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Dean of the School of the Arts

College of Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina
Start date
Aug 7, 2023

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Position Type
Administrative, Deans
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Dean of the School of the Arts


The College of Charleston, a nationally recognized, public, liberal arts and sciences university, seeks a proven collaborative leader and accomplished administrator to serve as Dean of the School of the Arts. This scholar of the arts will support student and faculty success, advance academic excellence, value a liberal arts and sciences education, and actively engage with the students, faculty, staff, and community. The preferred start date is Spring/Summer 2024.

For complete information, see the Search Profile at


Founded in 1770, the College of Charleston (CofC) is the oldest university south of Virginia and the 13th oldest in the United States. Located in the heart of historic Charleston, South Carolina, the College is a liberal arts and sciences university that joined South Carolina’s public university system in 1970. CofC strives to meet the growing educational demands of the state, region, and country with excellence that has earned the College accolades from top college guides, including U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review, The Best 385 Colleges, Forbes, Newsweek, PARADE, USA Today, Travel + Leisure, and more.

     Andrew T. Hsu, Ph.D., has served as President of the College since May 2019. During his tenure, the College has added three new engineering programs (systems, electrical, and software), had a record-breaking year of philanthropic engagement, and celebrated the 250th anniversary of the College’s founding. He led the development of a 10-year strategic plan, Tradition and Transformation (learn more at, which centers on three main pillars: 1) student experience and success; 2) academic distinction; and 3) employee experience and success. In 2020, President Hsu was named one of the 50 Top U.S. College and University Presidents by College Cliffs.

     A state-supported institution, the College provides a world-class education in the arts, humanities, sciences, languages, technology, education, engineering, and business, retaining a strong liberal arts and sciences interdisciplinary undergraduate curriculum. Through eight academic schools, an Honors College, and a graduate school (encompassing multiple disciplines), the College offers 67 majors, 81 minors, four undergraduate certificate programs, 22 master’s degree programs, and nine graduate-level certificate programs.

     The College currently enrolls nearly 10,000 undergraduates and more than 900 graduate students. While 63.8 percent of students are South Carolina residents, the student body has representatives from 48 U.S. states and territories and 56 foreign countries.

     CofC professors are teachers, scholars, and mentors, who become lifelong friends. These faculty members share their enthusiasm, expertise, and wholehearted dedication to teaching with their students. The College’s 14.5:1 student-faculty ratio enables faculty members to provide the level of thoughtful engagement and individual attention that helps students develop intellectually and personally.

     The College is committed to providing opportunities beyond the classroom. Along with more than 240 student clubs and organizations, students participate in plays, musicals, service projects, leadership development, sports clubs, and charitable events. CofC is an NCAA Division I university in the Colonial Athletic Association. More than 300 student-athletes participate in the College’s 19 varsity sports teams.

     CofC is making a difference in the world. The College currently has more than 95,000 living alumni with approximately 2,000 graduates being added each year. There are 33 CofC alumni clubs in the United States and three international alumni clubs in London, Beijing, and Hong Kong. 


The School of the Arts (SOTA) strives to be a preeminent center for the study, practice, and management of the performing and creative arts. A recipient of South Carolina’s Governor’s Award for the Arts—the state’s highest award in the arts—SOTA offers rigorous undergraduate and graduate programs of study leading to degrees and certificates. Students benefit from educational and cultural experiences including internships, performance opportunities, and experiential work in various fields.

     The School of the Arts has seven departments and programs—Art and Architectural History, Music, Studio Art, Theatre and Dance, Arts Management, Historic Preservation and Community Planning, and Computing in the Arts—as well as the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, a non-collecting institution that exhibits work by visual artists from around the world and serves as a nexus of liberal arts learning. At the graduate level, SOTA offers a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in the performing arts (choral music or theatre) and a certificate program in Arts Management.

     A cultural resource for the region and beyond, the Halsey Institute provides direct experience with works of art in all media within an environment that fosters creativity, individuality, innovation, and education. An annual juried student exhibition, now in its 38th year, is coordinated by the Halsey Institute.

     Each semester, the School presents an exciting array of concerts, plays, dance performances, lectures, and gallery exhibitions. In the summer, SOTA produces many events that are part of Charleston’s popular Piccolo Spoleto Festival. Additionally, many students are engaged as interns for the City of Charleston’s Office of Cultural Affairs and Spoleto Festival USA.


The School of the Arts at the College of Charleston provides world-class arts education and impactful arts experiences creating artistically fluent and culturally engaged citizens in support of the College’s commitment to the liberal arts tradition.


The School of the Arts will be nationally recognized for its innovative approach, combining exceptional scholarship and high-level artistic training within a holistic liberal arts experience.


The School of the Arts strategic plan can be viewed at


Reporting directly to the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, the Dean is the chief academic and administrative officer of the School of the Arts. With an outstanding record of scholarly achievement, this academic administrator oversees the departments and programs within SOTA. This visionary leader is dedicated to the success of students, faculty, and staff and advances the development of strong partnerships with local, regional, state, and national communities that benefit the School and the students.

     A consensus builder, with a deep appreciation for the liberal arts and sciences, the Dean values collaboration, teaching, research, creative activities, and service. Along with unquestioned integrity and trustworthiness, the Dean demonstrates the highest ethical standards and sound judgment with transparency, fairness, and respect. A strong advocate for the Arts, the Dean strengthens relationships, collaborations, and partnerships internally, as well as externally.


  • Comprehensive knowledge of the creative and performing arts and extensive experience in academic administration within an arts school with multiple disciplines and departments
  • Strong commitment to the arts and an understanding and appreciation of the opportunities and challenges facing schools of the arts, now, and in the future
  • Demonstrated effectiveness in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion with faculty, staff, students, and programming
  • Broad experience with different budgeting models that best supports the needs of programs and departments in SOTA, including developing and implementing budgets and requesting, managing, and allocating resources
  • Ability to articulate the needs of SOTA and, with faculty, develop a vision that will advance the programs


  • Works collaboratively with the Provost, faculty, staff, and others to develop and implement strategic initiatives that ensure SOTA’s academic programs integrate with the College’s mission, vision, and values
  • Promotes intellectual inquiry, study, and creative expression while ensuring the continued quality, relevance, and effective delivery of SOTA’s academic programs
  • Fosters a welcoming culture within SOTA and supports a variety of student, faculty, and staff events
  • Actively participates in the life of the College and in a wide range of campus-wide committees, initiatives, and teams
  • Oversees the staffing and operation of SOTA to support quality academic programs and student services and effective and efficient use of resources
  • Provides leadership in matters of academic policy and administration and ensures systematic review of academic programs and courses to maintain and enhance the student experience
  • Supervises the Department Chairs and Program Directors
  • Formulates and oversees the operating budget of SOTA and ensures the ongoing financial strength
  • and sustainability of SOTA through prudent management of resources and development of additional financial opportunities through relationships with alumni and donors
  • Demonstrates effective stewardship of all associated funds
  • Develops and nurtures relationships with alumni, friends, and foundations that result in successfully raising funds for scholarships, faculty, staff, and facilities
  • Provides leadership and vision in enhancing the diversity of faculty, staff, and students
  • Cultivates and promotes a culture of teamwork and empowerment, recognizing the value of individuals, offices, and departments on campus in helping the School achieve its goals of creating an exceptional student experience
  • Promotes professional development of faculty and staff
  • Develops and nurtures collaborative and interdisciplinary relationships with the College’s schools, programs, and divisions as well as with other institutions and community partners
  • Promotes and represents SOTA to local, state, national, and international audiences, including associations, organizations, the local/regional community, ranking and rating agencies, and the public at large


Candidate must have an earned doctorate or terminal degree in related field and a distinguished record of teaching and scholarship commensurate with appointment as a tenured professor in an academic department at the College. A proven record of leadership (at the department head level or above) and collaborative experience in higher education, including experience with faculty evaluation, academic program leadership, and budget management, are required.

Preferred Qualifications and Characteristics

  • Exemplary communication and interpersonal skills, with a strong command of verbal and written communication, great listening skills, and an openness to the values and ideas of others; the ability to create relationships with local, state, and national political leaders
  • A servant leader with a proven record of developing a pipeline of leadership talent
  • Shows support of SOTA’s programs by being visible and active on campus, at events, and in the community
  • A compelling record of supporting diversity in all of its manifestations, including a demonstrated sensitivity to the unique needs of faculty, students, and staff from underrepresented groups and a demonstrated commitment to increasing the numbers of faculty from underrepresented groups
  • Demonstrated experience in forming external partnerships with communities locally, regionally, and nationally to benefit SOTA’s programs and students
  • A leader who daily engages with faculty, staff, and students within SOTA with transparency
  • Knowledge and understanding of higher education and how colleges and universities work, an awareness of the challenges and key issues confronting higher education today, transformational ideas of how to address these challenges, and the strategic vision to keep SOTA and its offerings relevant
  • Ability to focus on strategic priorities, implement strategic plans, and execute strategic initiatives
  • Ability to enhance self-confidence in others by showing trust in direct reports and delegating authority when necessary
  • Collegiality, collaboration, and the ability to build consensus and motivate the School’s faculty
  • Strategic skills that include the ability to lead SOTA to a positive future, involving stakeholders in the implementation of a shared vision for SOTA
  • Exemplary cross-cultural understanding and skills
  • Comfort and skills in fundraising activities with the understanding of the importance of fundraising to SOTA
  • A visible commitment to and appreciation of the academic life of the College, including engaging faculty, students, and staff and attending campus activities
  • An entrepreneurial spirit and a readiness to take action in activities that will benefit the College



The College of Charleston is located in the center of Charleston, South Carolina, one of America’s most beautifully preserved historic cities and world renowned for its attractiveness, history, and hospitality. Home to nearly 800,000 residents in the Charleston metropolitan statistical area, the region is emerging as a center for high-tech manufacturing, the aerospace industry, software firms, and innovative biomedical research. It also continues to benefit from its historic economic strengths as a port city and tourist destination.

     Whether you enjoy sports, live performances, museums, arts and crafts, sailing and fishing, or outdoor adventures, Charleston has it all and more. For foodies, the city offers an abundant feast for every palate. Charleston has been named one of the “Best Food Cities on the Planet” by Food & Wine and the “South’s 10 Best Food Towns” by Garden & Gun.

     Historic and new neighborhoods, public and private schools, extensive health care systems, and mass transit systems all make Charleston a wonderful place to live.



Confidential inquiries are welcomed, and nominations are invited.


1) Application packet must include the following: a) Cover letter that describes strengths, skills, and knowledge that will benefit this position, b) Current curriculum vitae, and c) At least five professional references with full contact and e-mail information. (References will not be contacted without applicant’s consent.)

2) Submit application packet to by September 15, 2024, (preferably as PDFs) for best consideration. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.


Submit nominations to with complete contact and e-mail information on the individual being nominated.


Kenny Daugherty, President, and Jennifer Barfield, Executive Vice President, of Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting are conducting this search with Jessica Thompson, Assistant Vice President and Executive Search Coordinator, assisting. Request a conversation by e-mailing

The College of Charleston is an Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any individual or group on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, race, color, religion, national origin, veteran status, genetic information, or disability.

Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting | 478-330-6222

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