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March 10, 2023

Cleveland Institute of Art chief academic officer Greg Watts assumes role of president of the National Association of Schools of Art & Design

Vice President of Academic Affairs + Dean of Faculty Greg Watts

Watts continues his vital work at CIA, and his role as NASAD president enhances CIA’s position in the national higher education community


March 10, 2023

CLEVELAND—Cleveland Institute of Art Vice President of Academic Affairs + Dean of Faculty Greg Watts has been named president of the National Association of Schools of Art & Design board of directors.

As NASAD president, Watts will represent an organization of schools, conservatories, colleges and universities with approximately 363 accredited institutional members, while as CIA’s chief academic officer he will continue to ensure the delivery of a rigorous curriculum and manage the extraordinary academic resources of a premier college of art and design.

Recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, NASAD establishes national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and other credentials for art, design, and art- and design-related disciplines, and provides assistance to institutions and individuals engaged in artistic, scholarly, educational, and other art- and design-related endeavors.

“It is an absolute privilege to be able to serve the art and design community in this role,” Watts says. “I continue to reflect on how much value accreditation has brought to the institutions I have served, and I am humbled by this opportunity to give back.”

Watts assumed the role March 6 and will serve until his term ends in 2026. Previously, he served as NASAD's vice president and chair of its commission on accreditation.

“Through Greg’s experience with and leadership of NASAD, he brings to CIA a commitment to the highest assurance of quality and operational integrity in our institutional practice, as well as a vast and diversified perspective of best practices across the field of art and design in higher education,” says CIA President + CEO Kathryn J. Heidemann. “In turn, his role within NASAD not only enhances the reputation of CIA, but also brings national focus to Cleveland and the region.”

CIA has been accredited by NASAD since 1948 and is one of the association’s 22 charter members.

In his role at CIA, Watts leads about 100 ranked and adjunct faculty members and oversees CIA’s foundational studies, liberal arts, 13 art and design majors, the Jessica R. Gund Memorial Library, the Jane B. Nord Center for Teaching + Learning, Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, the Registrar and Continuing Education + Community Outreach.

Before joining CIA in July 2022, Watts was Dean of the College of Visual Arts and Design at the University of North Texas, where he significantly increased—in number and diversity—faculty and staff while leading the college through strategic planning, including $80 million of construction and renovation projects that resulted in 264,000 square feet of world-class facilities.

Prior to CVAD, he was chair of the Art Department at the Metropolitan State University of Denver, where he also served as executive director for the Center for Visual Art, an off-campus community-based art center, and as president of the university’s Council of Chairs.

Watts is a native of Cambridge, England. He earned an Executive MBA from the University of Denver; an MFA in fine art–photography from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla.; and a bachelor’s degree with honors in fine art–printmaking from Kingston University, London. He also completed the Management Development Program and Institute for Management and Leadership in Education program, MLE, at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.

Michael C. Butz
Cleveland Institute of Art
Director of College Communications + External Relations
216.421.7404 /

Cleveland Institute of Art is a private, nonprofit college of art and design that has been the training ground for countless students who have gone on to make important contributions to the fields of creativity and innovation since it opened in 1882 as the Western Reserve School of Design for Women. Its students have designed internationally recognized products, their artwork has been exhibited in major museums and private collections around the world, and their entertainment media has been enjoyed by audiences and game players for generations. It enrolls about 600 students nationally and internationally and has a faculty of about 100 full-time and adjunct members, all of whom are practicing artists, designers and scholars.

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