After nearly a decade leading the United States’ oldest continuously degree-granting college of art, President Samuel Hoi announced today that he plans to retire from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Known to many as “Sammy,” Hoi has led MICA since the summer of 2014 through a period of significant development and change and has steered the College through the pandemic-related challenges.
MICA President Samuel Hoi
Hoi will continue to serve as President through 2023 to assist with a smooth leadership transition. While his retirement will take effect in January 2024, he is expressing his continuing commitment to MICA by personally endowing funds to provide concrete support for three key constituencies on campus: a future-oriented professional development fund for faculty; a future-oriented professional development fund for staff; and a Baltimore City-focused community project grant for students.
Transition Committee & Search Firm
As part of the transition process, MICA board chair Stuart Clarke announced the formation of a board-led Transition Committee. The committee will be co-chaired by Mary Miller, former Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Treasury and, most recently, interim Senior Vice President for Finance & Administration at Johns Hopkins University, and Dr. John Brothers, national nonprofit expert and T. Rowe Price Foundation President, as well as a MICA Trustee. Working closely with President Hoi and the board’s Executive Committee, the Transition Committee will also engage faculty, staff, students, alumni, parents, supporters, external partners and other trustees. Additionally, the executive search firm Isaacson Miller has been selected to assist with the presidential search.
From President Samuel Hoi
“I am retiring from MICA with tremendous optimism about its community’s strengths and capabilities and have no doubt that MICA will shine brighter than ever in its third century,” said President Hoi. “I strongly believe in the role of artists, designers and art educators in our society. A creative education is more relevant than ever for our nation and world–especially one with a mission and voice as compelling as MICA’s.”
“After 40 years in arts higher education–with 35 years in leadership positions–the idea of retirement has beckoned me,” Hoi continued. “However, I wanted to ensure that MICA was on a strong path to recovery from its pandemic-related challenges before taking action. As we complete a strategic rightsizing process, welcome an experienced new provost and see enrollment momentum for Fall 2023, the right time to retire has arrived. The Board of Trustees is following best practice in forming a Transition Committee, and there are strong campus leaders on all levels to assist with that work. It is important to me that MICA’s future is in good hands.”
From Board of Trustees Chair Stuart Clarke
“Over the past decade under Sammy Hoi’s leadership, MICA has experienced some of the highest highs of our two centuries educating artists and designers–especially in creating a support system for creative entrepreneurs, advocating for an integrative education, building stronger connections with Baltimore, and boosting diversity throughout our community among students, faculty, administration, visiting artists and trustees. He has pivoted MICA toward the future,” said Board Chair Stuart Clarke.
“We’ve also dealt with some of the well-known challenges facing colleges across the nation with declining enrollment and the lingering effects of the global pandemic,” Clarke continued. “Sammy’s empathetic and thoughtful stewardship during tumultuous times has placed us in good standing as we prepare to enter MICA’s third century educating creative students.”
From Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts
“I congratulate President Hoi on all of his outstanding contributions to the cultural field over the course of his long career. President Hoi has been a visionary leader who has touched the lives of many, inspiring students and practitioners who understand the power of the arts and its deep connection to our wellbeing as individuals, as a nation and as a global community. His pioneering work will continue to inform the evolution of the cultural field and the trajectory of artists,” said Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, Chair, National Endowment for the Arts.
Highlights of President Samuel Hoi’s tenure at MICA
- The 2022-27 Strategic Plan will guide MICA into its third century, with the College celebrating its bicentennial in 2026.
- The comprehensive fundraising campaign to support the strategic plan and secure MICA’s future has raised $66 million and is on track for completion in 2027.
- The rearticulation of MICA’s Mission, Vision and Tenets in 2017 crystalized the campus community’s essence, values and aspirations as the basis for the College’s work.
- MICA’s campus-wide Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Globalization (DEIG) mandate has led to significant advancement in diversity for the administration, board of trustees, faculty, management-level staff and student body.
- MICA’s six-year graduation rate has improved to nearly 74%.
- The Art & Design College Accelerator Program (ADCAP) is MICA’s first Baltimore City public school-based pipeline program – building stronger connections with our city and providing new pathways to success for gifted yet under-supported youth.
- A $5 million gift from the Philip E. and Carole R. Ratliff Foundation enabled the creation of the Ratliff Center for Creative Entrepreneurship. The Center, dedicated to helping student and alum creatives develop innovative businesses, oversees MICA’s UP/Start Venture Competition and the MICApreneurship program.
- The city-facing Baltimore Creatives Acceleration Network (BCAN) initiative, which recently received a $1 million federal grant to support its critical mission, has supported more than 2,000 creatives and creative businesses without the requirement of MICA affiliation.
- Enrollment is rebounding for undergraduate and graduate student recruitment, with more new students for Fall 2023 in both areas than last year.
- In August 2023, Fitch Ratings affirmed MICA’s bond rating with a stable outlook.
About Samuel Hoi
Samuel Hoi is an arts higher education leader and innovator, known to be an ally and champion for creative professionals as drivers in social, economic and cultural advancement.
He was appointed as MICA’s president in 2014. Prior to leading MICA, Hoi was president of Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles from 2000 through 2014. Additionally, he served as dean of the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, DC, and director of the Paris campus of Parson School of Design. He is a past board chair and current trustee of United States Artists. His many past board positions include the James Irvine Foundation and the Strategic National Arts Alumni Survey Project. He currently serves on the board of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design–which he chaired from 2004 through 2009–and the Baltimore Community Foundation.
Hoi holds honorary doctorate degrees from the Corcoran College of Art and Design and Otis College of Art and Design, and he was decorated in 2006 by the French government as an Officer of the Ordre des Palmes Academiques. Additionally, in 2017 he was named as an Art of Change Fellow by the Ford Foundation, which supports visionary artists and cultural leaders at the forefront of social change.