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Dean for the new College of Arts, Media and Design named

Northeastern University has appointed Dr. Xavier Costa to be the founding dean of its College of Arts, Media and Design, one of three new, distinct colleges being launched by the University this fall.

As founding dean, Dr. Costa will have the unique opportunity to build on Northeastern’s existing strengths in the fields of arts, media and design to advance a global vision for the college and lead it to achieve that vision.

“Among his many scholarly accomplishments reaching across disciplines and continents, Dr. Costa has created international partnerships in England, Spain and China and overseen the launch of dozens of graduate and doctoral programs stemming from these academic collaborations,” said Stephen W. Director, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Northeastern. “The new College of Arts, Media and Design will benefit from his leadership and proven track record of excellence in a multitude of fields.”

The College of Arts, Media and Design will include the School of Architecture and the School of Journalism; the departments of Art + Design, Communication Studies, Music, and Theatre; and interdisciplinary programs in Cinema Studies, Creative Industries and the Media Training Studios.

“Fostering creative expression is an important pillar of Northeastern’s academic plan,” said Joseph E. Aoun, president of Northeastern University. “The new college will play a key role in charting the path to the future of globally-inspired artistic and technological innovation at the cross-section of disciplines. Dr. Costa is the perfect person to lead us through this endeavor.”

Dr. Costa, a world-renowned architect, will join Northeastern this fall from Elisava Design School at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, where he has served as the dean since 2002. In this role, he currently oversees the development of a graduate school with 24 programs, including a doctoral program in design. In partnership with the Winchester School of Art at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom and the University of Dalian in China, Dr. Costa created a system of international master’s programs. Concurrently, he serves as the chair of the Metropolis Graduate Program in Architecture at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. The program focuses on an interdisciplinary approach to architecture and urban studies.

Universities, foundations, and museums around the world seek Dr. Costa’s expertise. He has held academic positions at Cornell University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of North London; served as a curator at La Biennale in Venice and the Museum of Modern Art in New York; and given scholarly lectures in Zurich, Budapest, Cyprus, and Helsinki. He holds MS degrees in architecture and historic preservation, as well as a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds a professional degree from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and a BA in art history from the Universitat de Barcelona.

Dr. Costa has received widespread academic and research recognition, including Fulbright scholarships and awards as part of the European Union’s Culture 2000 and Fifth Framework programs. He is the chief curator of architecture and art programs for the Mies van der Rohe Foundation in Barcelona. He serves on the advisory committee of Carnegie Mellon University’s Remaking Cities Institute and has served on the academic committee of the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois in Chicago.

Anchored by its signature co-op program, Northeastern University is world renowned for its leadership in experiential education. Northeastern is also a leader in the production of use-inspired research that meets global and societal needs.

The new College of Arts, Media and Design was created as part of a restructuring of the former College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Criminal Justice.

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