Dean, College of Liberal Arts
Oregon State University
We hired David Galligan in the fall of 2019 to work on two Oregon State facilities projects – a new $70 million Arts and Education Complex (AEC) anchoring a campus arts and culture quad, and an $18 million renovation of the campus art and graphic design department building, built in 1892. He’s worked with us consistently, to the present, on those and other related projects.
David’s particular talent centers around his deep experience and broad understanding of the complexity involved in bringing these kinds of projects not simply to completion but to a higher standard, the point where they can breathe new life into a university and its community. The goal of the new and renovated buildings is large – to create a wholesale transformation of a university that has since its inception been STEM-centered and under-focused on arts and culture. David has helped us meet this aspirational goal.
He has an especially keen understanding of the interplay between the many involved constituencies and how all of these groups need to gel in order to complete a successful project:
- University facilities and planning staff
Donors of all types and development staff
Architects and landscape architects
What I hoped to achieve in hiring David was to bring on someone with sufficient experience and expertise to be a bridge, to work across all these disparate domains and be conversant where necessary in the relevant sets of issues that all of these groups uniquely face. David has served this role well.
In the meantime, as is often the case with consultants who demonstrate their value, I have asked for David’s help with adjacent projects – creating a plan to come to terms with the vast campus art collections and bring them into some kind of order, identifying Federal and private funding sources for potential grants and fellowships, and helping to onboard OSU’s newly appointed Director of Arts and Education, who is himself charged with realizing a campus-wide arts and culture vision as a lead up to the opening of the AEC. Around this latter function, David’s well established national stature in his field has been invaluable in helping our new director make important professional connections. David is also assisting our new director with strategic planning for the new AEC and the wider role of arts and culture on campus.
On a personal note, I’ve been pleased with the way in which David understands his role – he’s pushed on important issues on our behalf when appropriate, always been available for consultation, brought a keen aesthetic and artistic eye to our design processes, kept the unique circumstances of OSU always in mind, and yet has not ever inappropriately moved outside his lane of authority. In this way, we’ve felt the benefits of his considerable talents without perceiving that he, as a consultant, seeks to over impose his point of view. That’s a delicate balance to maintain – serving as an expert while remaining deferential to and respectful of the multiplicity of interests that those he works with bring to the table. After years in his field, he understands his role well. I’m pleased to continue to have David on board. I’d originally expected to have him come in for limited duration and help us through some specific issues and then part ways, but he has proven himself to be such an essential member of our design and implementation community that we’re pleased to continue the partnership.
I wholeheartedly endorse reaching out for David’s services where clients seek to excel in any of the following areas:
- Building Arts complexes, whether they are art galleries, theaters, music halls or combinations of any of these
- Implementing Arts and Culture visions
- Creating and following through on performing and visual arts strategic plans
- Engaging in any visionary work around Arts and Culture where understanding how to be innovative, strategic, and aware of national best practices is an essential precondition of success