Following a national search, Portland State University (PSU) has appointed Robert Bucker as the new dean of the recently created College of the Arts. Bucker, who has more than 40 years of experience in fine and performing arts, will oversee a College that includes the School of Architecture, School of Art and Design, School of Music, and School of Theatre and Film.
“To be the dean of a new College that has so much capacity to become a significant incubator for creativity is very exciting,” said Bucker. “I am looking forward to building and strengthening bridges between the new college and the professional performing and visual arts community. In addition, new community friendships will need to be forged that bring new resources into the College.”
Bucker inherits a robust college housed primarily in two recently renovated buildings: Lincoln Hall and Shattuck Hall. The College of the Arts, formerly known as the School of Fine and Performing Arts, has some of the fastest growing programs at PSU, including architecture, film and graphic design. More than 2,750 students are currently majoring in Arts programs at PSU. Lincoln Hall is also a sought after venue for many arts organizations in Portland, with 17 community organizations staging more than 85 events in Lincoln Hall in 2012.
"I am pleased that we were able to attract a new dean that understands the important role that our College of the Arts plays at PSU and in our community,” said Sona Andrews, provost of PSU. “Bob's experience, comprehensive understanding, passion for the work, and proven leadership when coupled with the tremendous talents of our faculty, students and staff will continue to blaze a bright future for the college."
Currently the Dean of the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication at California State University, Bucker has a broad range of experience in fine and performing arts. He began his career as a middle school and high school vocal music teacher and choral director in Missouri. He served as the director of education for the Metropolitan Opera Guild and the voice chairman, and choral conductor, for the Presidential Scholars in the Arts program (founded by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts). Prior to his current position, he was the dean of the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Peck School of the Arts, and dean of the School of Fine Arts at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
Bucker succeeds the previous dean, Barbara Sestak, who will step down and return to her academic program, Architecture, in August. His first day at work will be September 1.