Montana State University

Archived Spotlight story

June 22, 2006 -- from MSU News Service

Susan Agre-Kippenhan, chairman of the art department at Portland State University who has a background in both fine art and graphic design, has been named as the dean of the College of Arts and Architecture at Montana State University.

Agre-Kippenhan will begin her MSU duties on Aug. 7, supervising a college that includes popular courses of studies that include film, media and theatre arts, graphics and fine arts, music and the School of Architecture. She replaces Jerry Bancroft, dean of the college for a decade, who will retire July 14.

"Susan Agre-Kippenhan brings a wealth of experience and success, together with an infectious passion for the arts and architecture to MSU," said MSU Provost David Dooley in announcing Agre-Kippenhan's selection. "We are very proud of the faculty and students of the College of Arts and Architecture, and I believe that Susan will provide the leadership to help the College attain new levels of excellence and prominence."

Agre-Kippenhan has been chair of the Department of Art at Portland State since 2003, first joining that university in 1995. She has also taught at Loyola University in Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the institution from which she received a Master's of Fine Arts degree in 1994. Her bachelor's degree in studio art, specializing in painting, is from Skidmore College. She has also been a visiting teacher to the University of Ulsan in Korea.

In addition to her academic career, Agre-Kippenhan has been a practicing graphic designer since 1979. She was an art director for a Chicago ad agency as well as a partner in a Chicago design firm before returning for her master's and pursuing a career in higher education. Since 2001 she has been a principal in Compound Motion, a multi-disciplinary design firm in Portland that is a collaborative effort with her husband, Mike Kippenhan.

Agre-Kippenhan is an active writer who has published several articles on arts curriculum. In addition, her design writing has appeared in Eye Magazine, the AIGA Journal, and Emigre Magazine. She is a former President of the Portland Chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Art, which has more than 250 members. She has received several prizes for developing courses that link curriculum and community outreach. Most recently, she received the Oregon Campus Compact's 2006 Statewide Faculty Civic Engagement Award.

Pat Chansley (406) 994-4373,