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Dr. Kurt T. Steinberg, who has served as president of Beverly’s Montserrat College of Art since July of 2018, is stepping down in January to assume the position of chief operating officer of the Peabody Essex Museum.

Dr. Steinberg, who successfully led the college through the Covid-19 pandemic just over a year after arriving on campus, has been hailed by the trustees as a strong and conscientious leader who has helped to diversify the college’s Board of Trustees, tripled the college’s endowment, and strengthened the institution’s finances while hiring new and innovative faculty, expanding the curriculum, and focusing on career options and affordability for Montserrat students.

“It is with a sense of accomplishment and sadness that I depart this wonderful college which is such an important cultural driver on the North Shore,” Dr. Steinberg says. “Despite COVID, the community has accomplished much and many initiatives are underway that will benefit Montserrat College of Art for many years to come. I plan to be a strong supporter of Montserrat well into the future.”

Under Dr. Steinberg’s leadership, Montserrat achieved two rankings with U.S. News and World Report for the first time, earning places on the lists for best regional colleges in the North and for social mobility, a distinction earned for enrolling and graduating high proportions of disadvantaged students.

“Dr. Steinberg has been an exceptional leader of Montserrat during unprecedented times, including the worldwide pandemic and the loss of our former Board Chair, Kent Wosepka, to a bicycle accident,” says Chair of the Board Mercedes Sherrod Evans. “Kurt led the college with enthusiasm, skill and great affection for the Montserrat community. He will be sorely missed, but we wish him well as he moves on to his next chapter.”

Prior to his tenure at Montserrat, Dr. Steinberg was interim president and executive vice president at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design for 12 years. He helped transform the campus through $160 million of capital investment as well as overseeing operational and recruitment improvements that helped secure MassArt’s future in Boston.

Dr. Steinberg will remain at Montserrat until mid-January. An interim president will be appointed by the trustees before the end of the year.

Montserrat College of Art is a private, residential college of visual art and design that aims to support the creative life by educating artists and entrepreneurs for a rapidly changing world. Montserrat alumni are employed by some of the country’s biggest brands including Disney, Puma, Hasbro and more.