Dr. Melanie Corn is the fifth president of Columbus College of Art & Design. Since joining the college in 2016, Dr. Corn has made significant progress on the dual goals of building a national reputation for the college and strengthening CCAD’s role as a leading cultural institution in the region. She has overseen the implementation of a three-year strategic plan, the construction of the new state-of-the-art Cloyd Family Animation Center, and an increase in new applicants and in overall enrollment at the college.
Dr. Corn makes connecting with students and graduates a priority, holding town halls, writing frequent letters to current students, and spearheading an annual alumni tour that includes stops across the country.
She is a member of the Columbus Partnership and serves on the boards of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design, CBUS Retail, and the Washington Gladden Social Justice Park. Dr. Corn was a 2017 and 2018 finalist for the CEO of the Year award from Columbus CEO and a 2018 recipient of the Progressive Woman award from Smart Business.
Prior to joining CCAD, Dr. Corn spent 13 years in academic administration at California College of the Arts. She received her bachelor’s degree in art history from Stanford University, a master’s degree in art history from the University of California Santa Barbara, and a doctorate in higher education management from University of Pennsylvania.
After working in art and design education for more than a decade and a half, Dr. Corn is a fervent believer in the power of creativity. She loves her job because, as she frequently says, “No one’s mom ever made them go to art school,” meaning, of course, that CCAD students are intentional, hardworking, and passionate about their education.
As part of CCAD’s strategic plan, Dr. Corn helped to define the college’s institutional values—accountability, inspiration, positivity, and respect. Her vision for the future of the college includes adding new degree offerings and facilities to meet the needs of tomorrow's creative workforce and building on CCAD's long history of youth programming and community education with more professional development offerings for the thriving workplaces of central Ohio.