Grafton Nunes, dean of Emerson College’s School of the Arts, has been named president of the Cleveland Institute of Art, effective the end of June.

“For the past 12 years, Grafton has led the School of the Arts as its founding dean with great energy, vision, and dedication,” said President Jacqueline W. Liebergott. “Our students, faculty, and alumni join me in wishing him every success in this next phase of his stellar career.”

In 1998, Nunes became the founding dean of the School of the Arts, which offers undergraduate and graduate programs in performing arts, film, television, creative writing, and publishing.

“Grafton has brilliantly explored the relationship between theory and practice for each of the arts in his school,” said Vice President of Academic Affairs Linda Moore. “He has been a strong faculty advocate and his leadership will be sorely missed,” she said. “His interest in strengthening the role that colleges and universities play in developing art as public funding evaporates will serve him and the Cleveland Institute of Art well. He will be deeply missed by all of us at Emerson.”

Previous to Emerson, Nunes directed the Columbia University Program in Theatre Management and Producing. He also administered Columbia’s Film Division under Milos Forman and Stefan Sharff and served as Associate Dean of the School of the Arts.

He worked with Paul Schrader at Paramount Pictures on American Gigolo and Light of Day and co-produced The Loveless, a feature film directed by Kathryn Bigelow and Monty Montgomery, starring Willem Dafoe. He has written extensively on the film and broadcast industries for Millimeter, American Cinematographer, The Independent, and VideoPro.

Nunes is a member of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans and the European League of Institutes of the Arts. He has served as a member of the Foundation Board of the International Society of Performing Arts Presenters. He serves on the Board of Ploughshares, the literary journal, and is on the selection committee of the Liguria Study Center of the Bogliasco Foundation.

“The creativity and the willingness to roll up one’s sleeves and dive right into projects are the hallmarks of Emerson’s students, faculty, and alumni,” said Nunes. “I will miss the Emerson culture and my talented colleagues, but I look forward to the challenges and opportunities that await me at the Cleveland Institute of Art,” he said. “Emerson has given me so much: the challenge and opportunity to build a great school with superb colleagues and an exceptional student body. I will miss the friends I have made among the faculty, staff, and alumni of this college.”

About the College

Based in Boston, Massachusetts, opposite the historic Boston Common and in the heart of the city’s Theatre District, Emerson College educates individuals who will solve problems and change the world through engaged leadership in communication and the arts, a mission informed by liberal learning. The College has 3,780 undergraduates and 670 graduate students from across the United States and 50 countries. Supported by state-of-the-art facilities and a renowned faculty, students participate in more than 90 student organizations and performance groups. Emerson is known for its experiential learning programs in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, the Netherlands, London, China, and the Czech Republic as well as its new Global Portals, with the first opening last fall in Paris. The College has an active network of 51,000 alumni who hold leadership positions in communication and the arts. For more information, visit