Austin named interim dean of College of Music

By Staff


James Austin, a professor of music education, has been named interim dean of CU-Boulder’s College of Music.

Austin joined the college in 1994 and has served as associate dean of undergraduate studies since 2006. He was the music education chair from 1997 to 2012. In 2004, the college awarded Austin the Richard Bern Trego faculty fellowship.

Austin will serve in the post for the 2013-14 academic year while a national search is reopened for a permanent dean of the college.

“This is a critically important transitional period between the long and distinguished tenure of Daniel Sher and that of a new permanent dean,” Austin said. “During this time, we have a unique opportunity to recommit to our core missions, explore new possibilities for leadership, and enhance current operational procedures and programs.”

Sher stepped down this month after 20 years in the position. He returned to the faculty and also is involved in community and donor relations for the college.

CU-Boulder has been cited for three years in a row by the Fiske Guide to Colleges as one of just 25 in the nation -- among a total of 1,200 music programs in higher education -- for its excellence in music and has been ranked in the top 20 among all college, university and conservatory music programs by U.S. News & World Report.

Austin’s research interests include student motivation and self-concept development, teacher education, classroom-level assessment, and school and arts policy implications. Before joining CU-Boulder, he taught instrumental music to fourth- through 12th-graders, and was an assistant professor of music education at Ball State University.