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WVU announces leadership for newly named college and division, part of ongoing merger, alignment work

Two people in blue suits are shown in side-by-side portraits. The one on the left is shown in an office. The one on the right stands outside the Canady Creative Arts Center.

Jorge Atiles (left), dean of Extension and Engagement at WVU, will lead the realigned WVU Division for Land-Grant Engagement starting on July 1. Also at that time, Keith Jackson (right), dean of the College of Creative Arts, will become the leader of the newly named College of Creative Arts and Media. (WVU Photos)

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To better serve students while fulfilling its land-grant mission, West Virginia University is bringing together complementary programs within two restructured and renamed units, the WVU College of Creative Arts and Media and the WVU Division for Land-Grant Engagement.

Following months of gathering input, the University is taking the next steps to merge the College of Creative Arts and the Reed College of Media to create a new college focused on the future of arts and media education. The Office of the Provost today (Jan. 18) announced that current Creative Arts Dean Keith Jackson will lead the new College of Creative Arts and Media.

Jackson will serve as dean of the new college for two years, after which there will be a national search for a new dean. Current Reed College of Media Dean Diana Martinelli will serve as the new college’s vice dean and director of the new Reed School of Media and Communications for one year. A new school director will be selected to serve following Martinelli’s return to full-time faculty status in fall 2025.

In addition to the new School of Media and Communications, the new College of Creative Arts and Media will continue to include the schools of Art and Design, Music, Theatre and Dance, and the Art Museum of WVU. The School of Art and Design will also now be home to three design-related programs from the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, including Design Studies; Fashion, Dress and Merchandising; and Interior Architecture.

“We are excited about the launch of this new college and the dynamic collaborations, innovative programs and potential growth opportunities that will arise from it,” Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Maryanne Reed said. “And we are fortunate to have two seasoned administrators who are willing to provide stability as they guide the college into a new era and plan for its future.”

In addition to this new college, the University also announced a realignment of three units to better serve the people of West Virginia. The new Division for Land-Grant Engagement will be home to WVU Extension, the WVU Center for Community Engagement and the renamed Davis College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Jorge Atiles, current dean and director of Extension and Engagement at WVU, will serve as the institution’s new associate vice president and dean for Land-Grant Engagement, overseeing all three units in the new division. In this role, he also will continue to serve as dean of WVU Extension and Engagement as well as serve as the new dean of the Davis College.

“I know that Dean Atiles, a proven leader and innovator, will bring energy, purpose and creativity to this exciting next chapter in the rich history of WVU as the state’s flagship and a modern land-grant, R1 university,” President Gordon Gee said. “The Division for Land-Grant Engagement will strengthen our commitment to continually improve the lives and livelihoods of individuals, families and communities within West Virginia and beyond.”

Atiles will begin a five-year contract this summer and undergo a three-year dean’s review in his new role. Beginning July 1, current Davis College Dean Darrell Donahue will step down from his leadership role to serve as special assistant to the provost for one year, providing valuable expertise and support on a number of statewide projects and key strategic initiatives. 

All personnel and unit changes will be effective July 1. The fall 2024 semester will begin the first academic term under the new units’ names and structures.

Students currently enrolled in academic programs of the College of Creative Arts, College of Media and the Davis College will not see any significant changes to their programs of study or course availability. All students will be able to complete their programs as enrolled. Students who graduate after July 1 will see the new college name on their transcripts and diplomas.

Read more about these two initiatives, including a link to details about the new College of Creative Arts and Media, as well as a link for information about the new Division for Land-Grant Engagement. 

Questions regarding the new College of Creative Arts and Media should be sent to, and questions regarding the new Division for Land-Grant Engagement should be sent to



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University Relations

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