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Dean, University of Southern California Thornton School of Music

University of Southern California
California, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Posted Date
Jan 5, 2022

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Position Type
Administrative, Deans
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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POSITION TITLE:         Dean, University of Southern California Thornton School of Music

REPORTS TO:               Provost, University of Southern California


The University of Southern California Thornton School of Music seeks a collaborative and progressive Dean to lead the school in its development of a diverse generation of musicians, scholars, industry professionals and artist-entrepreneurs. This leader will continue to activate Thornton’s power and potential in the arts to make an impact for social good, artistic excellence and innovation.  The Dean reports to the Provost of USC and serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Thornton School of Music.  The Dean works closely with the Provost, other members of the Provost’s senior leadership team, the School’s staff and department heads. The Dean provides executive oversight of all aspects of the school, including academic program development, enrollment management, faculty and staff development, external relations and partnerships, fundraising, operational effectiveness, financial planning, and capital improvements.

 USC Thornton School of Music was founded in 1884, and today is the oldest continually operating cultural institution in Los Angeles, USC Thornton consistently ranks among the top one percent of the nation’s music schools and conservatories. Graduates of the school attain positions with major orchestras, ensembles, recording studios, schools, universities, community organizations, and music industry firms.  They perform on stages and in studios around the world and are the artist-entrepreneurs who are shaping the field of music.

 With a commitment toward Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) as central guiding principles, the Thornton School is dedicated to evolve, learn, and change. The Thornton School is an influential and ground-breaking institution which provides students a thorough music education in a real-world context. An integral participant in the rich cultural life of Los Angeles, USC Thornton engages in on-going relationships with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Opera, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the GRAMMY Foundation and The Recording Academy, to name a few. Thornton faculty, students and alumni are a visible presence in the community, reaching out to the next generation of artists, entrepreneurs and thinkers through performances, workshops, events and courses in schools, performance venues, and online. With its faculty, staff, students, events and work, the USC Thornton School of Music is an anchoring cultural resource in Los Angeles.

 Thornton's leadership in music is evidenced by recent sweeping curricular changes. Since 2008, a myriad of new programs have been added to the programmatic portfolio, substantially expanding the breadth and reach of the School.  From undergraduate offerings in Popular Music Performance, Music Production, and Musical Theatre, to graduate programs in Arts Leadership, Music Industry and Community Music, to an array of Global Initiatives, the Thornton School has arguably become the most comprehensive and broadly-based school of music in the nation.  As an outgrowth of this rapid programmatic expansion, the School adopted its current three-division structure, organizing its unique programmatic components into the Division of Classical Performance and Composition, the Division of Contemporary Music, and the Division of Research and Scholarly Studies. See the full position description here:

The University of Southern California was founded in 1880 and currently enrolls over 46,000 students.  USC is one of a select number of universities the United States depends upon for a steady stream of new knowledge, art and technology. USC’s commitment to the arts, humanities and the community has a long history.  The commitment to research has broad social impact, including operating an integrated academic medical center that serves a million patients a year.  USC has an endowment of $5.7 billion and receives annually close to $900 million in sponsored research.

Adding to the legacies of USC’s six arts schools and two museums, the USC Visions and Voices and Arts in Action programs produce and/or sponsor over 100 events each all of which are open to students at no charge. Visions and Voices brings world-renowned artists and public figures to USC, the vast majority of which engage issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.  The Arts in Action program brings the arts to the community and neighborhoods beyond USC’s campuses in creative collaborations with local entities. In the three short years since its founding, USC faculty and students have already collaborated with over two-dozen local nonprofits, cultural institutions, and underserved schools. Together, Visions and Voices and Arts in Action are key components for engaging issues related to equity and diversity, pursuing social justice, and fostering a more inclusive university culture.

Please send inquiries, applications, or nominations to:


The Thornton School acknowledges its presence

on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the

Tongva Indigenous Peoples and their neighbors


USC is an equal opportunity employer and educator, proudly pluralistic and firmly committed to providing equal opportunity for outstanding candidates of every race, creed, and background.

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