SF State names Kurt Daw dean of the College of Creative Arts
Noted theatre and opera director brings wealth of experience as leader in creative arts
SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 6, 2008 -- San Francisco State University has named Kurt Daw as its new dean of the College of Creative Arts following a nationwide search. Daw comes to SF State from the State University of New York at New Paltz, where he had served as dean of the school of fine and performing arts since 2003.
"In Kurt Daw, we have found an exceptional individual to whom we can entrust one of SF State’s greatest resources -- its wide-ranging and nationally recognized creative arts programs," President Robert A. Corrigan said. "His record is stellar in every respect. The faculty he has led admire and trust him; students have benefited demonstrably from the leadership and academic initiatives he has developed for them, and community members have been inspired to provide tangible support for university arts programs."
At SUNY-New Paltz, Daw led the School of Fine and Performing Arts to full national accreditation of its programs by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, National Association of Schools of Music and the National Association of Schools of Theatre. He also guided a noted regional museum, professional summer theatre company and an international music festival/institute, while serving in a variety of other leadership positions on campus.
"Kurt Daw is a proven leader and passionate steward of the creative arts," University Provost John Gemello said. "His experience at building successful programs in academia and leading national theatre organizations will be invaluable as he builds upon the creative foundation at San Francisco State."
A noted director with more than 75 productions to his credit, Daw founded The Public Opera of Dallas and has also served as the president for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, the nation's largest organization for theatre arts in higher education. While leading the organization, Daw helped the group move beyond celebrating diversity to integrating a broad spectrum of viewpoints in theatre education.
Those leadership skills will be paramount as Daw comes to SF State at a time of great change in the College of Creative Arts. The University plans to break ground in 2010 on the Mashouf Creative Arts Center, which strengthens the College's role as a leading center for creativity in San Francisco and the region, while providing a state-of-the-art home for its diverse departments in art, broadcast and electronic communication arts, cinema, design and industry, theatre arts, and the school of music and dance. Daw believes community involvement plays an integral role in the success of the College. "We're about to build a facility that is going to become a model for interdisciplinary education," Daw said. "The facility can serve as the University's calling card to the community."
An Idaho native, Daw graduated from the University of Idaho and earned a doctorate in Higher Education Administration from The Union Institute and University Graduate School. He previously taught at Kennesaw State University from 1985-2003 where he served as a tenured professor of theatre, founding chair of the department of theatre and later as a fellow in the Institute for Leadership, Ethics and Character, overseeing leadership development programs for the entire University. He has published three books on acting and Shakespeare. "We live in a world that calls for innovation, creativity and connectivity," Daw said. "I really believe a creative degree gives you the skills and resources to live in that world."
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