Job Announcement: Director of the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln seeks an innovative leader to be the next Director of the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film. The Director of the Carson School is also the Executive Producer of the Nebraska Repertory Theatre, the state’s only Equity theatre.

The Carson School faculty and staff believe in asking important questions of our community about the issues now facing our society through an array of diverse voices. We seek to develop a new generation of storytellers who can contribute their viewpoints to a fresh collective vision for the theatre. Through exploration of new performative experiences, we can connect the past with the future through social engagement and emerging media technologies. We inspire people to dream bigger.

Position Overview

This position seeks a leader with a commitment to recruiting and advocating for a diverse student body and faculty. The ideal candidate is an effective manager, is data-driven and can support and encourage the potential of every faculty member, staff member and student.

At this time, perhaps the most significant area of responsibility for the new Director will be the development of a strategic vision for continued improvement and transformation of the School and the Rep. In this capacity, ongoing review and assessment of retention, graduation rates and overall programmatic effectiveness are a priority. In support of these goals, the Director monitors adherence to all relevant guidelines, bylaws and reporting requirements of the College and University.

In their capacity as financial and business leader, the Director handles the budgeting, contracts, personnel and facilities management for the School. This includes active management of the business aspects of the Nebraska Repertory Theatre. Additionally, as the beneficiary of a sizeable endowment, the School relies upon the Director to guide the appropriate use of this resource. The Director ensures the disbursement of these funds are in accordance with endowment guidelines to meet the needs for instruction, research and creative activity for faculty, staff and students. Related to this, the Director provides recommendations and endowment support for grants and scholarships.

As the primary supervisor for the Associate Director, faculty and staff of the School and Rep, the Director coordinates program and curricular planning, course scheduling, teaching and committee assignments. The Director is also responsible for conducting evaluations of faculty and staff and reporting recommendations to the Dean for reappointment, promotion, tenure and salary adjustments.

In partnership with the Dean, the College, and the University of Nebraska Foundation, the Director may be actively involved in external fundraising efforts. They also lead outreach and engagement efforts and serve as the primary representative for the School to the wider university and community. This includes directly partnering with College and University efforts on marketing, student recruitment and retention.

The Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film is part of the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts, with financial support from the College and its own Johnny Carson Endowment. The Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts consists of the School of Art, Art History & Design, The Glenn Korff School of Music, the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film, the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center and the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts.

The newest addition to the College is the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts, scheduled to open in the fall of 2019, making this an even more exciting and opportunistic time. Thanks to a $20 million gift from the Johnny Carson Foundation (part of an overall $57 million investment by the university), the Carson School will offer a new undergraduate BFA in Emerging Media Arts. Through the Carson Center, students and faculty explore experiential theatre, cinema, gaming, interactive immersive media, and augmented and virtual reality. The Center’s Director reports to the Dean and works collaboratively with the Carson School Director to support the faculty and promote opportunities for Theatre, Film and Emerging Media Arts students.

The Nebraska Rep performs in the Lied Center for Performing Arts as well as in the School’s Howell and Studio Theatres, producing four shows per year and a holiday cabaret. The Rep’s Artistic Director resides in the faculty of the Johnny Carson School.

The School currently enrolls 138 undergraduate students and 14 graduate students for the following degree programs: a BA in Performance, a BFA in Design and Technical Production, an MFA in Design and Technical Production, with a BFA in Performance developing. It employs a faculty of 16, and a professional staff of 8 providing general administrative, marketing and production support. The College provides a business center overseen by the Chief Operations Officer to assist the Director with managing the business and financial affairs of the School. The School expects a significant enrollment increase with the new BFA in Emerging Media Arts and is growing the faculty and staff accordingly.

Minimum Required Qualifications

This is a special, twelve-month appointment, starting on or about July 1, 2019. The ideal candidate will have a terminal degree in theatre or a related field; prior leadership experience at a university, with significant professional experience; and demonstrated achievement and distinction in their area of specialty sufficient to warrant appointment at the rank of Full Professor with tenure.

Preferred Qualifications

The successful candidate should have a proven track record in recruitment, retention, enrollment management, and student success as well as in developing a diverse and inclusive faculty and student body. Evidence of success in fundraising is also highly desirable.

Lincoln, Nebraska

Lincoln, Nebraska is the quintessential college community, with its university set in the middle of a dynamic downtown area consisting of restaurants, coffee houses, movie theaters, clubs, bike trails and urban residences. It has high-quality public schools and a good cost of living. It is a creative, intellectual and vibrant community that loves the arts and is home to the Lied Center for Performing Arts, the Sheldon Museum of Art, and the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center, an art house cinema that is part of the College.

How to apply

The search committee will begin formal review of applications on November 26, 2018 and will continue until an appointment is made. Interested applicants must first go to, click “Apply for this job,” complete the information form, and submit the following:

  • letter of application addressing qualifications specific to this job description
  • one-page statement articulating your vision for leading a comprehensive school of theatre and film
  • curriculum vitae
  • names and contact information of five references

As an EO/AA employer, qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation. See