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Arts & Entertainment - Campus & Community

ASU Design School Director Jason S. Schupbach Named Dean of Westphal College

July 2, 2020

Jason S. Schupbach, director of The Design School at Arizona State University, has been named to succeed Allen Sabinson as dean of the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design.

Below is a message from President John Fry and Interim Nina Henderson Provost Paul E. Jensen:

Jason S. Schupbach, director of The Design School at Arizona State University, has been named to succeed Allen Sabinson as dean of the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. 

The new dean, who joins Drexel September 1, currently heads The Design School at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive design school. At ASU, he led the ambitious ReDesign.School initiative to position the school to be a 21st century institution that is collaborative, relevant and equitable. In addition, he has been a key collaborator on ASU projects as diverse as the launch of the Studio for Creativity, Place and Equitable Communities, expansions of the school to downtown Phoenix, the school’s justice work with Race Forward, launch of a new Master of Innovation and Venture Development degree between the design, business and engineering schools, and the university’s partnership with James Turrell’s Roden Crater. 

Previously, he was director of Design and Creative Placemaking Programs for the National Endowment for the Arts, where he oversaw all design and creative placemaking grantmaking and partnerships, including Our Town and Design Art Works grants, the Mayor’s Institute on City Design, the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design, and the NEA's federal agency collaborations.  Earlier, Schupbach served as creative economy director for Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, tasked with growing creative and tech businesses in the Bay State. Prior to that, he was director of ArtistLink, a Ford Foundation-funded initiative to stabilize and revitalize communities through the creation of affordable space and innovative environments for creatives. He has also worked for the mayor of Chicago and for New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs. The new Westphal leader has written extensively on the role of arts and design in making communities better, and his writing has been featured in the Aspen Institute’s “Best Ideas of the Day” series.

We want to thank the search committee chair, Penny Hammrich, dean of the School of Education, and all members of the committee for recruiting Dean Sabinson’s successor. Drexel has been so very fortunate to have Allen Sabinson guide Westphal College for the past 15 years as the University’s longest serving dean. His tenure saw the College substantially grow its enrollment, majors, national rankings and accolades, as well as open its award-winning home, the URBN Center and URBN Annex. 

We look forward to welcoming Jason Schupbach to Drexel and are confident that Westphal will continue to thrive under his leadership.

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