

“I believe that the Kentucky College of Art and Design, in partnership with leading arts organizations—Kentucky Opera, the Speed Museum, Actors Theatre and others—has the potential to become an energetic source of arts agency in the city,” Scott Payne said. “The arts reflect and create culture, and this new dynamic small school is looking to create a space for creative innovation, citywide conversations and optimistic change.”

KyCAD’s founder and current chancellor, Churchill Davenport, said someone of Scott Payne’s caliber has the capacity to change the conversation about visual art locally and help put KyCAD on the map nationally.

“This is a really big moment for the school,” Davenport said. “Louisville supports excellence, and Moira is a first-class leader who will generate the kind of support we need to build something great right here.”

Other KyCAD and Spalding leaders expressed similar sentiments.

“We are thrilled that Moira has accepted our offer and will be joining us very soon,” said Todd Lowe, who chairs the KyCAD Board of Directors and served as co-chair of the Dean Search Committee. “After a very thorough review process, Moira emerged as the favorite among three highly qualified candidates.”

Owsley Brown III, a fellow KyCAD board member and Lowe’s committee cochair, said the committee was impressed by Scott Payne’s history of leadership and innovation, her commitment to academic freedom and artistic expression, her international stature, and her sense of humor.

“Moira was a delight to interview, and it soon became clear that she possesses the skills and experience necessary to take KyCAD to the next level,” Brown said.

McClure called Scott Payne’s hire a major step forward for KyCAD and Spalding. “Moira is an excellent academician and administrator, with a deep understanding of the important role the visual arts play in society,” she said. “I look forward to working with her to ensure that KyCAD reaches its goal of becoming one of America’s best art schools.”

KyCAD President Terry Tyler said the selection process served to unite members of the KyCAD organization. “It’s been rewarding to watch the faculty, staff, students, board and the community at large come together on this important decision,” he said. “This has been a great bonding experience for the KyCAD family.”

Scott Payne is now house-hunting as she plans her move from Seattle to Louisville, along with her husband, William, and their son, James. Married daughter Lauren, a city lawyer, lives in London, UK.

“I have been impressed by the leadership, faculty, staff and students at KyCAD and Spalding,” Scott Payne said. “I am excited and eager to join such an excellent team and to begin to explore the many opportunities we have for continued growth, creativity, and scholarship at the highest level.”

Since its founding in 2009, KyCAD has seen its enrollment swell to the current 130 students, and last year it expanded its faculty from seven members to 13, each with advanced degrees.

KyCAD offers students five areas of study from which to choose as they pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art from Spalding. The five areas are: Digital Media, General Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Interdisciplinary Sculpture, and Painting and Drawing. KyCAD also offers concentrations in pre-art therapy and illustration.

KyCAD began its search for a new Dean last October with a 16-member search committee consisting of representatives of its Board of Directors; faculty and staff; McClure and Spalding Provost Dr. Joanne Berryman; Sadiqa Reynolds, President & CEO of Louisville Urban League; and Alice Gray Stites, Chief Curator and Museum Director for 21c Museum Hotels.

KyCAD used the services of Shelli Herman and Associates, an executive search firm, to assemble a field of candidates, and a number of semifinalists took part in interviews and on-campus visits with the search committee, staff, faculty, students and community leaders.

About KyCAD 

THE KENTUCKY COLLEGE OF ART + DESIGN AT SPALDING UNIVERSITY (KyCAD) is a 501(c)(3) started in 2009 with the vision to build one of the top art schools in the nation. Students in the KyCAD program can receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art from Spalding University. KyCAD maintains a variety of arts outreach programs, including the 849 Gallery, which showcases rotating exhibitions, lectures and workshops by artists from KyCAD and from across the country.

About Shelli Herman and Associates, Inc.

Shelli Herman and Associates, Inc. provides retained executive search services to clients from a wide range of industries including fortune 500 companies and industry leading investment management firms to nonprofit organizations and top ranked colleges and universities. By design, our work focuses at the senior or decision-maker level within the organizations we serve. We have built a deep and robust practice within higher education and the nonprofit sector resulting from a nuanced understanding of academia and the unique needs of mission-driven organizations.

Margot Garber
Executive Assistant & Office Manager

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