Aaron Dworkin is a man in a hurry.
Deans at the University of Michigan are limited to a maximum of 10 years, explains the new dean of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance.
“You get two five-year terms, so I don’t believe I have the luxury of time,” says Dworkin, who also was President Obama’s first appointment to the National Council on the Arts. “I feel a real sense of urgency.”
Small surprise that he hit the ground running. Consider what the 2005 MacArthur “genius grant” winner checked off in just his first seven months:
The 45-year-old founder of Detroit’s famed Sphinx Organization created a new Department of Chamber Music, launched EXCEL, a school-wide program to burnish students’ entrepreneurial skills, established a new Director of Inclusion to boost minority enrollment, and ramped up involvement with the Ann Arbor Public Schools.
And in perhaps his most startling initiative, Dworkin announced a new international chamber-music competition, the M-Prize, that will be held on campus every May with a cash prize of $100,000.
“In his first two weeks on the job,” says an amused Professor Stephen Shipps, who heads the school’s Department of Strings and taught Dworkin when he was an undergraduate and graduate student, “Aaron raised money for this huge new chamber competition — the most lucrative in the world.”