Clinton Hill

Pratt Institute names Kirk E. Pillow as next provost

To replace Peter Barna in July

May 22, 2015 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Kirk E. Pillow has been named as next provost at Pratt. Photo by CJ Harker, courtesy of Pratt Institute

Pratt Institute President Thomas F. Schutte announced on Wednesday that Kirk E. Pillow will become its next provost.

Pratt, which prepares students for careers in the arts, is located in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, with a satellite campus at 14th Street in Manhattan. The school was founded in 1887. Notable alumni include fashion designer Betsey Johnson; William Van Alen, the architect of the Chrysler Building; and actor Robert Redford.

Pillow will replace Pratt’s current provost, Peter Barna, in July. Barna announced in January that he would be returning to the faculty after a yearlong sabbatical. Barna has served as Pratt’s provost since 2004.

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As provost, Pillow will serve as the senior academic administrator at the Institute, with oversight of curricular, instructional, and research affairs. He reports directly to President Schutte.

Pillow is currently the interim president at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where he served as provost from 2011-14. He is an established scholar in the field of philosophy and has published widely on aesthetics and the philosophy of art.

“Kirk is a phenomenal individual with the energy, enthusiasm, and experience to lead the Institute in fulfilling its academic mission,” Schutte said in a statement. “He is a true visionary in academic administration and has a stellar reputation as an accomplished leader who listens, moves priorities forward, and embraces the collaborative nature of collegial governance.”

Before joining the University of the Arts, Pillow served as a dean, provost, and interim president at Corcoran College of Art + Design, and before that as a chair, associate dean, and professor at Hamilton College. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Trinity University and master’s and doctoral degrees from Northwestern University, all in philosophy.

“Pratt is an extraordinary hub of creative energy and excellence,” said Pillow. “It’s a dream come true to be chosen for this role, and I very much look forward to joining the Pratt community.”


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