Christopher Waterman to Step Down as Dean of the School of the Arts and Architecture in June 2015

October 14, 2013

UCLA Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

To:   Administrative Officers, Deans, Department Chairs, Directors, Faculty and Staff in the School of the Arts and Architecture, and Vice Chancellors

Dear Colleagues:

Christopher Waterman, Dean of the School of the Arts and Architecture, has informed me that he would like to step down as dean on June 30, 2015, and return to the faculty in the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance.

An anthropologist, ethnomusicologist and musician who specializes in the study of music and culture in Africa and the Americas, Chris joined UCLA in 1996 as a professor in the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance, became chair of the department in 1997, and was appointed acting dean in 2002 and dean in 2003. Previously, he held visiting faculty appointments at Bowdoin College and the University of Oslo and was an associate professor of music at the University of Washington, where he served as head of the ethnomusicology program and chair of the African studies committee.

Chris has conducted extensive field research among the Yorùbá people of Nigeria, and is the author of “Jùjú: A Social History and Ethnography of an African Popular Music” (1990); co-author of the textbooks “American Popular Music: From Minstrelsy to MP3 (4th ed.)” (2013) and “Rock: Music, Culture, and Business” (2012); and guest editor of the volume “Cultural Expression, Creativity and Innovation,” in Sage Publications’ Cultures and Globalization Series (2010). His scholarly work has been recognized with Fulbright and Social Science Research Council fellowships, a postdoctoral fellowship at Cornell University’s Society for the Humanities, and awards such as the University of Michigan’s Ethel V. Curry Distinguished Lectureship in Musicology, the Class of 1960 Lectureship at Williams College and the College Music Society’s Robert Trotter Lectureship. In 2009 he was the keynote speaker for the Third International Symposium on the Music of Africa at Princeton University.

I want to thank Chris for his outstanding leadership of the School of the Arts and Architecture during the past 11 years. During his tenure as dean, applications have increased and the school’s national profile has risen. The school has established innovative interdisciplinary collaborations among the arts, humanities, sciences and medicine, and expanded its K-12 outreach and community partnerships. Chris also has overseen a successful fundraising program that has generated more than $150 million in extramural support, including landmark gifts to establish the Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA and build the Evelyn and Mo Ostin Music Center, which is now under construction.

Chancellor Block and I are confident that Chris will continue to be a tremendous asset to the school and to UCLA during the next two years, and we look forward to his ongoing contributions when he returns to the faculty and continues his work as a scholar and musician in the years to follow.

Next spring, I will form a search committee to identify candidates for a new dean, and I will keep you informed as we initiate the search.


Scott L. Waugh
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost