May 30, 2024


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UNL names new dean of fine and performing arts | Education


The University of Nebraska-Lincoln on Monday named Andrew Belser as the new dean of the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts.

Belser, the director of the University of Arizona’s School of Theatre, Film and Television, will assume the position July 11 if approved by the NU Board of Regents.

Andy Belser

Andy Belser

Chris Dunker

He will succeed Charles O’Connor, who served as the leader of the college from 2012 until Jan. 3.

Belser said he is excited and honored to be chosen to lead the Hixson-Lied College, which he said “is already on an innovative path headed for a bright and exciting future.”

“I look forward to working closely with the college’s faculty and staff to expand on its foundation of excellence, its strategic vision, and the opportunities for academics, research, and creative activity needed for ongoing student success,” he said in a statement.

Katherine Ankerson, UNL’s executive vice chancellor, said Belser would help fuel further innovation at the college.

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“He is a passionate advocate for the arts with an impressive history of creating interdisciplinary connections and dynamic partnerships with communities and external partners,” Ankerson said.

Belser was previously a professor of movement, voice and acting at Penn State, where he taught and researched cognitive neuroscience and performance, and was the founding director of the Arts and Design Research Incubator.

He has been involved in “Stories Travel,” which has highlighted stories from Latino and Indigenous communities, and was behind the National Institutes of Health’s “I Lookout for Child Abuse.”

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Belser has also created theater and film projects for the National Science Foundation, and was the founding artistic director of “The Gravity Project,” a professional theater company.

Belser is a graduate of Grove City College, where he has a bachelor’s degree in communications arts and theater, and holds a Master of Arts in theater from Villanova and a Master of Fine Arts in directing from Virginia Tech.

He’ll earn a total salary of $268,500, according to UNL.

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