School of the Art Institute of Chicago names new board chair – Education News

on Sep20

19 September 2017 | 6:00 pm

CORRECTED

School of the Art Institute of Chicago has selected Anita Sinha as its new board chair, tapping a woman to fill the role for the first time.

The school, where American artists such as Jeff Koons and Georgia O’Keeffe as well as writer David Sedaris studied, made the announcement in a statement today. Sinha, who has been a member of the board of governors since 2013, will become chair Nov. 14.

Sinha will take the post just as the school is nearing the end next year of its first capital campaign, aimed at raising $50 million to add resources for faculty members and scholarships for the school’s graduate and undergraduate students as well as some Chicago public high school students. She succeeds Cary McMillan, a former Sara Lee executive who is the CEO of Chicago-based True Partners Consulting, who held the position for nine years.

Sinha, 63, and her husband, Prabhakant Sinha, have supported the school and its museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, for years, playing leadership roles in student affairs and for the school’s 150th gala in 2016. In addition, they spearheaded the Art Institute’s first celebration of the Indian festival Diwali in 2011. The couple collects Asian sculptures, mainly from India, and also some contemporary art by Indian artists.

The new chair has a post-doctorate degree in sociology and taught at the University of Georgia decades ago. Buoying the school’s scholarship programs is a priority for her. “That’s important for me to continue to see grow,” she says. “There are so many talented people that, if given the opportunity, will be able to shine.”

She’s also interested in continuing to raise the profile of the school internationally. Of it’s 3,649 undergraduate and graduate students, a third are from some 60 countries outside the U.S.

Prabhakant Sinha, a trustee at the Art Institute, is a former Kellogg School of Management professor and founding director of the Evanston-based sales and marketing consulting firm ZS Associates. That firm has 5,000 employees in offices across North America, Asia and Europe.

She’ll be working with a relatively new school president, Elissa Tenny, who was hired last year and is also the first woman to hold her post. The new female leadership would seem to make a lot of sense, given that about 70 percent of the school’s student body is also female.

An earlier version of this story reported incorrectly that the school will add faculty members.



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