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MassArt appoints new president

Massachusetts College of Art and Design announced Thursday that David P. Nelson, an experienced administrator and music educator, has been chosen to be the school’s 12th president.

Nelson most recently served as provost and chief academic officer at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

“Speaking for the Board of Trustees, we are thrilled that David Nelson has been selected to lead this great institution through another exciting era of growth in art and design education,” David Lee, the chair of MassArt’s board of trustees, said in a statement

The state’s Board of Higher Education must approve the appointment.


During his time at UNC School of the Arts from 2010 to present, Nelson collaborated with other staff members to create a system for faculty rank and promotion. He also spearheaded the creation of a new teaching center for artist faculty.

Nelson played a crucial role in creating ArtistCorps, a program funded by AmeriCorps that places UNCSA artists in public schools and communities that need a boost in arts education.

Before he worked at UNCSA, Nelson was the senior vice president of academic administration and dean of faculty from 2006-2010 at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and the College at Southeastern.

MassArt, on Huntington Avenue, was founded in 1873 and is one of nine Massachusetts state colleges. It has more than 2,000 students studying a variety of disciplines, including architecture, design, photography, and fine arts.

Sarah Roberts can be reached at sarah.roberts@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @heysarahroberts