Dr Randy Swearer, Ph.D., Provost at Philadelphia University
Randy Swearer, Ph.D., assumed the position of Provost at Philadelphia University in July 2009. He has previously served as Dean at Parsons The New School for Design, and a tenured faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin. He was also was Deputy Director of the Design Program of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Dr. Swearer's expertise includes transformative institutional planning processes and innovation in higher education. His efforts have driven change at a diverse group of institutions by introducing integrative planning frameworks, raising funds for new facilities, implementing rigorous review processes, and fostering cultures of innovation.
As Provost of Philadelphia University, Dr. Swearer has overseen a dramatic transformation of the academic dimensions of the institution. The University has been reorganized to foster collaboration and transdisciplinarity: a new college with 1600 students has been developed to teach innovation processes by fusing design, business, and engineering. A comprehensive academic planning framework has been implemented that leverages the institution's strengths as a whole, enhances existing academic capability by bridging them with new programs, and develops new strategic academic directions. The faculty governance system has also been redesigned to streamline processes, improve transparency and encourage collaboration between the faculty and administration.
Dr. Swearer was Dean of Parsons from 1998-2004. Parsons is a comprehensive design school in New York City with affiliate campus in Japan, South Korea, France, and the Dominican Republic. During his tenure, philanthropic giving increased four-fold and led to the creation of a major new facility, the Sheila Johnson Design Center. He led a comprehensive strategic planning process, launched and retooled academic programs, and spearheaded development of the Parsons Design Lab to foster collaboration with industry and non-profit organizations.
At the University of Texas, from 1988-98, Dr. Swearer led the development of the curriculum for the Division of Design in the College of Fine Arts and was awarded the Texas Excellence Teaching Prize. Previously, Dr. Swearer was a senior designer and manager at Wang Laboratories and a designer at IBM.
Dr. Swearer has presented widely on educational innovation, design, planning and community identity issues. He has served on national juries and spoken at institutions including, the National Building Museum, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Yale University, the American Institute of Architects, and the Design Management Institute. His research is focused on examining the lives of people who live in gated communities, which is the fastest-growing housing segment in the United States. Dr. Swearer received his Ph.D. in anthropology and urban studies from Union Institute, an M.F.A. in design from Yale University, and a B.A. from Wesleyan University.