Matthew Tiews, currently associate vice president for campus engagement at Stanford, has been appointed interim senior associate vice president for the arts. While in the most senior leadership role in the Office of the Vice President for the Arts (VPA), Tiews will take a broad look at the opportunities for the arts organizations within the VPA portfolio that include the Anderson Collection at Stanford University, the Cantor Arts Center, the Institute for Diversity in the Arts, Stanford Arts Institute and Stanford Live.

portrait of Matthew Tiews

Matthew Tiews (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)

“I’m excited to be engaged with the VPA again and look forward to working with the community to develop a plan that will allow the arts at Stanford to continue to flourish,” said Tiews. “The task is all the more vital at this time when we are in urgent need of the human connections the arts can provide.”

Tiews is familiar with the arts, as his prior role was associate vice president for the arts under Harry Elam, who left Stanford in June to become president of Occidental College in Los Angeles. Tiews will retain his campus engagement role, continue to be a member of the Long-Term Recovery Team and the chair of the Public Arts Committee while managing the interim VPA responsibilities. In the arts role, he will report to Martin Shell, vice president and chief external relations officer; in the campus engagement role, he reports to Megan Pierson, chief of staff to the president.

“I am thrilled by this opportunity to work with Matthew in this role,” Shell said. “He brings a broad and deep understanding of Stanford and the importance of the arts to our campus community, our surrounding neighbors and beyond. We know that our university and our world are navigating a very difficult and challenging moment. The arts have a vitally important role in helping us better understand and address this time in our history. We are very fortunate in having Matthew help lead Stanford’s continued and expanding commitment to arts.”

The arts at Stanford have made great strides over the last decade and the upward momentum positions the VPA to capitalize on opportunities to expand and experiment as well as to meet the numerous challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. A deep dive into how best to structure future activities and sustainability will determine the organization’s path forward. The commitment to making Stanford a destination for the arts and artists and upholding the assertion that the arts are integral to campus life and the greater community remains strong.

President Marc Tessier-Lavigne said of Tiews’ new appointment, “We very much look forward to Matthew’s leadership as we work to ensure that the arts at Stanford don’t miss a beat through this transition. We appreciate his commitment as we work to take the arts to the next level, in the upward trajectory they have enjoyed over the past decade.”

Tiews started his Stanford career at the Stanford Humanities Center in 2005, where he oversaw programming and operations and was particularly active in developing collaborations bringing together the arts and the humanities. Beginning in 2010, he worked to implement the university-wide Arts Initiative, first as executive director of arts programs, then as associate dean for the advancement of the arts and finally as associate vice president for the arts in the newly created Office for the Vice President for the Arts. He left that position in 2019 to take on the new role of associate vice president for campus engagement. Trained in acting and piano performance, Tiews holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale and a doctorate from Stanford in comparative literature.