Director of the School of the Arts

  • University of Nebraska Omaha
  • Omaha, NE, USA
  • Oct 14, 2021
Full time Art & Art History Deans & Directors

Job Description


University of Nebraska at Omaha
Director of the School of the Arts

The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) and its College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media (CFAM) seek a visionary, strategic leader to serve as the next Director of the School of the Arts. As the only school in a 400-mile radius of Omaha that has three arts programs combined into one school, the faculty of close to 60 extraordinary artists, including makers, shapers, innovators, and scholars, in UNO's School of the Arts teaches and mentors over 400 students in Theatre, Art and Art History, and Writer's Workshop. The school provides undergraduate and graduate students exceptional and engaged academic experiences, preparing them for careers in art history, graphic design, media arts, studio art, game design, acting/directing, theatre design/technology, stage management and creative writing in fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry or screen writing. All of the CFAM degree programs prepare students for roles as leaders and ethical citizens in our diverse local and global communities.

One of the benefits of UNO's metropolitan campus is a vibrant arts community. Arts venues include the Omaha Community Playhouse (the largest community theatre in the nation), El Museo Latino, The Union for Contemporary Arts, Omaha Performing Arts, Blue Barn Theatre, The Kaneko, The Joslyn Art Museum, and numerous music venues such as the Omaha Symphony. With community engagement as a pillar of its mission, the School of the Arts is active within the Omaha arts venues and K-12 arts education. From service learning in art courses, arts exhibitions, and community arts events, UNO faculty and students are active in supporting and providing their creative output in Omaha. The philanthropic community of Omaha also recognizes the value of the arts to a vibrant, thriving metropolitan community. The Nebraska Foundation works closely with community fundraising leaders to ensure that their efforts benefit UNO as well as the community at large.

UNO has emerged as the region's premier metropolitan university, committed to teaching, research, and service. Through engaged leadership, its graduates can help improve the quality of life in the region and beyond. The university's facilities are continually updated to support a superior learning environment. In the last 10 years, $471 million has been invested in UNO facilities projects. Since building its first residence halls in 1999, UNO now has six residence hall complexes housing 2,500 students.

Since its inclusion as part of the University of Nebraska system in 1968, UNO's reputation for academic excellence, opportunity, and affordability has resulted in the University's highest total enrollment since 1992, with 15,892 students in 2020-2021. This continued momentum is driven by both undergraduate and graduate population growth. UNO welcomed its largest incoming freshman class in the last decade with 2,226 students, as well as the largest graduate student enrollment in UNO history with 3,124 students. Record-setting enrollment trends highlights UNO's commitment to accessibility and the diverse student body that it attracts and serves as part of its metropolitan university mission. Total enrollment is composed of 11,372 full time and 4,520 part time students. Overall, 37% of students are first generation and 29.5% of students are ethnically diverse. UNO's student body includes more underrepresented students than any other school in the University of Nebraska system and nearly a tenth of the student population are military-affiliated. UNO is currently in the Top 10 of the Military Times Best for Vets ranking.

The Director will serve as the academic and administrative officer of the School of the Arts, reporting to the Dean of the College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media. The School of the Arts consists of the academic units of Art & Art History, Theatre, and Writer's Workshop. The Director is a key member of the Dean's Leadership Team--a highly collaborative, consultative, and dynamic group of directors who work closely to advance their Schools' and College's missions.

Preferred and Required Qualifications

Required Qualifications:

  • A terminal degree in one of the disciplines within the School of the Arts.
  • An established record of distinguished research, teaching, creative activity and service sufficient to warrant a tenured faculty appointment in the School of the Arts.
  • A minimum of three years' arts administrative experience that includes budget oversight.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including negotiation, conflict resolution, and team building skills to effectively lead in a collegial and professional manner.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Five years of previous arts administrative experience in a higher education setting.
  • Demonstrated experience in student recruitment.
  • Demonstrated commitment and ability to work with a diverse group of students, faculty, staff and constituents in support of school, college and university mission.
  • Demonstrated commitment to the university and the profession.
  • Experience with fundraising/donor relations.

Application Details

A full description of the position, including a leadership agenda, desired qualifications and instructions on the application process can be found in the position profile:

Inquiries, nominations, and applications are invited. Applications received by November 16, 2021, will be given full consideration. Screening will begin soon after that date and continue until the position is filled. An application should include: (1) a letter with a statement of philosophy that addresses leadership, administration, and management of a school of the arts; (2) a curriculum vitae; and (3) the names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of five references. References will not be contacted without the candidate's permission. Additional supporting materials that cannot be attached to the electronic application may be requested at a later date.

All submissions will be treated in confidence and should be sent electronically (MS Word format preferred) to The committee is assisted by Dr. Wanda Durrett Bigham, Senior Consultant, who can be reached at or by calling 334-425-6865.

The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation in its programs, activities or employment. UNO is an AA/EEO/ADA institution.

UNO is a VEVRAA Federal contractor and an E-Verify employer. The University is committed to achieving diversity among faculty and staff. It is particularly interested in receiving applications from members of underrepresented groups and strongly encourages women and persons of color to apply.

When inquiring or applying for this position, please also reference

Applicants with dual-career considerations can find university jobs such as professor jobs, dean jobs, chair / department head jobs, and other faculty jobs and employment opportunities at University of Nebraska Omaha and at other institutions of higher education in the region on

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