Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Kathleen Collins named president emeritus of Kansas City Art Institute

For immediate release


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (May 25, 2011) — Kathleen Collins, president of the Kansas City Art Institute since 1996, will become president emeritus of the college following her retirement on June 30. She is the first person in the college’s 125-year history to receive the president emeritus title.


“I am deeply honored to be recognized in this way,” Collins said at farewell reception May 18, when Bill Zahner, chair of the college’s board of trustees, made the announcement. “KCAI is an extraordinary place. I feel fortunate to have played a role in its long and distinguished history.”


Zahner presented a framed resolution to Collins, lauding her for dedicating herself to professional service to the college. The resolution said her dynamic leadership of KCAI “has positively impacted both the college and the Kansas City metropolitan area by preparing talented students for lifelong creativity.”


The board’s resolution listed a variety of accomplishments, noting that during her tenure, enrollment has increased nearly 30 percent (from 547 students in 1996 to 707 students in 2011); more than $25 million in campus improvements have been made, including the addition of the H&R Block Artspace, the Jannes Library and Learning Center, the Lawrence and Kristina Dodge Painting Building, CafĂ© Nerman and the J.C. Nichols Patio Garden; the college’s total assets increased from $18 million to $78 million and net assets from $17 million to $62 million; the college’s endowment more than quadrupled to $43 million; annual fund donations doubled from $700,000 to more than $1.4 million; and the college experienced 11 consecutive years of operating surpluses.


The resolution stated that, under Collins’ leadership, the college introduced certificate programs in Community Arts and Service Learning and in Asian Studies. The programs encourage KCAI students to become engaged in community service and prepare for world citizenship while studying toward their B.F.A. degrees. It also commended her effectiveness in building strong community partnerships through her involvement in organizations such as Brush Creek Community Partners, the Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City and the Art in the Loop Foundation.


“Whereas the Kansas City Art Institute has benefitted immeasurably by President Collins’ leadership and diversity of achievements on behalf of the college,” the resolution stated, “now therefore be it resolved that the Board of Trustees, in recognition of and in gratitude for (her) professional service to the Kansas City Art Institute, herby awards Kathleen Collins the title president emeritus and presents this resolution together with an expression of the trustees’ thanks and congratulations.”


About the Kansas City Art Institute


The Kansas City Art Institute is a private, independent four-year college of art and design awarding the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with majors in animation, art history, ceramics, digital filmmaking, digital media, fiber, graphic design, illustration, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture and studio art with an emphasis on creative writing. The college also offers certificate programs in Community Arts and Service Learning and in Asian Studies for students enrolled in the B.F.A. program. KCAI hosts “Current Perspectives,” a free public lecture series; free exhibitions at the H&R Block Artspace gallery; and evening, weekend and summer classes in art, design, multimedia studies and desktop publishing for children, youth and adults. Founded in 1885, KCAI is Kansas City’s oldest arts organization. For more information, visit KCAI on the Web at

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