Professor Juan Cruz arrives from the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London, where he is Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities.
He will take up his new role in Edinburgh in September 2019.
Professor Cruz said:
"ECA has a privileged status as a college of art set within one of the world’s leading universities. As such, it is uniquely positioned to address many of the intellectual, social, technical, creative, political and cultural challenges faced by its staff, students and external collaborators, within and beyond the University and academia. I am both honoured and excited to have the opportunity to lead ECA at this moment. It is wonderfully placed to fulfil its amazing potential."
Before joining RCA in 2014, Professor Cruz held positions at Liverpool School of Art and Design and Goldsmiths College. He has taught at other institutions around the world and was Artist’s Fellow at Kettle’s Yard, University of Cambridge.
Professor Cruz is an artist who employs a broad range of approaches to his work, including video, performance, text and site-specific works.
He is a member of the Tate Liverpool Council, a trustee of the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition Trust and a Director of the International Awards for Art Criticism.
He is also Deputy Chair of the REF2021 Panel 32: Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory and recently received an AHRC grant to develop better links and opportunities between the commercial art worlds of China and the UK.
Professor Cruz is credited with overseeing significant growth in the School of Arts & Humanities at the RCA. He also introduced new and diverse practices and approaches to teaching, and helped to establish strong interdisciplinary research foundations in the curriculum and across the research culture.
Professor Cruz succeeds Stuart Bennett, who has been Acting Principal since 2017, following an international recruitment process.
Edinburgh College of Art has more than 3,000 students across architecture and landscape architecture, art, design, history of art and music.
Professor Dorothy Miell, Head of the University of Edinburgh's College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, said:
"We are delighted to welcome Professor Cruz to ECA. His vision for the future of the College is exciting – especially in how the arts can work with, and enhance, other disciplines in unexpected and inspiring ways. We are excited to see how he will build on his expertise in working with external organisations both in the city and around the world."