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Presidential Search

After six years of service, University of the Arts’ President and CEO David Yager announced his plans to retire on June 30, 2023. As the university begins the search for its fifth president, we are committed to an open and collaborative process. Throughout our search, we will gather and incorporate significant input from the entire university community to support the successful identification and recruitment of UArts’ next leader.

To assist in this process, UArts’ Board of Trustees has retained the services of Isaacson, Miller, a mission-focused leadership recruitment firm with vast experience in the higher education and arts sectors. The board expects to have President Yager’s successor in place by July 1, 2023. Throughout the search, we will share updates via UArts email and on this webpage.

Read the University of the Arts Presidential Search Position Profile. 

Opportunities to participate

Student, faculty and staff input is critical as the university embarks on the search process, and community voices and ideas remain vital in supporting the university’s recruitment and discernment process. To that end, all community members are encouraged to participate in the following initial avenues.

• A series of community conversations with Isaacson, Miller were held in mid-summer and early in the fall semester. These sessions greatly assisted the firm in defining the position profile and communicating the role to candidates.

• Faculty and Staff councils gathered nominations by email for representatives to serve on the search committee alongside board trustees and other community members.

• Isaacson, Miller has developed a confidential online survey to better understand the community’s perspective on the president’s role and the qualities it believes are vital for the next president to embody. You may submit your thoughts and suggestions anytime, and as frequently as you like.

Take the survey.

Search committee

Jud Aaron '81, chair of the board of trustees
Khenadi Christmas '24 (Musical Theater), student union vice-head
Stephen Cirino, director of diversity, equity, and inclusion
Erin Elman, dean of graduate and professional studies
Bill Gast '68, trustee and chair
Travis Gaylord, trustee
Nat Hamilton '07, trustee
Bruce Kardon, trustee
Steven Kleinman, faculty representative (full-time)
Seth Lehr, trustee
Alex McFadden '24 (Screenwriting), student union head
Andrew Pack, vice president for development and alumni relations
Sara Pyle, staff representative
Ebonne Ruffins Leaphart, trustee
Michelle Wall, staff representative
Harriet Weiss, trustee
Lauren Whearty, faculty representative (part-time)

Questions and support

Bill Gast ’68, board secretary, will chair the search committee, and Franklyn Cantor, UArts’ chief of staff, will provide administrative support throughout the process. Questions may be directed to