Rosen Named New Kendall President

Posted February 22, 2012 in Public


Ferris State University President David L. Eisler announced today that David M. Rosen has been named the new president of Kendall College of Art and Design.  Rosen takes over the presidency of Kendall in July from Oliver Evans, who led the college for 18 years.

“Dr. Rosen is an outstanding choice to continue the tradition of excellence at Ferris’ Kendall College of Art and Design,” said Eisler.  “He is the clear choice of Kendall’s faculty, staff and search committee, which did an excellent job in conducting a national search to find an extraordinary leader who will continue the upward trajectory of the college.”  In the past decade Kendall has nearly tripled in enrollment and this spring the College will begin occupancy of the former Federal Building, which is being renovated as classroom, studio and gallery space.

“With all that Dr. Evans has accomplished, with Kendall’s great faculty, staff, and students, and with the opening of the newly renovated Federal Building, this is an extraordinary moment to be asked to lead at Kendall,” said Rosen.  “I believe that the College will advance steadily in the years ahead and that the region will, as well.  I am excited to be part of a team that will work to make both happen.”

Rosen earned his bachelor degree from Haverford College and both his masters and doctorate from Johns Hopkins University.  For the past nine years he has served as Senior Vice President and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Woodbury University, a private college in Burbank, Los Angeles and San Diego thatspecializesinart,architecture, media,design and business.  Woodbury’s education has received regional and national recognition for its focus on innovation, creativity and forward-thinking leadership.

Before joining Woodbury University, Rosen served for twenty-three years at the University of Maine - Machias.  Beginning as a faculty member in English and drama, he was recognized with their Excellence in Teaching Award, earning a position as full tenured professor.  At Machias he served six years as the chair of arts and letters, three years as vice president for academic affairs, and briefly as interim president. 

His accomplishments at Woodbury University include co-authoring and coordinating various grants and awards including a five-year, $3.1 million Title V grant to develop new majors in film making, game art and design, and media technology; a five-year, $2.8 million Promoting Post-baccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans grant to develop five new graduate programs in architecture; and a three-year, $600,000 HUD grant to develop an Arid Lands Institute that uses a transdisciplinary model to link environmental science and design to help solve problems of aridity in the west. He also helpedsecuretheRayBradburyCenterforCreativity, thesoleuniversitylegacysiteauthorizedbythe acclaimed writer.  Woodbury University successfully launched three new graduate programs in architecture in the past two years and a film making program this fall.

Under Dr. Rosen’s leadership, Woodbury University was recognized in Colleges of Distinction 2011 for its engaged students, great teaching, vibrant community, and successful outcomes, and was named best small masters university in advancing Hispanic, low-income, and minority students by the National Education Trust.  It was ranked 16th among 551 master’s universities in adding value to its students’ education by the Washington Monthly.  The Interior Architecture program was ranked 10th in the nation and the School of Architecture was rated best in Los Angeles in 2010.  Its undergraduate program was named the outstanding program for Hispanic students in 2008 and ranked fourth in class in retention and graduation according to a 2009 Gates Foundation study.  As Academic Vice President, Dr. Rosen led successful efforts for initial National Association of Schools of Art Design accreditation in 2008, and candidacy for initial accreditation by the American Association of Colleges of Schools of Business. 

Additionally, he has directed various academic and small theater productions, including Art, The Fool, and King Lear, which starred James Gammon.  He founded the Maine Youth Summer Theater Institute and the Burbank Youth Summer Theater Institute.  His most recent fiction, “Mirror Pond,” appeared in Portland Magazine.  His one published rock song, “Valerie,” appeared on Greg Kihn’s album Rock Kihn Roll.

In accepting his new position, Rosen noted the strong relationship between Kendall and the community.

“Grand Rapids is one of the most progressive, sustainable and art-centric places in the country, and Kendall is at the heart of Grand Rapids,” said Rosen. “I look forward to deepening the College’s strong community partnerships and maintaining its place at the forefront of the arts and art education.”

As part of Ferris State University, Kendall College of Art and Design offers programs that prepare the college’s graduates for professional lives as artists and designers.  Kendall’s undergraduate programsinclude art education, art history, collaborative design, digital media, drawing, drawing with printmaking focus, fashion studies, furniture design, graphic design, illustration, industrial design, interior design, medical illustration, metals/jewelry, painting, photography, and sculpture and functional art. Kendall also offers a Masters of Art Education, MFA degrees in drawing, painting, photography and printmaking, and an MBA Certificate in Design and Innovation Management.  Kendall annually provides more than 2,000 children and adults opportunity to pursue courses in art and design through a richly varied Youth and Adults Continuing Studies program.  More information is available at

Rosen is married to Kara Kennedy, a Maine native and aspiring potter.  Their family includes Wardie, who is pursuing a career in screenwriting in Los Angeles; Sam, who is enrolled in a master’s of architecture program at the University of Pennsylvania; Jesse, who graduates from Santa Monica high school in the spring; and Gabriel, an art enthusiast, who will enter high school in Grand Rapids this fall.