One dean’s departure creates two jobs

Carissa Bowlin

The School of Music interim dean’s dual position requires two music faculty searches as committees try to find a replacement.

Post-retirement, Mary Sue Hyatt has filled in for the work of both the director of the School of Music and an assistant professor of music.

“The opportunity presented itself, and with the support of the School of Music faculty, I agreed to do it,” Hyatt said.

A committee has been formed to search for each of the positions. Frank Susi, interim associate dean for Graduate Studies in the College of Fine and Professional Arts, is the coordinator of the committee searching for the director.

“I am hopeful to make a recommendation to the dean late February to early March,” Susi said.

Susi and his committee of eight faculty members have searched through 22 applications. They discuss each applicant and their strong points, check references and conduct phone interviews.

“We want to be careful to follow the Human Resources procedures to make for a proper search,” Susi said. “The first thing we do is check for our minimum qualifications. Only then do we further evaluate, check credentials and reflect.”

Susi said he is still open to new applicants while he keeps the pool of possible directors open.

“We have some strong-looking applicants, but we would like to see a more diverse and balanced group represented in our candidates,” Susi said.

Heading up the search for the assistant professor is Jane Dressler, voice division coordinator. Her committee has four faculty members and one student representing various departments of the School of Music.

The committee reviewed 34 applicants and narrowed the candidates to a possible three or four, though members are open to reviewing more applicants until the position is filled. The committee hopes to fill the position by mid-February.

“Our applicants have all kinds of experience. Some are just out of grad school, some might have 20 years of experience.” Dressler said.

The committee looks for demonstrated success as a performer as well as in academic work.

“It is one thing to teach and another to perform,” Dressler said. “Our candidate must do both.”

This two-sided requirement results in a long interview. Applicants needing further review are sent an itinerary for an audition/interview day from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. It includes a mini-recital, teaching a master’s class and other rehearsing and meetings.

Contact performing arts reporter Carissa Bowlin at [email protected].