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Director, School of Dance

University of Utah
Utah, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Posted date
Oct 21, 2021

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Arts, Performing Arts, Administrative, Academic Affairs, Arts Administration
Employment Level
Tenured/Tenured Track
Employment Type
Full Time
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The College of Fine Arts at the University of Utah invites nominations and applications for a visionary leader to serve as the next Director of its School of Dance. The anticipated start date is July 1, 2022.  Reporting to the Dean of the College of Fine Arts, the Director is the administrative head of the School, overseeing its personnel, operations, curriculum, and strategic direction, and acting as the School’s representative and advocate within the College, University, and wider community.

A commitment to excellence in dance education- its teaching, performance, and research- is the hallmark of our School, known worldwide for its talented faculty and versatile and gifted alumni. This is an exciting, transformational moment in our history, as we continue the work of defining and refining what this commitment looks like in the context of twenty-first-century dance.

We seek a Director with an inclusive understanding of dance, not simply as a professional vocation or scholarly discipline, but as an enduring, diverse and evolving form of artistic, cultural and personal expression. The new Director will have a successful record of transparent, collaborative leadership, with a facility for working with diverse groups to achieve meaningful change. Our ideal candidate will have a deep knowledge of the traditions of both ballet and contemporary dance, a clear perspective on current discipline-wide trends and challenges, and be able to offer a compelling vision for how the School will meet those challenges and continue to thrive in the future.

- Terminal degree (MFA and/or PhD) in dance, dance studies, or a related field.
- A distinguished record of creative or scholarly achievement in dance commensurate with a faculty appointment at the rank of a tenured Associate Professor or Professor, including a body of work that represents a significant contribution to the field; demonstrated excellence in post-secondary teaching; and evidence of an active, ongoing program of creative or scholarly research.
- Significant leadership, administrative, and supervisory experience, including strategic and financial planning, curricular innovation, and recruitment and retention of faculty, staff, and students.
- Evidence of a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, with demonstrated ability to lead effective change in diverse groups.

The Director will (1) guide the efforts of a well-respected faculty to establish a strategic vision for dance education and scholarship within the context of a research university; (2) provide collaborative, transparent, and empathetic leadership for the School; (3) sustain and enhance the reputation of the School both nationally and internationally; (4) serve the School in official business with university authorities, students, and the public; (5) create and support professional development initiatives for faculty and staff, and foster and encourage faculty research; (6) promote student success through recruitment and retention efforts; (7) oversee curricular activities, including ongoing efforts to diversify and modernize our curricula; (8) administer school finances, resources, and facilities; (9) engage in donor relationships and funds development; and (10) be an active participant as a member of the Executive Committee of the College of Fine Arts in furthering the College’s goals and mission.

The rich heritage of dance at the University of Utah began in 1892 with a program developed by Maude May Babcock. Elizabeth R. Hayes was appointed Director of Modern Dance in 1940 and soon after established the dance major. William F. Christensen, a noted dancer, teacher and choreographer who founded the San Francisco Ballet Company, returned to his home state in 1951 and founded one of the first ballet programs in an American university. In 2016, our internationally-acclaimed and NASD-accredited programs in Ballet and Modern Dance united to form the School of Dance- retaining the distinctiveness of each discipline, while creating new opportunities for interdisciplinary exploration and collaboration. Our BFA and MFA programs maintain balanced emphases on both performance and scholarship while presenting students with the training necessary to excel within their chosen fields. The school is comprised of 20 permanent faculty and 7 staff serving more than 200 undergraduate majors, 35 undergraduate minors, and 11 graduate students. The School is deeply committed to equity, inclusion, and justice, and to supporting students and faculty of a variety of backgrounds and artistic practices and perspectives. This commitment is reflected in our ongoing efforts to diversify and modernize our curricula, and in our recruitment of faculty, staff, and students. The School is housed in the beautiful Marriott Center for Dance, a state-of-the-art facility that includes a 333-seat professional theatre, a black box theatre space, six large dance studios, one rehearsal studio, a costume shop, a private faculty studio, and a conditioning room with an on-site athletic trainer and dance-specific physical therapist. Additional information about the School of Dance can be found at

The School of Dance is one of five academic units in the College of Fine Arts, which also includes Art & Art History, Film & Media Arts, Music and Theatre.

Established in 1850, The University of Utah is the state’s oldest and largest institution of higher education, offering over 100 undergraduate and more than 90 graduate degree programs to more than 30,000 students. The University has been classified among the 115 research universities with the “highest research activity” in the nation by the Carnegie Foundation, and is one of 65 members of the prestigious American Association of Universities. The University is located in Salt Lake City at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains. Routinely ranked as one of the best places to live in the U.S., Salt Lake City is the center of a metropolitan area with a population of over one million residents, unparalleled opportunities for outdoor recreation, a major international airport, and extensive arts and cultural activities. The city is home to three long-standing nationally-recognized dance companies: Ballet WestRepertory Dance Theatre, and Ririe-Woodbury.

Please submit (1) letter of application, not to exceed three pages, addressing the position’s qualifications and responsibilities, and including a statement of philosophy that addresses leadership of a school of dance; (2) curriculum vitae; and (3) names and contact information for five professional references.  The candidate will be notified before references are contacted. Screening of applications will begin November 22, 2021 and continue until the position is filled. For additional information, please contact Dr. Andrew Patrick Nelson, School of Dance Director Search Committee Chair,

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