Update on Thornton Dean Search


To: USC Thornton academic community
From: Elizabeth M. Daley
Dean, School of Cinematic Arts
Date: October 19, 2021

Subject: Update on Thornton Dean Search

As chair of the Advisory Search Committee, I write with an update on our progress to select a new Dean for the USC Thornton School of Music. I also write to ask for your help with our search.

Following the announcement of the search, the search advisory committee met on October 11 and received its charge from Provost Zukoski. Provost Zukoski challenged the search advisory committee to think deeply about the role of Dean and to seek broad input from the USC community. The committee then discussed the things that make the Thornton School unique, the challenges the next dean will face, and the attributes they hope to find in the next dean, including the kind of background, musical, professional and academic experience, and the personal qualities the finalist should have.

Moving forward, your committee members and I ask three things of you: First, please continue to monitor our progress with the search – stay engaged! To help you do so, we have launched a search website where you can review relevant news and updates (including this one) on the advisory committee’s progress.

Second, we want your suggestions/nominations for candidates you feel should be considered. All nominations sent from the Thornton search website will go directly to our search consultant, Neil Fink of the executive search firm ILM Partners. Nominations will be shared with the committee, while holding confidential from whom the nominations come.

Finally, we will schedule listening sessions for faculty, staff, and students during which members of the Thornton community can provide input about the search to committee members and our search consultants. Invitations will be sent within the next week for those sessions.

As we proceed, I invite you to contact me and/or other committee members with your input. Over the next several weeks, the advisory committee will begin to screen and interview candidates, so now is a particularly good time to reach out to us. Committee members are eager to receive your input.

The committee and I know we have a vitally important responsibility to the Thornton community to help identify the most accomplished, able, and visionary leader. With your help, I know we will get there.

cc: Provost Charles “Chip” Zukoski