Dean, School of Music, Theatre & Dance

Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States

Job description

The University of Michigan, a premier research university with astonishing breadth and depth of academic excellence, seeks a Dean of the School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD). This is an extraordinary opportunity to lead a comprehensive learning institution that is set within one of the world’s finest public institutions of higher education. The arts are central to the mission of the University of Michigan, and SMTD offers the artistic excellence of conservatory training along with the rigorous scholarship and interdisciplinary experiences that can only be provided by a world-class university.

The School of Music, Theatre & Dance has long enjoyed a distinguished reputation and is a top choice for young scholars, musicians, composers, sound engineers, actors, directors, dancers, choreographers, and theatre arts specialists. With 836 undergraduates and 303 graduate students enrolled, SMTD offers academic and performance opportunities from the undergraduate through the doctoral levels in a range of coursework that spans the fields of music, theatre, and dance.

The 192 faculty members at the School are internationally recognized artists, scholars, and teachers; additionally, they are in every sense a resident faculty. The School’s educational philosophy guarantees a high-level of personal interaction and one-on-one learning experiences with a 6:1 student to faculty ratio. The faculty have been recognized by Grammy nominations and awards, the MacArthur Genius Award and the Pulitzer Prize to name a few. They serve as the backbone of this remarkable school and are usually the primary reason students cite for choosing to study at Michigan.

The next Dean of SMTD will be expected to provide collaborative leadership, nationally and internationally, to enhance the creation, practice, scholarship, and pedagogy of the three fields represented in the School. The Dean will aid the faculty in its efforts to recruit the finest students, staff, and new colleagues; ensure student success and career preparation; encourage creativity, artistry, and innovation; unify the School’s disparate disciplines; grow the School’s endowment and scholarship resources; strategically steward the School’s finances; and encourage new programs that will strengthen the School and lay the groundwork for the future.

The Dean will be a sophisticated, genuinely warm, and inspiring leader with an appreciation for shared governance. The Dean will have a vision for what arts education can and should be in the coming decades, and a willingness to fundraise broadly and manage resources well. The Dean should have the creative and/or scholarly credentials suitable for tenure as a full professor within the School.

How to apply

The School of Music, Theatre, and Dance at the University of Michigan has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in the recruitment of its next Dean. Confidential inquiries, nominations, referrals, and resumes with cover letters should be directed to

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

A world-class research university. An exceptional health system. Great schools and museums, beautiful natural areas, and a robust arts community. Welcome to Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan: a partnership of “town and gown” that makes The Michigan Difference™ come to life.