Contact: Victoria Winkelman

August 15, 2005


DALLAS (SMU) — Dr. Carole Brandt, dean of the Algur H. Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University, has announced her plans to retire from SMU effective May 31, 2006. In addition to serving as dean since 1994, Dr. Brandt holds the Algur H. Meadows Chair and is a professor of theatre at the Meadows School. She is the first woman in the University’s history to be appointed dean at one of the University’s seven degree-granting schools.

“Carole Brandt has brought energy, passion and creative leadership to the Meadows School of the Arts,” Dr. R. Gerald Turner, SMU president, said. “The Meadows School has made great strides during her deanship, and she will be missed both on campus and in the community. I look forward to continuing to work with her over the next year to accomplish even more for the Meadows School.”

Under Dr. Brandt’s leadership, the Meadows School of the Arts has achieved significant advancement as a leading arts education institution. The school, established in 1969, offers Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees through 10 divisions in the visual, performing, and communication arts.

“In the vernacular of my discipline as a theatre person, I’ve had a very good run and am content that the Meadows School at SMU is the treasured legacy of my 47-year career. I am proud of what has been accomplished on behalf of students — all with the help of an outstanding administrative leadership, world-class faculty, and treasured community partners,” Dr. Brandt said. “The academic programs of the Meadows School are first-rate, and I am continually impressed by and proud of the accomplishments of our graduates who succeed in leadership positions in the arts and communications across the nation and around the world.”

Major achievements of the Meadows School under Dr. Brandt’s leadership include:

  • A new building, opened in 2001, for the Meadows Museum, which houses one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain. Additionally, the Museum made several important acquisitions during her tenure, among them Santiago Calatrava’s monumental sculpture WAVE, and El Greco’s painting Saint Francis Kneeling in Meditation.
  • Significant major gifts to the School, including the naming of the Temerlin Advertising Institute, a multi-million dollar grant from the Belo Foundation to provide a digital newsroom facility in journalism, and million dollar gifts to support initiatives in music, dance, and theatre, among others.
  • Ongoing strategic planning efforts, in partnership with the Meadows Foundation, which have resulted in a Facilities Master Plan, to include future visual arts and dance wings, and a 10-year Strategic Plan for the Meadows School and its 10 academic divisions.
  • The continued strengthening of partnerships with area arts and business organizations, including the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Theater Center, Dallas Opera, and the Dallas Advertising League.

“Carole Brandt is highly regarded and esteemed by the nation’s arts community,” said Dr. Robert Blocker, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Her vibrant leadership at the Meadows School has enhanced the School’s reputation for excellence and assured its continued maturation.”

Formerly the head of theatre programs at Penn State and the University of Florida, Dr. Brandt has remained active in theatre at the national level during her years at Meadows. She is currently the president of both the National Association of Schools of Theatre and the National Theatre Conference. Her past leadership positions include dean of the College of Fellows of the American Theatre, president of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, and member of the National Education Committee of the Kennedy Center. In 1995, she was elected to membership in the National Theatre Conference for Lifetime Achievement. In 2002, the Spanish government awarded her the Ecomienda de la Orden de Isabel La Católica, the highest distinction granted to non-Spaniards who promote good relations between Spain and America.Her other honors include three Kennedy Center Medallions for contributions to theatre in higher education.

After retiring from SMU, in addition to fulfilling her NAST and NTC leadership responsibilities, Dr. Brandt plans to pursue opportunities in directing and teaching nationally.

“While I am announcing my retirement now to allow the University to begin its search process for a new dean, there is much I still want to accomplish in the next year,” Dr. Brandt said. “Our strategic plan is an ambitious one, and I intend to work with our friends in the community to achieve major things — including the funding of a new visual arts wing — before I am content to ride into any sunset. I intend to relish and take advantage of every moment of the year ahead.”

A national search committee will be appointed this fall by Dr. Blocker to seek a successor for Dr. Brandt as dean of the Meadows School of the Arts.