I AM VERY PLEASED, INDEED, TO GREET readers of the Oberlin Conservatory News for this, my first time as dean of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.
You will know, of course, that Oberlin offers a professional program in music of the highest standard and that it does this within the frame and intellectual ferment of a great liberal arts college in an educational partnership that has endured for more than 130 years and that has forged a tradition of common commitment to high academic rigor, social conscience, and the aesthetic and spiritual dimensions attainable only though the creative and performing arts.
As Oberlin rightly takes pride in its unique historical position and record of accomplishment in American higher education, so too must it look forward; forward to a new century and a new millennium; and forward to new efforts to reaffirm its educational mission and to strengthen and secure its foundations.
To that end, the Conservatory in the coming months will turn its attention to questions of enrollment size and balance, program development (in music education; music composition; technology, music and the emerging arts; recording; career development; the chamber music and large ensemble programs; and music for the college student; to cite only a few), and proposed additions to its physical facilities (identified needs include a recital hall, rehearsal rooms, a recording studio, teaching and practice studios, etc.).
These efforts are being undertaken with a great sense of purpose and excitement sparked in part by the launching this month of The New Oberlin Century, a capital campaign to raise $165 million for scholarships, faculty development and physical facilities securing Oberlin's continued pre-eminence in music and the liberal arts for the 21st century.
I hope that you will join with me in celebrating Oberlin's unique history and its extraordinary promise.
Robert K. Dodson