Dr. Melanie Corn joined CCAD in March 2016 as the college's fifth President. Corn is the first female President in CCAD’s history and one of only several women currently serving as Presidents of member institutions of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD). Corn’s academic and pedagogic work combines interests in contemporary visual culture and theories of gender and sexuality, and her graduate art history work focused on the visual crisis of the AIDS epidemic. She received a bachelor’s degree in art history from Stanford University; a master’s degree in art history from University of California Santa Barbara, where she also completed doctoral coursework and exams; and a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania. Corn's dissertation, Community-partnered Project-based Studio Pedagogy: Developing a Framework and Exploring the Impact on Faculty in Art and Design Higher Education, focused on the increasingly important work of art and design courses moving outside the college walls.
Corn previously served as the Provost for California College of the Arts (CCA). As the chief academic officer at CCA, Corn worked to strengthen faculty development and governance, champion diversity efforts at the college, improve academic assessment efforts and lead the implementation of new degree programs that take advantage of CCA’s home in a major center of cultural and social innovation.
At CCAD, Corn is charged with setting the vision and tone for the college, ensuring that educational programs are strategic and relevant, that long-term institutional viability and sustainability are safeguarded and that the dynamic connectivity between the college and its constituencies — alumni, business, civic and community — continues to grow.