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Cornish Announces Retirement of Lois A. Harris, Provost and VP of Academic Affairs

September 25, 2012

SEATTLE, WA – Cornish College of the Arts President Nancy J. Uscher, Ph.D. announced that Lois Harris, Ph.D. will retire following 12 years as Provost and Vice-President of Academic Affairs. “Our students will continue to benefit from Dr. Harris’ values, integrity and contributions to the College for years to come,” said Dr. Uscher.

“It has been gratifying to have contributed to the remarkable growth and development of this institution,” said Dr. Harris. “The arts are critical to the cultivation of civil society, and arts education is critical to the perpetual renewal of the arts.  Cornish has served, and continues to serve, as a creative incubator for artists in Seattle and the region, and it has become a vital force in arts education nationally.  I am proud to have had a role in its evolution. “

Lois Harris is a pianist with undergraduate and graduate degrees in performance from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and Boston University.  Her Ph.D. was earned at the Union Institute and is in the Theory and Philosophy of Progressive Education.  She has held numerous positions in higher education administration, including that of Academic Dean at Goddard College, Director of Liberal Studies at Antioch University Seattle, and since 2000, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Cornish College of the Arts.  She was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities award, a research award in Ethnomusicology at the University of California at Berkeley.  Her teaching interests beyond music include Holocaust Studies and Ornithology.  She is a member of the Society for Values in Higher Education and has served on the Advisory Board for the Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education.

Jenifer K. Ward, Ph.D., who has served as Associate Provost for the past 5 years will assume the position of Interim Provost and Vice-President of Academic Affairs on October 1, 2012.

A search for the permanent Provost/VP Academic Affairs has begun; information will be available on the Cornish website at