December 8, 2017

Mike Essl Named Dean of the Cooper Union School of Art

NEW YORK—Mike Essl has been named dean of the Cooper Union School of Art with the support of the school’s faculty, according to a message from Cooper Union president Laura Sparks published on the institution’s website. Essl has served as interim dean of the School of Art since the beginning of the 2016–17 academic year. He joined the Cooper Union faculty as an adjunct instructor in 1996 and became an associate professor of graphic design in 2002. Essl graduated from the School of Art in 1996.

Following the controversial 2013 decision to implement tuition at the New York art school, Essl, along with other faculty members, alumni, and students, formed the Committee to Save Cooper Union. According to a June 2017 School Watch profile of the Cooper Union School of Art by Nicholas Chittenden Morgan, Essl has an image of the school’s Foundation Building tattooed on his chest.

“Dean Essl’s long commitment to the School of Art and to The Cooper Union community is evident in his tireless efforts as its passionate champion,” Sparks wrote. “I am genuinely moved and inspired by Mike’s leadership. His commitment to take on the role of Dean feels like a turning point to me and an expression of Mike’s confidence in Cooper’s future. I feel so fortunate to have Dean Essl as a partner in the work of advancing The Cooper Union. Please join me in congratulating and thanking him for accepting the position of Dean of the School of Art.”

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