News & Events

David Yager Leaving UMBC
David Yager To Become Dean at UC Santa Cruz
Friday, May 8th, 2009 //

From: John Jeffries, Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

I announce, with pleasure for David but regret for UMBC, that David Yager, Distinguished Professor of Visual Arts, will leave at the end of this academic year to become Dean of the Arts at the University of California Santa Cruz. Professor Yager came to UMBC in 1986 and served as Chair of the Department of Visual Arts from 1986 to 1999. Under his leadership, the Department grew from some 50 undergraduate majors to more than 600, began a Master of Fine Arts degree in Imaging and Digital Arts, one of the first graduate arts programs in the nation in digital media, and became nationally known for its pioneering art and teaching. Professor Yager was also the Founding Director (1988-1999) of UMBC's Imaging Research Center, one of the first laboratories of its kind on a university campus; Founder and Executive Director of what is now the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture (CADVC) from 1986 to the present; and Founder and Director since 2006 of the Innovation and Design Laboratory, a research collaboration with the Johns Hopkins Medical Institution aimed at designing new health care processes and products for the improvement of patient outcomes. He has also worked effectively with corporate and industry leaders on important research and development partnerships. In 2008, Professor Yager was honored by being selected for a Wilson H. Elkins Professorship by the University System of Maryland.

In all of his activities, including his own distinguished research and artistic achievements in photography and design, Professor Yager has brought important visibility and stature to UMBC. As a photographer, he has exhibited nationally and internationally and lectured widely, and his work is in the permanent collections of such major institutions as the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, both in New York City, the Chicago Art Institute, and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Under Professor Yager's leadership, the CADVC has mounted some forty original exhibitions, eight of which Professor Yager curated himself. Many of these exhibitions have traveled nationally and internationally, have been widely, and favorably, reviewed in such publications as The London Times, Art in America, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, the New Yorker, and The Washington Post, and have been accompanied by award-winning exhibition catalogues (seven have won first prizes from the American Association of Museums). Beginning in 1997, Professor Yager also launched through the CADVC a series of publications (scholarly journals, catalogues, and books) entitled Issues in Cultural Theory. Some of the volumes in the series have comprised the proceedings of symposia and conferences that the CADVC has organized in partnership with major institutions including the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C.

Professor Yager has also been an active and important citizen of UMBC, serving on and chairing a number of major University committees and has thus contributed in many ways to the campus. The University of California Santa Cruz is fortunate indeed to have an artist and leader of his talent and vision become its Dean of the Arts.