Dean of the Glorya Kaufman School of Dance

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University of Southern California, Glorya Kaufman School of Dance

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Los Angeles, California

The University of Southern California (USC), one of the world’s leading private research universities and an anchor institution in Los Angeles, a global center for the arts, seeks its next Dean of the Glorya Kaufman School of Dance.

The Glorya Kaufman School of Dance (USC Kaufman) was founded in 2012 through a transformational gift from visionary philanthropist Glorya Kaufman. The University of Southern California created its sixth art school and, at that time, its first new school in nearly 40 years. USC Kaufman expands upon USC’s unique signature as a world-class research institution with a deep commitment to the arts. With its enterprising vision for arts education, USC Kaufman is at the forefront of developing dancers, choreographers, and dance leaders for the future. 

Founded by civic leaders at the dawn of the Western region’s prominence, USC has always been a pioneering institution with discovery and exploration at its heart. Its aspirations— and embrace— were as expansive as the region it grew to represent. Since opening its doors in 1880, USC’s drive to break boundaries and transcend its own geography put it on an impressive trajectory. In a comprehensive new ranking, The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education both ranked USC 18th in the United States among over 1,000 public and private universities. USC has established itself as a leading institution in the academy, distinguished for its unique, nimble, and inventive culture. The groundbreaking DNA of USC is clearly imprinted in the Glorya Kaufman School of Dance.

The incoming Dean of USC Kaufman will have an opportunity to leave an enduring legacy by providing inspirational, collaborative, and culturally competent leadership that continues to increase the School’s reputation and impact. Through a new model of dance education — “The New Movement” — USC Kaufman weaves together studio practice, music, choreography, performance, new media, and scholarship. Through the New Movement, students learn to view dance critically by interrogating movement from various angles in an effort to make a social impact through art and research. The next Dean will build on this innovative and interdisciplinary approach as USC Kaufman continues to revolutionize the study of dance. 

The Dean will join a warm and collegial community of faculty who are dancers, performers, choreographers, musicians, researchers, and educators, as well as an exceptionally talented student and alumni base and a dedicated and passionate staff with an unwavering commitment to USC Kaufman. The Dean must recognize the School’s existing strengths as the leader in the future of dance education while building on its success, further elevating its world-class profile. To do so, the Dean will address a set of key opportunities and challenges:

  • Build upon The New Movement and continue to create a shared purpose and artistic model for the future;
  • Continue to develop academic and research infrastructure that seamlessly integrates professional practice;
  • Invest in a culture that amplifies and uplifts diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • Develop, recruit, and retain excellent and diverse faculty and staff committed to academic excellence and a culture of trust and transparency;
  • Raise funds to ensure financial stability that allows the School to reach its full potential;
  • Develop and expand support to ensure students and alumni can achieve artistic, intellectual, and financial success;
  • Work with partners across the city to help revitalize the dance community in Los Angeles; and
  • Serve as leading voice in conversation about the evolution of the field of dance.

USC has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in this search. Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the completion of the search process. Inquiries, nominations, referrals, and CVs with cover letters should be sent via the Isaacson, Miller website for the search: Electronic submission of materials is strongly encouraged.

Courtney Wilk-Mandel, Katheryne Martinez, and David Bellshaw

Isaacson, Miller

1925 Century Park East

Suite 1700

Los Angeles, CA 90067

USC is an equal-opportunity educator and employer, proudly pluralistic and firmly committed to providing equal opportunity for outstanding persons of every race, gender, creed and background. The university particularly encourages members of underrepresented groups, veterans and individuals with disabilities to apply. USC will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities unless doing so would result in an undue hardship. Further information is available by contacting