Dean Search for the USC Iovine and Young Academy

From the Office of the Provost

To:USC Iovine and Young Academy Faculty, Staff, and Students
From:Charles F. Zukoski
 Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Date:January 6, 2021
Subject:Search for the New Dean of the USC Iovine and Young Academy

I am pleased to announce that we have appointed a search committee to identify and recruit the next dean to lead the USC Iovine and Young Academy. The search committee will be co-chaired by Willow Bay, Dean, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and Elizabeth Graddy, Executive Vice Provost. The committee roster follows this memo.

This committee is assembled to help us select the best candidate for the exceptional Iovine and Young Academy. The Academy is unique among higher education institutions with its bold and future-facing combination of art, business and technology through an unprecedented education forged at the intersection of four essential areas: the arts and design, technology, entrepreneurship, and communication. This cross-functional and expansive expertise prepares graduates of the Academy to adapt quickly to rapidly changing work landscapes and develop high-level problem-solving abilities and skills that can be applied across a broad spectrum of industries and fields for the 21st century. Our students dream big and push boundaries for positive societal change in such areas as information systems, product development, human-centered design, e-commerce, health innovation, social change, and the future of the arts, media and entertainment ecosystems. Fueled by diversity and inclusion, technology, agency, and unbridled creativity, the Academy’s alumni develop novel ways of working, learning, collaborating, and engaging with our communities.

As the dean search moves forward, we will follow the same procedures that have been observed in other dean searches. The committee will review nominations, conduct interviews, and advise me on finalists. Those who are asked to interview the final candidates will be invited to send their comments regarding the strengths and possible weaknesses of these candidates to me directly and confidentially.

Selection of candidates and narrowing of the pool will be done by the search committee. I will also seek advice of an advisory group composed of non-faculty I&Y stakeholders. Members of this group will be announced soon.

To assist us in this important search, we have engaged the executive search firm Spencer Stuart and their consultants Diane Carlyle, Mary Gorman and Chuck Jordan. We will follow up with additional information about how you can provide your nominations and input, and we will keep you informed of progress. You can also follow updates at our dean search website available at the following link: Thank you for your enthusiastic engagement and valued collaboration in support of the USC Iovine and Young Academy as we work together to find our next stellar leader who will advance academic excellence for an ever-changing global landscape.

cc:Willow Bay, Dean, Annenberg, School for Communication and Journalism
 Elizabeth Graddy, Executive Vice Provost

About the USC Iovine and Young Academy

Located in Los Angeles, a city synonymous with artistic innovation and excellence, the top-ranked USC School of Dramatic Arts is a leader in dramatic arts education. The School uniquely blends artistic training in a conservatory environment with outstanding faculty and the full academic experience found only within a major research university, and bridges the classical foundations of the dramatic arts with all of its contemporary and future expressions. A close-knit, supportive environment offers students the freedom to explore their artistic passions. Through programs of the highest caliber, as well as initiatives that provide access to professional experience, students are prepared for leadership in every facet of dramatic arts.

The School’s active production program (more than 20 shows annually) utilizes four theatre facilities. The School encourages students to gain professional experience and academic credit through internships and has created partnerships with many professional companies. The recently established Career Center offers students and recent alumni a full suite of services including mentoring, coaching services for auditions and the production of self-tapes, career counseling, guidance and support for headshots, seminars with leading industry professionals, and audition opportunities.

The USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy was founded in 2013 with a visionary gift from entrepreneurs Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young (Dr. Dre), to establish a new school to nurture critical thinking and unbridled creativity at the intersection of four essential areas: arts and design; engineering and computer science; business and venture management; and communication.

In Fall 2014, the Academy enrolled its inaugural class of freshmen who graduated in May 2018. Soon after, the Academy was named USC’s 20th professional school, and remains under the leadership of Erica Muhl as the school’s former founding executive director and inaugural dean.

Conceived as an educational startup, the Academy is not just a home for disruptors but a disruptor itself. Its model is unique among higher education institutions, and in only a few years it is already achieving student outcomes that are garnering notice from higher education, research, big tech, and the creative industries. Academy students possess significant abilities as leaders, creatives, and cross-disciplinary team members that focus on high-level problem solving in areas as diverse as information systems, product development, human-centered design, e-commerce, health innovation, social change, and the future of the arts, media and entertainment ecosystems. As innovators who are well prepared for an ever-changing global landscape, they are already capturing highly competitive internships, fellowships and full-time positions at a roster of organizations that includes Google, Apple, Intel, Adobe, Facebook, Oculus, Spotify, IDEO, Dreamworks, Sony, Imagine Entertainment, Sundance, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Hulu, NVIDIA, DEKA Research Labs, and Verizon. Academy startups have garnered more than $26 million in funding to date, and a product designed and developed exclusively by Academy students, the Mira Augmented Reality Headset, received the prestigious 2018 Red Dot Product Design Award.

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