New executive leadership position for the Arts Division

Art Professor Dee Hibbert-Jones will serve as Associate Dean of Research, Exhibition and Engagement.

UC Santa Cruz Dean of the Division of Arts Dr. Celine Parreñas Shimizu has appointed Art Professor Dee Hibbert-Jones to serve as Associate Dean of Research, Exhibition and Engagement, a newly created executive leadership position for the advancement of arts research, creative practice, and public engagement at UCSC. 

Hibbert-Jones will serve as the Arts Division leader on research, exhibition, and engagement, acting as a point of connection between the Arts Research Institute (ARI), the Institute of the Arts and Sciences (IAS), the Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery, faculty, and the Dean’s office. One of Hibbert-Jones’ priorities will be to raise the profile and increase the impact of the arts on campus, in the community and region, and beyond.

“The new Associate Dean of Research, Exhibition and Engagement will bring more visibility to the robust research agenda of the Arts Division at UCSC as well as the exhibition practices that extend our impact beyond campus while also amplifying the regional and global collaborations of our faculty and students,” says Parreñas Shimizu. “I created this new position so we can grow Arts faculty leaders in university administration and offer a model of shared leadership in the Arts Division.”

Hibbert-Jones, who founded UCSC’s Social Practice Arts Research Center and is currently faculty director of ARI, has a long history of leadership within the Arts Division, having served on numerous college and departmental committees. In addition to being principal faculty in Art, she is affiliate faculty in Film and Digital Media, Digital Arts and New Media, and Legal Studies. 

Her work also extends far beyond campus. Hibbert-Jones is an Academy Award® nominated, Emmy® award winning filmmaker and artist and a Guggenheim Fellow. She collaborates with Nomi Talisman on innovative animated film, art, and new media projects on issues of access and inequity, specifically in relation to criminal justice, racial equity, and social infrastructures. Hibbert-Jones was awarded a United States Congressional Black Caucus Veterans Braintrust Award in recognition for her outstanding national commitment to civil rights and social justice, and a California Public Defenders Gideon Award for her support to indigent minorities, with Nomi Talisman. She has served on countless government, foundation, nonprofit, and for profit art, film, and academic juries and boards.

“An award-winning thinker and practitioner in the interdisciplinary arts, Dee Hibbert-Jones exemplifies the generosity of our faculty who are known for nurturing our students in giving them the belief that they can make key contributions in their disciplines, but also for faculty to be encouraged to secure the largest grants to support their deserving research,” says Parreñas Shimizu. “She has the vision to strengthen our research output with her ability to inspire faculty and students, bring people together, find resources, and secure relationships that support our research enterprise. All of this will amplify the social impact and engagement that our campus historically pursues and emphasizes.”

“The opportunity to work with my colleagues to envision and integrate UCSC’s Arts programming and research into a cohesive whole is tremendously exciting to me,” says Hibbert-Jones. “There are so many brilliant minds here—our research is consistently experimental and innovative. I see this position as an opportunity to reflect the depth of talent in the Arts at UCSC. Together with Dean Celine Parreñas Shimizu, Rachel Nelson at IAS, Holly Unruh at ARI, and Louise Leong at the Sesnon, we will work to ensure our exceptional resources are fully utilized by our faculty and students, raise the visibility of the wealth of talent, and engage deeply with our community and the public.”

As the inaugural Associate Dean of Research, Exhibition and Engagement, Hibbert-Jones joins Professor of Music Karlton Hester, recently appointed to the first-time position of Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Larry Andrews, Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs, on Dean Celine Parreñas Shimizu’s newly forged executive team. Together, the group will work to reshape arts education at UCSC in a way that prioritizes the nurturing of faculty well-being, research funding, and mentorship, while addressing pressing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, impactful research, and regional and global engagement and exhibition.