Joan Channick DRA ’89, the managing director of New Haven’s Long Wharf Theatre, will join the School of Drama as an associate dean, the University announced Thursday.

The newly created position will involve participation in planning and management, with particular focus on student life, including recruiting, financial aid, professional development and post-graduate placement.

School of Drama Dean James Bundy DRA ’95 said in an e-mail message that the appointment will facilitate student recruitment and place more emphasis on student life outside the classroom.

“The faculty has felt for some time that the school could make a strategic difference in the quality of our students experience by bringing together the responsibilities for how we recruit students and serve them outside of the classroom and practical production experience,” Bundy said.

He added that the creation of this position would relieve some of his and Deputy Dean Victoria Nolan’s responsibilities at a time when they are planning the design and construction of a new facility for the school and the Yale Rep.

Channick has served on the School of Drama faculty for almost two decades and currently teaches a course on legal issues in the arts.

“I am honored and delighted to have been asked to return to the school in this new capacity to help create the best possible circumstances for developing the next generation of theater professionals,” she said in a statement.

Her departure from the Long Wharf Theatre comes in the midst of its $50 million move to the former site of the New Haven Coliseum.

The search for an associate dean began in September, Bundy said. Channick was the unanimous recommendation of the search committee, which Bundy chaired.

Channick will assume office Feb. 1.