Hazel and Robert Siegel Gallery

Hazel and Robert Siegel Gallery



Hazel and Robert Siegel Gallery

Higgins Hall Center Section

61 St. James Place

Brooklyn, NY

Thursday, May 1, 2014

12:00 p.m.

Admissions and Enrollment


Pratt’s final fall 2013 enrollment was 4,623 students, 80 students underthe budget goal and 42 less than the previous year. Our spring 2014 enrollment results are 4,378 students. This year our undergraduate enrollments were up and strong and graduate enrollments down.

Our current admissions report for fall 2014 is very good. Our total current applications have soared to 10,581 up five percent over a year ago. Freshman applications are up eight percent to 6,547 and transfers are up six percent. Graduate applications are down two percent to 2,890.

We instituted a new financial aid strategy which is helping to strengthen our graduate applications and subsequent enrollment of accepted students. We are offering first year graduate financial aid applicants two-year renewable scholarships. Most competitive programs provide two-year renewable scholarships.

Pratt’s acceptance rate is 45 percent for fall applicants. Financial aid remains a significant issue for Pratt. Even though a very large proportion of our accepted students have indicated a desire to attend Pratt, the final determinant is often how much financial aid an applicant gets from Pratt and other choices. While Pratt is very effective in packaging need-based financial aid and merit scholarships for accepted students, it is likely that students wishing to attend Pratt will attend second and third choice schoolsif those institutions offer higher financial aid than Pratt. This remains a challenge and uncertainty for Pratt when developing the September class of freshmen, transfers, and graduate students.

Pratt continues to receive the highest number of applications among all AICAD schools, surpassing schools like RISD, Parsons, Cooper Union, School of Visual Arts, Chicago Art Institute School, Cal Arts, Art Center, and MICA. At a RISD trustee reception which I attended recently Ed Newhall, the Director Admissions said “Did you know that Pratt is now RISD’s number one competitor?”

As has been reported in the past, we recently established a student retention committee to study and assess retention levels within the institution, and make recommendations for improving student retention. Retention data are being reviewed extensively by majors, school, year, graduate and undergraduate, and a number of socio-economic indicators. The 13-person committee is co-chaired by Judy Aaron, vice president for Enrollment, and Helen Matusow-Ayres, vice president for Student Affairs. The Retention Committee developed goals and recommendations, which will be shared within the next few weeks. The committee recognized that while retention is not a problem at Pratt, there were several things the committee proposed toimprove it by a few points.

Strategic Planning and Institutional Research

Strategic Planning

Two years ago Pratt Institute approved its strategic plan for 2012-2017 with four major themes: Enriching the Academic Experience, Expanding Horizons, Building Capacity and Creating Dynamic Environments. Each theme had multiple goals. In the course of the first two years, some goals have been changed reflecting changes in external and internal environment. For example, the creation of the School of Art and School of Design instead of one School of Art and Design was not in the original plan; however, both faculty and administration felt very strong that such separation would enhance both Art and Design programs. By the end of the second year, most goals were being implemented according to the schedule.We have made tremendous progress with implementation of our strategic planning goals.

Institutional Research

  1. All federally and state required enrollment and financial surveys have been submitted, and the Institutional Profile was completed for MSCHE.
  1. The Pratt Fact Book which contains basic statistical and demographic information about students, faculty and staff was designed, compiled and will be launched online in the middle of May.
  1. In the next two weeks, the Office of Institutional Research will launch three surveys:
  1. Employee satisfaction with Pratt retirement benefits;
  1. Student satisfaction with Financial Aid and Bursar services; and
  1. Faculty preferences for training needs in computer assisted instruction at our Summer Technology Institute. The training is provided by the department of Educational Technology.

Academic Affairs

Academic End of Year Events


Pratt’s 125th Commencement will be held at Madison Square Garden Theater on Friday, May 16 at 2 pm. New York Times Architecture Critic Michael Kimmelman will deliver the Commencement address. Honorary degree candidates include Mr. Kimmelman, musician and performer Yoko Ono, Brooklyn Museum director Arnold Lehman andproduct designer and former faculty member Karim Rashid. Over 1,050 students will be graduating.

Honors Convocation

Honors Convocation will be held on May 15th at 12:00 noon at Emmanuel Baptist Church, 279 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11238. Approximately 170graduating students will receive honors for academic achievement.

Fashion Show

Pratt’s annual fashion show and fundraiser will be held on May 1 at 6:00 PM at Center 548, 548 West 22nd Street, NYC. Honorees this year will be Stephen Burrows and Byron Lars. A fundraising after party will immediately follow the evening show at 7:30 PM at the High Line Hotel, 180 10th Avenue, NYC.

Pratt Design 2014 (Formerly Pratt Show)

This year’s Pratt Design 2014 is scheduled for noon, May 12thto noon, May 15th at the Manhattan Center. The show opens at noon on May 12th, with an exclusive Industry Professionals reception from 6:00PM to 9:00PM. A reception for students, family and friends will be on May 13th from 6:00 PM to 9:00PM.

Academic Searches

Dean Searches

Following campus interviews of three finalists in April, Gerry Synder has been appointed dean of the School of Art, effective July 1, 2014. Gerry is coming to Pratt from Santa Fe University of Art and Design where he is currently chief academic officer and vice president of Academic Affairs. Gerry has a Master of Arts in Art and Media: Video Art from New York University and a Bachelor of Fine Art in Painting from the University of Oregon.

The School of Artwill include the following departments:

Art and Design Education

AAS/AOS Department

Creative Arts Therapy

Design Management/Arts & Cultural Management

Digital Arts

Fine Arts



The search committee for Dean of Design completed its final review of the short list of twocandidates scheduled to come to Pratt for interviews in early May.

The School of Design will include the following departments:

Communications Design (Undergraduate)

Communications and Package Design (Graduate)

Fashion Design

Industrial Design

Interior Design

The History of Art and Design will move to the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Chair Searches

Construction/Facilities Management: Finalists are currently being interviewed on campus. An offer is expected to be made by the end of the semester.

Graduate Communications Design:SantiagoPiedrafita has been appointed chair of Graduate Communications Design and will be assuming his new position on July 1, 2014. He is presently Associate Professor of Graphic Design in the Department of Graphic Design and Industrial Design at the College of Design, North Carolina State University. His degrees are MS Communications Design, Pratt Institute and BID Industrial Design, ESDI/UERJ, Escola Superior de Desenho Industrial, UniversidadeEstadual do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Film/Video:Jorge Oliver will be Pratt’s new chair of Film/Video, effective July 1, 2014. Jorge is currently Film Production Program Coordinator at Department of Electronic & Photographic Media, School of Communications, Webster University, Missouri. He has a Master of Fine Arts in Cinema from San Francisco State University, a Master of Arts in Media Studies from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Zoology from George Washington University.

Industrial Design: With current chair Steve Diskin’s resignation, Assistant Chair Scott Lundberg has been appointed interim chair for the 2014/2015 academic year while a search is conducted for a permanent appointment. Scott has a Master of Industrial Design from Pratt Institute, and a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Architecture from North Dakota State University. He has been in his current position since 2012.

Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

Afinal draft of Pratt’s self study is in the process of completion. Larry Thompson, president of Ringling School of Art and Design, will chair MSCHE’s visiting team which will come to Pratt in spring 2015. We are on schedule to submit our self study by the January 2015 deadline.


Center for Sustainable Design Services (CSDS)

The annual Pratt/CSDS Sustainability Crash Course and Green Week celebration marked Pratt's commitment to ensuring our graduates understand how they can be responsible contributors through their work. This year's crash course had over 300 participants and many lectures were standing room only. Pratt students and faculty joined peers from NYU, Parson's, Columbia and FIT in the daylong event that included presentations by Pratt faculty, Pratt alumni and a representative from the Mayor's Office of NYC. This year's Green Week, titled "Creative Convergence" hosted films, lectures, exhibitions and made special awards to students who produced exceptional work.

The Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator (BF+DA) continues to ramp-up. Pratt signed a lease for 20,000 square feet of space in the old Pfizer Building on Flushing Avenue in South Williamsburg. This exciting initiative is due to open in September 2014. In the meantime, the BF+DA is working in a temporary location in Pratt's Brooklyn Navy Yard space with 15 companies that have been selected to join the Accelerator. Pratt alumni include Samantha Black, Nina Zilka, David Krause and Dana Hurwitz from Pratt Fashion, Alvaro Uribe, Tiffany Burnette, Michael Weaker, Omid Sadri, Mads Hansen, and Michael Schafer from Pratt ID.

Debera Johnson, the executive director of the CSDS is leading the BF+DA effort and has been invited to speak about the project with NYU Stern, FIT, Fordham Law, IDSA and the Women's Film Festival of NYC this spring. We will soon announce the appointment of the BF+DA's first managing director, Deborah Alden. Deborah studied architecture at Washington University and has a graduate degree in Communications Design from Pratt. She has extensive experience in managing design incubator programs, developing educational programs and entrepreneurship.



"Black Dress: Ten Contemporary Fashion Designers," organized by Professor Adrienne Jones and the Department of Exhibitions, opened to a record breaking crowd of more than 500 visitors on February 6. The exhibition featured the work of 10 contemporary black designers, and coincided with both New York Fashion Week and Black History Month. Alumni Jeffrey Banks and Samantha Black were featured along with other luminaries such as Tracy Reese, Byron Lars and Stephen Burrows. Recent MacArthur Fellow Carrie Mae Weems contributed an original video to accentuate the work of the black designers. In addition, a panel discussion on the contributions of African Americans to the fashion industry was held at Pratt Manhattan Center to a packed audience on March 5.

The exhibition received extensivemedia coverage. Television segments were broadcast on WABC news and NY1. Articles appeared on the websites of Elle, Style.com, Metropolis and the Village Voice, to name a few. A print story in Essence magazine is in the May 2014 issue.

Kravis Center Student Competition

Trustee Emeritus and donor Bruce Newman has initiated an exciting collaborative effort between the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach, Florida and Pratt Institute. The project is a student competition to design a sculptural tribute for donor recognition to be placed in front of the Center. Bruce is funding the cost of Pratt’s participation in the project and the student awards. Industrial Design Associate Adjunct Professor Robert Langhorn is the project director and faculty lead for the student work. Twelve students will be selected by Professor Langhorn from the departments of Industrial Design and Architecture. The project will begin in September 2014 with final student design concepts due by January 15, 2015.

Organic Matter: Woven Artwear by Pratt Fashion

“Organic Matter: Woven Artwear by Pratt Fashion,” a recent exhibition of Pratt fashion student work received significant media attention this spring. Developed in collaboration with Trustee Ralph Pucci, students had been challenged to create forward-thinking knitwear garments from yarn that had been donated by Lion Brand Yarns. Ralph, Fashion Chair Jennifer Minniti and Assistant Professor Susan Cianciolo, selected the top projects by 27 students which were exhibited on his mannequins in his Chelsea gallery in January. The exhibition was on view in Macy’s Herald Square windows from February 6-13 during New York City Fashion Week. Each student’s name was on the window along with ‘Pucci” and “Pratt Institute.” Ralph also arranged for the work to travel to Dallas, Texas where it was featured in Neiman Marcus’ flagship store windows and throughout the first floor from April 4-20. Two Pratt Fashion students from Texas, whose work was included in the show, as well as Jennifer Minniti attended a Pratt alumni event on April 11th hosted by Neiman Marcus. Ralph is working on arranging for the show to travel to Neiman Marcus’ Beverly Hills store.

Finance and Administration

FY 2013-2014 Operating Budget

The current 2013-2014 unrestricted and restricted operating budget is $216,629,673 of which $205,698,481 is unrestricted and $10,931,192 is restricted.

Pratt’s current $216,629,673 operating budget this fiscal year is 2.5 percent greater than last year’s results of $211,340,012.

The 2013-2014 financial aid cost is $42,845,418 with an annual discount rate of 19.8. The discount is a competitively low rate.

FY 2014-2015 Operating Budget

Pratt’s Budget Advisory Committee completed its work successfully and earlier this year. We submitted our proposed 2014-2015 operating budget to the Finance and Audit Committee of the Board of Trustees on April 21.

The combined unrestricted and restricted budget for 2014-2015 is $218,898,452 of which $207,768,694 is unrestricted and $11,129,758 is restricted. Our proposed 2014-2015 operating budget is 1.1 percent greater than our current estimated 2013-2014 budget of $216,629,673. Two major increases in anticipated revenues are in the areas of tuition and fees, $7,171,720 and endowment allocation for operations of $900,000. Major increases in expenses are; instruction $2,897,459, Academic Support $1,135,629 and Institutional Support of $1,116,655.

Financial Aid

The 2014-2015 financial aid budget is $45,363,474 of which $43,063,500 is unrestricted and comes from Pratt’s operating budget, and $2,299,674 is restricted and comes from gifts and endowment income. The endowment portion of financial aid is $1,650,000 and is 3.6 percent of the total financial aid budget. Our estimated discount rate for 2014-2015 is 24.2 percent. The discount rate is computed on the basis of the total financial aid cost divided by the total tuition and fees revenues.

The offering and allocation of financial aid, especially to newly accepted students, is becoming fiercely competitive.


Pratt’s current endowment is $141,194,495, up from the December 31, 2013 fund balance of $139,416,321. The endowment is up 11.8 percent from the start of our current fiscal year. Pratt’s investment strategies, results, and the market have been excellent. In addition to investment returns, endowment growth depends on gifts and bequests. Institutional Advancement has developed a much more active effort and program for encouraging and developing planned giving among alumni and friends. Recognition of planned giving donors is through Pratt’s Renaissance Society. There are currently 84 members in the Renaissance Society.

Debt Refinancing

Pratt’s current debt is $102,336,614. Our annual principal and interest expenses are $8 million. With the assistance of the Finance and Audit Committee, we are exploring ways to refinance about 50 percent of our current debt to take advantage of the favorable market rates for borrowing. We have retained the consulting services of Fairmount Capital Advisors, Inc. to provide financial advisory services related to debt financing. Fairmount will work in tandem with JanneyCapital Markets, Inc., an underwriter/placement agent for Pratt.

This financial debt review and planning efforts are very prudent and coming at an excellent time for Pratt. We believe we will reduce interest payments with refinancing, secure a letter of credit renewal/restructuring of debt, enable interest rate swaps, and borrow capital money in the future at current market rates.

Human Resources

The Human Resources Department has developed and is conducting harassment prevention training for all employees. To date, training has been conducted in Financial Aid, Bursar, Admissions, Registrar, Institutional Advancement, Budget, Security and Facilities.

Human Resources Director Tom Greene co-chairs the Diversity Committee and has been working with a diversity consulting firm to increase staff and faculty diversity at the Institute. A diversity forum on creativity and diversity links featuring a panel of five members of Pratt community from across campus is scheduled for April 30, 2014. Human Resources has developed and conducted training, in conjunction with Provost’s Office, for search committees charged with academic and administrative searches.

Capital Investments

A recent 10-year survey of Pratt’s capital investments in facilities between 2003 and 2013 showed $160 million was invested in facility and land acquisitions, new construction, and making physical improvements in campus space and facilities. Approximately 375,000 square feet of renovated, newly leased or acquired, or newly constructed space was added during this ten-year period. This investment effort accommodated academic, administrative, and student services and housing needs.

Capital investments occurred because of sustainability requirements, technology needs, deferred/critical maintenance needs, 2005 campus master plan follow-up, capital gifts from donors, and additional campus needs.