Brian is an accomplished educator, administrator, fundraiser, strategic thinker, and change maker with a 34-year proven track record of collaboration and success in higher education. He was appointed Dean of the FIU College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts (CARTA) in 2009 and also serves as the university’s Cultural Arts Liaison for the Office of the Provost, which includes collaborating with the University’s three accredited museums: The Wolfsonian-FIU, FIU Phillip and Patricia Frost Art Museum, and the FIU Jewish Museum of Florida.
In support of his vision of “access to excellence,” Brian has strategically enhanced CARTA’s student enrollment, faculty and staff, career-ready degree offerings, reputation and brand awareness, financial base, signature partnerships, and physical footprint — all in support of the diverse communities the college serves.
Unique in the composition of its academic disciplines, CARTA is united by its mission “Creative Forces At Work” and its commitment to prepare diverse leaders with global perspectives through applied learning, research, and creative activities. Composed of 4 schools, 8 academic departments, and 5 centers/institutes, Brian has grown the college’s diverse student body by 230% to more than 4,000 students from 91 countries (70% Hispanic; 11% African American; and 72% Female) and its world class faculty by 100% (140 full-time and 150 part-time faculty).
In support of students’ success, Brian established the South Florida Media Network, the EPPY-winning digital media platform for students in journalism and media, and he initiated a number of the college’s career-ready undergraduate and graduate degree programs, such as Digital Media, Graphic Design, Animation, Musical Theatre, Object Design, and the Doctor of Design, the first degree of its kind in Florida and only 1 of 5 in the country.
As of 2022, CARTA is ranked #11 for US Public Institutions for Innovation by World Universities With Real Impacts, and all of the college’s academic degree programs are ranked nationally: 3 in the Top 50 and all in the Top 65 among US Public Institutions. QS World Rankings ranks the college’s School of Architecture #16 and the college’s programs in Arts + Humanities #48; the Academic Rankings of World Universities ranks the college’s School of Communication + Journalism #64; and Diverse Issues In Higher Education ranks CARTA as the #1 Producer of Minority Graduate Degrees in Architecture. Additionally, CARTA’s Student Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) established by the Florida Board of Governors consistently are among the best in the university for student retention and time-to-graduation, and consistently leads the Florida State University System for employment of its graduates within the college’s disciplines.
Brian has also raised over $85 million in auxiliary and philanthropic support for the college’s student-centric mission, establishing an auxiliary revenue-generating unit within the college, FIU By Design, and securing several seven-figure gifts in support of students’ success, including the largest gift to a school of music and the largest gift to a journalism and media program in the history of the Florida State University System.
In support of his vision, Brian has also strategically expanded the college’s physical footprint on campus and in the community and has established several signature partnerships. He was the primary architect of CARTA facilities’ renovation on the Biscayne Bay Campus, including establishing The Forum, and open-air gathering space for students, surrounded by the newly created South Florida Media Network’s newsroom and renovated TV Broadcast Studio, the renovated student-led Bold Agency’s strategic communication lab, and the newly established Carole and Phillip Ratcliffe Arts + Design Incubator, the Steven Cruz Institute for Science, Media, and Technology, and the Lee Caplin Immersive Studio for Altered Reality ( iSTAR).
Additionally, Brian founded and established the college’s collaborative interdisciplinary space, CARTA | Mana Wynwood, in the heart of Miami’s Art District, and college’s School of Architecture’s Miami Beach Urban Studios (MBUS) and the college’s Department of Art + Art History’s Miami Beach Visual Arts Gallery, both in the heart of South Beach. Brian also established the SFMN’s news bureaus in Miami, New York City, and Washington, DC, and he secured and/or expanded several student-centric, public-private partnerships, such as those with NBCUniversal Academy, TelevisaUnivision (STEP: Student Training and Employment Program), McClatchy, Hearst, Scripps-Howard, the Knight Foundation, the Ratcliffe Foundation, Caplin Family Foundation, the Berkowitz Family Foundation, Island TV, Mana Contemporary, and Miami Dade College’s MAGIC Studio.