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The Corcoran College of Art + Design announced today that Kirk Pillow, interim president at the school, has resigned. He is heading to the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where he will serve as provost.
Graduate studies dean and graduate design programs director Catherine Armour will serve as the Corcoran’s provost. Fred Bollerer, the current museum director and CEO, will serve as the president for both Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design.
Pillow oversaw the introduction of a number of new undergraduate and graduate degree programs at the college. He also set the school forward on a path to increase enrollment, even as the school rolled back its available footprint for physical campus space.
As the controversy surrounding the National Portrait Gallery consumed the arts media this week, the Corcoran quietly announced a deal with Carr Properties to build a 120,000-square-foot office building on a nearby, unused parcel owned by the Corcoran. That follows the Corcoran’s sale earlier this year of its Randall School property at 65 I Street SW to Don and Mera Rubell, who plan to turn the property into a hotel with a gallery space. The Corcoran originally envisioned the Randall School property as its third campus, which would have admitted its first class of students in the fall 2010 semester.
The Corcoran reportedly also sold its second campus, the Fillmore Building at 1801 35th Street NW in Georgetown, to EastBanc in May of this year. But by June, the deal to turn the historic school into condominiums was dead. Now, the Corcoran says its Georgetown building is off the market indefinitely and will serve students while the Corcoran plans a new vision for its physical strategy over the next year.
Presumably, the Corcoran College of Art + Design will revise its plan for student enrollment accordingly. At one point, Pillow planned to see the school grow to an enrollment size of 800 degree-seeking students—nearly double the 2008 class of 480 students. But Pillow has said more recently that the Corcoran has scaled back its ambitions for enrollment growth.