Cartwright to Retire from USF

June 1, 2017

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Rick Cartwright, founding dean of the University of Saint Francis School of Creative Arts, has announced his retirement, effective the end of this academic year.

Cartwright has been dean of the School of Creative Arts since 2004, and a member of the school’s faculty since 1975. He was integral in the vision for and development of USF Downtown, which opened in August 2016. He also oversaw the 2010 restoration of the Bass Mansion (now Brookside) and the rehabilitation of the Mimi and Ian Rolland Art and Visual Communication Center.

The USF School of Creative Arts has seen tremendous program growth during Cartwright’s tenure. He added the Music Technology program, the Pre-Art Therapy program, the Art History program, the Museum Studies program with the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, and the Dance program in partnership with the Fort Wayne Ballet. He was instrumental in the development of the Media Entrepreneurship Training in the Arts (META) program as well as the Marching Band programs. Cartwright also established USF’s Theatre program and continued to build the Jesters performance group into a nationally recognized program featuring individuals with mild to severe developmental or physical disabilities. Under his guidance, USF was accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design in 2004.

An active painter, Cartwright is a founding member of Artlink Inc. and is a trustee for the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. He has been named a Lilly Scholar and recipient of the Sears Foundation Teaching Excellence and Leadership Award. In 2002, Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne honored Cartwright by presenting him the Esther Ritz Collyer Award for Lifetime Achievement in Art Education, and in 2014 he received the Keager Award for Outstanding Arts Educator. He has served as Ethics Committee chair, an institutional evaluator and presently as commission member for the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Dean Cartwright earned master of fine arts and master of arts degrees in painting from Bowling Green State University, and a bachelor of science in art education from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

“Everyone at the University of Saint Francis is extremely grateful for the many accomplishments and contributions Rick has made throughout his time here,” said USF President Sister M. Elise Kriss. “We will all truly miss his creativity and vision.”

Founded in 1890 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, the University of Saint Francis offers more than 80 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs through the School of Health Sciences, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership and School of Creative Arts. In addition to its traditional programs, USF designs focused curricula for working adults in Fort Wayne, Crown Point and online. In 2016, the University of Saint Francis expanded its presence to downtown Fort Wayne. USF Downtown houses the university’s business and music technology programs while offering enhanced internship and networking opportunities for students. The University of Saint Francis offers a robust campus experience including 16 athletic programs boasting two individual and three team NAIA national championships, and is recognized as an NAIA Five-Star Champion of Character institution. Approximately 2,200 students from a broad geographic region attend USF.