The trustees of Otis College of Art and Design, looking towards the future, felt it was an appropriate time to make a change in leadership and announce the departure of Bruce W. Ferguson, who has served as President from 2015 through 2019. Randall Lavender, former provost of the College, will serve as the interim president of Otis College.
Bruce’s presidency contributed to Otis College in a number of important ways and sought to bring more people to Otis opportunities. He oversaw the creation of the L.A. Summer Residency and summer offerings, and put a new focus on developing new Extension opportunities. He also led the successful transition to the expanded Elaine and Bram Goldsmith campus as well as the move of the Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show to campus.
Former provost Randall Lavender will serve as the interim president until a new president is selected. Randy is a nationally and internationally exhibited artist whose works in oil on panel and sculptural tableaux are included in dozens of public and private collections and have been featured in numerous books, catalogues, articles, and reviews.
Lavender first joined Otis College as a part-time faculty member in 1983, later became Adjunct Assistant Professor, and then Associate Chair in the Foundation program. In 2010-11, he served with then Liberal Arts and Sciences Chair Debra Ballard as professor and interim co-provost, after which he was appointed vice provost, until stepping up once more as acting provost in 2014. Lavender was promoted to the provost position in 2014. Over his four years as chief academic officer, he inspired the Senior Leadership Team and campus community with his knowledge, intelligence, and humor. He developed a bold Academic Plan to guide future program offerings, implemented meaningful initiatives such as Your Creative Future, co-led aspects of our campus expansion projects, bolstered our successful WASC reaccreditation process, led in strategic planning efforts, and supported in countless ways academic leaders, faculty, and staff across the College in their effective work with and on behalf of student learning and success.
After many years’ service as an insightful and facilitative leader, Otis College is pleased to welcome Randall Lavender as interim president.
In the coming months, the Board of Trustees will begin the process of conducting a search for a new president in consultation with faculty, staff, and student representatives.