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Provost

Kim Russo

Interim Provost Kim Russo

The Provost is the Chief Academic Officer of the College and is responsible for all aspects of academic life at Otis. The mission of the Academic Affairs division is to promote student learning and success through exceptional educational programs, opportunities, and support.

Specific Roles and Responsibilities are distributed among various leaders, including the Associate Provost for Assessment and Accreditation, the Associate Provost for Academic Administration, and the Academic Affairs Projects Manager. 

Areas of education delivery and student support include:

The Provost also serves as the academic liaison to the Board of Trustees and Board of Governors, and chief administrative liaison to the College’s faculty governance bodies, the Academic Assembly and Faculty Senate, and the part-time faculty union. 

In collaboration with the Student Success division, the Provost oversees co-curricular offerings and student success-enhancing initiatives.


The Provost’s Office facilitates academic administration at the College, coordinates the Academic Meeting Schedule, organizes the Annual Faculty Convocation, conducts the annual Academic Excellence Awards and  Teaching Excellence Awards processes, and, in collaboration with Human Resources & Development, leads the New Faculty Orientation. See also: Faculty Events and Activities

 

kim_russo

Kim Russo

Interim Provost
Ahmanson Hall, 2nd floor
provost@otis.edu
(310) 665-6979

 

Primary Responsibilities

  • Chief Academic Officer
  • Assessment and Accreditation
  • Academic Planning
  • Divisional Budgets and Space
  • Academic Advising and Mentoring
  • Operations and Services
  • Administrative Systems 
  • Human Resources Liaison and Point Person for Faculty Affairs:
      Convocation Planning
      Contracts / Collective Bargaining
      Contact Hour Loads
      Faculty Development and Promotion
      Sabbaticals
      Academic Searches
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Student Appeals Support
  • Operations and Business Office Liaison

Kim Russo is an artist, writer, and educator who has exhibited her drawings, paintings and installations throughout the United States and in Ireland. She received residency fellowships from the Atlantic Center for the Arts, Americans for the Arts (in collaboration with the Irish Arts Council), and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her works on paper and paintings are in the permanent collections of the Hilliard Museum, the New Mexico Museum of Art and the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, as well as several significant private collections. She began her academic career in 1989 as a drawing, painting, design, and writing instructor. She served as the chair of the fine arts departments of Whittier College, Ringling College of Art and Design, and College of Santa Fe, and served as the associate provost for academic affairs at CalArts before arriving at Otis College. Kim received her B.F.A. from Tyler School of Art (Temple University) and her M.F.A. from Indiana University, Bloomington. 

 

 

Debra Ballard

Debra Ballard

Associate Provost for Assessment and Accreditation
Ahmanson Hall, 2nd floor
dballard@otis.edu
(310) 665-6988

 

Primary Responsibilities

  • Accreditation Liaison Officer
  • Leadership in WASC and NASAD accreditation processes, reporting, and site visits
  • External Program Reviews
  • Assessment of Educational Effectiveness
  • Institutional, Program, & Course Learning Outcomes

Debra Ballard is an educator with extensive curriculum design and leadership experience, published articles, and a record of consultation on education, portfolio use, and assessment in addition to numerous conference presentations at the Western Association of Senior Colleges and Universities, the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design, the Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning, Art Libraries Society of North America, and Educause. She is the author of “Assessment on Their Own Terms” and a graduate of the WASC Assessment Leadership Academy. After teaching for several institutions of higher learning, Ballard joined the Otis faculty in 1993 and became the Chair of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 1996; she also served as Interim Co-Provost in 2010-11. Ballard earned her M.A. with distinction in English from California State University, Northridge and a B.A. summa cum laude in English from the University of Maryland.

 

 

matthew penkala

Matthew Penkala

Academic Affairs Projects Manager
Ahmanson Hall, 2nd floor
mpenkala@otis.edu
(310) 665-6815

 

Primary Responsibilities

  • Academic Affairs Project Management
  • Academic Research Support
  • Divisional Calendar
  • Academic Meeting Schedule
  • Assessment and External Program Review Support
  • Budget Planning Support
  • Administrative Systems Support
  • Web and Publications Support
  • HEOA Compliance
  • Travel and External Study

Matthew Penkala is an artist whose paintings are included in numerous public and private collections nationally, and have been reviewed or featured in numerous publications and catalogues. Penkala came to Otis in 2012, following an interim faculty position heading the Painting Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art. He served as Academic Coordinator in Otis’ Foundation Program for two years before joining the Provost’s Office. He has also been the Faculty Leader for the Foundation Program’s Paris Travel Elective since 2013. He has worked for various Los Angeles-based design firms providing Art Direction and production for web and print based projects. Penkala earned his M.F.A. in Painting at Cranbrook Academy of Art and a B.F.A. in Photography from Arizona State University.

Learn more about Matthew at: www.matthewpenkalastudio.com

 

 

april_kullis

April Kullis

Executive Assistant to the Provost
Ahmanson Hall, 2nd floor
akullis@otis.edu
(310) 665-6988

 

Primary Responsibilities

  • Provost Scheduling
  • Academic Meeting Schedule
  • Faculty Contracts
  • Administrative Routing
  • Budget Planning Support

April Kullis joined Otis in 2002, working in both the Foundation and Liberal Arts and Sciences Program offices. She moved to the Provost’s Office as Executive Assistant in its founding year and has supported the Provost since that time. Prior to her employment at Otis she served for 15 years as clerical support at the Sheriff’s Department in Oakland County, Michigan. She recently completed a Certificate in Graphic Design at Otis College of Art and Design (2012) and is a promising Graphic Designer.