Theatre Department Interim Chair departs from college

By Alexandra Yetter, News Editor

Courtesy of William Frederking
Interim Chair of the Theatre Department Peter Carpenter will be leaving the college as of June 28 for a job at the University of Florida.

Interim Chair of the Theatre Department Peter Carpenter announced his departure from the college. His last day will be June 30.

In a May 15 email to The Chronicle, Carpenter said he was offered a position as director of theatre and dance at the University of Florida, which has an enrollment of 56,079 students.

“I’ve loved my 14 years at Columbia College Chicago, but I wanted to try a move to a different kind of institution,” Carpenter said.

The general theatre program at the University of Florida is designed for those who want a liberal arts education, according to the school’s website. In addition to a broad liberal arts background, the bachelor’s degree provides the student with creative experiences of studio and performance work, the website states.

Carpenter added his level of satisfaction with the college had nothing to do with his decision.

“We thank Peter for his leadership as Interim Chair of the Theatre Department, for his leadership as Chair of the Dance Department, and for his contributions to the School of Fine and Performing Arts and wish him well,” said News Office Senior Director Lambrini Lukidis in a May 15 email statement to The Chronicle. “SFPA is delighted to have found a candidate to become the new Theatre Chair who will start in August and more details about this individual will be announced at a later time.”

Until the new chair arrives, Associate Chair Susan Padveen will act as chair over the summer for theatre, effective July 1, while Acting Chair Lisa Gonzales assumes the role of summer chair and interim chair for dance, according to Lukidis.

Columbia’s former Dean of the School of Fine and Performing Arts Onyekwere P. Ozuzu left in May 2018 to become Dean of the College of the Arts at the University of Florida.

Ozuzu said in a May 15 email to The Chronicle she is looking forward to working with Carpenter again.

“We have always worked to make one another better for the benefit of students and the field,” Ozuzu said. “Now we can continue to do that and grow our collaborations with a growing network of national colleagues.”

Story developments to come