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Dr. Brenda Molife Named Provost of Massachusetts College of Art and Design

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BOSTON, MA  May 5, 2022 Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) has named Dr. Brenda Molife as the College’s new Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, effective July 2022. Dr. Molife, currently Vice President for Outreach and Engagement at Bridgewater State University, will succeed James Mason, who served as Interim Provost and Dean of Faculty during the 2021-2022 academic year. Professor Mason will continue in an important leadership role as Dean of Faculty and Associate Provost, working closely with Provost Molife. The selection of Dr. Molife as MassArt’s new Provost is the outcome of an extensive national search launched in October 2021 and led by a 14-member search committee of MassArt faculty, staff, and students facilitated by executive search firm Lindauer Global.

“I am thrilled that Dr. Molife will join us as our new Provost,” said Dr. Mary K. Grant, MassArt President. “Her breadth of leadership experience in a public university in both administrative and faculty roles, her scholarship as an art historian, and her commitment to our unique mission all make her an ideal choice to lead MassArt’s academic affairs division at this extraordinary time in higher education.”

“If I could have dreamed up the perfect position, it would have been this one,” said Dr. Molife. “Joining a visionary, public institution of higher learning devoted to creative expression and design is a true honor for me. I am excited about the opportunity to once again work closely with professional and emerging artists and designers who are dedicated to changing the world ‘for the common good.’”

Brenda Molife’s career in higher education encompasses 24 years as an art historian and 15 years of administrative and executive experience at Bridgewater State University (BSU). Since 2019, Dr. Molife has served as Vice President for Outreach and Engagement, where she oversees multiple programs, including Arts for Youth, career services, collections and exhibitions, the family and performing arts center, internships, and the Martin Richard Institute for Social Justice, among others. Dr. Molife was Vice President for University Advancement and Executive Director of the BSU Foundation from 2013 to 2019, served as Acting Dean in both the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the College of Business, as well as Executive Assistant and Chief of Staff to the President from 2008 to 2013. In January 2021, she was appointed as Interim President of Massasoit Community College and served in that role until August 2021. Dr. Molife first joined BSU as an Art History faculty member (2001-2008), where she taught courses in African Art, African American art, Mesoamerican art, women’s art, and art surveys, and served as chairperson of the department from 2006-2008.

Dr. Molife holds PhD and MA degrees in Art History, and an MA in Library Science from the University of Iowa; and a BA in History of Architecture and Art from the University of Illinois-Chicago.

As the chief academic officer of MassArt, Provost Molife will lead and ensure the excellence of the College’s academic programs, responsible for the academic mission, the curriculum, and the entire learning experience for each student. Working with the faculty and Academic Affairs staff, the Provost will oversee all academic programs, including undergraduate, graduate and professional and continuing education.


ABOUT MASSachusetts college of art and design

Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) is a public, independent institution that prepares artists, designers, and educators to shape communities, economies, and cultures for the common good. Since 1873, MassArt has built a legacy of leadership as the first freestanding public college of art and design in the country, and the nation’s first art school to grant a degree. MassArt offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate degrees in art, design, and art education, taught by world-class faculty. 

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