Dean The Theatre School

DePaul University
Chicago, Illinois

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The Theatre School (TTS) at DePaul University is one of the nation's foremost conservatories for the education and training of theatre artists. To build upon its exceptional success to date, TTS seeks a dean to succeed a long-serving incumbent upon his retirement.
The Theatre School provides training across the theatre arts with an expanding curriculum serving performers, designers, administrators, writers, and other theatre artists in 15 undergraduate majors and three graduate programs. Literally and metaphorically in the heart of Chicago's renowned theatre scene, TTS is ideally positioned to prepare its students for the theatre of today and tomorrow. Its new dean will lead the institution in conceiving and becoming the leading institution for the re-emerging American theatre. Of paramount importance is TTS' and DePaul's Catholic, Vincentian mission and values, particularly its passionate commitment to anti-racism, which the new dean will embrace and make a central tenet of The Theatre School's identity and strategies moving forward.
The successful candidate to lead TTS into this new era will be a leader and manager of considerable skill and experience, collaborating with a dedicated faculty and staff that is admirably integrated and focused on both student success and ground-breaking creative activities. The dean will be a theatre artist who demonstrates a successful current or recent history as a practitioner and a track record for teaching and nurturing emerging artists. An earned terminal degree and experience as a tenured faculty member is preferred, and professional experience and accomplishments commensurate with an appointment to the DePaul TTS faculty will be considered in lieu thereof. Demonstrating successful experience as an administrator in a complex environment, the dean will serve both as the producer of TTS' season of performances and as its principal face to the public. To this end, a prodigious work ethic and boundless energy combined with superior communication and relationship-building skills are required, and candidates with experience raising funds from philanthropic sources will be at a decided advantage. 
As the American theatre recovers from the pandemic and faces a future that is more diverse and inclusive, The Theatre School at DePaul University is optimally positioned to play a leading role in its metamorphosis. TTS' new dean will lead its compelling community in providing both the ideas and the people who will be in the vanguard in this new paradigm.
A detailed leadership profile is available at 
All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a letter of interest addressing the themes in the profile and a CV or resume.
WittKieffer is assisting DePaul University in this search. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by September 27, 2021.  

Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s Candidate Portal. Nominations and inquiries can be directed to: Dennis Barden, Jen Meyers Pickard, Ph.D., and Bree Liddell at [email protected] 

DePaul University is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, protected veteran status, genetic information or any other legally protected status, in accordance with applicable federal, state and local EEO laws.


Working at DePaul University

Enrolling more than 23,000 students, DePaul is the ninth-largest private and largest Catholic university in the country. It offers over 200 graduate and undergraduate degree programs through nine colleges and schools. Nearly one third of DePaul’s students are of color—the most diverse of any private university in Illinois—and about 30 percent of each year’s freshmen class intend to be the first in their families to earn a college degree. DePaul’s success extends beyond recruitment—it is among the nation’s top 100 universities in awarding degrees to students of color.

Educating Chicago’s business leaders, lawyers, judges, teachers, artists and public servants for more than a century, DePaul enjoys an excellent academic reputation. It has earned impressive rankings from U.S. News & World Report for its business and law programs as well as distinctions for diversity and community service. A host of higher education guides have recognized DePaul for everything from its economic value and happy students to its hot and trendy campus and great town-gown relations.

DePaul prides itself on the strength of its academic programs, especially the programs in entrepreneurship, real estate, and the part-time MBA; computer science, network assurance and digital media; psychology and philosophy; music and theater; health and intellectual property law; and adult learning initiatives. Despite its size, the university is committed to providing students with personal attention; the student/faculty ratio is just 16:1. Professors who teach graduate students also teach undergraduates in small-group settings.

DePaul’s goal, expressed in the VISION twenty12 strategic plan, is to become one of the finest urban, Catholic universities in the United States. It is focused on creating nationally recognized, rigorous programs of study; preparing women and men to be at the forefront of their chosen fields as ethical and socially engaged leaders; and further strengthening its financial and operational foundations.

DePaul was founded in 1898 by the Congregation of the Mission (or Vincentian) religious community, which follows the teachings of 17th century French priest St. Vincent de Paul. Established to provide a high quality education to immigrants and others who were denied access to college, DePaul continues to embrace this mission today, recruiting and graduating significant numbers of students from disadvantaged and underrepresented groups.


Located in Chicago, Illinois, DePaul has two primary campuses and four suburban locations. The Loop Campus is in the heart of the downtown business and cultural district and is home to four of DePaul’s colleges, a theater, a residence hall and most administrative functions. It is separated by a 20-minute trip on Chicago’s “el” train from the Lincoln Park Campus, close to Lake Michigan and Wrigley Field. Considered one of the nation’s most beautiful urban campuses, Lincoln Park is home to five colleges, the main library, numerous residence halls, a student center and the Ray Meyer Fitness and Recreation Center, open to employees and students.

Both campuses are located in thriving business and residential districts that are well served by public transportation, providing a full array of housing choices for employees. Chicago boasts six professional sports teams and some of the best theater, music and art venues in the nation. As an international business hub and conference center, Chicago enables employees to build strong professional networks and remain on the leading edge of their fields.

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