Montana State University

Nancy Cornwell named new dean of MSU College of Arts and Architecture

April 12, 2012 -- MSU News Service

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Tel: (406) 994-4571
Nancy Cornwell, a vice president at Stephens College in Missouri, has been selected as the new dean of Montana State University's College of Arts and Architecture, university officials announced on Thursday.

Cornwell has been vice president for Academic Affairs at Stephens College since July 1, 2011. Previously, she served as chair of the Department of Television-Radio in the Park School of Communications at Ithaca College and chair of the Department of Mass Communication at Linfield College.

"We are extremely pleased to have Nancy join us," said MSU Provost Martha Potvin. "She describes herself as an academic at heart and has been a successful faculty member at both research-centered and teaching-centered institutions. We look forward to her contributions as we move our strategic objectives forward in the next few years."

Cornwell will begin at MSU on July 1.

"It is a privilege to join Montana's first land-grant university because I appreciate and share MSU's commitment to make an exceptional education available and accessible to the citizens of Montana," Cornwell said.

"I knew from my first day on campus that I wanted to be part of this college's commitment to ongoing creative and artistic excellence in the classroom and across the state. I look forward to working with the talented and dedicated faculty, staff and students when I arrive this summer," she said.

Cornwell's professional media experience includes working as producer and director at the Southern Command Network in the Republic of Panama where she directed the live weekday newscast and produced and directed the monthly live public affairs program. Cablevision Industries hired her as assistant director of programming where she programmed more than 150 cable franchises in New York, Massachusetts and Florida. She also worked internationally as a photojournalist covering the Kenyan parliamentary campaign of Philip Leakey.

Cornwell's research interests focus on freedom of expression, media law and emerging media technologies. She holds a doctorate in media studies from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Colorado at Boulder, a master's in telecommunication management from the Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University and a bachelor's in psychology from St. Lawrence University.

Cornwell rose to the top of a pool of 28 candidates who applied for the position. Twelve candidates were interviewed in February, and four were invited to campus for interviews. Cornwell replaces Susan Agre-Kippenhan, who left MSU to become vice president for Academic Affairs at Linfield College in Oregon.

MSU's College of Arts and Architecture serves more than 1,500 students with undergraduate degrees in environmental architecture, studio arts, graphic design, art education, art history, film and photography, music, music education, and music technology. Graduate degrees are available in architecture, studio art, art history, and in science and natural history filmmaking.

In addition to supporting the President's Fine Art Series and musical ensemble performances throughout the state, the college is home to Montana Public Broadcasting, Shakespeare in the Parks, the Creative Research Lab, the Integrated Design Lab and the Community Design Center.

Contact: Tracy Ellig, MSU Communication, (406) 994-5607,