Artistic Director /Dean of the Conservatory for the Performing Arts, Point Park University

Pittsburgh, PA
Point Park University invites qualified candidates to submit applications to become the new Artistic Director/Dean of the Conservatory of the Performing Arts at the University. With the opening of its new magnificent complex with three theatres, sound stage and support spaces, along with the existing state of the art Performing Arts Center, Point Park University is primed to offer students and the public top-notch artistic experiences.

The Artistic Director/Dean will join the new Managing Director/Director of the Center for Entertainment Management in a co-leadership role both reporting to the University Provost. The searches are happening simultaneously.

Interested applicants should submit materials as requested in the profile document to the consulting firm retained for this search:

Management Consultants for the Arts, Inc

Point Park University seeks a dynamic leader to oversee the artistic and academic excellence of our nationally renowned Conservatory of Performing Arts (COPA) which provides education and training in the fields of theater, dance and cinema. This position will be integral in bringing to life the new multi-theater $60M Pittsburgh Playhouse as well as providing robust programming in the University’s state-of-the-art Cinema and Animation labs and the 8-studio George Rowland White Performance Center. The position requires a person with the organizational background and artistic creativity to help shape this important institution. Comprised of two major parts, this position will establish the overall artistic vision for the Playhouse while also being responsible for ensuring the highest quality undergraduate and graduate education in the Conservatory.

Point Park University boasts nationally recognized programs and a gorgeous new three theater facility. It is positioned at the forefront of innovation in the entertainment industry.

About the Pittsburgh Playhouse and the Conservatory of Performing Arts
Located in the heart of one of the most livable cities in the US, Point Park University, recently listed as a 2018-2019 college of distinction, is a vibrant, urban campus located at the edge of the historic Market Square in downtown Pittsburgh. The University has an enrollment of approximately 4000 full and part-time students in more than 50 areas of academic study.

The departments of Theatre, Dance and Cinema Arts comprise the Conservatory of Performing Arts, which houses 875 students majoring in at least one of 17 degrees. As one of the top programs of its kind in the nation, the conservatory combines real-world experience and rigorous training with internationally recognized master teachers, directors, producers, writers, and choreographers. The University’s prestigious and nationally recognized Conservatory of Performing Arts, operates within a brand new $60 million complex containing 3 performance venues and a professional sound stage as well as a full complement of production shops and rehearsal spaces. The conservatory combines the three disciplines of cinema, dance and theatre into a dynamic Conservatory that produces hundreds of new professional-level graduates every year. Working with the students at Point Park University, the A.D/Dean will help cultivate the next generation of award-winning artists. Among the goals of COPA is to provide professional training so that students graduate with “professional career readiness.” The significant number of graduates working in all areas of the entertainment industry speak to Point Park University’s success on this dimension.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Located at the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers, Pittsburgh is one of America’s most livable cities, and in recent years has become a hotbed of innovation, particularly in the healthcare and technology arenas. Some 177,000 people work in Pittsburgh’s tech-related industries, and their ranks continue to grow. Through the efforts of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and other passionate audiences and cultural philanthropies, the arts sector has blossomed with thriving venues for music, dance, theater, and performance art in the heart of Downtown and throughout the city. Pittsburgh is also an active center for major film and television production. The cost of living, networking opportunities, and an innovative and devoted community make the city appealing to entrepreneurs, corporations, and artists alike. Pittsburgh’s restaurant scene is booming; Zagat’s named Pittsburgh its top food city in 2015. There are a number of world-class museums, music festivals and theaters. A city full of energy and pride, Pittsburgh is a thriving city rich with history.


The Artistic Director/Dean reports to the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs.

The Artistic Director/Dean will be responsible for leading the Conservatory in two vital capacities.

1. As part of their Artistic Director duties, the person in this position will establish the overall artistic vision for the Conservatory of Performing Arts. The AD/Dean should possess a proven record of enhancing diversity and inclusion and will work with students and faculty from the schools of Cinema Arts, Dance and Theater to ensure that their values, skills, and perspectives inform all aspects of the shared experience within the Conservatory. The AD/Dean will work co-equally and collaboratively with the Managing Director/Director of the Center for Entertainment Management. This coequal leadership arrangement has many of the characteristics we associate with the Artistic Director and Managing Director partnership of a producing theater or dance company. From University leadership to faculty and staff, the concept of a “learning laboratory” is seen as central and critical to the success of the performing arts at Point Park University.

2. The person in this position is responsible for ensuring the highest quality undergraduate and graduate education in the Conservatory’s three academic departments.

With its new facility and continued commitment and support from the university, COPA and the Playhouse are poised to continue their impressive growth both in scope of activity and in excellence. There is potential for substantial growth for both COPA and the Playhouse, including summer programming, cross-departmental programming, and joint ventures with outside companies and organizations. The AD/Dean will be an important voice in how the REP (the resident Equity company) continues and evolves.

To learn more about Point Park, COPA, the George Rowland White Performance Center, and the Pittsburgh Playhouse please click here:

Key responsibilities of the Artistic Director component of the position include:

  • Develop and approve the season for the three theatres of the Pittsburgh Playhouse as well as the performance and rehearsal studios of the George Rowland White Performance Center.
  • Provide shared interdepartmental learning experiences for Conservatory students in Cinema Arts, Dance, and Theater.
  • Represent the University and Conservatory and its artistic vision, elevating and promoting the Conservatory and the new Pittsburgh Playhouse as national and regional assets.
  • Closely collaborate with the Managing Director of the Center for Entertainment Management and Pittsburgh Playhouse.
  • Oversee the artistic budgets related to productions within the COPA.
  • Build external partnerships within the professional performing and visual arts community, enhancing opportunities for students, faculty and staff.

Key responsibilities of the Dean component of this position include:

  • Emphasize the importance of, and create opportunities for, interdisciplinary relationships between various schools of the University and the Playhouse.
  • Lead artistic efforts to achieve equity, diversity, and inclusion throughout faculty, staff, student body and visiting artists.
  • Manage faculty and staff in the academic departments of the Conservatory, including hiring and mentoring faculty and oversite of the tenure and promotion process. The Dean will utilize department chairs to accomplish this work.
  • Oversee all learning assessment and academic program review.
  • Provide sound financial management of Conservatory budgets and resources, including fundraising.
  • Support and promote faculty scholarship and creative activity to ensure faculty remain creatively relevant.

All candidates should be professionally qualified, ideally with a terminal degree but if not, they should have significant professional experience. While having a background as a producing artist is important, it is equally important that the new AD/Dean understands that the focus of this job is on the student’s learning and the faculty’s work.

The successful candidate will possess these skills and experience:

  • Experience developing compelling seasons for a university or professional theater, preferably including a track record of developing new work.
  • Able to communicate a compelling vision for both the education and programmatic opportunities of the University.
  • A visionary leader.
  • Ideally a personal history of artistic achievements of note.
  • A successful track record of developing interdepartmental learning or compelling insights into how to accomplish this goal.
  • Experience overseeing academic departments.
  • Facility with artistic and academic budgets.
  • Experienced fundraiser.
  • Strong, effective collaborator.
  • National platform and contacts in the entertainment industry, in New York, LA, and elsewhere are desirable.
  • Ability to develop collaborative projects that have national participants and exposure.

Personal traits of a successful candidate will likely include:

  • Versatility
  • Curiosity
  • Hard worker
  • Critical thinker
  • Generous
  • Grit, determination


Stephen Richard of Management Consultants for the Arts is the consultant leading this search. Interested and qualified candidates are encouraged to submit in complete confidence a cover letter, resume, and four professional/academic references to the consulting firm retained to conduct the search. The letter of no more than 1½ pages should describe why this post is attractive to the applicant and what about them and their work makes them a potentially strong contributor as a leader of Point Park University. Application materials should be sent electronically – Word or .pdf only, please – with the applicant’s name included as part of each file name utilizing our online application system. Once all your materials have been submitted online, you will receive a confirmation of your submission via the email address you have provided in the application. For clarification on any of this information, please contact Christy Wall at

Submissions should be made through Management Consultants for the Arts’ website at:

Point Park University very much encourages applications from women and from people of color.

Leave a comment

Plain text

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <ul> <ol> <li>
  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
1 + 1 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.

User login