Dean of the College of Fine Arts

Lexington, KY
Apr 17, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

The University of Kentucky, the flagship institution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the state's land-grant university, invites nominations and applications for the position of Dean of the College of Fine Arts.

This is an exciting time to join the University of Kentucky (UK) as it continues its aggressive efforts to position itself among the top public research universities in the country. Founded in 1865 as a land-grant institution adjacent to downtown Lexington, UK is nestled in the scenic heart of the beautiful Bluegrass Region of Kentucky. From its early beginnings, with only 190 students and 10 professors, UK's campus now covers more than 918 acres and is home to 30,000 students and approximately 14,500 employees.

The State's flagship university consists of 17 academic and professional colleges where students can choose from more than 200 majors and degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The student body is diverse, representing more than 100 countries, every state in the nation and all 120 Kentucky counties. UK students compete successfully for prestigious scholarships and awards, such as the Fulbright, Astronaut, Truman, Goldwater, Marshall, Udall and Gates.

The College of Fine Arts ( is comprised of four academic units: the School of Art and Visual Studies, the Department of Arts Administration, the School of Music and the Department of Theatre and Dance. During the 2015-16 school year 1,332 undergraduates either majored or minored in the College and 246 students enrolled in the College's graduate programs. The Singletary Center for the Arts, the College's performing arts facility presents national and international artists and speakers to facilitate the College's mission of providing artistic and cultural experiences for the education and benefit of students, the University and the Commonwealth. The University of Kentucky Art Museum is Central Kentucky's premier accredited art museum with a collection of more than 4,500 objects and year-round curated exhibitions and public programs that engage aspects of historical and contemporary art and visual culture, from the local to the global. In addition, admission to the Museum is free.

The Dean is the College's chief executive and academic leader, reports to the Provost and serves as a member of the Deans' Council. The successful candidate will have proven leadership and administrative abilities, a demonstrated commitment to excellence in research and creative activity, a track record of fundraising, sound fiscal management and strong and effective advocacy for the arts internal and external to the university. The candidate must have the ability to think innovatively and entrepreneurially while building consensus for new initiatives and ideas. The candidate must have an appreciation for the various missions of the College's disciplines and programs and a commitment to affirmative action and diversity in higher education. While respecting its differing professional, scholarly and creative perspectives, the successful candidate will provide a vision and nourish common goals for the College and strengthen a positive collegial environment.

The executive search firm of Witt/Kieffer has been selected to recruit for this position. To be considered, you must complete the UK application AND contact Lucy A. Leske, Ann Yates and Melissa Fincher at

Job Title
Dean of the College of Fine Arts

Requisition Number

Working Title

Department Name

Work Location
Lexington, KY

Type of Position

Position Time Status

Required Education

A terminal degree in an arts-related field

Required Related Experience

A distinguished record of teaching, research and service sufficient to qualify for appointment as a full professor with tenure in a University of Kentucky with tenure in a University of Kentucky academic department in the College of Fine Arts.

Additionally, the Dean must have a track record of success in arts management, administration and creative problem solving.

Required License/ Registration/Certification



The Dean must be able to speak about local and global arts contributions including evidence of a deep commitment to and passion for the mission of arts and arts-related education.

The Dean must have familiarity with and appreciation for all of the artistic disciplines in the broadest sense and a commitment to constant evaluation of the disciplines as it pertains to changing market demands, including a shifting need for professions in the areas of design, music technology, music therapy and related areas.

The Dean must have the ability to provide visionary, dynamic and creative leadership with a collegial, consultative and open style and foster exceptionally strong bridges with and among the faculty, students, staff and other academic and administrative leadership.

Does this position have supervisory responsibilities?

Preferred Education/Experience

Demonstrated success as an artist, arts administrator or arts scholar is strongly preferred.

Open Untill Filled

University Community of Inclusion

The University of Kentucky is committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce by ensuring all our students, faculty, and staff work in an environment of openness and acceptance. We strive to foster a community where people of all backgrounds, identities, and perspectives can feel secure and welcome. We also value the well-being of each of our employees and are dedicated to creating a healthy place to work, learn and live. In the interest of maintaining a safe and healthy environment for our students, employees, patients and visitors the University of Kentucky is a Tobacco & Drug Free campus.

As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we strongly encourage veterans, individuals with disabilities, women, and all minorities to consider our employment opportunities.

Any candidate offered a position may be required to pass pre-employment screenings as mandated by University of Kentucky Human Resources. These screenings may include a national background check and/or drug screen.

Posting Specific Questions

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Applicant Documents

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