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Catherine Cole of UC Berkeley Named Divisional Dean for the Arts

Submitted by Katrina M Ernst on May 12, 2016 - 10:58am
Catherine Cole, newly appointed Divisional Dean of the Arts and Professor of Drama
Catherine Cole, newly appointed Divisional Dean of the Arts and Professor of Drama

From the College of Arts & Sciences news release:

May 5, 2016 Seattle— Robert Stacey, Dean of the University of Washington College of Arts and Sciences, announced that Catherine Cole, formerly professor and chair of the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies at the University of California Berkeley, is joining the College of Arts & Sciences as Divisional Dean for the Arts and Professor of Drama.

“Catherine will be a wonderful addition to our leadership in the College,” stated Dean Stacey. “She has an impressive record as a collaborator, visionary, and strategic thinker, and these traits will be invaluable for the College. She has worked as both a scholar and an artist, and is deeply committed to the historic values of public education and the University’s role as a public good.”

Cole’s areas of expertise include human rights, law and performance, African theater and performance in national and transnational contexts, ethnography and fieldwork, disability studies, performance in the global South, and contemporary American performance. She is dedicated to making higher education a space that is more inclusive and welcoming to under-represented minorities.

“The University of Washington provides an outstanding climate for interdisciplinary collaboration. The campus is well poised to leverage the full power of university-based arts as a catalyst for innovative learning, research, and public engagement in the 21st century,” said Cole.  “I also bring a personal commitment to diversity, as well as practical skills in facilitating institutional change that I have been cultivating during my entire academic career.”

Cole joined Berkeley in 2007 as professor in the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies. In 2013, she became department chair and transformed the department into one of the most cohesive and visible units on campus. Under her leadership, department majors and minors grew by 58%, and she was able to attract diverse faculty and student populations. Cole also tripled summer-session revenues and secured $2 million in facilities improvements.

In the decade prior to joining Berkeley, Cole served in varying roles of increased responsibility at University of California, Santa Barbara. Her roles included assistant and associate professor in the Department of Dramatic Art; vice chair of the Academic Senate; and associate director for special projects in the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center. 

From 1996-97, Cole was a lecturer at Northwestern University and a visiting assistant professor in the School of Theatre at Florida State University.

Cole received her A.B. in English with a minor in Theatre from Occidental College in 1986. And, in 1996, Cole received a Ph.D. in the Interdisciplinary Program in Theatre and Drama from Northwestern University, where she also received certificates in African Studies and Women’s Studies.

About The College

The College of Arts & Sciences, founded in 1861, provides an education of tremendous breadth and depth to more than 27,000 students while advancing research and scholarship in the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences.  The College has more than two dozen interdisciplinary centers and ties to many other centers, enabling scholars in diverse fields to collaborate on complex research questions in the humanities, demography, labor studies, human rights, astrobiology, and other areas.

The College’s faculty generate more than $105 million in research funds annually, through public and private grants.  The College also serves the community through the more than 280 performances, 60 exhibits and 100 public programs annually offered through the School of Art + Art History + Design, School of Music, School of Drama, Dance Program, Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media, Henry Art Gallery, Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, and the Meany Center for the Performing Arts.


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