The founding dean of the School of Creative Arts at the University of Saint Francis is retiring. The university says Rick Cartwright, who has been a part of the USF faculty since 1975, will step down at the end of the current academic year.

USF says Cartwright was also an integral part of the development of the USF Downtown campus in Fort Wayne, which opened last year.

Cartwright has served as dean of the School of Creative Arts since its inception in 2004. During his tenure, Cartwright added several programs to the school, including Music Technology, Pre-Art Therapy, Art History and Museum Studies. He also established the university's theatre program.

"Everyone at the University of Saint Francis is extremely grateful for the many accomplishments and contributions Rick has made throughout his time here," said USF President Sister Elise Kriss. "We will all truly miss his creativity and vision."

The school did not immediately state plans to name a successor.

In addition to his duties at USF, Cartwright is also a trustee for the Fort Wayne Museum of Art and a commission member for the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. Among his many accolades, he has been named a Lilly Scholar and a recipient of the Sears Foundation Teaching Excellence and Leadership Award.