Andrew Schulz, the new University of Arizona dean of the College of Fine Arts, said he is excited to continue the mission of the University while incorporating new initiatives to create a rounded program.
“I would like to see the arts become truly central to the UA campus, and the region,” said Schulz. “The mission of the College should be to ensure that we provide outstanding professional training in the arts, as well as provide meaningful and transformative opportunities for arts engagement to all students at the University.”
The new dean is ready to set the bar with his international expertise in the arts.
Schulz is coming to UA from Penn State University, where he served as associate dean. During Schulz’s time at Penn State he was very involved in the school’s community.
He saw the establishment of the Arts and Design Research Incubator and the Center for Pedagogy in the Arts and Design and recently served as interim head of the Department of Art History.
Nationally, Schulz has been a leader in the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities, and he currently serves as vice president for external relations of the College Art Association.
An international scholar, Schulz’s “Goya’s Caprichos: Aesthetics, Perception and the Body” was given the 2007 Eleanor Tufts Prize from the American Society for Hispanic Art Historical Studies.
Schulz is an award winner, having received a 12-month fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, a Getty Scholar residency at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, five-year Faculty Excellence Award from the University of Oregon in recognition of innovative scholarship.
Jeff Goldberg, acting provost for the UA, said that “to have a strong program, you need strong faculty leading the way. These faculty then attract strong students into the program at all levels. Finally, those students and faculty need strong facilities to be able to do high quality work and public performances.”
What excites Schultz about coming to UA is leading the College of Fine Arts and finding ways to integrate the arts into the research and land-grant mission of the University.
“The context of a major research university provides opportunities for faculty and students that cannot be realized in other settings – such as liberal arts colleges or stand-alone arts conservatories,” he said.
Schulz looks forward to leading efforts to capitalize on these opportunities.
“[I’m] looking forward Dr. Schulz bringing the college together to develop a plan to move forward and then working with him and his team to execute that plan,” Goldberg said. “I think that fine arts has a major role in the UA campus strategic plan that we are now developing.”
As part of a land-grant university, the College of Fine Arts has an important role in terms of outreach and community engagement, according to Schultz. He said he is charged with leading those efforts.
“As public universities become increasingly outward-facing, the arts have a key role to play in engaging with communities on all levels,” Schulz said.
There tend to be two avenues through which a university such as UA engages with communities: athletics and the arts, according to Schultz, who wants to ensure that the arts become just as “prominent in that regard as UA athletics already are.”
Schulz expresses the importance of professional training in the arts. He believes that close interaction and mentoring between faculty and students is a key aspect in ensuring excellence in the program as well as having the best faculty.
“I think that it is important that fine arts becomes more central to the UA education, research, and outreach missions. How do we have fine arts students and faculty working more with the rest of campus and vice versa?” Goldberg said.
Schulz said that the “measure of excellence is the degree to which all students at the UA have opportunities for meaningful engagement with the arts.” To his mind, all UA students are College of Fine Arts students, and that needs to be guiding principle.
Schultz will start his new position August 1 and said he looks forward to working at the university along with his new faculty and staff.
“We are so glad to welcome Dr. Schulz to the UA,” said UA President Robert C. Robinson a UA News interview.
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