After nearly three decades of leadership in College of Creative Studies (CCS), Anne Beck, Vice President for Administration and Finance, retired on March 31, 2022.
While at CCS, Beck led important campus-wide initiatives, including redesigning the campus budget model and overseeing the complex financial package to fund the development of the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education. ensured that the college remained financially sound with very little deferred maintenance throughout its tenure.
“Anne’s decades of contribution to the CCS cannot be overstated, nor can her commitment to the college.” said CCS President Don Tuski. “Through his leadership, CCS has been strengthened in difficult times and has a solid foundation from which to build an even more prosperous future.”
Beck joined CCS in 1995, when former President Rick Rogers recruited her to be part of his new leadership team. This carefully crafted team of dynamic academic leaders was tasked with turning the college around after several tumultuous years of growing deficits, declining enrollment, and unstable infrastructure, which is exactly what they did.
Beck helped institute practices that produced remarkable results. The budget was balanced for the first time in a decade, CCS adopted a new salary, hiring and business practices were standardized, and Beck built strong business, human resources, information technology and of facilities. Throughout her tenure, even in difficult economic times, Anne skillfully maintained balanced budgets and a stable operating environment.
“Anne’s outstanding financial skills and leadership have been instrumental in transforming CCS into the world-class institution it is today,” said Past President Rick Rogers. “Supporting the educational experience was her first priority, and she has helped strengthen the College in so many ways. We had a great working relationship for 24 years. I relied on his many talents and advice. I will always be grateful for his contribution to the success of CCS.
One of the most distinguished and defining moments of Beck’s career was when she spearheaded the creation of a tiered financing package to fund the conversion of the 760,000 square foot Argonaut Building to A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education in Midtown in 2009. Beck, along with a dedicated team of consultants from Clark Hill and Plante & Moran, structured and claimed a combination of federal and state tax credits needed to complete the project. This massive $145 million undertaking rehabilitated the vacant historic 760,000 square foot building into a multifunctional design powerhouse for CCS, helping the College enter the 21st century. The Taubman Center now operates as graduate and undergraduate design studios, dormitories, University Prep Art & Design: Middle High School, a conference center, as well as the headquarters of Shinola and Design Core Detroit. At the time, it was one of the only major real estate developments in the city of Detroit.
Based on this innovative financial work by Beck, Crain’s company in Detroit named her one of the region’s “CFO of the Year” in 2010.
“Anne’s unwavering commitment to CCS will be difficult to replace. His mastery of budgets and the clarity of their explanation inspired confidence in the trustees and increased our ability to grow the college. She will be greatly missed,” said Jim Nicholson, Chairman of the Board.
Anne was also active in Detroit during her time at CCS, serving on the board of Midtown Detroit, Inc, the advisory board of Local Initiative Support Corporation Detroit, and the predecessor board of Prep Art and Design Middle and High University. School. She worked with Shinola to locate their headquarters within the Taubman Center. Most recently, Anne supported the administrative and legal processes required to reopen the closed Lewis College of Business as Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design, soon to be the only historically black college to focus on design careers.
CCS is currently looking for a new Vice President of Finance. Kerri McKay, Director of Business Services, is acting as interim CFO until the search process is complete. Beck will serve as an adviser to President Tuski until June 30, 2022.
About the College of Creative Studies
Located in the heart of Detroit, the College for Creative Studies (CCS) is a world-class institution that trains artists and designers to become leaders in the creative professions. A fully accredited private college, CCS enrolls more than 1,400 students pursuing Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), Master of Arts (MA), and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees.
Students in the BFA program can specialize in Advertising Design, Art Practice, Communication Design, Craft and Material Studies, Performing Arts, Fashion Design, Film, Illustration, Interdisciplinary Art + Design, Interior Design, Photography, Design products and transportation design, in addition to a dual major in arts education. Students in the graduate program can specialize in art education, color and material design, transportation design, and user experience design.