Slate: Board of Directors

Each year, the National Council of Arts Administrators holds an election of officers (3) at the Annual General Meeting (held during the annual conference,) for a four year term on the Board of Directors. The membership elects officers from a slate of nominees, initially nominated by members and vetted by the Executive Committee in advance of the election to ensure a fair representation of the membership and skills.

Election to the Board comes with the expectation of significant participation in, and responsibility for the governance of the organization, including leadership on various sub-committees, representation at other professional organizations and attendance at conferences.

Meet the nominees, in alphabetical order:

2017/21 NCAA Nominees 

Colin Blakely Bio

Colin Blakely currently serves as Director of the School of Art at the University of Arizona. Prior to joining the University of Arizona in July 2015, he was Department head and Full Professor of Photography at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, MI, where he was on the faculty for 14 years.

As Director, Colin directly supervises 34 faculty and 11 staff in a school with approximately 550 majors. During his time at Eastern Michigan University, he remained heavily involved at the university level, serving as past Chair of both the University Budget Council and the Academic Department Administrators of the College of Arts and Sciences, and as a member on both the College and University Strategic Planning Committees. He was also recently elected to the board of the College Art Association for a term beginning in May 2017.

Colin’s work has been shown at Fotofest Houston, the Society for Contemporary Photography, the Pingyao International Photography Festival, the Griffin Museum of Photography, the Photographic Center Northwest and the Jen Bekman Gallery. Colin was a runner-up for the 2009 Aperture Portfolio Prize and a Winter 2007 Hot Shot. Publications include Pause to Begin, Photography Quarterly, and The Humble Collectors’ Guide to Emerging Art Photography. He received his B.A. from Williams College with a double major in Math and Studio Art, and his M.F.A. in Photography from the University of New Mexico.

Colin Blakely Statement

When I attended my first NCAA conference it was with no small amount of trepidation. As a second-year administrator, I had very few connections, and knew nothing about the organization. I had prepared myself for a solitary few days as I entered a world unfamiliar to me. I found instead a community that was immediately welcoming and eager to share a set of common experiences. In the years since, the organization has played a pivotal role in my development as an arts administrator.

I would be delighted to deepen my involvement with NCAA through service on the board. As the host for this year’s conference, I have worked closely with the board over the past several years, and as a new member would be prepared to hit the ground running. Of particular concern to me are making sure the organization continues to be a welcoming place for new administrators (something it is doing an exceptional job with at the moment) and positioning it as a leader in proactively advocating for and problem-solving around challenges facing the arts in higher education. With respect to the first of these endeavors, I think I could help make progress in growing membership in the west and southwest. With respect to the second endeavor, there is much that could be done to help NCAA realize its potential as a leading problem solver. I am happy to guide efforts in this area, beginning with this year’s conference.

Jonathan Fohrman Bio

Jonathan Fohrman has served as an administrator of higher education arts programs since 2001.  He is currently Dean of Arts and International Languages at MiraCosta College, one of the community colleges in the San Diego area, where his administrative role encompasses the departments of art, dance, international languages, music, theatre/film.  He commenced his career in arts administration at Te Wananga o Aotearoa (from 2001-2006), a Maori-focused institution in New Zealand, where he began as the director of a bachelor of Maori performing arts program, and ultimately became national director of their School of Performing Arts, which offered programs at a number of campuses throughout the country.  He has also served as Dean of Arts and Languages at San Diego Mesa College (from 2008-2013).

Fohrman holds a Master’s in ethnomusicology from the University of Washington, where he also received a BA in General Studies/Ethnomusicology.  He is a member of the Arts Commission for the City of Oceanside, California, where he has recently served two terms as chair, and is currently helping organize an arts master planning process.  He is on the advisory board for Pacific Arts Movement (presenter of the San Diego Asian Film Festival), and has recently served as an academic advisor to the San Diego Symphony for a large community project.  He currently co-chairs college committees focused on outcomes assessment and international education, and has also chaired college committees focused on accreditation, institutional effectiveness, and Asian and Pacific Islander studies, while serving on a host of others.


 Jonathan Fohrman Statement

My first five years in higher education arts administration were spent in a unique role overseas where I had virtually no regular opportunities to connect with colleagues in comparable positions.  As a result, I worked in considerable isolation, and became keenly aware of the support needs of new arts administrators, and of the challenges they face across numerous spheres including operations, advocacy, economics, facilities, accreditation, personnel, and so on.  Informed by this experience, if elected to the board, I would particularly want to assure that we continue to identify and be responsive to the changing needs of our existing members, while doing outreach to prospective members, and seeking to assure we continue to offer them strong, relevant opportunities for professional development and support.

I have found NCAA membership valuable, and appreciate the opportunity to belong to a strong, collaborative group focused on this specific sphere of administration, just as I appreciate this prospect of supporting it through board service.  My professional career as an arts administrator in the American community college and in the New Zealand “tribal college” (wananga) systems has made me very mindful of issues of program access, program relevance, community connectedness, equity, and diversity, as well as the need to be responsive to a constantly changing environment.  If elected to the board, these are issues that I would encourage be given consideration in planning processes and in our annual conference, just as I would encourage opportunities for enhanced support to those in performing arts administration.


Jade Jewett Bio

Jade Jewett is a fourth-year Art Department chair at California State University, Fullerton; number five in the nation for bachelor’s degrees awarded to underrepresented students. She manages a large visual arts department (1600+ students); makes narrative paintings; teaches painting, drawing, and critical theory; serves on university committees; and advocates for faculty pension and union labor rights. She also copyedits and/or design edits exhibition catalogs, such as Patrick Merrill: revelation (Santa Ana: Grand Central Press, 2017), C.O.L.A. 2014: Individual Artist Fellowships (Los Angeles: Department of Cultural Affairs, 2014), and Whiteness: A Wayward Construction (Laguna Beach: Laguna Art Museum, 2003). Her MFA in painting is from Tyler School of Art (with studies in Rome and Philadelphia) and her BFA in painting & printmaking is from Virginia Commonwealth University. Between degrees, she worked in New Orleans, Louisiana as a studio assistant for artist Ida Kohlmeyer and as a printmaker at the Contemporary Arts Center. Like many in southern California, she commutes to Orange County from Los Angeles while listening to Pacifica Radio.

Jade Jewett Statement

When I became chair, after teaching 20-years within the same department, I naively expected most collegial relationships to remain unchanged. My NCAA colleagues better understood this transition and patiently answered too many earnest questions. They welcomed me into the tribe, generous with suggestions. They got it, the problems unique to arts units, certainly better than an accounting colleague who complained about hiring faculty at twice the salaries my department could ever offer. NCAA members reassured me that an administrator’s advice, to “act more maternal,” was indeed problematic. Robert Milnes, my Fellows’ mentor, assuaged fears with his good-humored stories about “the four problems in art departments.” I had found exceptional artists juggling it all who were also excited about data charts, scheduling patterns, job fairs, and community arts. 

 If elected to the Board, I will help preserve this small community sensibility and support the health and well being of members. Immediate service goals include recruiting within California and neighboring states, assisting with the upcoming western conferences, copyediting or design editing NCAA publications, and completing behind-the-scenes organizational tasks. I hope to share in discussions about diverse ways we may pressure legislators; preserve arts programming and access; and creatively address topics such as: Why haven’t you answered my email from this morning? But this is not how things used to be done. I want more release-time. How is your research going? and Arts Administration: How to quickly gain weight and loose hair.


Charles Kanwischer Bio

Charles Kanwischer is the Director of the School of Art and Professor of Art at Bowling Green State University, where he’s been teaching courses in drawing, painting and since 1997. He previously taught at Amherst College and Yale University.

 The majority of Kanwischer’s studio practice is based in drawing, with a secondary interest in photography. The various ways that drawings and photographs document and embody time is a central concern of his work. Kanwischer has presented numerous solo exhibitions of his drawings, most recently at Shaheen Contemporary Art, Cleveland in 2017. He’s participated in many national and regional group exhibitions including; “The Pencil Show,” at Foxy Production in New York City, “Small Worlds” at the Toledo Museum of Art, and "Visions and Revisions, Art on Paper Since 1960" at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Kanwischer is the recipient of seven Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Excellence Awards and his work is included in such public and private collections as the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Akron Museum of Art, and the Cleveland Clinic.

 Kanwischer holds an MFA in Painting/Printmaking from the Yale University School of Art and a BFA in Printmaking from the University of Iowa. He lives and works in Waterville, Ohio.

Charles Kanwischer Statement

My association with NCAA began 5 years ago at the annual conference in Austin, TX. I was urged to attend by a couple of close friends who’d already been involved for a few years. They spoke glowingly of an organization dedicated to sharing and collegiality, and a conference that effectively mixed low-key socializing with a collective seriousness of purpose. In Austin and at subsequent conferences I discovered that what I’d been told was true. NCAA is an invaluable resource for arts administrators who wish to think substantively and innovatively about pressing issues in arts education.

I now share my belief in the value of NCAA at every opportunity. If elected to the Board I’ll work to strategically broaden awareness of NCAA, expanding its geographic reach and membership while preserving its intimate environment.  With a broader membership base, NCAA can amplify its role as a leader of national conversations in arts education. Dialogue that begins at our conference should be extended and transposed to affiliated organizations.

 As a Board Member, I’ll also strive to keep issues of diversity in higher education at the top of NCAA’s agenda. Arts programs must be cultural leaders in promoting the social and intellectual complexity of our country. NCAA should assist members in the effort to assure that that access to the arts and to higher education in general is broadly available to students from all backgrounds and socio-economic levels.


Greg Watts Bio

Greg Watts is Dean of the College of Visual Arts and Design at the University of North Texas. One of the largest stand-alone colleges of its kind, CVAD includes departments of Art Education, Art History, Design and Studio Art. Four galleries and five institutes, including the Texas Fashion Collection, support the undergraduate and graduate teaching and research agenda of this Tier 1 University. Prior to his current appointment, Watts served as chair of the Art Department at Metropolitan State University, Denver where he also served as executive director for the Center for Visual Art, Metropolitan State’s off-campus art center, and as president of the Council of Chairs. A full Professor, Dean Watts’ career accomplishments include a variety of academic positions and creative ventures. At Florida State University, he taught in the School of Visual Arts and Dance and served as a Program Director for the Oglesby Union Art Center. He was co-director of Nighthawks Gallery in Denver and worked as a film cameraman in Africa. His artwork has been featured in numerous exhibitions, and he has worked as a consultant and legal expert in the fields of photography and photographic evaluation. Dean Watts is a native of Cambridge, England. He earned an Executive M.B.A. from the University of Denver, a Master of Fine Arts in fine art (photography) from the University of Florida and a bachelor’s degree in fine art (printmaking) from Kingston University, London. He also attended the Management Development Program at Harvard University. Dean Watts serves the National Association of Schools of Art and Design as a team leader, visiting evaluator and as a member of the NASAD Commission.


 Greg Watts Statement

The National Council of Arts Administrators offers us a forum to refine our collective wisdom with encouragement and without judgment. As a member of the Board I will be proactive in promoting the organization and working to cultivate the next generation of arts leaders. We are all responsible for the legacy we leave for these future leaders, and I see NCAA as an ideal repository for this wisdom. Further, I am constantly amazed in my accreditation work by the commitment of my peers to build a purposeful future for our students. Our collaborative efforts and mutual support within NCAA can only strengthen this resolve. The essence of my own vision for the visual arts in higher education is to encourage professional success in concert with personal fulfillment. We must nurture our students’ opportunities by engaging them in conversation around grand ideas that will compel them to establish purpose and identity through their creative endeavors. And the same must be affirmed in support of our faculty and staff who guide them. As a member of the NCAA board I offer you the breadth of my international experience along with the rare combination of an academic background that combines an MFA with an MBA. Our leadership is the business of art. I humbly ask that you allow me to give back to my community through service to you and the NCAA board.