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Arts Administration Lands a Leader

July 1, 2009

Former Philadelphia Orchestra President and CEO James Undercofler has been appointed as a Professor in the Arts Administration graduate program. Jim will teach courses on arts leadership, fund development, and arts education, and he will play a primary role creating a new curriculum around arts and education and critical issues in nonprofit arts' management. He will do this through the development of an institute for emerging cultural models that focuses on identifying new strategies for the survival and expansion of the arts and culture sector. The institute is an outcrop of work begun by Mr. Undercofler at the Eastman School of Music where he served as Dean and Professor of Music Education prior to joining The Philadelphia Orchestra.

"We are delighted that Jim will join our faculty," said Cecelia Fitzgibbon, Arts Administration Program Director and Performing Arts Department Head. "Students will benefit from his experience and wisdom and we will gain a wonderful colleague. The cultural industries need new thinking and there couldn't be a better time for us to present creative ideas for addressing the difficulties and opportunities that the sector is facing." Jim's work with The Philadelphia Orchestra was characterized by innovations in digital media delivery systems and connecting the orchestra within the Philadelphia community in deeply meaningful projects, both in performance and education. In addition to his work with The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Eastman School of Music, Jim was the Executive and Founding Director of the Perpich Center for Arts Education (formerly known as the Minnesota Center for Arts Education) and Director of the Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven, Connecticut.

"Preparing students for their futures, and the improvement of the arts and cultural sector have always been at the center of my work," said Undercofler. "The prospect of applying this passion at Drexel is particularly meaningful to me, as it is a clear leader in the field of cultural policy, education and research."