California Institute of the Arts - Dean, School of Dance
California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) is seeking a dean for The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance who brings a compelling vision for the future of dance education, choreography and performance and an affinity for collaborative experimentation across all artistic disciplines. The dean will lead the School of Dance to a new level of success and inspiration.
CalArts is renowned internationally as a game-changer in the education of professional artists. The institute offers comprehensive degree programs in six schools that span the full range of the visual, performing, media and literary arts. CalArts’ generative yet rigorous curriculum has been a pioneer in the world of arts education for decades, and the institute continues to distinguish itself as a place that offers boundless freedom to create, unfettered by conventional expectations. CalArts is an inclusive community where artists are encouraged to collaborate with each other, across disciplines, 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. The next dean will ensure a space for students to pursue 21st century professional dance careers with boundless opportunity.
As a representative of one of the nation’s leading dance schools, the dean serves as the school’s main administrative officer and will be expected to collaborate with the faculty and staff to oversee an academic and imaginative curriculum that serves a diverse national and international student body. Along with their five peer deans (critical studies, art, film/video, music and theater), the School of Dance dean partners with the provost and president to advance CalArts’ mission, vision and values. The dean is expected to maintain a significant level of engagement within the professional dance community, locally, nationally and abroad, and represent CalArts in the media and with diverse communities and cultural organizations.
Furthermore, the next dean should seek to understand and respect the multiple areas of creative practice in which the faculty and students participate. True to CalArts’ commitment to justice, equity and safety for all members of its community, the dean will acknowledge a history of injustice, inequality and violence that affects all aspects of society, including institutions of higher education and the arts. They will also ensure that education, diversification of faculty and fighting systemic racism is always at the fore.
The dean will work collaboratively with the Office of Advancement to engage alumni and prospective donors in the exciting work of the School of Dance. The dean will deliver a compelling narrative about the future of 21st century dance, steward alumni, donors and friends of the institution, and work closely with the vice president of advancement and others to achieve profound philanthropic impact. The dean will also partner with the Office of Enrollment Management to set an annual strategic enrollment management plan including establishing enrollment targets, recruitment strategies, implementation of financial aid policies and the shape of the incoming class to ensure the ideal size and ratio of the student body for future success.
In addition to being an enthusiastic and inventive problem solver, the dean will be an adaptive and agile colleague with a capacity for patience, openness and a non-hierarchical approach to communication. The dean will be a leader that can build a community and promote an environment of trust, respect, cooperation and diversity among faculty, staff and students. The dean will be encouraged to take risks as opportunities often develop through bold action that may not always result in guaranteed success. Relevant leadership, administrative and managerial experience in higher education, a major cultural institution or a non-profit arts organization is required. An advanced degree in a related field is preferred.
WittKieffer is assisting CalArts in this search. All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the leadership profile.
For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by Monday, January 16th.
Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal, via the buttons below.
Nominations and inquiries can be directed to WittKieffer Consultants Melissa Fincher and Bree Liddell at:
CalArts recognizes diversity and inclusivity as fundamental to its community and integral to an arts education. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other protected characteristic as established by law. CalArts is an equal opportunity employer.
Compensation Range: $180,000 – $210,000