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2019 Arts Division Retreat Focuses on Radical Shared Governance

On Monday, September 23, 2019 faculty and staff from the Division of the Arts gathered together inside the Music Center Recital Hall for the annual Division retreat, led by Interim Dean and Professor of Dance in the Theater Arts Department Ted Warburton.  

This year’s theme, Radical Shared Governance, was chosen by iDean Warburton as a way to express his belief in the important work that the Arts Division is achieving to be more inclusive, more diverse, and more equitable.

“There will be challenging times ahead for us, difficult conversations to be had,” he said. “But my theory of leadership is that we can rebuild a culture of trust and recreate the Arts as a place where we bring our best selves and do our best work as an ethical learning community and dynamic research division.”

Warburton opened the daylong event with a special safety presentation by UC Santa Cruz police chief, Nadar Oweis and Jody Greene, associate vice provost for teaching and learning, who facilitated a workshop onLeading in the Classroom Environment. They covered critical aspects of how to respond to a variety of emergency situations within the classroom and on campus.

“The importance of safety cannot be overstated. I am proud of the steps that we are taking to insure a secure and positive learning community,” commented Warburton.

UC Santa Cruz’s new chancellor, Cindy Larive, and Lori Kletzer, interim campus provost and executive vice chancellor, also joined the event to speak about their commitment to advancing student success, communications, and shared governance, and expressed their ardent support of the Arts Division. Kletzer, who had been the interim dean for the Arts Division prior to Warburton, received an especially warm welcome for her leadership of the Division during the 2018-19 academic year and was the recipient of the Arts Advocate Award.

Another highlight of the retreat was a beautiful dance performance by Meg Schneider, 2019 alum of the Theater Arts Department who accompanied Associate Professor Gerald Casel to Paris this past summer for “Camping”, the international contemporary dance workshop and festival.

“As most of you know, I am a dancer,” said iDean Warburton. “I wanted to begin this year’s retreat with dance, represented as both a performance practice and an embodied metaphor for my theory of leadership during this interim period. Dance, by its very nature, is a shared experience.”

iDean Warburton and Meg Schneider demonstrate rolling the point of contact

During interactive break-out sessions, faculty and staff explored the topics of Communications and Student Success, both of which are priorities for the Dean as well as the campus administration. Feedback gathered during the sessions will be critical for advancing the Division’s agenda and action plans for the year ahead. “It is no accident that I am asking experienced staff, individuals with area expertise, to lead our sessions,” said Warburton. “I’m eager to hear their presentations, and I welcome the conversation and ideas that these presentations will generate.”

New staff and staff service milestones also were acknowledged, as were faculty accomplishments, including promotion to tenure for Jennifer Maytorena Taylor and Soraya Murray; promotion to full professor in 2018 to Robin Hunicke, John Jota Leaños, and Nina Treadwell; promotion to full professor in 2019 to Michael Chemers, Dee Hibbert-Jones, Irene Lusztig, and Derek Murray; promotion to Step 6 to Amy Beal, David Lee Cuthbert, Anatole Leikin, and Elizabeth Stephens; and Kathy Foley’s promotion to above scale/distinguished professor.

Division of the Arts faculty and staff at the 2019 retreat

Later in the afternoon, attendees enjoyed presentations by five new faculty members: Mark Nash, professor of arts and the new director of the Digital Arts and New Media Program; Isaac Julien, distinguished professor of the arts; micha cárdenas, assistant professor of Art Games and Playable Media; Yve Chavez, assistant professor in the History of Art and Visual Culture (HAVC) Department; and Michelle Lou, visiting assistant professor of music.

Towards the end of day, everyone joined together for a reception and a chance to socialize and go over the day’s events. Overall, people were inspired by iDean’s Warburton’s message, and gave rave reviews for the retreat, with stand-outs being the dance performance, break-out sessions, and hearing from Chancellor Larive and iCP/EVC Lori Kletzer. 

“I also want to remind us that my deanship is temporary. I look forward to returning to the faculty” said iDean Warburton. “Until then, I will do my utmost to deserve your support for radical shared governance and, in the process, elevate the Arts as the cultural heart of the campus.”