Mar 31, 2021

Dear colleagues,

Following the 2021-22 academic year, Dean of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts Stephen Barker will be stepping down to focus on spending more time with his wife Michelle and his scholarly and artistic pursuits.

Under his leadership, CTSA has increased interdisciplinary research and collaboration, resulting in the creation of the position of associate dean for research and innovation, the formation of the Center for Medical Humanities in partnership with the School of Humanities and the School of Medicine, and the start of the self-supporting certificate in arts management program in partnership with the Merage School of Business. He also established the Institute for Twenty-First Century Creativity to cultivate new research and creative projects linking art, technology and design.

During his tenure, UCI received $75M in art gifts and established the UCI Institute and Museum of California Art. Dean Barker co-curated the First Glimpse: Introducing the Buck Collection exhibition, which brought more than 10,000 visitors to UCI and included a $2M upgrade of the University Art Gallery. CTSA also created the Claire Trevor Society to enhance academic and creative excellence through student scholarships and fellowships, research, exhibitions, and productions. Through the Brilliant Future Campaign, the School received $1M from the Beall Family Foundation to support ongoing programming and exhibitions at the Beall Center for Art + Technology.

Dean Barker has held a range of academic leadership roles since joining UCI as an assistant professor of drama in 1987, including chairships of the Drama and Art departments. He served as faculty assistant to the Chancellor under Chancellor Laurel Wilkening and directed the UC Education Abroad Program in Lyon and Grenoble, France. He has translated a number of volumes of French philosophy into English. He currently serves on the executive board for the Irvine Barclay Theatre and ArtsOC, and as a founding board member of the Derrida Today journal.

Please join me in thanking Dean Barker for his service and contributions to UCI. A national search for the next dean, and associated conversations with the faculty, will begin soon.


Hal S. Stern, Ph.D.
Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Chancellor’s Professor, Department of Statistics