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After two rigorous national searches, the College of Fine Arts is thrilled to announce and welcome Temma Balducci, PhD and Chris DuVal, MFA, as the new Chairs of the Departments of Art & Art History and Theatre, respectively, beginning July 1, 2024.

Balducci comes to the U from Arkansas State University (A-State) where she has served as the Chair of the Department of Art + Design since 2017. She sees art as a powerful economic driver, and to that end has been a strong advocate of engagement between the university and the local community — a perfect fit for our institution’s vision to cultivate meaningful university, neighborhood, city, region, state, and global partnerships.

She has also supported numerous collaborations across campus. She has worked with A-State’s business college on several interdisciplinary degrees, most recently the new BS in Fashion Merchandising and Marketing, which will launch this coming fall. Her former department has also worked with A-State’s College of Engineering and Computer Science on the Art + Innovation Center that will house spaces for collaborations between the two disciplines.

"It is an honor to have been chosen to lead the Department of Art & Art History at the University of Utah as the Mary Lois Wheatley Presidential Endowed Chair,” Balducci said. I’m thrilled to get the opportunity to work with such a fantastic group of faculty members, and I look forward to all of the things we will accomplish together."

In the Department of Theatre, Duval has been serving as the Interim Chair for the last year and was chosen from a talented pool to stay on as Chair. He is looking forward to keeping the momentum he has generated both as a longtime faculty member and the Interim Chair.

“I am deeply honored to serve as the next Chair for the Department of Theatre,” he said. “This departmental community has been a creative and scholarly home for over a decade, and it is my privilege to serve, advocate, and collaborate with our extraordinary students, staff, and faculty. Our department is a truly inspiring community — highly engaged in committed mentorship, research, and scholarship — and in developing the next generation of artists, scholars, creators, scholars, and innovators. As we plan for our 2024/2025 season in our new shared theatre space with Pioneer Theatre Company — the Meldrum Theatre — it's indeed an exciting time for our Department at the University of Utah.”

DuVal is a professor in the department and before being appointed as the Interim Chair, he served as the Head of BFA/MFA Performance at the University of Idaho, and Co-Artistic Director of Idaho Repertory Theatre, where he directed and taught courses in acting, voice, and movement. He has worked extensively for over 35 years on new plays, classics, and world premieres at regional theaters. He is a Certified Teacher / Certified Fight Director / Theatrical Firearms Instructor with the Society of American Fight Directors, a Master Instructor / Senior Fight Director of Theatrical Combat with Dueling Arts International, an Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voice Work, holds a 2nd degree black belt in Aikido, and is a proud member of AEA. He is the author of “Stage Combat Arts: an Integrated Approach to Acting, Voice and Text Work + Video,” published by Bloomsbury Methuen in 2016. He received an MFA in Acting from the University of California, Irvine.

“We look forward to seeing how these two bright leaders and their visions, experience, and talents help manifest continued growth and excellence in these departments,” said John Scheib, PhD, Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Associate Vice President for the Arts at the U. “I extend my sincere appreciation to members of the search committees and to all of those who participated in and provided critical input throughout these important searches.”

Please help us in congratulating our incoming Chairs!  

CFA Staff

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