Douglas Dempster

Learn more about former College of Fine Arts dean Douglas Dempster's career in philosophy, music theory and musicology.

Professor, Performance as Public Practice

Douglas Dempster previously served as dean of the College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at Austin and is currently a professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance in the Performance as Public Practice area. Before his appointment as dean in 2007, he served as senior associate dean of the College of Fine Arts, a leading public comprehensive college of the fine and performing arts, with programs in Art and Art History, Music, Theatre and Dance, the university's public art collection, Landmarks and multi-purpose Texas Performing Arts, as well as, formerly, the university's Blanton Museum of Art. 

Prior to his appointment at The University of Texas, Dempster was the associate director and academic dean at the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester, one of the top music conservatories in the world. He served for 18 years on the Eastman School faculty and in a variety of administrative roles, including nationally leading examples of entrepreneurship training in a professional arts school. While at Eastman, Dempster held faculty appointments in the departments of Humanities, Musical Theory, Musicology and a joint appointment in Philosophy at the University of Rochester. 

Dempster is a philosopher by training and profession with research and teaching specialties in philosophical aesthetics, musical theory, cultural polic studies and the philosophy of language. He is published eclectically and esoterically in all these areas. He currently holds the Marie and Joseph d. Jamail Senior Regents Professorship and the Effie Marie Cain Regents Chair in the Department of Theatrea nd Dance.

Well-known for his record in reforming professional training programs for artists, Dempster serves on the boards of the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project, the China Foundation for the Promotion of Education and Culture and, the Orchestral Musicians Forum.

Dempster holds a doctorate and master's degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a bachelor's degree in philosophy and government from St. Lawrence University in New York State.

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