Corcoran students, faculty lay out priorities for first director

Media Credit: Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Photographer

Naree Viner, a consultant at the firm Korn Ferry, met with Corcoran students Tuesday morning to discuss her firm's ongoing search for the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design's first director.

The Corcoran School of the Arts and Design is one step closer to choosing its first director, after students and faculty meet with the firm that’s leading the search this week.

Naree Viner, a principal consultant at the executive search firm Korn Ferry, has planned to meet with students Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon, and faculty members later this week to discuss the search, which launched last fall. The meetings will give students and faculty a chance to discuss what characteristics they believe a director needs, according to an email obtained by The Hatchet.

Several Corcoran faculty members said they couldn’t comment on the search, but that they planned to meet with Viner at the end of this week. Douglas Boyce, a professor of music who is chairing the search committee, and Viner did not return request for comment.

Ben Vinson, the dean of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, said last fall that the University is looking to bring in a leader with skills to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration with other departments and schools.

The director will oversee the transition of the school into the Columbian College. Though the Corcoran School moved under GW’s largest college this past fall, the two have so far acted mostly on their own.

That will change, though, likely once a director comes to campus. This semester already marked the first time that GW students could register for Corcoran art courses during the regular sign-up period.

Officials plan to eventually move GW’s arts programs, including the theater, dance and fine arts departments, under the school.

Both Corcoran and GW arts faculty are teaching classes this semester, and those faculty members said they would spend this year comparing classes and syllabi to start the complicated process of merging programs.

The University’s process for searching for a school’s next leader is fairly uniform across campus. A search committee – consisting of faculty and students from the school, administrators, and members of the Board of Trustees – will solicit applications and invite potential candidates to apply for the position.

That committee, which works closely with the search firm, will invite semi-finalists to interview off campus, and then select a group of finalists to each visit campus for several days.

The Faculty Senate and the Board of Trustees could shake up that process over the next several months, as they finalize changes to the Faculty Code about the way GW searches and evaluates deans and other administrators.

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