March 1-3, 2006
ITEM 130-1012-R0306 Authorization to Confer the Titles of Dean Emeritus of the School of Fine Arts and Professor Emeritus of Drama/Dance Upon James D. Kriley; The University of Montana-Missoula
THAT: Upon the occasion of the retirement of Professor James D. Kriley from the faculty of The University of Montana, the faculty wishes to express its appreciation for his years of dedicated and valued service to the School, the Department of Drama/Dance and Media Arts Program, and the State of Montana by recommending that the titles of Dean Emeritus of the School of Fine Arts and Professor Emeritus of Drama/Dance be conferred upon him by the Board of Regents of the Montana University System.
EXPLANATION: Professor James D. Kriley has amassed an impressive record of accomplishment during his many years of service as a faculty member, department chair, dean and associate provost. He is widely recognized throughout the University, Missoula community, state and region for his many achievements as a teacher and arts administrator and is well known for his passionate commitment to his profession.
Dr. Kriley was hired in 1976 as Chair and Professor in the Department of Drama/Dance, a position he held until 1985. During that time, Dr. Kriley taught extensively, in addition to his administrative duties, and was the major force behind the establishment of the Montana Repertory Theatre as a professional, resident touring company. James Kriley’s many accomplishments and earned reputation in the area of teaching are reflected in his record of promotion and tenure while at UM and his appointments to serve as a Visiting Scholar and Artist at UCLA and a Visiting Artist/Faculty member in the Graduate Film and Television Directing Program at the California Institute of the Arts.
As Dean of the School of Fine Arts, James Kriley co-founded The Creative Pulse for Teachers of the Arts and Humanities, a nationally recognized interdisciplinary arts education graduate program, and initiated, designed and implemented a successful program in Media Arts, which now provides offerings at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. During his thirteen-year term as Dean, he also provided vision and direction in the planning and development of the Performing Arts/Radio and Television Center and served as Project Director for the renovation of the University Theatre. As Associate Provost, Dr. Kriley chaired the University’s General Education Review Committee and served as General Education Coordinator for UM’s satellite campuses.
In addition to his impressive record of directing productions staged by the Department of Drama/Dance, Dr. Kriley’s activity as a creative artist has included serving as the Artistic Director of the Montana Repertory Theatre Company, for which he was awarded the Montana Governor’s Arts Award for Excellence and the Rocky Mountain Theatre Association’s award for Excellence in Directing. Also, he was selected a winner of the AMOCO Medallion for Excellence in Directing from the American College Theatre Festival at the Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.
Recognition for his service to the School, University, community at large and his profession has taken many forms. In addition to his several on-campus roles, Dr. Kriley has been Chairman of The American Theatre Association’s University Standards Commission, the entity which has developed all standards for the various undergraduate and graduate degree programs in theatre, along with the accreditation criteria and standards for those degrees nationally; recipient of an appointment by the Governor to membership on the Montana Arts Council; and a member of the Accreditation Team for the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) on accreditation visits to six different universities.
As referenced above, Professor James D. Kriley has provided significant contributions to the Department of Drama/Dance, the Media Arts Program, the School of Fine Arts, The University of Montana, and the profession. There can be no doubt that Dr. Kriley has successfully fulfilled his self-stated goal “to serve the needs of our students and to help the faculty and administration achieve the various missions of the University,” with dignity and honor. This recommendation is accompanied by sincere thanks to Dr. Kriley for 29 years of invaluable service to the State of Montana, The University of Montana, and the School of Fine Arts at The University of Montana. Congratulations and best wishes for the future.