April 25, 2022

Hasan Elahi named dean of the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts

World-renowned visual artist Hasan Elahi will assume his role July 1, 2022 as the next dean of the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts (CFPCA). His appointment was unanimously approved by the Wayne State University Board of Governors.

Hasan Elahi. Photo by E. Brady Robinson

It will be a homecoming of sorts for Elahi, who earned his M.F.A. in printmaking at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. He will come to Detroit from George Mason University, where he is currently a professor and director of the George Mason School of Art.

“In addition to being a transformational leader with a strong vision for the future, I am impressed with Hasan’s commitment to multidisciplinary collaboration and student engagement,” said Mark Kornbluh, WSU provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “I am confident he will be a great fit for CFPCA and our diverse and inclusive university.”

In his current position, Elahi has overseen a more than 40% increase in enrollment, significant increase in revenue, and the hiring of additional faculty and staff at a time when many other programs have been struggling. He has also demonstrated a strong commitment to diversity and has built a more inclusive school.

Previously, Elahi created and directed the digital cultures and creativity program in the Honors College at the University of Maryland, for which he was responsible for personnel, equipment, budget, fundraising, recruitment and day-to-day oversight.  

Thousand Little Brothers, pigment print, 28 feet x 16 feet, 2014. Elahi has maintained a robust professional career and exhibited at more than 150 national and international venues.

Elahi has maintained a robust professional career and exhibited at more than 150 national and international venues, including SITE Santa Fe, the Sundance Film Festival, Centre Georges Pompidou, the Gwangju Biennale and the Venice Biennale.

His creative projects focusing on privacy and transparency are frequently in the mainstream media. Some highlights include appearances on The Colbert Report, CNN, Al Jazeera, Fox News and NPR. Publications such as The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wired and The New Yorker have also written extensively about his work.

Elahi is a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow and recipient of a Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award. He has received grants and fellowships from Art Matters, Creative Capital and the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

After leading CFPCA for a record 12 years, Matthew Seeger stepped down from leadership of the college. He will continue to work with the new Center for Emerging and Infectious Diseases and on his research in crisis and emergency risk communication. After completing his administrative leave, he plans to return to his faculty appointment in the Department of Communication.

Subscribe to Today@Wayne

Direct to your inbox 3 times a week