After nearly three decades of leadership at the College for Creative Studies (CCS), Anne Beck, vice president for administration and finance, has retired effective March 31, 2022.
During her time at CCS, Beck led major campus wide initiatives, including a redesign of the campus budget model and overseeing the complex financing package to fund the development of the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education She ensured that the college remained fiscally sound with very little deferred maintenance throughout her tenure.
“Anne’s decades of contributions to CCS cannot be overstated, nor can her commitment to the college.” said Don Tuski, president of CCS. “Thanks to her leadership, CCS was strengthened during difficult times and has a solid base from which to build an even more prosperous future.“
Beck joined CCS in 1995, when former President Rick Rogers brought her in to be a part of his newly organized leadership team. This carefully constructed team of dynamic academic leaders was tasked with turning the college around after several tumultuous years of rising deficits, dwindling enrollment and an 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 facilities teams. Throughout her tenure, even through difficult economic times, Anne skillfully maintained balanced budgets and a stable operating environment.
“Anne’s remarkable financial skills and leadership were critical to CCS’s transformation into the world-class institution it is today,” said former President Rick Rogers. “Supporting the educational experience was her first priority, and she helped to strengthen the College in so many ways. We had a tremendous working relationship for 24 years. I relied on her abundant talents and her advice. I’ll always be grateful for her contributions to CCS’s success.”
One of Beck’s most distinguished, career-defining moments was when she spearheaded the creation of a multi-layered financing package to fund the conversion of the 760,000-square-foot Argonaut Building into the 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 applied for a combination of federal and state tax credits needed to bring the project to completion. This enormous, $145 million undertaking rehabilitated the vacant, 760,000-square-foot, historic building into a multi-functioning design powerhouse for CCS, helping the College advance into the 21st century. The Taubman Center now operates as graduate and undergraduate design studios, dorms, University Prep Art & Design: Middle High School, a conference center, as well as the headquarters to both Shinola and Design Core Detroit. At the time, this was one of the only major real estate developments taking place in the city of Detroit.
Based on this innovative financial work by Beck, Crain’s Detroit Business named her one of the region’s “CFOs of the Year” in 2010.
“It will be hard to replace Anne’s steadfast commitment to CCS. Her mastery of budgets and clarity in explaining them inspired confidence in the Trustees and increased our capacity to grow the college. She will be greatly missed,” said Jim Nicholson, chair of the Board of Trustees.
Anne was also active in Detroit during her time at CCS, serving on the Midtown Detroit, Inc board, Local Initiative Support Corporation Detroit Advisory Board, and predecessor board for University Prep Art and Design Middle and High School. She worked with Shinola to locate their headquarters within the Taubman Center. Most recently, Anne supported the administrative and legal processes necessary for the re-opening of 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 careers in design.
CCS is currently in the search process for a new Vice President of Finance. Kerri McKay, Director of Business Services, is acting as the Interim Chief Financial Officer until the search process is complete. Beck will serve as an advisor to President Tuski until June 30, 2022.
About The College for Creative Studies
Located in the heart of Detroit, the College for Creative Studies (CCS) is a world-class institution that educates artists and designers to be leaders in the creative professions. A private, fully accredited 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 major in Advertising Design, Art Practice, Communication Design, Craft and Material Studies, Entertainment Arts, Fashion Design, Film, Illustration, Interdisciplinary Art + Design, Interior Design, Photography, Product Design and Transportation Design, in addition to a dual major Art Education program. Students in the graduate program can major in Art Education, Color and Materials Design,Transportation Design and User Experience Design.