Jack Risley, artist, administrator, and art educator, is the newly appointed Chair of the Department of Art and Art History at UT Austin. Risley was most recently Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Director of Graduate Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). According to UT’s Newsletter, “Risley brings a new era of leadership, promising to take ‘an ambitious step forward’ and to ‘enhance a shared sense of purpose across the department’”.
While at VCU, Risley was known for creating initiatives between programs and supporting innovative faculty and student projects (Colabolabolab, Sponge Space, International Graduate Exhibitions). He was the architect of a complete redesign of the first year foundation program serving nine departments, securing new faculty lines and distilling the curriculum to four core areas: Observation, Surface, Space and Time. He was also known at VCU for his promiscuous use of the color orange.