School of Music, Theatre & Dance Dean Aaron Dworkin announced Wednesday afternoon he will be stepping down from his position effective Aug. 15, because of family commitments.

In an email sent to students, faculty and staff in the school, Dworkin announced that he has mixed emotions about his resignation.

“It is necessary for me to have the opportunity to focus more on my family, and this step reflects a joint family decision on our part,” he wrote in the announcement. “I appreciate your understanding about this, and my need for privacy on this matter.”

Dworkin was the first African-American man to lead the program, and he was approved by the Board of Regents for the position in March of 2015.

In his resignation announcement, Dworkin stated he will work as a faculty member teaching creative entrepreneurship and arts leadership courses in the fall. He will also help with the transition for the interim dean.

“I look forward to supporting the interim dean, as well as furthering the field of creative entrepreneurship and arts leadership for the broader university community,” he wrote.

The interim provost, Paul Courant, is set to recommend an interim dean in the coming months, and he will lead a national search to appoint the next dean. The University Record reported that Courant reached out to Music, Theatre & Dance faculty and staff to ask for recommendations for potential search advisory committee members.

In the announcement, Dworkin highlighted some of the Music, Theatre & Dance School’s accomplishments that he witnessed while he was part of the staff, including the creation of the Department of Chamber Music, and the increase in community engagement activities for the school, to name a few.

“I am honored to have been part of the tremendous evolution of our school over these past two years, which has been extraordinarily exciting, and has included so many successes on the part of so many students, faculty, and staff,” he wrote.

Dworkin has spent some time at the University of Michigan, as he obtained a bachelor’s degree and master of fine arts degree in violin performance from the University.

“From my time as a student once upon a time to my role as dean, the School of Music, Theatre & Dance—which means the people who comprise our school— has transformed my life, as I know it has for so many of you,” he wrote. “I look forward to continuing this work with you in my new capacity.”

After receiving his resignation email, SMTD and LSA sophomore Theresa Walle said his reason for leaving did not necessitate any further explanation and he should do what is best for his family.
 
"I was really surprised because I was really looking forward to everything that was going to come through Dean Dworkin's position here but of course he said it was for family reasons and personal reasons and I respect that," she said. "First and foremost, I want him and his family to come first … But it is going to be a loss for SMTD."

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