Andrea Kalyn, an associate dean of the Oberlin Conservatory and the institution’s top officer for academic affairs, has been named the new dean of the conservatory.
The appointment concludes an extensive search conducted by a committee of Oberlin Conservatory faculty members. The committee’s recommendation was roundly supported by Oberlin College President Marvin Krislov, and the selection was formally approved by the Oberlin Board of Trustees on February 11.
Kalyn is the 13th permanent chief administrator in the conservatory’s 149-year history.
“It is my great honor to welcome Andrea Kalyn to her new role on campus,” said Krislov. “Andrea has very clearly demonstrated her vision for shaping students who are uniquely prepared to meet the challenges faced by young graduates everywhere. She is keenly aware of the incredible synergy between our college and conservatory, and I look forward to carrying out the mission of this great institution with her for years to come.”
An associate dean at Oberlin since 2005, Kalyn has been highly effective as the conservatory’s top administrator for academic affairs. Among other achievements, she led a team of faculty and administrators in the creation of the Creativity & Leadership Project, a cross-campus initiative dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship among students at Oberlin College and Conservatory. Kalyn was instrumental in securing more than $2 million in startup funding for the project and in creating a companion business-accelerator program called LaunchU, which debuted in 2013.
“I am deeply honored to serve as dean of the Oberlin Conservatory,” Kalyn said. “Oberlin is a truly extraordinary institution—a remarkable community of performers, composers, and scholars who share a fundamental commitment to the pursuit of excellence, a deep belief in the transformative power of both music and education, and an ethos of innovation and impact. It is a tremendous privilege to work with such an exceptional group of people to advance the mission of the conservatory.”
Kalyn succeeds David H. Stull, a 1989 graduate of Oberlin who served as dean of the conservatory from 2004 to 2013, initiating a period of great growth. In July 2013, Stull became president of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music; Kalyn has served as the Oberlin Conservatory’s interim dean since Stull’s departure.
In her brief tenure as interim dean, Kalyn launched innovative new degree programs in advanced piano technology and contemporary chamber music, finalized the acquisition of a major collection of instruments and artifacts from late jazz musician Milt Hinton, and directed ongoing renovations to the conservatory’s main classroom building, Bibbins Hall.
“After an exhaustive search that yielded many candidates, Andrea Kalyn rose to the top as the most qualified candidate based on her experience, her long list of accomplishments as associate dean, and her vision for the conservatory as the beacon of leadership in undergraduate music training,” said Tim Weiss, a professor of conducting at Oberlin and the chairman of the search committee. “More than any other candidate, she understands and articulates the transformative power of an Oberlin Conservatory experience.”
Prior to joining the administration at Oberlin, Kalyn held teaching positions at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Salem College, Wake Forest University, the University of Western Ontario, and the University of Rochester.
As an undergraduate, Kalyn earned an honors diploma in piano performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, in addition to bachelor of music and master of musicology degrees from the University of Western Ontario. She earned a PhD in musicology from the Eastman School of Music.