Search for the New Dean of the USC Thornton School of Music

Message to the USC Thornton School of Music Faculty, Staff and Students

From: Charles F. Zukoski, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

We are pleased to announce that we have appointed a search committee to identify and recruit the next dean of the USC Thornton School of Music. The dean search advisory committee will be chaired by Elizabeth Daley, Dean, USC School of Cinematic Arts. The committee roster follows this memo.

The Thornton School is renowned for the excellence of its faculty and staff and for its forward-looking curriculum that has helped propel music programs into the 21st century. From its degrees in contemporary music and music technology to the current bold re-imagining of its entire curriculum, Thornton is setting the standard that will help produce tomorrow’s most entrepreneurial and inventive musicians. Over the last several years, the school has generated millions of dollars for student scholarships, pioneered study abroad opportunities for undergraduates, and prioritized diversity and inclusion, notably by hiring more women and people of color into its faculty ranks. As the leader of this diverse and vibrant school, we seek a new dean whose skills and talents will build on Thornton’s existing foundation of strength.

As the search moves ahead, we will follow the same procedures and protocols that have been observed in other dean searches. The committee will review nominations, conduct interviews, and advise me on finalists. I will also seek guidance of a group composed of non-faculty USC Thornton stakeholders. All who interview the final candidates will be invited to send their comments regarding the strengths and possible weaknesses of these candidates to me directly and confidentially. All of this information will be used in making a recommendation to President Folt; she will make the final decision.

To assist us in this important search, we have engaged the executive search firm ILM Partners and their consultant Neil Fink. We will follow up with additional information about how you can provide your nominations and input and we will keep you informed of progress. You can also follow updates at our dean search website at

Thank you for your keen insight and valued participation in support of the USC Thornton School of Music as we come together to seek the next bold leader who will advance academic and artistic excellence for an ever-changing and evolving world.

cc: Elizabeth Daley, Dean, USC School of Cinematic Arts
Robin Romans, Associate Vice Provost