After Six Consecutive Years of Institutional Growth, MECA President Don Tuski, Ph.D Accepts Presidency at Pacific Northwest College of Art

Plans for National Presidential Search to be Announced Soon

President Don Tuski in front of MECA

President Don Tuski in front of MECA

Portland, ME – President Tuski announced early on Tuesday that he has accepted the Presidency at Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) in Portland, Oregon. According to Tuski, “My experience at MECA and here in the original Portland has been truly incredible and I’ve enjoyed being a part of this vibrant community. I am very excited to take on another opportunity at PNCA which is also in a community that embraces art and design. I strongly believe that artists and designers make all communities better. I feel very honored to be able to lead another great art school.”

Trustees at Maine College of Art voted unanimously on Wednesday to accept the resignation of President, Don Tuski, Ph.D. Board Chair Debbie Reed said “MECA has become a much stronger institution under Don’s leadership. His six years as President has made MECA truly competitive in the world of Art Education. We will miss him but wish him well as he journeys to the other Portland on the West Coast.”

Under President Tuski’s six years of leadership, MECA has increased revenue by 39%, advanced fundraising efforts by 52% annually, grown enrollment every year, improved selectivity, and helped to navigate the institution through the acquisition of the Salt Institute, all while orchestrating and advancing MECA’s five-year strategic plan and welcoming the largest incoming Freshman class in the history of the College. Perhaps most notably, Tuski was responsible for stewarding a $3 million dollar gift from the Crewe Foundation, the largest gift in the history of the 134 year-old institution, designed to introduce new programs including the first ever endowed professorship of art and music.

Also under Tuski’s leadership, a Textile and Fashion Design major was created with a generous gift from the Quimby Family Foundation. Other new programs included minors in music, writing and public engagement.

“Don has been MECA’s champion for the power of arts education, the value of the arts, and the critical role that artists play in society. Under his leadership, Artists at Work was created to give students and alumni the resources to be artists for life. Like MECA, he works 24/7. He attended countless art lectures, exhibitions, and events to support artists and connect the college to the community” said Jessica Tomlinson, Director of MECA’s Artists at Work Program. According to Tomlinson, “That man would go to the opening of an envelope.”

Board Chair Debbie Reed said, “Thanks to Don’s inspirational and thoughtful leadership and the continued professionalism and dedication of our faculty, staff, alumni and support base, MECA is uniquely poised for a period of unprecedented growth. We are looking forward to building on the foundation that Don has created as we search for new leadership to take us to unimaginable heights.”

Founded in 1882 and located in the heart of Downtown Portland’s thriving Arts District, MECA offers BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) in 11 studio majors, MFA (Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art), and MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) degrees. Pre-College and Continuing Studies programming are available for adults and youths. The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at MECA and Joanne Waxman Library are free and open to the public.

###