January 7, 2011

University of the Arts in Philadelphia names Kirk E. Pillow Provost

University of the Arts Philadelphia

“I’m very pleased that Kirk has accepted this position,” said Buffington in making the announcement. “He is an outstanding scholar and a tremendously accomplished academic leader. His insight and creativity will be critical to the success of our ambitious institutional and academic plans. I couldn’t ask for a better partner.”

The appointment comes as the university is implementing an innovative new academic plan, and developing a new strategic plan to support those significant curricular and structural changes.

At the Corcoran, Pillow has overseen a 28 percent increase in enrollment in three years, a thorough revision of the undergraduate curriculum, the adoption of a fully revised faculty handbook, and the introduction of several new degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

“The University of the Arts is a remarkable institution that I will be honored to join,” said Pillow. “The University’s comprehensive visual and performing arts education mission has immense appeal. I look forward to supporting and advancing the University’s ambitious plans for the future.”

Pillow earned a doctorate in philosophy from Northwestern University in 1995, specializing in aesthetic theory. His Sublime Understanding was published by MIT Press in 2000; the book turns classical German theories of the sublime into a theory of interpretation for works of art and for experience more broadly. He joined the faculty of Hamilton College in upstate New York in 1996, and was awarded tenure there in 2003. After serving as chair of the Philosophy Department, he spent three years as Hamilton’s associate dean of faculty before joining the Corcoran in 2007.

About the University of the Arts
The University of the Arts is the nation’s first and only university dedicated to the visual, performing and communication arts. Its 2,400 students are enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs on its campus in the heart of Philadelphia’s Avenue of the Arts. The institution’s roots as a leader in educating creative individuals date back to 1868. For information about the University of the Arts, call 215-717-6000 or visit

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