Art historian selected for newly created deanship

Yale College Dean Mary Miller announced Thursday the appointment of Susan Cahan, the associate dean for academic affairs of the College of Fine Arts and Communication at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, the newly created position of associate dean for the arts in Yale College.

Cahan, who will be charged with molding a vision for the undergraduate arts across the University, will begin work August 24. Her responsibilities will include developing new programs in the arts and managing current resources in collaboration with department administrators, residential college masters and the deans of Yale’s professional arts schools.

“Dean Cahan’s love of the arts is matched by a dedication to undergraduate arts education,” Miller wrote in an e-mail message to faculty members announcing the appointment. “Throughout her career, she has successfully cultivated relationships with community organizations in contemporary art and has expanded the role of the museums for which she worked to include more education and outreach.”

Cahan, who could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday, serves as the Des Lee Endowed Professor in Contemporary Art at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and previously taught at Bard College and the University of California, Los Angeles. She has overseen educational programs at the New Museum of Contemporary Art and at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and was the senior curator for Eileen and Peter Norton’s art collection as well as the director of arts programs at the Peter Norton Family Foundation.

The position of associate dean for the arts was first recommended in February 2008 by the two committees charged with examining the consequences of expanding Yale College and approved in November. The Special Programs in the Arts Committee led the search to fill the position, with theater studies professor Marc Robinson as its chair.

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