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Fine arts dean Hedden to step down, return to teaching at end of year

Steve Hedden

Steve Hedden, dean of the School of Fine Arts, has announced he will step down at the end of the academic year and return to teaching.

KU will begin a national search this fall to have a new dean on board by Aug. 1, 2008.

"Under Steve Hedden's watch as dean, the School of Fine Arts has accomplished a great deal innovative degree programs, new technology and career support services and even new uniforms for the Marching Jayhawks," said Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Richard Lariviere. "Steve has much of which to be proud, and we thank him for his dedication and service."

Hedden, a native of Colby who earned three degrees in music education from KU, has worked in arts administration for 15 years at universities in Kansas, Iowa and Arizona. He has been at KU for five years.

"I've been fortunate in my career that exciting new opportunities have presented themselves every few years, and that's true now," said Hedden.

"I've always thought there couldn't be better life's work than to be a college professor. I look forward to my new opportunities as part of the energetic and extraordinarily talented faculty here."

Under Hedden's leadership, the School of Fine Arts has increased external funding, including a $500,000, three-year grant from Hallmark to the Department of Design and one of eight national "creative campus" grants from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters to the Lied Center of Kansas. Other achievements include new degrees in interaction design, design management, photomedia and a bachelor's in music with a concentration in jazz; the addition of faculty positions in opera and interaction design and a career services coordinator; and creation of additional staffing in computer facilities and the "common shop" that supports student and faculty projects in art and design that involve metal working or woodworking.

In 2004, a "Feather the Flock" campaign to raise $150,000 to replace 22-year-old marching band uniforms was spearheaded by Hedden, with assistance from the Topeka Jayhawk Club, the Lawrence Journal-World, Kansas Athletics and KU Endowment. Hedden, named dean of fine arts at KU in 2003, previously was dean at Wichita State University. Before moving to Kansas, he had been at the University of Arizona since 1987. There, he was vice dean for academics and research at the College of Fine Arts.

He held various other posts at Arizone as well, including acting dean and interim director of the Peter Treistman Fine Arts Center for New Media; associate dean for academic affairs at the College of Fine Arts; and professor and coordinator of music education.

Hedden also taught for 15 years at the University of Iowa, six years of which were as chair of the music education department. He was an elementary and secondary instrumental and general music teacher in DeSoto public schools from 1964 to 1969.

Hedden's areas of interest are psychology of music, behavioral research in music, foundations of music education and curriculum development in music.

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