University of California, Irvine — Dean of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts

The University of California, Irvine (UCI) is seeking a dean for its Claire Trevor School of the Arts (CTSA). The new dean will bring a strategic vision for the future of the School and a knowledge of and an affinity for collaborative approaches to learning and research excellence. The dean will lead the School into its next chapter of growth by re-imagining creativity and responding to shifting trajectories in emergent disciplines in the arts.

CTSA is a nationally-ranked arts school dedicated to research, scholarship, performance and critique, with active partnerships worldwide. The School is home to the departments of Art, Dance, Drama and Music. The faculty consists of award-winning researchers and authors who lead national arts research organizations. The School offers three Ph.D. programs, four master’s programs in 13 specializations, and eight bachelor’s programs, delivering a superb developmental experience by combining superlative artistic training with a top-ranked liberal arts education. Undergraduate and graduate degree courses include extensive studio, workshop and performance experiences; theoretical and historical studies; and arts and technology practices. CTSA brings art to the local community by offering more than 200 student performances and exhibitions; engaging hundreds of Orange County K-12 students through classes and facilities; and collaborating with numerous local arts, cultural, educational and civic organizations.

CTSA is a multi-disciplinary community where artists are encouraged to collaborate with each other across conventional categories to conjure new expressions. By breaking through artificial barriers, this ongoing exchange of ideas and methods opens up fresh perspectives, sparks out-of-the-box innovation and energizes the creative community as a whole. For this reason, CTSA has always thrived on the diversity of its artists and performers—representing not only multiple forms and styles, but also the horizon-expanding mix of racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds and voices. 

As one of the nation’s leading schools of the arts within an internationally renowned university system, the dean will serve as the main administrative and academic officer of the School. The dean will be expected to collaborate with the School’s leadership team, faculty and staff to oversee an academic and creative curriculum that serves a diverse national and international student body. Additionally, the dean will partner with the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor and university leadership to elevate the School as a central academic unit within UCI and the University of California system.  

The dean is expected to maintain a significant level of professional, external engagement with donors, alumni and key artistic organizations in Orange County and Southern California. The dean should have a background as a proven leader within higher education or arts administration; a scholar-practitioner in their field and have relevant experience working with diverse communities and cultural organizations. Furthermore, the dean should seek to understand and respect the multiple areas of creative practice and cutting-edge scholarship in which the faculty and students participate.

In addition to being an enthusiastic and inventive problem solver, the dean should be an adaptive and agile colleague with a capacity for patience, openness and a transparent approach to communication. The dean should be a leader that can cultivate an environment of trust, respect, cooperation and diversity among faculty, staff and students. Above all, the incoming dean should be passionate about and serve as an advocate for arts practice and research at the university level.

Relevant leadership, administrative and managerial experience in higher education or a major arts or cultural institution is desired.

All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume, a diversity statement and a letter of interest addressing the themes in this profile at www.wittkieffer.com. WittKieffer is assisting UCI in this search. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by January 19, 2022.

Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal.

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to:

Zachary A. Smith, Ph.D. and Bree Liddell
UCI-ArtsDean@wittkieffer.com

The University of California, Irvine is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer advancing inclusive excellence. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy.

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