University of the Arts – Dean for the School of Music (US)

JOB TITLE: Dean for the School of Music

DEPARTMENT: School of Music  

REPORTS TO: President, VP of Academic Affairs  


University of the Arts seeks a visionary, imaginative and collaborative leader to serve as the dean of the  School of Music to join the University in forwarding its mission to advance human creativity. The dean  will be values driven and committed to building a School of Music that is relevant to society today –  inclusive of diverse ideas, perspectives and people – that will best prepare our graduates for their 21st century creative lives. We particularly encourage applications from those who identify as members of  groups which have been historically and egregiously underrepresented within higher education  institutions.  

Aware of the changing landscape in the music industry, the dean will have a vision that moves beyond  the conventional conservatory and music business models in higher education. By leveraging the rich  musical history and thriving arts community of the inner-city of Philadelphia, the dean will position the  School of Music at University of the Arts at the forefront of contemporary creative practices within the  field.  

While grounded in its distinguished history, the School of Music’s curricula are heavily informed by  contemporary and historical events relating to the evolving role of music in society, education and the  convergent entertainment industry. The school seeks to reframe new pedagogical paradigms,  integrating performance, technology, business and education as catalysts for collaboration with other  artistic disciplines and creative industries within the international community. The dean champions the  potential of music as a unifying factor, recognizing music as a cultural force, a space for collective  experimentation, and as a prism through which to view the importance of artistic explorations.  

Working with and alongside School of Music program directors and faculty, the dean will seek to partner  with other school deans and senior leaders to deepen the value of a shared, arts based education.  

The School of Music is comprised of undergraduate programs in Instrumental Performance, Vocal  Performance, Composition, Music Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) and graduate  programs including MM in Jazz Studies, Master of Arts in Teaching in Music Education (a five year,  BM+MAT and standalone MAT program). We work closely with the division of Graduate and  Professional Studies in offering a MM in Music Education, an extensive summer music studies program  for Music Educators. An intensive pre-college summer music program in performance and MBET for high  school students is a major contributor to the school’s enrollment.  

In December of 2019, the School of Music moved into new facilities located in the University’s Terra  Hall, spanning two entire floors and more than 27,000 square feet. The new dean will benefit from new,  purpose built facilities including: 

  • The new Laurie Wagman Recording Studios, which affords two beautiful studios hosting  a balance of analog and digital technology  
  • The Caplan Recital Hall, which is the School’s primary concert space and seats 150  – A new Circuitry Lab for the study and creation of audio electronics 
  • New practice rooms and rehearsal rooms
  • New production suites and computer labs

In addition to the purpose built facilities that support the School of Music programs, University of the  Arts is also home to several University-wide centers which inspire, challenge and offer opportunities to  all UArts faculty and students. The dean of the School of Music will find collaborative access and  partnership with centers including the Albert M. Greenfield Makerspace, a 3,500 square-foot digital and  traditional fabrication studio; and the Center for Immersive Media (CIM), a 5,600-square-foot facility  dedicated to exploring the fields of virtual and mixed reality, performance motion-capture and human computer interaction.  

The University also enriches the city’s cultural landscape with the Philadelphia Art Alliance at University  of the Arts, an historic exhibition space on Rittenhouse Square and one of the nation’s first  multidisciplinary centers for the arts; the Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, an acclaimed University exhibition  space; and Lightbox Film Center at UArts, presenting repertory, nonfiction, experimental and  international cinema in Philadelphia for more than 40 years.  

Essential Duties & Responsibilities:  

The Dean will lead the School of Music in alignment to the University’s mission in the following ways:  

  • Advances the work of the school through building and maintaining academic programs of excellence that best serves our students, and supports interdisciplinarity across fine art and performing arts  
  • Leverages our connection to the City of Philadelphia and beyond, identifying and strengthening strategic partnerships and serving as an advocate for the School of Music
  • Maintains and supports best practices for the continual assessment of those academic programs and strategic initiatives to ensure their continued success and strength
  • Inspires, challenges and motivates students, faculty and staff
  • Fosters a culture of collaboration within and across programs
  • Ensures transparency and openness within school procedures and communications
  • Leads the school in both creative and scholarly research relative to the field of music performance, technology, and business  
  • Serves as a thought leader of the University, serving on President’s Council, Council of Deans and other committees 
  • Leads and oversees the recruitment, retention, growth, mentorship and continual evaluation of faculty
  • Builds a culture of inclusion among our students, as well as within the teaching practices and hiring of faculty
  • Leverages existing resources through the strategic management of the school’s budget
  • Demonstrates knowledge of and interest in University academic programs outside of the School of Music, both undergraduate and graduate, as well as the activities of centers
  • In coordination with the offices of Advancement, the Provost and the President, develops an advancement strategy for the continued growth and support of the School
  • Cooperates with the office of Alumni Relations to foster greater connection and involvement from alumni
  • Supports and encourages program directors’ collaborations with constituents across campus, to continually work towards the University’s recruitment and retention

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by the  incumbent; they do not purport to describe all functions. Incumbent may be assigned other duties, and  the essential functions may change from time to time as necessary.  

Education: Graduate degree in music or a related field required, terminal degree preferred. Exceptional  experience may be considered in lieu of a terminal degree.  

Experience: Significant experience and successful accomplishment as a leader in higher education or of  a major arts or cultural center is required. Prior experience as a faculty member, program chair, or  director of a major center is expected, with prior experience as a dean preferred but not required.  Professional experience working as a creative artist in addition, but not limited to music production,  composing, music directing, contracting, artist management, licensing and distribution.  

The University is particularly interested in reviewing applications from candidates whose identities  and/or professional work intersect with or address historically marginalized communities.  

Exceptional experience may be considered in lieu of a terminal degree.  

Competencies, Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:  
  • Devoted mentor, constantly seeking ways to further enable others to excel
  • Possession of an insatiable curiosity
  • Demonstrated investment in and attention to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Proactive commitment to leadership that inspires others, cultivating an expanding community of respect and collaboration  
  • Direct and transparent communication style, capable of building trust and rapport with a broad array of faculty, students, staff and alumni 
  • Administrative prowess including effectively managing one’s own time and the time of others, as well as capacity for managing resources through detailed budget oversight
  • Adapts to changing work environments, work priorities and organizational needs This position reports to the vice president of academic affairs, who leads the Office of the Provost.
About The University:  

University of the Arts’ mission is simple: to advance human creativity. Established in 1876, UArts  believes creativity is the most essential skill for success in today’s society and has educated generations  of groundbreaking artists, performers, designers and creative leaders for more than 141 years. After  being granted university status in 1987, University of the Arts became the largest institution of its kind in  the nation, offering programs in design, fine arts, media arts, crafts, music, dance, theater and writing. It  now features 30 undergraduate arts majors, 15 graduate programs and the nation’s first PhD program in  Creativity. UArts is also home to innovative centers across disciplines, including the Center for  Immersive Media, Lightbox Film Center, Philadelphia Art Alliance and Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery. Learn  more about UArts. 

TO APPLY: Interested, qualified applicants should submit letters of application and resumes to the  Human Resources Department via email to Please ensure job title is in the Subject line.  

In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics  Act, The University of the Arts publishes its Annual Safety Report at the following link for your reference: 


Title IX Statement: The University of the Arts prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in its programs  and activities, including admission and employment, in accordance with Title IX of the Education  Amendments of 1972. The Title IX Coordinator and Diversity Administrator is responsible for overseeing  compliance with Title IX and other civil rights laws and regulations. To contact the Title IX Coordinator, e mail,, or visit The University of the Arts, 320 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19102,  Room 260, or call 215-717-6366. To learn more about the University’s Title IX policy and response to sex  discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence, please visit  Inquiries may also be directed to the Federal agency responsible for enforcing Title IX, the U.S.  Department of Education Office for Civil Rights.

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