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  June 12, 2000

New Dean of Fine Arts is Music Educator

David G. Woods has been named dean of the School of Fine Arts. The appointment is effective Aug. 1. Woods comes to UConn from Indiana University in Bloomington, where he has served as dean of the School of Music since 1997.

Woods succeeds Robert Gray, who died in June 1999. Gary English, a professor of dramatic arts, has served as interim dean of fine arts.

"I am delighted that we will have a scholar and educator of David Woods' stature leading the School of Fine Arts," says President Philip E. Austin. "He brings a wealth of experience to a school that is one of the University's great assets and a major cultural resource for the state of Connecticut."

Known for his pioneering work in music curriculum development, Woods is on the executive board of the National Association of Schools of Music and was recently included in 2,000 Outstanding Scholars of the 20th Century by the International Biographical Center in Cambridge, England. He is a member of the National Society of Arts and Letters.

An expert in early childhood music education, Woods has published some 40 books on the subject, 30 of which are a comprehensive series for grades K-8, JUMP RIGHT IN! In addition, he has written many articles, and has presented workshops, lectures, and clinics throughout the United States, Europe, Australia and China.

He was a Senior Fulbright Scholar in Iceland and conducted extensive research on the langspiel, an Icelandic folk instrument. As a Senior Fulbright Scholar in Australia, he lectured and initiated research studies in curriculum development in music at the University of Sydney.

He also has developed faculty and student exchange programs in the arts with institutions in Canada, Mexico, Nicaragua and France.

A successful fund raiser, Woods says he plans to use his skills at UConn. "I'm going to try to get as much support for the school as possible," he says. "It's such a great school."

Woods was selected after a national search conducted by an 11-member committee that included faculty, students, and an external representati ve.

He says he is enthusiastic about his new position because of the "spirit, the energy that's on the campus, whether it's buildings or new programs or the excitement of the students." Last fall, Woods was an external reviewer for UConn's School of Fine Arts, part of a University assessment process involving evaluation of scholarly work, undergraduate and graduate teaching and outreach.

"We are excited that David Woods is joining the University of Connecticut as dean of fine arts," says Interim Chancellor Fred Maryanski. "He is recognized as one of the nation's leading educators in the arts. In addition to his academic credentials, he brings a persona that will raise the visibility of the University in the arts community."

Woods, a professor of music education, has been dean of Indiana University's music school since 1997. He served as dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Oklahoma from 1991 to 1997 and was director of the School of Music at the University of Arizona from 1985 to 1991. From 1974 to 1984, he was chairman of the Division of Music Education at Iowa State University.

Woods received a Bachelor of Music degree from Washburn University in Topeka, Kan., in 1964. He received a Master of Music degree in 1966 and a Ph.D. degree in music education in 1973, both from Northwestern University, and did postgraduate work at the University of Copenhagen,Denmark, and the Copenhagen Conservatory of Music.

Sherry Fisher