Dr. Nancy Uscher, provost of the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), is packing her viola and heading north. In August 2011, she will become the new president of Cornish College of the Arts—the first woman in charge since Nellie Cornish founded the school in 1914. Current President Sergei P. Tschernisch will retire after 17 years as head of the performing and visual arts institution.
Dr. Uscher’s appointment received high praise from board members, faculty, staff, and students, who said she is “fully prepared to be a college president,” “a good match,” and “especially in tune with the culture and ethos of Cornish.” The classically trained violist earned a Ph.D. in music at NYU with a dissertation on the “Performance Problems in Selected 20th Century Music For Viola” and spent time studying at the Royal College of Music in London. She’ll assume leadership of the private college as it continues to grow, increasing enrollment to 800 and making dorms available for the first time in the last year.