4/26 – Introducing Emily Roxworthy as Dean of the USC School of Dramatic Arts

April 26, 2021

On behalf of President Folt, I am very pleased to announce that Dr. Emily Roxworthy will be joining our community as dean of the USC School of Dramatic Arts, effective July 1, 2021.

Dr. Roxworthy comes to us from UC San Diego where she is currently Associate Dean of UCSD’s Graduate Division, responsible for the recruitment, retention, and professional development of UCSD’s 7,000 graduate students. She has led UCSD’s joint doctoral program with UC Irvine in Theatre and Drama and was Vice Chair of the UCSD Department of Theatre and Dance. Prior to her current role, she spent four years as Provost of UCSD’s Earl Warren College, an interdisciplinary undergraduate school with more than 5,000 students. Dr. Roxworthy was also Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty Diversity and Equity.

Dr. Roxworthy is a scholar and an artist who works at the intersection of performance studies and theatre history, including intercultural theatre and Asian performance, digital media, and roleplay training. She is the founder and artistic director of Workplace Interactive Theatre (WIT), an interactive theatre company that performs customized workshops for organizations seeking institutional change and/or diversity training. She directed the 3D role-playing video game prototype, “Drama in the Delta,” which reconstructed interracial and intercultural performances staged during World War II at internment camps in the Arkansas Delta. This work was a collaboration with the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) and was funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Dr. Roxworthy received her Ph.D. from Northwestern in the Interdisciplinary Program in Theatre and Drama, her M.A. in Theatre Arts from Cornell, and her B.S. in Performance Studies and English from Northwestern.

She has won many awards for her research, teaching, and leadership in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Her transdisciplinary work connects performance, production, scholarship, innovation, administration, belonging, and more. Dr. Roxworthy is the author of two books, including The Theatrical Professoriate: Contemporary Higher Education and Its Academic Dramas , published last year. In her professional work, she has long engaged scholars, community members, donors, and performers to collaboratively nurture the growth of communities across cultures.

Bringing an ideal set of skills, experiences, and aspirations, Dr. Roxworthy will lead one of the best schools of dramatic arts in the United States. She will strengthen and expand our exceptional programs and deepen the ways we support our students as they explore their artistic passions. As we slowly return to campus in an altered, post-pandemic world, our dramatic arts community will lead the way in creative expression, ethical impact, civic awareness, investigating forms of knowledge, and humanizing education, research, and leadership. We are very excited for her to begin.

We would like to thank the Dean Search Advisory Committee, co-chaired by Executive Vice Provost Elizabeth Graddy and Haven Lin-Kirk, dean of the USC Roski School of Art and Design, for their service and dedication to the SDA community. We are also grateful for the advice of a special advisory group comprised of industry leaders and friends of SDA. We extend a special thank you to Elizabeth Daley, dean of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, for her work as interim dean of SDA. And, we are grateful to Lori Ray Fisher, vice dean of the School of Dramatic Arts, for her steady hand and partnership with Dean Daley.

President Folt and I look forward to Dr. Roxworthy’s collaborative, multidisciplinary approach grounded at the intersection of performance arts, scholarship, and leadership. Please help us welcome Dr. Roxworthy and her family, including her husband Dr. Dennis Kim, an endocrinologist and chief medical officer in the biotechnology industry.

Charles F. Zukoski

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs