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ASU dean on his new role, vision for Herberger Institute

November 21, 2014

Steven J. Tepper is a social scientist and policy scholar who is one of the nation’s top authorities on creativity and cultural participation. He is also the new dean of Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, which combines multiple disciplines: arts, media, engineering, design, film, dance, theater and music, as well as the ASU Art Museum.

In this "Horizon" interview from Nov. 18, Tepper talks about his new role and his vision for the institute.

"Cities are competing with each other to attract creative workers," Tepper tells host Ted Simon. "The top 1,500 CEOs, when they were surveyed, said creativity is the one thing that is most important to them in hiring recent graduates. Where does that creativity come from? How do you learn it? We know that it’s not just innate. There’s a creative muscle you have to practice and exercise and get better at. We’re convinced that happens at the best design and arts schools."

Tepper says that unlike many other design and arts schools, which are traditionally siloed, "we're working and challenging ourselves to give students multiple pathways through, and if they want an interdisciplinary degree, we can help them find a way to do it."

Tepper also notes that according to experts, almost half of the occupations that will be hiring in the next two decades don't even exist yet, and the average number of jobs that someone will have between the ages of 22 and 44 is not just a couple but 11.

"We’ve got to train students to have a broad toolkit of creative competencies that they can flexibly deploy in a range of occupations," Tepper says, "because that’s the reality of the lives they’re going to live in."

Article source: Arizona Horizon

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