William Quillen Named Dean of Conservatory

William Quillen has been hired as dean of the Conservatory after serving in the position on an interim basis since June 2018. In May, Oberlin launched a confidential national search for the position.

Quillen was vice-chair of the Academic and Administrative Program Review’s Steering Committee, alongside Acting Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences David Kamitsuka. The Committee led the institution-wide evaluation and made recommendations to address the College’s financial issues.

“I am excited that Bill will continue to provide thoughtful guidance and leadership as dean of the Conservatory,” President Carmen Twillie Ambar said according to a Dec. 10 College press release. “He has demonstrated a vision for excellence and creativity that will allow Oberlin College and Conservatory to maintain its position as a leader in higher education for decades to come.”

Before coming to Oberlin, Quillen taught at the University of Cambridge and the University of California, Berkeley; he also worked as legacy and major gifts officer at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Before becoming acting dean of the Conservatory, Quillian worked at Oberlin as associate dean for academic affairs starting in August 2017.

“I am honored and humbled to have been chosen as the Conservatory’s next Dean, and I am overjoyed at the opportunity to continue working with our esteemed students, faculty, and staff,” Quillen said in the College’s press release. “The Conservatory represents the single best education of its kind in the world. I look forward to working with President Ambar, the Board of Trustees, and the entire Oberlin community to shepherd the Conservatory into its next era of unparalleled excellence and innovation.”

After the selection is approved by the Board of Trustees, Quillen will start serving in the new role on Jan. 1. The search for dean of the College of Arts and Sciences is still ongoing.