Mary Grant was appointed President of Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) effective in July 2021. Dr. Grant brings to MassArt nearly 30 years of experience in public higher education, including significant leadership positions as President of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) and Chancellor of the University of North Carolina Asheville. Dr. Grant served as the President of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate and as Senior Administrative Fellow for Civics and Social Justice at Bridgewater State University, leading the Martin Richard Institute for Social Justice and serving as Co-Chair of the President’s Special Task Force on Racial Justice.
As President of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts from 2002 to 2014, Dr. Grant led the effort to rebrand MCLA as the premier public liberal arts college in New England, secured state and private funding to renovate and build new academic buildings, and led the first comprehensive capital campaign of the MCLA Foundation. Behind her leadership, MCLA established Gallery 51 in North Adams, and was the primary sponsor of Downstreet Art, which transformed vacant storefronts into art galleries and studios. MCLA’s Berkshire Cultural Resource Center offers cultural experiences that support a diverse and vibrant northern Berkshire County. While serving as Chancellor of the University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA), Dr. Grant led a period of strategic and institutional growth, including a new five-year strategic plan focused on equity and inclusion, academic rigor, student success, community engagement, and organizational capacity. Among her achievements at UNCA was the establishment of the STEAM studio at The River Arts Makers Place (the RAMP), an educational space where science, technology, engineering, art, and math converge.
President Grant has served in leadership roles at University of Massachusetts Boston and the UMass President’s Office, including as Chief Academic Officer and Deputy CEO of UMass Online, and Director of the Center for Social Policy with the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies. Dr. Grant currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, as a member of the Board of National Campus Compact and on the Program Committee of youth service organization Project 351.
Dr. Grant earned a Ph.D. from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, a M.S. in Public Affairs from University of Massachusetts Boston, a B.A. in Sociology from MCLA/North Adams State University, and holds an honorary doctorate from Williams College.