Selection of Dr. Harvey Young as Dean of the BU College of Fine Arts

July 20th, 2017

From Dr. Jean Morrison, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer

As you know, last fall we launched a national-level search for a new Dean of the College of Fine Arts (CFA).  After a rigorous and competitive search process that considered several strong candidates, President Brown and I are very pleased to announce that we have selected and come to terms with Dr. Harvey Young to be the next Dean of the College of Fine Arts.   

Dr. Young is Professor and Chair of the Department of Theatre in the School of Communication at Northwestern University, where he holds affiliate appointments in African American Studies, Performance Studies, and Radio/Television/Film.  As Chair of Theatre at Northwestern, he oversees 400 undergraduate students, over 60 graduate students, and 39 faculty members.  He is a nationally and internationally known theatre historian and a leading advocate for the arts.  He has served as editor of the journalTheatre Survey and as a member of several editorial boards including Journal of American Theatre and Drama and Theatre Topics.  He currently serves as President-elect of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE).

Dr. Young received his M.A. (2000) and Ph.D. (2004) in Theatre from Cornell University.  He is a graduate of Yale University where he received his B.A. in Film Studies (1997), and holds an additional M.A. in Humanities (1998) from SUNY at Buffalo, with a concentration in Media Study & Women’s Studies.  Dr. Young has served on the faculty at Northwestern since 2002, where he has overseen a host of key initiatives, including the development of a multi-year strategic plan for his Department and the renovation of the university’s performing arts complex.  A frequent presenter at national conferences, he is among the country’s most respected voices and scholars in theatre and the black experience, having authored dozens of articles for premier arts journals and published several award-winning books, including Embodying Black Experience: Stillness, Critical Memory, and the Black Body (2010), The Cambridge Companion to African American Theatre (2013), and most recently ‘Black Theatre Is Black Life’: An Oral History of Chicago Theatre & Dance, 1970-2010 (2014).  Dr. Young has been a fellow at Harvard University’s Charles Warren Center and Stanford University’s Center for Comparative Studies on Race & Ethnicity and his scholarship recognized with numerous national honors, including prizes from the American Society for Theatre Research and the National Communication Association.

We are enormously excited to welcome Dr. Young to Boston University.  His scholarly accomplishments, demonstrated track record of leadership and interdisciplinary collaboration, and energized vision for further elevating CFA as a national destination for artistic study and creation align with our goals for continuing to advance the excellence and reputation of the College of Fine Arts.  I will be making a formal announcement to the broader University community in the fall at the start of the academic year, but wanted to let you know of the successful completion of the search.    

Dr. Young will assume the role of dean on January 1, 2018.  I want to thank you for your support and engagement throughout this careful, deliberative process and recognize the members of the Dean Search Advisory Committee, especially your CFA colleagues Kristen Coogan, Michael Kaye, and Victor Coelho – who served as chair.

Finally, I would like to give special acknowledgement to Dean ad interim Lynne Allen for her outstanding work over the last two years as we undertook the necessary steps to launch a search.  Dean ad interim Allen’s steady leadership during this crucial period of transition was essential to this outcome, and I am grateful for her unwavering commitment and dedication to the College of Fine Arts and to the University.  I am especially thankful that she has agreed to continue to serve in the interim role for the fall semester as we prepare for Dr. Young’s transition to BU.

Members of the CFA Dean Search Committee
Victor Coelho, Professor and Chair of Musicology & Ethnomusicology, School of Music, College of Fine Arts (Chair)

Steve Brady, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine

John Bernstein, Associate Professor, Department of Film & Television, College of Communication

Kristen Coogan, Associate Professor of Graphic Design, School of Visual Arts, College of Fine Arts

Michael Kaye, Assistant Professor of Acting, School of Performing Arts, College of Fine Arts

Natalie McKnight, Dean, College of General Studies

Susan Mizruchi, Professor, Department of English; and Director, Center for the Humanities, College of Arts & Sciences

Rafael Ortega, Associate Dean of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs; and Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, School of Medicine

Selection of Dr. Harvey Young as Dean of the BU College of Fine Arts – 7.20.17

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