From the Provost: College of the Arts Leadership Announcement
I am writing to share three changes in the leadership of the College of the Arts.
Chester Phillips Appointed Interim Dean of the College of the Arts
First, I am writing to announce the appointment of Chester Phillips, Director of the School of Music, as Interim Dean for the College of the Arts, effective July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024. He will serve in this interim capacity during the American Council on Education fellowship of Dean Wade Weast.
While serving as interim dean, Dr. Phillips will continue in his role as Director of the School of Music, supplementing his leadership team by appointing Dr. Stuart Gerber as Interim Assistant Director for Faculty Affairs within the school to help manage operations.
Dr. Phillips joined the Georgia State faculty in 2009. In his most recent university-level role, he served on the committee responsible for crafting the new strategic plan which includes innovation in research, scholarship, and creativity as one of the university’s foundational pillars.
Prior to his current appointment as the Director of the School of Music, Dr. Phillips served as the founding director of the Panther Band and Associate Director of Bands at Georgia State.
Under his leadership, the Georgia State Panther Band received several honors and accolades including participation in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2014, performing in the Pepsi Super Bowl LIII Halftime show in 2019, marching in the 57th Presidential Inaugural Parade in 2013, a national top-ten honor by the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), selection by the Southern Division of CBDNA for outstanding performance in 2012, 2016, and 2020, and participation in the 2022 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif.
As an educator, Dr. Phillips is a Conn-Selmer Educational Clinician and has presented and designed for organizations across the United States, Japan, Canada, Australia, and in Finland, where he regularly conducts, gives master classes, and designs marching drills.
Prior to his appointment at Georgia State, Dr. Phillips taught for seven years as the associate director of bands at Harrison High School in Kennesaw, GA and for two years in the Gwinnett County public schools at the middle and high school level.
He earned a Bachelor of Music degree in music education from the University of Georgia, a Master of Music degree in music education from the University of Illinois, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in wind conducting at the University of Georgia.
I am grateful for Chester’s willingness to step into this critical role while Wade pursues the year-long fellowship, and I am confident that the College of the Arts will continue its reputation for creative excellence under Chester’s leadership.
Susan Richmond Appointed Interim Associate Dean
Second, Susan Richmond, Associate Director of the Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design, will become the Interim Associate Dean for the College of the Arts, effective July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024.
Dr. Richmond’s research and teaching focus on material histories of art and visual culture in the United States since 1945, with a specific emphasis on feminist historiographies and the intersections of art, gender, and labor. Her first book, Lynda Benglis: Beyond Process, was supported by a Georgia O’Keeffe Research Center for American Modernism Fellowship and received the SECAC (formerly the Southeastern College Art Conference) Award for Excellence in Scholarly Research and Publication.
Dr. Richmond has published articles in American Art, Art History, The Journal of Modern Craft, Feminist Theory, Feminist Studies, and Art Journal, among others. In 2021, she organized an exhibition of work by internationally acclaimed artist Diana Al-Hadid for the Welch Galleries at Georgia State, with support from a Center for Collaboration and Innovation in the Arts (CENCIA) grant and a Georgia Humanities Grant. Dr. Richmond is a recent co-recipient of a research grant from the Center for Craft to study the history of corporate fiber art commissions in Atlanta.
Dr. Richmond joined the Georgia State faculty in 2003. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in studio art and art history from Wellesley College, and Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in art history from the University of Texas-Austin.
Welch School of Art & Design Director Michael White will announce his plans for the appointment of Susan’s replacement in the near future.
Michael White Appointed as Permanent Director of the Welch School of Art & Design
And finally, I am pleased to announce that I have approved Dean Weast’s recommendation to remove the “interim” from Michael White’s title, making him the permanent director of the Welch School effective May 1, 2023. He continues to serve as an outstanding leader for the Welch School of Art & Design and its talented faculty, staff and students.
Having directed the school from 2012 to 2018, I commend him for reengaging with this leadership position for the second time during his long and distinguished career at Georgia State.
Director White came to Georgia State in 2002. He is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), holds an NCIDQ certification from the Council for Interior Design Qualification, and is a registered architect and interior designer in the State of Georgia. He earned degrees from Mississippi State University and the Georgia Institute of Technology.
He joined Georgia State following an extensive national career in interior architectural practice, most notably as Studio Director of the Atlanta office of Gensler—the nation’s largest interior architecture firm. His more than 20 years of professional experience in commercial interiors include more than one million square feet in projects for national clients including Aetna, the McDonald’s Corporation, Bank of America, BlueCross BlueShield, GTE, and Atlanta’s own legal powerhouse, King & Spalding.
Under his leadership, the interior design program at Georgia State has achieved significant clarity in scope and direction and has garnered added recognition of its faculty and students, with six of the nation’s top ten interior design firms now employing Georgia State alumni.
Director White recently concluded a four-year project as co-principal investigator on two STEAM-centric grants with Atlanta’s innovative Drew Charter Schools sponsored by the Georgia Governor’s Office of Student Achievement and the Goizueta Foundation. Outcomes of that work yielded online professional development modules in art and design, in addition to co-authored articles on the design and implementation of STEAM-centric professional development opportunities for K-12 teachers.
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As Georgia State pursues creative excellence in its mission and as a hallmark of its identity as part of Atlanta’s arts and culture, the College of the Arts is critical to achieving our institution’s strategic goals. I am confident that under the leadership of Chester, Susan and Michael, we will keep our forward momentum.
Nicolle Parsons-Pollard, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs