OCAC Announces Change in Leadership

September 10, 2018

Denise Mullen Announces Her Departure from OCAC

Denise Mullen, President of Oregon College of Art and Craft (OCAC), has announced her plans to depart from the college on September 10 after 8 years at the helm.

Denise shared, "It is with decidedly bittersweet emotions that I must step away from my position as president for personal reasons. Leading OCAC and serving as its primary advocate for the last eight years has been an incredibly rewarding privilege and a delight. Paving the way for the esteemed faculty, staff, and students has been the most gratifying work of my career. I am most proud of the work made over these years by our students and the success of our alums. Everyone on campus is committed to the college's mission, and that enthusiasm pervades the wooded enclave that I've had the honor of calling my work home.”

Denise came to OCAC with decades of experience as a professor, dean, chair, and vice president at many of our nation’s finest arts institutions. During her tenure, OCAC’s public profile grew enormously. Denise developed community partnerships that brought arts education to thousands of individuals throughout the Portland Metropolitan Area. She expanded both our bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, and was instrumental in raising significant resources for student scholarships and studio expansions.

“We are very thankful for Denise’s leadership and dedication to OCAC over the past eight years. She has made a lasting and valuable impact on both the college and the art community in Oregon. Denise has graciously agreed to act as a consultant to the board during the transition,” says Board Chair Kristin Valente.

Jiseon Lee Isbara, Dean of Academic Affairs, has been appointed Interim President for the college. “Denise will surely be missed, but the Board of Trustees is confident in Jiseon’s abilities to provide the visionary leadership and expertise necessary to ensure a seamless transition,” says Valente.

Jiseon joined OCAC in 2003 as Fibers Department Head and has served as the Dean of Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer for the last six years, overseeing faculty, curriculum, academic staff, and facilities. "I am humbled by the opportunity to serve OCAC, a community that I love and respect, and am committed to providing a supportive educational environment for students, faculty, and staff," says Jiseon.

OCAC is poised to continue the success of its extraordinary 111–year legacy of craft and looks forward to working with Jiseon on the next chapter.