MAY 31, 2022 — UTSA today announced a national search for the founding director of a new UTSA school focused on arts education. The new school, which will be named later this summer, is being created as a result of the university’s merger of the Southwest School of Art and in conjunction with an ongoing tactical visioning process to remake the UTSA College of Liberal and Fine Arts (COLFA).
Work to integrate SSA’s bachelor of fine arts offerings with UTSA’s degree program was announced in Augustof 2021, and a definitive agreement was approved by the SSA Board of Trustees and UT System Board of Regents in November 2021. During the winter and spring of 2022, numerous action steps in the merger have been completed to enable the initiation of this national search.
“By leveraging the combined strengths of our two institutions, we have an unprecedented opportunity to create a new school with the potential to become a national model for arts education,” said Kimberly Andrews Espy, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “Through this search, we hope to identify a founding director with the leadership and experience to define and chart the realization of a shared vision for the benefit of our students and the San Antonio arts community.”
The search will be assisted by executive search firm Koya Partners and Koya managing director Naree W.S.Viner.
Founded in 2004, Koya has conducted over a thousand executive searches for mission-driven organizations across the U.S. and around the world.
Viner is regarded as one of the leading search consultants in the field, and she has particular expertise working with art and cultural institutions to identify and recruit executive talent. Representative clients include the Corcoran School of Art (George Washington University); Haystack Mountain School of Crafts; the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; Harvard Art Museums; Smart Museum of Art (University of Chicago); University of Michigan Museum of Art; Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library; and Yale University Art Gallery.
A search advisory committee composed of faculty, staff and student representatives and community stakeholders will be named later this summer. To kickoff the development of the position profile, the search firm will engage with community and university stakeholders to identify their aspirations and characteristics desired in the new school leader.
The search process will afford multiple opportunities to meet and interact with candidates, as well as to provide input into the selection. Simultaneously with the search, COLFA leadership will conduct campus visits and engage with national experts and community constituents to learn from exemplar universities and programs as guides in growing the new school.
“The merger of SSA provides us an incredible opportunity to recommit to arts education as part of our work through the tactical visioning process of identifying COLFA’s greatest strengths and opportunities,” said Dean Glenn Martínez. “Our Department of Art and Art History faculty and
SSA colleagues have worked diligently to create a new curriculum for the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program that links and expands our institutions’ complementary assets. More broadly, the new art school will contribute to a vibrant, thriving arts education ecosystem for our students and the greater community.”