Breaking: Glass ceiling broken at top US conservatorymain
A woman provost and dean, rare among US music conservatories.
The San Francisco Conservatory of Music is pleased to announce the appointment of Kate Sheeran as Provost and Dean of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Currently Assistant Dean at Mannes School of Music of The New School, Sheeran takes up her new position on July 1, 2015. She succeeds Robert Fitzpatrick, who retires from the Conservatory after ably serving in this role in an interim capacity since January 2014.
“I am delighted to appoint Kate Sheeran as Provost and Dean of the Conservatory,” says David H. Stull, President of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. “She is a tremendous advocate for young artists, and her experience as an innovative leader, performer and teacher make her an outstanding choice for SFCM. Kate will play a critical role in executing the Conservatory’s strategic plan to pioneer a new standard of conservatory education, one which provides a transformative experience for our students and prepares them for a lifetime of success.”
“I am thrilled to be joining the SFCM leadership at this truly exciting time for the school,” says Kate Sheeran. “I am looking forward to working with the entire community to strengthen our curriculum, incorporate many of the wonderful things that are happening in music today, and implement our new strategic vision and plan. Together, we’re going to build an unparalleled education for 21st century musicians, who will be equipped to have an important impact on the music field and the world. I can’t wait to get started!”
As the institution’s chief academic officer, Provost and Dean Sheeran will oversee all aspects of the school’s academic program. She will ensure the Conservatory’s compliance with the standards of the WASC Senior College and University Commission, which approves accreditation. She will lead, support and build the faculty and work with them to implement curricular modernization and development. She will oversee the assessment of student learning outcomes and academic performance and seek to attract students of the highest caliber to the school.
As an Assistant Dean at the Mannes School of Music, Sheeran directed Mannes Prep for students aged 4-18 and continuing education through Mannes Next, which together serve more than 700 students and whose faculty number more than 100 members. During her tenure, Sheeran has modernized curricula, strengthened composition and improvisation courses and introduced a robust series of visiting guest artists. She overhauled its adult learning offerings and developed Mannes Next, a forward-thinking continuing education program awarding certificates and diplomas, and launched two new minors for matriculating Mannes students, Post-Genre Music and Composition.
A professional hornist as well as an energetic administrator, Sheeran is also an accomplished musician and educator. She has performed with such cutting-edge ensembles as the Wordless Music Orchestra and Alarm Will Sound and has recorded for the Tzadik, Warp, New Amsterdam and Nonesuch labels, among others. Sheeran has served on the horn faculty at Mannes Prep, Dickinson College, Susquehanna University and Bucknell University. She earned a B.M., Performer’s Certificate and Certificate in Arts Leadership from the Eastman School of Music and an M.M. from the Yale School of Music.