Carol Becker Named New Dean of School of the Arts

June 1, 2007

Dear fellow member of the Columbia community,

I am delighted to announce that Carol Becker has agreed to become the new dean of our School of the Arts. Carol brings not only a wealth of leadership experience but also an extraordinary dedication to fostering artistic creativity and to enhancing the role of the arts, and the artist, in society. As a writer, a cultural critic, and an educator, she will help the arts excel at Columbia and in New York City.

Carol has been serving as dean of faculty and senior vice-president for academic affairs at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for some time. Before joining the School of the Art Institute as an assistant professor nearly three decades ago, Carol taught at the University of California, San Diego; San Diego State University; Northeastern Illinois University; and Ionian University in Corfu. She earned her B.A. from State University of New York at Buffalo and her Ph.D. in English and American literature from University of California, San Diego. She is the recipient of many awards.

With research interests that range from feminist theory, American cultural history, and the education of artists, to South African art and politics, she has published numerous articles and books including: The Invisible Drama: Women and the Anxiety of Change (translated into seven languages); The Subversive Imagination: Artists, Society, and Social Responsibility; Zones of Contention: Essays on Art, Institutions, and Gender; and Surpassing the Spectacle: Global Transformations and the Changing Politics of Art.

Under the skilled stewardship of Acting Dean Dan Kleinman, the School of the Arts has thrived, including record-setting success at this year's Sundance Film Festival for the film division. During this transition period, Dan has supported Columbia's history of exceptional art students and helped to integrate the school more deeply within the larger University. We thank him for his service and are glad that he will remain a key colleague on our extraordinarily talented faculty.

I also want to thank the search committee, led by Alan Brinkley and Nick Dirks, for its outstanding work in identifying a fine group of candidates. Please join me in extending an enthusiastic welcome to Carol Becker from our community.


Lee C. Bollinger