Valarie Williams Named Associate Dean for Outreach and Engagement
Valarie Williams assumed a new role as associate dean for outreach and engagement for the College of Arts and Sciences, effective Sept. 1. Williams, professor of dance and former associate dean for arts and humanities and executive director for the arts initiative, will collaborate with faculty and staff to create a vision for engagement within the arts and sciences, and to develop an outreach presence that highlights the engaged research in arts and sciences and advances significant societal challenges. Williams will provide direction for outreach throughout arts and sciences, build on public and private partnerships in the city and state, and create enhanced student learning opportunities.
“I am thrilled to serve the college and the city in this exciting role,” Williams said. “I am committed to working with our dedicated faculty, staff and students and our many community partners so that together we will discover and find ways that will enrich, enhance and engage all of the arts and sciences with the city and state.”
Williams served as executive director of Arts Initiative and of Ohio State’s Urban Arts Space in 2008-17. During that time, the downtown gallery garnered Columbus Alive’s “Best Gallery Award” seven years in a row, Greater Columbus Arts Council’s “Award for Risk and Innovation in the Arts,” and Ohio Museum Association’s award for “Best Exhibition.” Her collaborative leadership as part of the Ohio State/Royal Shakespeare Company partnership, sponsored by a lead gift from Les and Abigail Wexner, saw a record number of 940,000 points of engaged impact. Serving the city and the university in an organizational leadership role in forming the Town and Gown Advisory Committee resulted in partnerships that highlight faculty and student scholarship throughout the city.
Williams, a 1987 Presidential Scholars in the Arts honorable mention recipient in ballet, holds a BFA from The Juilliard School, MFA and PhD from Texas Woman’s University, and is the recipient of several National Endowment for the Arts grants.