David C. Howse has been selected as the next president of California College of the Arts. Howse comes to CCA from Boston’s Emerson College, where he currently serves as the vice president of Emerson’s Office of the Arts and the executive director of ArtsEmerson.
The search for CCA’s 10th president began nine months ago, when Stephen Beale announced his retirement after 15 years in the role and 26 years at the school.
Howse, who will begin in December, joins a school in flux. Construction continues on the 78,650-square-foot expansion of CCA’s San Francisco campus, with aims to be finished in time for the fall 2024 semester. The school closed its historic and beloved Oakland campus in May, but still owns the property, where development — and an accompanying sale — have stalled due to city delays.
In March, citing a nearly 20% drop in enrollment from pre-pandemic numbers, CCA announced layoffs to reduce expenses. Ultimately, 10 staff members were laid off, the school says, around a 4% reduction in personnel. Earlier this year, the school also announced a “pause” for its 21-year-old curatorial practice program, which will graduate its last class (for the foreseeable future) in 2024.