Texas Tech University — Dean of the J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts

Texas Tech University (http://www.ttu.edu/) invites applications and nominations for the position of Dean of the J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts. The University seeks an accomplished leader who can provide vision, leadership, and direction to the College while supporting the academic mission of the institution. The Dean should be an active listener who is committed to shared governance, serve as the chief spokesperson and advocate for the College both within and outside of the University, and ensure the College serves as a vital resource and component of Texas Tech and the community. The Dean will provide forward-looking and creative leadership, while working with the faculty, staff, and students to develop a shared vision and achieve common goals for the College. The Dean should share the College’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Established in 1923, the University is a Carnegie R1 (very high research activity) Doctoral/Research-Extensive, Hispanic Serving, and state-assisted institution with an enrollment of more than 40,000 students. Texas Tech University and its sister institution, the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, are located on 1,850 acres in Lubbock, a city in West Texas with a metropolitan-area population of over 300,000. As the primary research institution in the western two-thirds of the state, Texas Tech University is home to 10 colleges, the  Schools of Law and Veterinary Medicine, and the Graduate School.

Referred to as the “Hub City” because it serves as the educational, cultural, economic, and health care hub of the region known as the South Plains, Lubbock boasts a diverse population and a strong connection to community, history, and land. Lubbock is proud of its diversity and strives to create a more inclusive atmosphere  to embrace its increasingly multicultural and international community. 

The University’s strategic plan, A Foundation for the Next Century – A Pathway to 2025, charts  a course for Texas Tech to continue to expand its national and international prominence, focusing on three strategic priorities: 1) Educate and empower a diverse student body; 2) Enable innovative research and creative activities; and 3) Transform lives and communities through strategic outreach and engaged scholarship. The J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts is a major contributor to  all three of the university’s strategic priorities.

More details on the strategic plan are available at: https://www.ttu.edu/stratplan/. 

The J.T. and Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts

Capitalizing on the interdisciplinary roots of the arts, the J. T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts (TCVPA) emphasizes synthesis both within the arts and between the arts and society. Its three schools—Art, Music, and Theatre & Dance—foster excellence in performance and scholarship through their wide array of academic programs, performance and studio courses, service-learning opportunities, and internships. The TCVPA is proud to be the only arts college at a public university in Texas to hold national accreditation in all four programs—Art & Design, Music, Theatre, and Dance.

The TCVPA seeks to prepare its over one thousand students—more 700 undergraduate and 300 graduate—to be professional and artistic leaders through the highest standards in performance, teaching, research, and artistic and creative training. Approximately 135 tenured or tenure-track faculty, alongside a similar number of graduate students and part-time faculty—serve the college. Students select from one of 15 undergraduate or 24 graduate programs encompassing baccalaureate, advanced certificate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. 

The College also offers two unique degree programs focused on interdisciplinarity. The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Fine Arts program is rooted in multiple interdisciplinary arts core courses, as well as graduate seminars in art, music, and theatre. Students emerge from this program with a knowledge base in multidisciplinary courses across the arts and philosophy, as well as a specialization in a specific area of visual or performing arts. In addition, the Bachelor of Arts – Interdisciplinary Arts Studies offers students an opportunity to combine a core of interdisciplinary arts courses with the study of three fields in equivalent depth.

Collaborations between faculty members and students produce an ambitious annual performance and exhibition schedule that is rich in its diversity and innovation. The TCVPA’s research and creative activities are the primary means through which the arts reach deep into the population of the surrounding region. Faculty and student work are also showcased to national and global audiences.

The J. T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts College is a primary contributor to the cultural enrichment and appreciation of the arts on campus. The TCVPA believes the arts are agents for cultural change. Through the breadth of its expressive possibilities and creators, the TCVPA prioritizes a commitment to diversity and inclusion, serving as a touchpoint for Texas Tech University and the community in striving for the widest possible range of voices seeking to be heard.

Vision Statement

The J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual and Performing Arts will be a distinguished global leader in interdisciplinary, creative, and scholarly arts education and research. We will champion the arts as relevant, critical, and essential to contemporary life. We will inspire our students to communicate through artistic tradition while embracing and creating innovative technologies as vehicles for individual expression and social change. The College will pursue University, regional, national, and international partnerships that complement our programs and provide unique and contemporary opportunities for our students and faculty. Arts performance research will inform our teaching, scholarship and creative activity. We take pride in the accomplishments of our faculty, students and alumni.

Mission Statement 

The mission of the Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts is to inspire and educate students by instilling the intellectual, artistic, and communication skills that prepare for success in disciplinary achievement and in interdisciplinary collaboration, whether as performers, creators, investigators, or educators in visual arts, dance, music, or theatre. We prioritize students: world-class professionals offer programs that emphasize practice, theory, and experience in creating and studying imaginative work in traditional and contemporary formats. 

We provide all essential training for an outstanding education in art, dance, music, and theatre disciplines in integrative programs such as arts administration, and in interdisciplinary programs, whether within the Fine Arts, at the intersection of arts and medicine, or in new entrepreneurial areas emerging in the arts. We impart a distinctive education that bridges the gap between university and workplace.

The School of Art 

The School of Art offers the BA with concentrations in Art History or Studio Art; the BFA with specializations in Graphic Design, Studio Art, and Art Education; a Graduate Certificate in Art History, Criticism, and Theory (GCAHCT); the MA in Art History; the Master of Art Education; and the MFA in Studio Art (in the areas of Ceramics, Jewelry Design & Metalsmithing, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, and Sculpture). It also participates in the interdisciplinary Fine Arts Doctoral Program, which is administered through the College. 

The School’s 35 full-time faculty members are nationally and internationally recognized artists and scholars who engage students in thoughtful discourse within the classrooms and studios. Currently, there are 265 undergraduates and 74 graduate students — 10 of whom are doctoral candidates — enrolled in School of Art programs.

The School of Art’s Studio faculty members are productive and successful artists who have contributed to the permanent collections of the Getty Museum, the Library of Congress, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the National Museum of American Art and the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., Victoria and Albert Museum, The Art Institute of Chicago, and various other national and international museums. The disciplines of Jewelry Design & Metalsmithing, Ceramics, and Sculpture are housed in a 3-D Art Annex. The 3-D Art Annex is one of the finest equipped and safest facilities in the nation. 

The Art History faculty members have distinguished records of publication and curatorial experience in a range of fields including Medieval, Renaissance, and Modern European art, Latin American and Latinx art, and the Contemporary art world. Collectively, they have held numerous research fellowships that have enabled them to contribute to international dialogues surrounding visual art at prestigious institutions such as the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, the National Gallery of Art, and the British School at Rome. They have curated exhibitions at the Royal Ontario Museum, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Museum of Bellas Artes, Argentina, and the National Gallery in Washington (among others) and have conducted field research in Italy, France, Mexico, and other regions. Art History students and faculty participate in an Animation Studies undergraduate certificate and a Medieval & Renaissance Studies graduate certificate.

The nationally influential faculty in Art Education prepares graduates to be professionals in multiple educational areas including K-12, museums, community arts programs, and engaged learning. Students at the undergraduate and graduate levels experience a program rich in advocacy for the arts and a love of learning through the arts. The program emphasizes contemporary theories and artists through the study of multiple and diverse populations from a wide spectrum of global positions. Faculty contribute to the national and international dialogue on contemporary educational and theoretical practices through participation and leadership in the National Art Education Association (NAEA), International/United States Society for Education through Art (InSEA and USSEA), Art Education Research Institute (AERI), American Educational Research Association as well as leading journals in art education nationally.

Our award-winning faculty members in Graphic Design stress the importance of conceptual development and the integration of form and information for the purpose of effective visual communication. The program emphasizes civic responsibility and the role of the graphic designer in the community. Students hone not only their artistic and professional skills but also their understanding of the fundamental issues of society and what they, as professional artists, can do in service to others. 

The School of Music

The School of Music offers undergraduate and graduate study in the major areas of Music Education, Conducting, Musicology, Theory & Composition, Performance, and Pedagogy. Degree offerings include the BA, BM, MM, MMEd, DMA, and PhD, in addition to graduate certificates in several areas. The School’s 55 tenured and tenure-line faculty, six full-time faculty and six part-time faculty offer instruction in string, wind, brass, percussion, keyboard, voice, harp, and guitar, as well as conducting (choral and instrumental), composition, theory, opera theatre, jazz, music education, musicology, ethnomusicology, world musics, and music technology, providing classroom and individual attention to over 500 music majors (over 350 undergraduate and over 150 graduate students), including 38 students in the College’s Fine Arts doctoral program. Ensembles include multiple orchestras, concert bands, choirs, jazz bands, opera theatre (2 to 3 fully staged productions per year), a wide variety of chamber music, and the Goin’ Band from Raiderland!

The School of Music faculty make an impact within our state, across the country and around the world, with recent performances and presentations in England, France, Germany, Italy, Scotland, Spain, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Argentina, China, India, Japan, Korea, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and more. Faculty lead summer study abroad programs in many countries. Recent locations include Ireland, Italy, Spain, England, Germany, and Austria. Faculty include recipients of prestigious university and professional awards in recognition of leadership in their areas of scholarship and creative activity. Students and faculty present over 300 recitals and concerts per academic year. 

The School of Music’s Vernacular Music Center (VMC) is a center for research, teaching, and advocacy of the world’s oral-tradition and popular musics. The VMC offers courses, workshops, and concerts and serves as liaison between the School of Music and the community, including the Buddy Holly Symposium, the Caprock Celtic Association, the Fine Arts Academy of India, and the Texas Governors Music Office.

The School of Music is also home to the Center for Latin American Arts and Cultural Studies (CLAMACS) which employs an interdisciplinary approach that centers on research and artistic practices throughout Latin America and its diasporic communities around the world.  The CLAMACS houses the TTU Mariachi Los Matadores and the TTU Tango Orchestra.  

The School of Music is intimately connected with the surrounding community, maintaining a close relationship with local school districts, the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, The Lubbock Chorale, Lubbock Moonlight Musicals, the West Texas Children’s Chorus, and hosting The Texas Tech String Project. Ensembles regularly perform at Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA),  American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), and College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) conferences. Each year, the School of Music hosts three summer camps including band and orchestra camps that annually welcome approximately 550 students from across the country. In addition, the All-State-Choir Camp provides instruction for about 130 Texas high school students in attendance.

Music Education graduates who actively seek teaching positions achieve near 100% job placement in school districts across the state. 

The School of Theatre & Dance

The School of Theatre & Dance offers the following undergraduate and graduate degrees in Dance: BA, BFA, and MA, and the following undergraduate and graduate degrees in Theater: BA, BFA (Acting, Design/Tech, Musical Theatre), MFA (Arts Administration, Design, Performance and Pedagogy, Playwriting), and the interdisciplinary PhD with a specialization in Theatre. The School employs 20 full-time artist/faculty members and nine professional staff members as well as 50 teaching assistants. Over 200 majors reside in the School, including 150 undergraduates and 70 graduate students. Approximately a dozen dance or theatre productions are presented on the 300-seat Maedgen Theatre, the flexible The CH Foundation Legacy of Christine DeVitt Black Box Theatre, the 100-seat Creative Movement Studio, or at off-campus locations.

The School is receiving national recognition for its dedication to community engagement (requiring all 220 students to enroll in a community outreach course) and for the numerous faculty and student presentations of research/creative activity in national and international forums. 

The School of Theatre & Dance is proud of the students who have enjoyed substantial success after graduation because of the balanced scholarly/practical nature of the academic programs. Students regularly perform internships at prominent arts institutions, such as the Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, National Endowment for the Arts, Getty Museum, Lincoln Center, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and Chicago Lyric Opera.  

Each year, the School of Theatre & Dance faculty and students take part in a variety of educational experiences, from international theatre festivals in Turkey and Sharjah to the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival in Provincetown, Massachusetts, to our study of the arts in Prague. 

Graduate students apply to attend the Tennessee Williams festival where they study with the most prestigious scholars who are dedicated to exploring lesser-known works of this prominent playwright. This year, Texas Tech was the first university invited to present performance work in the festival. Texas Tech has cultivated relationships and experiences internationally with Bilkent University in Turkey and Hong Kong Theatre Academy. 

The School of Theatre & Dance requires community engagement classes for students in all its programs. Graduate and undergraduate theatre and dance practitioners have worked with the Lubbock Transition Center, Guadalupe Sommerville Parkway, and the East Lubbock Neighborhood Promise Grant. The School also partners with the Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research in several ways to engage with students on the autism spectrum by supporting the student-led BurkTech Players, a combination of Texas Tech students and Burkhart students who perform theatrical works together throughout the year.

The Dance Program houses four dance-based registered student organizations: Chi Tau Epsilon (philanthropic honor society), University Dance Company (audition-based performance ensemble), Dancers with Soul (audition-based competitive hip-hop ensemble), and Vitality Dance Company (audition-based contemporary dance ensemble). The program has a close relationship with Flatlands Dance Theatre where students receive professional apprenticeships, which include taking company class and performance opportunities. The dance program recently moved to the newly renovated Creative Movement Studio, a dedicated space for dance.

Each summer, WildWind Performance Lab brings nationally recognized artists to the School of Theatre & Dance to work with up-and-coming undergraduate and graduate students to work on new play development in a holistic study of theatrical elements.  The School also takes students to Marfa, Texas for the Marfa Intensive to study devised theatre, exploring how environment affects performance.  These are signature academic programs of the School. As the program grows, renowned artists continue to teach in Lubbock as part of this unique experience such as Brian Quijada, John Leguizamo, and Idris Goodwin, among others.

The Maegene Nelson Visiting Scholar Program in Cross-Disciplinary Arts has welcomed Pulitzer Prize-winning Playwright Tony Kushner, critic Chris Jones from The Chicago Tribune, and Chicano art collector Cheech Marin as Visiting Scholars.

The Dean

The Dean reports to the Provost and works closely with the President and other senior officers to  implement the University Strategic Plan. The next Dean must have the integrity, perseverance, and vision required to address the vital issues facing the College while continuing to support the unique strengths and culture that create an exceptional learning environment. 

The Dean should be an active and visible leader, become personally vested in the life of the College, and promote high expectations and accountability across the College. The Dean should have a passion for the arts and a deep understanding of the power and influence of the arts. 

The specific priorities and responsibilities of the Dean include:

  • Leading and implementing the college’s strategic plan and developing a collective vision all stakeholders can enthusiastically support and embrace;
  • Leading fundraising initiatives and promoting donor development to meet current and future needs of the College;
  • Promoting a culturally competent and welcoming environment with a strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion;
  • Demonstrating a strong commitment to, and experience with, recruiting, supporting, and retaining a diverse group of faculty, staff, and students;
  • Providing leadership and innovation in teaching, research, creative activity, curriculum development, and service – including  fostering relationships across campus;
  • Articulating and celebrating the successes and contributions of the College to Lubbock, the state, the nation, and the world;
  • Effectively working with faculty and staff in an environment of shared governance;
  • Exhibiting decision-making rooted in transparency, collaboration, and empowerment;
  • Engaging with alumni and community partners and becoming an active and visible leader across campus and in the community;
  • Being a visible and willing participant in the lives of the students, including promoting a positive educational experience, attending student performances and events, and being engaged with the training and career development of the students;
  • Building key relationships in the artistic professions and industries for which students are being trained;
  • Managing graduate and undergraduate enrollment, including recruiting, retention, and graduation rates;
  • Effectively managing the college’s human, financial, and physical resources;
  • Leading the College in a manner that supports the University’s R1 status, while articulating in a supportive way the expectations this status brings for faculty and  their research and creative activities;
  • Being supportive of all three schools in the College in a fair and equitable manner.


The College is seeking a dynamic leader who brings passion and an understanding of the convergent disciplines and activities that fuel the College’s success and visibility. Candidates should have significant experience and demonstrable skills in leading and managing progressive change in a large, complex environment.  

Specifically, candidates must demonstrate evidence of the following qualifications:

  • Earned terminal degree and a distinguished record of professional accomplishment consistent with the rank of a tenured professor in one of the three schools of the College;
  • Experience and achievement as a senior-level administrator, preferably in higher education or an equivalent organization that serves complex and diverse constituencies, including a proven ability to provide visionary leadership and promote excellence in teaching, research, creative activity, and service;
  • An ability to raise financial resources and build the financial infrastructure of the College, including externally sponsored research;
  • Exceptionally strong and timely communication skills (verbal, written, listening, interpersonal), including the ability to clearly articulate the College’s vision, goals, and accomplishments in a way that will forge productive links and support from University administration and external constituencies;
  • Skills and experience in strategic planning, academic program development, fiscal planning, and resource and financial management;
  • A demonstrated and ongoing commitment to serving diverse populations, including success in developing and managing diverse teams and championing diversity, equity, and inclusion at all operating levels of the College;
  • An ability to enhance a climate of collegiality among the schools within the College;
  • Proven track record working with community partners.

As an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, Texas The University is dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse faculty committed to teaching and working in a multicultural environment. We actively encourage applications from all those who can contribute, through their research, teaching, and/or service, to the diversity and excellence of the academic community at Texas Tech University. The University welcomes applications from minoritized candidates, women, protected veterans, persons with disabilities, and dual-career couples.

Application materials should include a letter of interest addressing how the candidate’s experience matches the position description, a current curriculum vitae, and a statement explaining how their previous and potential contributions enhance a culture of diversity and inclusion through administration, teaching, research, creative activity and/or service.  

Nominations and inquiries of interest may be sent in confidence to the College’s executive recruitment consultant: 

Martin M. Baker, Managing Partner
Chelsie Whitelock, Principal