Exterior shot of the SAIC Lakeview Building.

David J. Vitale Appointed Chair of the Board of Governors at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Chicago—The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) today announced the appointment of David J. Vitale as the new chair of the art and design college’s Board of Governors. A distinguished leader with a legacy of philanthropy, Vitale brings a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to the arts and education. David has been involved with the Board of Governors at SAIC since 2003 and the Board of Trustees at the Art Institute of Chicago since 1993.

David has actively contributed to the betterment of Chicago’s communities, serving on several philanthropic and civic boards, including the Museum of Science and Industry, YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, Chicago Public Education Fund, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Leadership Greater Chicago, and the Advisory Council of the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration.

“David Vitale’s appointment as the chair of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Board of Governors reflects his unwavering commitment to advancing the arts, education, and Chicago’s civic community,” said SAIC Denise B. Gardner, chair, Art Institute of Chicago Board of Trustees. “As a member of the School’s Board of Governors for nearly 15 years, David has been a thoughtful partner to our leadership team and an enthusiastic supporter of SAIC, and we look forward to working with him in his new role.”

Vitale currently serves as the chairman of Urban Partnership Bank, a community development bank dedicated to supporting historically underserved populations in Chicago, Cleveland, and Detroit. Additionally, he is the chair of the board of directors at ISO New England and holds board positions at Wheels Inc., DNP Select Income Fund, Alion Science and Technology, and Ariel Investments. Prior to his current roles, Vitale served as the President of the Chicago Board of Education from 2011 to 2015, where he made substantial contributions to the city's education system. He also served as the chief administrative officer for the Chicago Public School (CPS) system from 2003 to 2008.

“At SAIC, we know that art and design gains power from being a part of the world, and the School has a long tradition of working in the public interest, from the practices of our faculty and alums, to public programs in venues such as the Gene Siskel Film Center and the Visiting Artist Program, to our partnerships with the Foundation for Homan Square and CPS,” observed SAIC President Elissa Tenny, “David’s prodigious service for the public good aligns with SAIC’s legacy, making him an excellent choice to lead the Board of Governors.”

Vitale succeeds Anita K. Sinha, who has served as Board of Governors Chair since 2017. Sinha was instrumental in strengthening the School’s financial health and growing scholarship opportunities during her tenure. She helped the School close out its largest ever fundraising campaign, which brought in $55 million, and guided and contributed to two auctions of alum and faculty work in support of student scholarships and resources for faculty.

“I am honored to have been appointed as chair by my Board of Governors peers, and I look forward to partnering with President Elissa Tenny and the Art Institute of Chicago’s Board of Trustees to advance the School’s mission of expanding opportunities to provide a world-class art and design education,” said David J. Vitale. “I am committed to building upon the work of my predecessor, Anita K. Sinha, who was laser-focused on breaking down barriers for those with the talent and desire to attend SAIC while also helping to foster an environment where everyone feels that they belong.”

School of the Art Institute of Chicago
For more than 150 years, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has been a leader in educating the world’s most influential artists, designers, and scholars. Located in downtown Chicago with a fine arts graduate program ranked number two in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, SAIC provides an interdisciplinary approach to art and design as well as world-class resources, including the Art Institute of Chicago museum, on-campus galleries, and state-of-the-art facilities. SAIC’s undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate students have the freedom to take risks and create the bold ideas that transform Chicago and the world—as seen through notable alumni and faculty such as Michelle Grabner, David Sedaris, Elizabeth Murray, Richard Hunt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Cynthia Rowley, Nick Cave, Jeff Koons, and LeRoy Neiman.