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Job ID: 169542

Academic Unit Head, School of Theatre & Dance
James Madison University

Date Posted Oct. 14, 2021
Title Academic Unit Head, School of Theatre & Dance
University James Madison University
Harrisonburg , VA, United States
Department School of Theatre and Dance
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Department Head/Head/Chair
  • Drama/Theater/Theater Education
    Fine Arts - General

James Madison University (JMU) is seeking applicants for the Director of the School of Theatre and Dance (STAD). This position is within the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) and is a 12-month tenured appointment that will begin July 1, 2022, at the rank of Professor. The Director will work collaboratively and inclusively with the Dean, faculty, and staff to promote the goals of the school, college, and university. We are looking for leadership candidates who represent and support diverse perspectives and who can contribute to a department committed to social justice through work that is transformational, inclusive, sustainable, and equitable.

The Director of the School of Theatre and Dance is a visionary thinker and inspirational leader with strong interpersonal skills who facilitates the unit’s academics, operations, budget, productions, artistic vision, and fundraising activities for three individual programs: BA Theatre; BA Musical Theatre; and BA Dance. Working with the faculty, staff, and students, the Director, designs, develops, and implements strategic plans and policies in collaboration with the University in a manner that is both efficient and forward-thinking. The successful candidate will have a strong record of artistic or scholastic research, publication, or performance.

The College of Visual and Performing Arts brings together the Schools of Art, Design and Art History; Music; Theatre and Dance; and three interdisciplinary programs, The Institute for Creative Inquiry, the Center for Inclusive Music Engagement, and The Madison Art Collection. With over 100 full-time faculty and 1,200 majors, the College of Visual and Performing Arts comprises a vibrant and collaborative artistic community.

The College of Visual and Performing Arts at James Madison University believes that equity, access, and inclusion are moral imperatives and artistic obligations. Diversity-in the stories we represent, the students we serve, and the audiences we engage-is vital for the health and relevance of contemporary arts practice. CVPA, therefore, welcomes diversity of perspective, ethnicity, race, religion, socio-economic status, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ability. The College of Visual and Performing Arts is committed to creating and supporting a diverse and inclusive educational community among faculty, students, staff, and stakeholders that is free from all forms of discrimination. In light of this core commitment, candidates applying for this position should speak to their personal and professional work of teaching, scholarship, and/or service towards the creation and sustainability of a community of educators who value the diversity present in our society.

JMU’s School of Theatre and Dance is a highly engaged, intensive BA program, committed to a liberal arts education coupled with intensive practical professional training. Students work towards majors in Dance, Musical Theatre, and Theatre. Within the Theatre Program, students may opt to pursue concentrations in Design and Technology, Performance, Theatre Education, and/or Theatre Studies. Teacher Licensure is offered in both the Dance and Theatre majors. Minors are offered in both Dance and Theatre. Currently, there are 290 majors and 105 minors in the School. All three majors in the School require an audition and/or interview for admission. JMU is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre and by the National Association of Schools of Dance. The School has 20 full-time faculty, 12 professional staff and supportive adjunct positions, and produces 15+ Theatre and Musical Theatre productions and 9+ Dance productions each academic year in multiple performance spaces. There is an additional summer season which includes Next Steps Summer Intensives in Dance and Musical Theatre, as well as the Madison New Works Lab – whose mission is to create a nationally recognized incubator for the development of new plays and musicals. The School is housed in the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts, completed in 2010 with five state-of-the-art performance venues.

Duties and Responsibilities
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
· Provide visionary leadership that will support opportunities to expand programs and facilities for the School of Theatre and Dance;
· Promote diversity in all its forms in the faculty, staff, and student body as well as in programming and the curriculum;
· Mobilize the School of Theatre and Dance faculty, staff, and students toward enacting the CVPA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity values;
· Build on the STAD recruitment and brand identity (nationally and internationally) with a clear and proactive strategy that will make STAD, CVPA, and the University stand out from other institutions;
· Supervise and recruit a highly qualified professional and diverse faculty and staff to create a collaborative team culture;
· Support curriculum development which is forward-looking and which embodies decolonized curriculum and pedagogy;
· Facilitate consensus-building and transparent decision-making that best advances the mission of the program;
· Foster a collaborative culture based on open communication with faculty, staff, deans, students, alumni, and University administration;
·Oversee the budget and management of School resources;
· Assess the needs of the School as they relate to JMU’s mission and strategic plan;
· Oversee the artistic vision of the production season and make decisions in collaboration with the faculty and students;
·Teaching and/or contributing to the performance season or curriculum.

·Terminal degree (M.F.A, Ph.D., or Ed.D.) in dance, musical theatre, theatre, or related field;
·Record of strong leadership, creative activity, and creative innovation;
·Record of integrating and amplifying Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion efforts with positive effects in leadership;
·Experience in strategic planning, budgeting, programming, community engagement, and effective personnel administration in higher education or related field;
·Proven ability to articulate to internal and external constituents the essential value of the arts;
·Desire to nurture and advocate for all students and faculty in their own creative practice and scholarship.

To apply, visit or go to and reference posting F1711. Review of applications will being November 1, 2021. Salary is commensurate with experience.
Note that only complete submissions that are uploaded electronically to the JMU JobLink website will be considered. A complete submission includes:
1. a cover letter overviewing your personal and professional career trajectory that prepares you for this position;
2. a curriculum vitae;
3. a list of three references who can comment on your leadership and/or administrative aptitude/abilities;
4. a statement detailing your approach to leadership, including how it relates to diversity, equity, and inclusion in its multiple forms; (Listed as Other Document #1)
5. a statement describing your experiences and accomplishments in teaching and scholarship (Listed as Other Document #2).

James Madison University is committed to creating and supporting a diverse and inclusive work and educational community that is free of all forms of discrimination. This institution does not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, national origin, parental status, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status We promote access, inclusion and diversity for all students, faculty, staff, constituents and programs, believing that these qualities are foundational components of an outstanding education in keeping with our mission. The university is interested in candidates whose experience and qualifications support an ongoing commitment to this core quality Anyone having questions concerning discrimination should contact the Office for Equal Opportunity: (540) 568-6991.

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