Press Release Center

President Nancy J. Uscher Will Leave Cornish At End of Contract

Seattle, WA -- President Nancy J. Uscher announced to faculty, staff, and students yesterday that she will leave her position when her contract ends on July 31, 2016. The Cornish Board of Trustees will conduct a formal nationwide search for a new president.

"I came to the College on a five-year contract, which strikes me as a good period of time," Dr. Uscher said. "Announcing this now will allow for an orderly transition." She added that she would reveal her future plans in due course.

"The board is grateful for Dr. Uscher's service to both Cornish and the Seattle community," said Cornish Board Chair Dr. Linda Brown. "We're looking forward to a robust search process that will identify new candidates to guide Cornish into its second century."

Dr. Uscher, a violist by training, is Cornish's first women president since its founder, Nellie Centennial Cornish, who started the school in 1914. Dr. Uscher came to Cornish in 2011 after serving as provost and co-acting president of the California Institute of the Arts. She holds a Ph.D. from New York University.

"It has been a true privilege for me to be at Cornish," Dr. Uscher said. "I am thrilled at the energy and talent embedded in the Cornish community, and how well our graduates are doing in the world. Cornish is on the cusp of big things as Seattle expands its presence on the world stage. The preservation of arts schools and the values they impart is so crucial."

On Dr. Uscher's watch, Cornish erected its first new building since 1921, the $50 million, 20-story Cornish Commons residence hall with classroom space on the main campus in the Denny Triangle section of downtown Seattle. The college also adopted a new visual arts curriculum, launched a film/media program, created a residency for the celebrated Kronos Quartet, began online courses, and stepped up fundraising.