University of South Florida


USF appoints new dean for College of The Arts

Chris Garvin

The University of South Florida (USF) today announced Chris Garvin as the new dean for the College of The Arts, which consists of the Schools of Architecture & Community Design including the Florida Center for Community Design and Research, Art & Art History, Music including the Center or Music Education Research, and Theater and Dance and the Institute for Research in Art (comprised of the Contemporary Art Museum, Graphicstudio, and Public Art).

Garvin comes to USF after serving as director of the University of Georgia’s Lamar Dodd School of Art for the past six years. He is well-equipped to grow a vibrant, valued and engaged arts program that extends beyond USF’s campuses into the larger Tampa Bay arts community, and reaches into national and global spaces.

Garvin also served as director of the Multimedia Program, dean of the College of Media and Communication, and a Senior Fellow of the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy during his 16-year tenure at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.  Garvin has worked individually and collaboratively as an artist and design consultant/interface designer with such brands as Nike, MOMA, National Geographic, Motorola, Vogue Magazine and Time Warner.  In addition to his academic, professional and corporate experience, Garvin has more than 20 years of publication and lecture experience, with his work being referenced in prominent publications including ID, Print, Forbes, TIME Digital, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.

“It is thanks to the tireless efforts of our search committee that we are now able to welcome Professor Garvin as a leader and an asset to the College of The Arts,” USF Provost and Executive Vice President Ralph Wilcox said. “Garvin is an experienced, resourceful and excellent listener, communicator, and collaborator, attributes that will serve and elevate the College of The Arts toward national recognition for cutting-edge contemporary creative research and application, as befits our Preeminent Research University.”

During his time at the Lamar Dodd School, Garvin worked to foster collaborations with faculty, staff and students and served on the University of Georgia’s Gender Inequality in Hiring & Promotion Committee. He is also a skilled fundraiser who helped dramatically increase the school’s endowment and annual giving.

“I am looking forward to growing and strengthening the reputation and scholarship of the College of The Arts for the benefit of our talented students,” Garvin said. “Together, with the faculty, alumni and community partners, I hope to foster greater collaboration and connection between the College of The Arts, other colleges and the surrounding communities, that can create exciting new opportunities that have the potential to extend statewide, nationally and beyond.”

Garvin earned his bachelor’s degree in painting from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and his master’s in painting from the Ohio State University, where he studied at the renowned Advanced Center for Computing and Design.  He also completed an Executive Education Program for Creative Leaders through AIGA and the Harvard Business School in 2006.

Garvin’s appointment is the culmination of a global search to replace Dean James S. Moy, who has served the college in that capacity since 2012 and will be returning to the faculty. Garvin’s position at USF becomes effective in August.

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