Meet the Provost
Randy Swearer, Ph.D., assumed the position of provost at Philadelphia University in July 2009. He has previously served as dean at Parsons The New School for Design, and a tenured faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin.
Dr. Swearer, whose areas of expertise include design, higher education management and strategic planning, also was deputy director of the design program of the National Endowment for the Arts. In all of these areas, Dr. Swearer’s efforts have resulted in measurable change by creating new programs, raising funds for new facilities, implementing rigorous review processes to improve curriculum quality and spurring innovation through community-based strategic planning.
As dean of Parsons from 1998-2004, Dr. Swearer oversaw management of the school with 200 staff and 825 full- and part-time faculty members. During his tenure, philanthropic giving increased four-fold. He led a comprehensive strategic planning process, launched innovative academic programs and spearheaded development of the Parsons Design Lab to foster collaboration with industry and non-profit organizations.
At the University of Texas, from 1988-98, Dr. Swearer directed the Division of Design in the College of Fine Arts and was awarded the Texas Excellence Teaching Prize. Previously, Dr. Swearer was a senior designer and supervisor at Wang Laboratories and senior communications specialist at IBM.
Dr. Swearer has lectured widely on design, planning and community identity issues, has served on national juries for institutions including The National Building Museum, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Yale University and the American Institute of Architects. His research is focused on examining the lives of people who live in gated communities, which is the fastest-growing housing segment in the United States.
Dr. Swearer received his Ph.D. in anthropology and urban studies from Union Institute, an M.F.A. in design from Yale University, and a B.A. from Wesleyan University.