Professional News

UK College of Fine Arts Dean to Lead Arts College at Syracuse University


LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 17, 2016) — After six years as dean of the University of Kentucky College of Fine Arts, Michael Tick will step down to assume the position of dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University. He begins at Syracuse July 1.

Syracuse University is a private, coeducational, urban institution located in the heart of Central New York. As dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, Tick will lead more than 300 full-time and part-time faculty and nearly 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students in six schools and departments.

“I’m very appreciative of Michael’s leadership for the College of Fine Arts for the last six years. During his tenure, the college has made significant advancement through new facilities and programs, while maintaining a commitment to the highest standards of artistic expression, which have been recognized literally around the globe,” said Tim Tracy, UK provost. “We wish Michael and his family only the best as they pursue this newest chapter in their lives at Syracuse."

Under Tick’s leadership, the School of Art and Visual Studies moved into a new state-of-the-art facility through a nearly $24 million university investment in a renovated historic building. The building includes specialized areas such as digital media labs, a multipurpose 3D fabrication lab, student studios, and gallery space. In fall 2016, the college will launch the Creative Arts Living Learning Program in a new 1,100-bed residential hall with multidisciplinary spaces for visual, performing, and literary arts. The facility, a partnership with the College of Arts and Sciences, will dramatically enhance student opportunities for creative discovery and innovation on UK’s campus. Because of Tick’s advocacy and commitment to facility improvements, the initial scope and architectural program are in place for a new School of Music instruction building, which will support rehearsal space for the Wildcat Marching Band.

During his tenure, Tick built a centralized administrative support infrastructure for the College of Fine Arts with new positions for communications, recruiting, development, and information technology. The college hired its first chief financial officer and developed an integrated business unit in anticipation of the university’s new budget model. This centralized infrastructure provides strong fiscal oversight of program expenditures as well as a unified identity for student success and patron and donor engagement.

One of the College of Fine Arts' many international successes under Tick’s leadership was a successful partnership with the Art College of Inner Mongolia University. In collaboration with the UK Confucius Institute, both colleges agreed to several terms including exchanges of students for study and research; exchanges of faculty members for research, lectures, and discussions; exchanges of academic materials and academic publications; and joint research activities. Delegates from Inner Mongolia came to UK’s campus in 2013 for a week of collaborative concerts, master classes, lectures, and exhibitions. Thirty-five faculty, staff, and students from UK traveled to Inner Mongolia in 2015 to do the same. At present there are nearly 20 students from Inner Mongolia completing their degree programs on UK’s campus through 2+2 and 3+1 programs. Discussions are underway for a similar program in Malaysia.

In the last six years, the College of Fine Arts has seen the addition of the University of Kentucky Art Museum as an auxiliary unit, Lexington’s only accredited art museum. The Department of Art was renamed the School of Art and Visual Studies and expanded its offerings with major growth in UK Core classes reaching thousands of students in other colleges. The Department of Theatre was renamed the Department of Theatre and Dance to reflect the growing popularity of dance within the department; at its inception the dance minor had six students and, in less than three years, enrollment grew to more than 50 students. The School of Music expanded its partnership with UK HealthCare through a graduate program in music therapy. The Arts Administration program launched an online master's in arts administration, the first of its kind at a public university. Most recently, University Senate voted to move the Arts Administration program to its own freestanding unit as a department, recognizing the growth in undergraduate and graduate students. Additionally, Tick realized his vision to build strategic partnerships across campus through initiatives with the College of Communication and Information, the College of Arts and Sciences, UK HealthCare, the College of Design, and the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, among others.

In 2015, Tick was elected for a three-year term to the Board of Directors of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans. Through his leadership in this and other professional organizations, Tick has brought the College of Fine Arts international recognition for its contributions to creative research and has affirmed the vital contributions of the arts to the health of UK’s campus.

Prior to joining UK in 2010, Tick spent 11 years as the chair of the Department of Theatre at Louisiana State University (LSU) and producing artistic director of Swine Palace, the department’s Equity theatre company. Before joining LSU in 1999, Tick served on the planning committee that established in 1985 the Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts (GSA), a regional secondary arts school affiliated with the Virginia Stage Company, the Virginia Opera, the Virginia Symphony, and the Virginia Ballet Theatre. As founding chair of the GSA Department of Theatre, Tick served on the faculty of Old Dominion University. He has also served the faculties of the University of Rhode Island, Northwestern University, Rend Lake College (Illinois), Harvard University (in association with the University of Rhode Island), the University of the Virgin Islands (St. Thomas), and Bretton Hall College of the University of Leeds.

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