Provost Elissa Tenny

Elissa Tenny, Ed.D.

Elissa Tenny, Ed.D. is currently the Provost and the Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). She assumed the post in the fall of 2010, a position she called, “the keeper of the academic vision” in F Newsmagazine in August 2010. Along with SAIC President Walter Massey, Tenny intends to be a voice for students, staff, and faculty concerning everything from curriculum to enrollment. Her goals include exploring connections and interrelationships in the school, and she asks, “How are we thinking about our forward momentum so that we’re all pulling in the same direction?”

Tenny joined SAIC from Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont, where she served as Provost and Dean since 2002. At Bennington she successfully promoted interdisciplinary and integrative scholarship, crafting strategic plans for the college, enhancing curriculum planning, and working on faculty development. Prior to joining Bennington, Tenny served in a variety of roles at the New School in New York City from 1975 to 2002, eventually holding the positions of Acting Dean (1998–2001) and Vice Dean (2001–02). The New School houses the internationally recognized Parsons School of Design, and Tenny’s focus there included promoting diversity, quality, and creativity in academic programming and student services. During her time at the New School, she helped to grow overall enrollment by 30 percent.

In addition to her long list of outstanding career accomplishments in academia, Tenny holds a Doctor of Education degree from the university of Pennsylvania, a Master of Arts in Media Studies from the New School for Social research, and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from the richard Stockton College of New Jersey. Tenny calls SAIC “a gem and a resource, and it is a very important and distinguished institution in the city of Chicago.”

Office of the Provost

Location: 37 S. Wabash Ave., suite 821
Front desk phone: 312.899.1293
Fax: 312.899.1461

Elissa Tenny, Provost
Paul Coffey, Vice Provost and Dean of Community Engagement
Jeff Ward, Assistant to the Provost: 312.899.5133