GRAND RAPIDS — Ferris State University President David Eisler announced today the appointment of Tara McCrackin, associate professor of Interior Design at Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) as the interim president of the college.
Eisler selected McCrackin as interim president after interviewing 11 interested faculty and staff who either applied for the position or were nominated.
After graduating from KCAD with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design degree, McCrackin began her career in the industry working for Custer in Grand Rapids. In 2000, she began teaching at KCAD as an adjunct faculty member and advanced through the faculty ranks to become a full-time, tenured associate professor and program chair for the Interior Design program. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art Education degree from Western Michigan University and a Master of Education in Adult and Higher Level Learning from Grand Valley State University.
“Ms. McCrackin is a proven leader in interior design and design education. She is highly respected and admired by her peers and students at Kendall College of Art and Design. Tara is deeply committed to the success of the college, its students, faculty and staff. I am very impressed by the breadth and depth of her knowledge of Kendall and the vision she has for its future,” said Eisler.
During her tenure as chair of KCAD’s Interior Design program from 2014-17, McCrackin led the department through significant program changes and chaired its successful re-accreditation process with the Council for Interior Design Accreditation. She currently serves on Ferris’ Higher Learning Commission Re-Accreditation Steering Committee and worked closely with the University’s Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning to train KCAD faculty on the institution’s learning management system.
McCrackin serves on the Grand Rapids Community College Interior Design Advisory Board and as president of the Michigan chapter of the International Interior Design Association. She donates her time to Kids’ Food Basket in Grand Rapids, and most recently completed the interior design for their new facility opening this summer.
“I look forward to bringing new and fresh thinking to building community support for KCAD and for putting the College on a strong trajectory. There is more we can do to celebrate and promote the strengths of KCAD’s design and fine arts disciplines and to ensure that our programs are closely aligned with industry and the employment needs of our region and beyond,” McCrackin said.
McCrackin’s presidential appointment begins on July 1. She also will serve on Ferris’ senior leadership team as an interim vice president.