Susan Solt joined UC Santa Cruz, as dean of the Arts Division, in August, 2016. Dean Solt came to the campus from the California Institute of the Arts School of Theater (CalArts), where she was a longtime professor of theater.
While at CalArts, she served as dean for eight years (1995 - 2003), during which she was also founding artistic director/producer of the CalArts Center for New Theater (renamed the Center for New Performance in 2006). Prior to that, she was senior vice president of production for Miramax Films and an award-winning producer of feature films for Warner Bros., including Presumed Innocent starring Harrison Ford and Doc Hollywood with Michael J. Fox.
She earned her M.F.A. in theater administration from the Yale School of Drama, as well as a M.A. in African American studies, a M.A. in U.S. history, and a Ph.D. in Atlantic history from UCLA.
Dean Solt studied acting in London and her film career began with Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alan J. Pakula's Sophie's Choice.In 2018 Dean Solt was named a Top-Tier Educator by Variety magazine.