Headshot of Steven Tepper

SNAAP was the brainchild of an enlightened program officer at the Surdna Foundation — Ellen Rudolph. Ellen saw clearly that design and arts schools were operating in the dark – with very little empirical information about how their educational offerings were aligning with career outcomes. She knew that data was needed for programs to improve and better serve their students and graduates. She also knew that the myth of the unhappy, starving artist needed a strong empirical rebuttal. Almost 20 years later, SNAAP has surveyed more than 200K graduates and supported hundreds of research briefs, reports, articles, and presentations. Today, it is hard to imagine arts and design education without SNAAP – it has become an essential tool in strengthening our field, and, importantly, serving our students and graduates better.”

Steven J. Tepper is the dean of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University, the nation’s largest, comprehensive design and arts school at a research university. Tepper is a leading writer and speaker on U.S. cultural policy and his work has fostered national discussions around topics of cultural engagement, creative work and careers, art and democracy, and the transformative possibilities of a 21st century creative campus.

He is the author of Not Here, Not Now, Not That! Protest Over Art and Culture in America (University of Chicago, 2011) and co-editor and contributing author of the book Engaging Art: The Next Great Transformation of America’s Cultural Life (Routledge 2007). Prior to ASU, Tepper was on the faculty at Vanderbilt University where he was a chief architect of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy, a national think tank for cultural policy and creativity. Tepper holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; a master’s in public policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government; and a PhD in sociology from Princeton University.