Parsons Executive Dean Joel Towers to Take on New Responsibilities in 2018/19

Parsons School of Design at The New School announced that Executive Dean Joel Towers will be shifting out of the role of dean and taking on new responsibilities as a prestigious University Professor.

NEW YORK, October 3, 2017 – After nearly a decade leading Parsons School of Design at The New School with great success, Executive Dean Joel Towers will complete his second term in June 2018. At the end of that term, Towers will be shifting out of the role of dean and taking on new responsibilities as a prestigious University Professor. In this position – one of only two University Professors at The New School – he will play a critical role in advancing the university’s leadership in research and teaching on policy and design-based solutions to climate change and the construction of healthy environments.

Commenting on this announcement, New School President David Van Zandt and Provost Tim Marshall said:

“At a moment when design is more integrated, recognized and critical than ever, Joel has helped to bring Parsons to increased strength and prominence, and it stands today among the top ranked schools in the world. His vision, intellect and passion have helped drive Parsons’ strategic growth and change and, with a stellar team, tremendous faculty and great students, Parsons is thriving. Together, the Parsons community plays a vital, cutting-edge role in shaping both the present and the future of design theory, practice, pedagogy, and research, a significant and lasting impact of Joel’s stewardship.

“Parsons is in a very strong position, and we are moving ahead in a carefully considered way to ensure a well-planned transition. With the input of our faculty, staff and students and counsel from the Parsons Board of Governors and The New School Board of Trustees, we are looking forward to ensuring that the excellent programs, projects, research and reputation that have grown under Joel’s leadership continue to grow even stronger.

“We deeply appreciate the impact Joel has had and continues to have at The New School, and we are pleased that he will remain fully focused on furthering the university’s goals and continuing to integrate design thinking across the university’s curriculum throughout this transition.”

Executive Dean Joel Towers said:

“Our students are at the very heart of our community, and that ethos guides our work every day. During my tenure as dean, faculty, staff, alumni, and students came together to align our educational offerings with the most forward-looking changes in art and design practice. I am proud of what we have accomplished together, and I know the school will continue to excel.”

Parsons School of Design at The New School is one of the leading institutions for art and design education in the world. Based in New York but active around the world, the school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the full spectrum of art and design disciplines, as well as online courses, degree and certificate programs. Critical thinking and collaboration are at the heart of a Parsons education. Parsons graduates are leaders in their respective fields, with a shared commitment to creatively and critically addressing the complexities of life in the 21st century.

Founded in 1919, The New School was born out of principles of academic freedom, tolerance, and experimentation. Committed to social engagement, The New School today remains in the vanguard of innovation in higher education, with more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students challenging the status quo in design and the social sciences, liberal arts, management, the arts, and media. The New School welcomes thousands of adult learners annually for continuing education courses and calendar of lectures, screenings, readings, and concerts. Through its online learning portals, research institutes, and international partnerships, The New School maintains a global presence.


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Media Contacts:

Scott Gargan,
The New School
212-229-5667 x 3794

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