Strategic Planning

Steering committee

The Steering Committee will have the responsibility for providing advice and helping steer the strategic planning process and the development of the plan itself. The committee will ensure our community at large is consulted—our faculty, students, staff, alumni, off-campus partners, and others in a manner that is inclusive and reflective of the diversity that makes our school a great place to be. 

Specifically, the Steering Committee, which is advisory to the dean and the leadership of the school, will: 

  • Ensure all members of the Jacobs School of Music community are given multiple and appropriate opportunities to engage in the process – by having their opinions sought, their voices heard, their feedback invited, their buy-in encouraged.  
  • Guide and facilitate the process of developing a strategic plan that reflects the wider JSoM community’s input. Note that the committee does not approve the final plan, nor does it determine JSoM priorities and plan-supporting resource allocations. Decision-making authority remains vested where it currently resides –in the governance system and with the school and university leadership.   
  • Connect with, build from, leverage, and integrate work done in the Working Groups established to explore the broad strategic planning themes which will be identified throughout the year as well as work being undertaken under the auspices of currently ongoing “local” planning efforts on campus.



  • Jeremy Allen, Co-chair - Eugene O'Brien Bicentennial Executive Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Music (Jazz Studies)
  • Melissa Dickson - J-CDR Assistant Dean for External Affairs
  • Jill Gonyo - Assistant Dean for Finance and Administration
  • Lissa May - Associate Dean for Instruction and Professor of Music Education
  • Phil Ponella, Co-chair - Wennerstrom-Phillips Music Library Director and Chief Digital Officer 




  • Charlie Edmonds, Graduate student
  • Lauren Franzetti, Undergraduate student


  • Katie Wyatt, Executive Director, Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities

Dean’s Advisory Council  

  • Frank Graves
  • David Jacobs

Working Groups

1. Student Health and Wellness

The physical, mental, and emotional health of any performing arts professional is a critical ingredient for a successful and satisfying lifelong career. What is the current vision for this priority? What are the key objectives and strategies the school needs to prioritize in order to best support our students in the near term (6 months to 1 year), the immediate term (the next two to three years), and the longer term (the next five years)?

  • Lissa May*
  • Felicia Cianchetti
  • John Raymond, Chair
  • Frank Diaz
  • Amanda Draper
  • Joanie Spain
  • Joseph Galvin
  • Jamie Tagg
  • Alyssa McPherson
  • Sarah Wroth
  • John Porter
  • Yoav Hayut, student representative
  • Abhik Mazumder, student representative
  • Delia Li, student representative
  • Lara Van Vuuren, student representative

* = steering committee member

2. Curricular Flexibility

Throughout the strategic planning process, the need for greater flexibility and fewer requirements in the JSoM undergraduate core curriculum has been raised as essential. What does it mean to make space in the core? What does flexibility mean for the core? What is missing from the core curriculum for 21st-century musicians? What does increased diversity within the music core mean? What are the goals and the key initiatives in the near term (6 months to 1 year), the immediate term (the next two to three years), and the longer term (the next five years)?

  • Lissa May*, Associate Dean for Instruction, Chair
  • Gary Arvin, faculty at large
  • David Cartledge, Director of Graduate Studies
  • Sean Dobbins, faculty at large
  • Joey Tartell, Director of Undergrad. Studies
  • Jeffrey Turner, faculty at large
  • Frank Samarotto, Music Theory faculty representative
  • Joanna Blendulf, faculty at large
  • Halina Goldberg, Musicology faculty representative
  • Philip Ponella*, Cook Music Library rep.
  • Charlie Edmonds*, student representative
  • Larry Groupe
  • Frank Diaz
  • Joe Gramley

* = steering committee member

3. Preparing students for 21st century careers

Career preparation is essential for all students graduating from performing arts schools today. This includes practical preparation (including CV/resume development, grant writing, monetization of work, and technological proficiencies) and coursework or programs preparing performing arts industry skills. How might we ensure all students who graduate from JSoM have engaged in fundamental career preparation before they leave, not only those who self-select for specific coursework?

  • Alain Barker, Director, Music Entrepreneurship and Career Development
  • Jane Dutton*
  • Joey Tartell, Director, Undergraduate Studies
  • David Cartledge Director, Graduate Studies
  • Daniel Duarte, Chair
  • Jason Bergman
  • Larry Groupé
  • Grigory Kalinovsky
  • Greg Ward
  • Elizabeth Yao

* = steering committee member

4. Reimagining International Priorities and Strategies

As one of the world’s most prestigious schools of performing arts with students from more than 50 countries represented, we are responsible for ensuring that our students are prepared for careers and have connections around the world. While there has been a long tradition of global connectivity, many of those partnerships collapsed during the COVID-19 pandemic. How might we reconsider and reform our international partnerships from the past, develop new partnerships, promote international engagement, and develop a sustainable strategy for the initiatives in which we engage?

  • Abra Bush, Chair
  • Arthur Fagen
  • Norman Krieger
  • Espen Jensen*
  • Tom Wieligman
  • Kyung Sun Lee
  • Phil Ponella*
  • Gabor Varga
  • Brian Horne
  • Lauren Franzetti* (student)

* = steering committee member

5. Student Recruitment

The JSoM has a longstanding tradition of recruiting some of the world’s best musicians and ballet dancers. Challenges stemming from the forthcoming changes in the number of students who will be attending colleges and universities will require the school to reimagine and reconsider how and where it recruits, how scholarship support is allocated and how to engage in recruitment. How might we ensure that we are actively recruiting excellent, diverse students, appropriately allocating financial aid (merit and/or need-based aid), and yielding the most prepared students?

  • Espen Jensen*, Chair
  • Michael Stucker
  • Joey Tartell
  • Brian Horne
  • Simin Ganatra*
  • Chi Wang
  • Brent Gault*
  • Demondrae Thurman*
  • Otis Murphy

* = steering committee member

6. Strengthen and Demonstrate JSoM’s Commitment to DEI Efforts

The Jacobs School of Music has students from all 50 states and 50 countries around the world. It is our diversity of people, thought, and identities which make us a rich  environment for creativity. Building on the existing plans strategic plan established by  the D&E committee, what are the goals and the key initiatives for DEI in the near term (6 months to 1 year), the immediate term (the next two to three years), and the longer term (the next five years)?

  • Alain Barker
  • Futaba Niekawa
  • Daniel Duarte
  • Julia Shaw
  • Hallie Geyh
  • Russell Thomas
  • Orit Hilewicz
  • Greg Ward
  • Javier Leon, Chair
  • Olivia Leake, Student Representative
  • Espen Jensen

7. Expand Jacobs Academy and community engagement across the state of Indiana

How might we position the Jacobs Academy and the JSoM community engagement  efforts to ensure there is teaching, creativity and impact both regionally and across the state of Indiana? What are the key initiatives in the near term (6 months to 1 year), the immediate term (the next two to three years), and the longer term (the next five years)?

  • Brenda Brenner, Chair
  • Jeremy Allen*
  • Mimi Zweig
  • Elizabeth Yao
  • Robin Allen
  • Kim Carballo
  • Alain Barker
  • Constance Cook Glen

* = steering committee member

8. Faculty & Staff Engagement

The Jacobs School of Music should not only be a leading destination for students studying music and dance, it should also be a good place to work. Building on the excellent work of the Staff Engagement Task Force, this group should focus on challenges for both faculty and staff in the areas of salary equity, work life balance, professional development, leadership development, community development, access to resources for scholarly and creative activity, and more.

  • Jeremy Allen*
  • Jill Gonyo* Chair
  • Joyce Leonard
  • Phil Ponella*
  • Peter Miksza
  • Lauren Richerme
  • Erin Smith
  • Mark Smith*
  • Melissa Dickson*
  • Grace Lazarz*
  • Dan Melamed*

* = steering committee member

9. Enriching the JSoM Experience

Every institution is enriched by the diversity of thought and experiences all members of the community bring to it. In order to continue the infusion of these new ideas, methodologies or thoughts, bringing extraordinary guest artist and scholars to campus for performances, talks, masterclasses, and networking has emerged through the planning process as a key initiative. How might we strategically and in a cost-effective way increase our guests at the JSoM? How do we ensure that they have been screened for any reputational concerns before invitations are extended? What should the focus be given limited resources?

  • Frank Graves*
  • Melissa Dickson*
  • Tom Walsh
  • Tom Wieligman
  • Simin Ganatra*
  • Ayana Smith
  • Kathryn Wyatt*
  • David Jacobs*

* = steering committee member

Strategic Planning Town Hall for all Faculty & Staff – January 6, 2023

Jacobs faculty and staff: Documents and records from the January 6 Town Hall will be made available for review in Sharepoint. Thomas Morris' keynote speech has been added, and key themes and working groups will be available soon.

View documents from the January 6 Town Hall

View recording of talks given by Dean Bush, Provost Shrivastav, and Keynote Speaker Thomas Morris