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Dean / The Colburn School, Community School of Performing Arts

  • Los Angeles, California
  • TypePaid
  • TermFull time
  • CategoryExecutive Management
  • Post DateDec 19, 2017
  • DeadlineFeb 01, 2018

The Colburn School, located in downtown Los Angeles, seeks a dynamic and communicative Dean to lead its Community School of Performing Arts, one of 4 academic units within the institution that also features a college-level Conservatory, a pre-collegiate Music Academy and the Trudl Zipper Dance Institute - all dedicated to nurturing and training highly gifted and dedicated students. The mission of the Colburn School is to provide the highest quality performing arts education at all levels of development in an optimal learning environment.

The Colburn School was founded in 1950 as the Community School for the Arts — a small music preparatory school for the University of Southern California. Richard D. Colburn, a successful businessman, avid musician, and benefactor of the arts, provided generous financial support in the 1980s for the school to become an independent, non-profit institution. In 1998, the Colburn School moved to its custom-built Grand Avenue home in downtown Los Angeles. The Community School of Performing Arts currently has approximately 2000 students. The Colburn School is accredited both by the National Association of Schools of Music for its music programs, and by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Pre-collegiate Arts Schools for all of its pre-collegiate programs. The breadth and depth of opportunities within the Community School have been continuously developed and expanded to support programs and classes centered in performance, including classical music, jazz, chamber music, drama, large instrumental and vocal ensembles, early childhood arts education, music theory, and summer programs.

Position Summary

The Dean of the Community School of Performing Arts must be a charismatic leader, with a holistic approach to leading a community school of performing arts, substantial administrative leadership and the ability to work with all constituent groups.  Working collaboratively across campus, and as part of the larger Colburn School organization, the Dean leads, directs and manages all of the Community School programs and its diverse faculty and staff, aligned with the institution’s commitment to provide access to excellence for all of its students. The Dean maintains responsibility for excellence in teaching, recruiting and retaining quality faculty and staff, program and curriculum development and allocation of financial aid and scholarships.  The Dean establishes and adheres to department budgets, working closely with senior leadership to accomplish institutional goals; the Dean will develop additional summer programs and continuing education opportunities for the adult learning community. The Dean of the Community School of Performing Arts reports directly to the Provost.

Qualifications and Experience

The ideal candidate will have deep experience managing a community school, large music program or festival or equivalent.  The successful candidate will have a proven record of building a successful community musical arts program that demonstrates excellence.  A college degree in music, music performance, music education or equivalent is required.  In addition, the successful candidate will have:

  • A passion for music and arts education, a deep commitment to the performing arts, and an understanding of the educational process as it relates to a community music school;
  • Demonstrated skill in implementing institutional goals, as well as developing policies, procedures and processes;
  • An outstanding record of commitment to an exceptional level of instruction, as well as support for faculty to achieve institutional goals and mission;
  • Evidence of successful academic planning, assessment and implementation, program development and evaluation, and personnel and budget management;
  • Successful engagement with faculty and the ability to attract and retain a highly qualified, diverse, artistic faculty;
  • Demonstrated experience creating and working with high performing teams to achieve significant results;
  • Ability to apply technology solutions and innovations in the efficient operation of administrative processes;
  • Collaborative approach, and ability to successfully interact and interface with other divisions of the School;
  • Seasoned administrator able to assess the needs of academic programs and services, establish priorities for implementation and develop structures, processes and systems that enhance the School’s ability to realize its goals;
  • High standards for and personal commitment to excellence in all areas of the academic unit;
  • Experience, skill and comfort navigating within a high-end performing arts environment.


Review of applications will begin February 1, and the position will remain open until filled. Applicants must submit a detailed cover letter detailing their qualifications and suitability for the position and a curriculum vitae, listing the names and contact information for 3-5 references. All application materials must be submitted online at https://colburn.simplehire.com

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