Provost outlines next steps for SMTD dean search


Interim Provost Paul N. Courant will be reaching out to faculty and staff in the School of Music, Theater & Dance as he begins the process of forming a committee to assist with a search for the school’s next dean.

Aaron Dworkin, dean of the school for the past two years, announced Wednesday that he will step down Aug. 15 to spend more time focused on his family.

Courant said he very much wanted Dworkin to remain as dean but said he respected Dworkin’s decision and his commitment to his family. He said he was pleased that Dworkin will remain a faculty member.

Courant said he would recommend an interim dean in the months ahead and would launch a national search for a new dean “who will seek to further enhance the school’s core mission and related activities.” He sent a message to SMTD faculty and staff, asking for recommendations for candidates to serve on a search advisory committee.

In a message to students, faculty and staff in the school, Dworkin said he was making his announcement “with intensely mixed emotions.” He said the decision reflects a joint family decision and he asked for understanding and “my need for privacy on this matter.”

“I deeply cherish our beloved school, respect our talented faculty and staff, and am passionate about our work transforming the lives of our engaged students, who represent the future of our field,” Dworkin said.

Dworkin has two degrees from U-M, a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music in violin performance. Dworkin is the founder of the Sphinx Organization, a leading national nonprofit based in Detroit that was established to increase diversity in the arts.



  1. Laurie Baefsky
    on April 6, 2017 at 3:02 am

    Dean Dworkin is a change leader, thought leader, innovator and champion for the performing arts’ critical role in higher education and society. Diversity, relevance, and humanity are pillars of his message — these will carry on. I’ve welcomed his vision, deep commitment to the students, and global perspective. He’ll be missed.

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