a2ru Interim Leadership Named in Transition

a2ru News

August 31, 2018

Dear a2ru Partners:

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Marvin G. Parnes as interim director of a2ru. In addition to maintaining its current activities, Parnes will work to continue to grow the membership of a2ru, will manage the national search for a new executive director, and will serve as liaison with the University of Michigan, which hosts the Alliance.

Marvin participated in the establishment of a2ru and ArtsEngine at the University of Michigan, where he recently retired after being on staff for more than forty years after which he served as consultant to the ArtsEngine/a2ru Executive Director. At U-M, he served for many years as Associate Vice President for Research, and in his last years, as Managing Director of the Institute for Social Research. In the Office of the Vice President, he was responsible for managing funds for faculty research and creative activity, and was instrumental in developing new interdisciplinary research and training units.  He has held leadership roles in many local, state, and national organizations and associations, including the Council on Governmental Relations, the Michigan Initiative for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and the NIH Office of Intramural Research National Advisory Council. Mr. Parnes was instrumental in the establishment of Imagining America, a national consortium of 90 colleges and universities, and their partners, that emphasizes the possibilities of humanities, arts, and design in knowledge-generating initiatives. The organization was founded at U-M in 1999 and is now administered at University of California, Davis. As Chair of the Ann Arbor Area Chamber of Commerce, he helped to incubate the Arts Alliance, a non-profit organization that advocates for the arts in the greater Ann Arbor region, and in September, will become Chair of the Board of Directors of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival.

The rest of the ArtsEngine/a2ru staff continues to serve the network: Research Director Gabriel Harp has been re-appointed to lead the research agenda; Debra Mexicotte will continue to serve as managing director for ArtsEngine; Maryrose Flanigan will serve as interim managing director for a2ru; and Amy Tackitt will continue as program coordinator for both a2ru and ArtsEngine.

Please direct any questions to a2ru-communications@umich.edu.


William Sherman
Chair, Executive Committee, Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities
Associate Vice President of Research in Design, Arts and Humanities
Lawrence Lewis, Jr. Eminent Scholar Professor of Architecture
Founding Director, OpenGrounds
University of Virginia

Leila W. Kinney
Vice-Chair, Executive Committee, Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities
Executive Director, Center for Art, Science & Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities fosters and champions the role of the arts and design in research universities. Underpinned by research and synthesis, our mission is connected knowledge and empowered leadership—to uphold and advance the arts and design in research, teaching, scholarship, and creative practice.
ArtsEngine’s mission is to inspire, foster, and strengthen intellectual collisions and durable collaborative practices driven by the arts, to fully maximize the potential of students and faculty on North Campus and at the University of Michigan.