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Dean of creative arts drops the 'interim'

By Scott Anderson z
On April 15, 2014

After sorting through 50 applications for the Dean of the College of Creative Arts, Miami University has selected one of their own, Elizabeth Mullenix.

Mullenix joined Miami's faculty as chair of the Department of Theatre in 2006 and was promoted to interim dean of the College of Creative Arts after James Lentini's departure.

Ironically, after accepting her position as interim dean, she commented on how she had no intention to take over the position of dean. Since then, she had a change of heart.

"I didn't count on the fact it was a job that I really loved," Mullenix said. "Because I loved the job so much, it would be a missed opportunity. I knew I would regret it if I did not apply."

Nevertheless, one short year later she has been accepted as the dean of the College of Creative Arts. As dean, she is responsible for developing, articulating and meeting the challenges and goals both from the university and college of creative arts.

The selection process is long and can be pretty complicated. First, the search committee invited seven individuals for confidential interviews. Next, after having conducted the interviews, three finalists were selected for on-campus interviews.

After the on-campus interviews of the three finalists, based on the input from all constituents involved in the process, and in consultation with President David Hodge, former-Provost Bobby Gempesaw extended an offer to Mullenix.

In her new position, Mullenix has to get out of her comfort zone of theater and learn about all other creative arts.

"Learning about all these art forms expanded me, it was so exciting and I realized, wow this is a job I love to do," Mullenix said.

Mullenix said she has high hopes for the future of the College of Creative Arts. Her first objective is to add an external advisory board because, she said, Miami has influential and successful alumni.

"The thought of getting those people around a table for advice and ideas is really exciting," Mullenix said.

Additionally, Mullenix is introducing more minors and interdisciplinary minors to support existing programs. She wants to introduce more students to the creative arts offered here.

All in all, the College of Creative Arts division has received more stability and visibility in recent years.

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