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Robert Ramirez.

Robert Ramirez Named Head of Carnegie Mellon School of Drama

Ramirez joins CMU after heading the performance program at the University of Texas at Austin.

PITTSBURGH: Robert Ramirez has been named the new head of the Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama. Ramirez, who now serves on the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin, starts in his new post on Aug. 1. He succeeds a four-member interim leadership team that included Megan Monaghan Rivas, Kyle Haden, Dick Block, and Amy Nichols, who in turn succeeded longtime drama head Peter Cooke after his retirement in 2020.

“I’ve admired Robert’s leadership for years and could not be more delighted that he will be joining us at CMU,” Mary Ellen Poole, the dean of the College of Fine Arts, said in a statement. “I’m absolutely convinced that he is the right person to take the School of Drama forward, in community and in this exact moment.”

Ramirez is a professional voice artist, voice and acting coach, director, and actor. He joined the faculty at UT Austin in 2014 as an associate professor and head of acting, and became the head of the performance division in 2016. He was named the chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance in 2020, where he set out to transform hiring practices, resulting in the addition of five full-time, tenure-track BIPOC faculty members in two years. Ramirez also previously served as an associate professor of acting, voice, speech, and dialects at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and as an adjunct professor of voice and speech for the stage at Marymount Manhattan College. Ramirez is a graduate of the Los Angeles Theatre Academy at Los Angeles City College and received his MFA from the University of Delaware’s Professional Theatre Training Program.

“I am indeed honored to join the School of Drama at Carnegie Mellon,” Ramirez said in a statement. “This is an opportunity to build upon the solid reputation and foundation that exists here among every discipline that contributes to the theatremaking process and performance industry.”

As one of the oldest degree-granting programs in the United States, the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama strives to be a community of educators, learners, leaders, and artists who cultivate an equitable, diverse, open, and inclusive community based on empathy and integrity. The university also serves as the exclusive higher education partner of the Tony Awards and celebrates arts education and teachers each year with the Excellence in Theatre Education Award.

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