The University is set to announce today a new arts deanship who will work to centralize the University’s art resources and develop new arts programs, though the position has yet to be filled, acting dean of Yale College Joe Gordon said Friday.
The position, which was recommended by the University’s new colleges committees in March, was approved last week. According to the official job description, which is set to be released today, the new dean will be charged with administering resources such as funding and facilities and shaping a vision for undergraduate arts across the University.
“Yale is rich in the arts, in and out of the classroom,” Gordon said. “But who’s coordinating it all? [The arts] have never been any one person’s top priority.”
The dean will also “coordinate student arts organizations, work closely with department administrators, support the masters of residential colleges, and serve as a liaison to the Dean of Yale College, the deans of the professional arts schools, and the Office of the Provost,” the job description reads. But the position’s duties will be flexible in its first year, Gordon said.
“The first incumbent will shape the position,” he said.
Gordon said the position was first born of the goals of the 2003 Committee on Yale College Education Report, under then-Dean Richard Brodhead.
The idea came up again last year during committee discussions related to the University’s two new residential colleges, which will house performance spaces.
“In all this, it’s been very clear to me that just as there is a science dean in the Yale College Dean’s Office, there ideally would also be an arts dean,” incoming Yale College Dean Mary Miller said Sunday.
But the Dean’s Office did not receive the green light for the position until this semester. Gordon then approached the Special Programs in the Arts Committee to act as the search committee.
The new dean will oversee undergraduate activities and curriculum, said Deputy Provost for the Arts Barbara Shailor, while the provost’s office will take a broader perspective on planning across the university, including graduate and professional schools. The two would work together on issues of facilities use and budgeting, Shailor said.
Theater Studies chair Marc Robinson, who chairs the new dean search committee, said the committee will evaluate applications when they are received, which will likely be in the spring. Members will then put together a short list and invite candidates for interviews and visits.
The new dean will take office July 1, 2009.