Columbus State Appoints Interim Dean for New Arts College

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University has appointed Gary Wortley to serve as interim dean of the newly created College of Fine and Performing Arts.

Gary WortleyWortley, right, chief operations officer of Chattahoochee Valley Libraries, will assume the new post July 1 and oversee the effort to create a new academic home for the Schwob School of Music and the departments of Art and Theatre, all housed downtown on CSU’s RiverPark campus.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to be in on the startup of an academic unit focused specifically on the arts,” Wortley said.

Prior to arriving in Columbus in 2006, Wortley was executive director of the Texas Ballet Theater, the resident professional classical ballet company in Dallas-Fort Worth, and spent more than 22 years in various executive management positions with, EDS (Electronic Data Systems Corp). He has also served as an independent consultant in the area of strategic planning for various for-profit and nonprofit organizations.

Columbus State President Tim Mescon said Wortley is prepared to guide the university’s move to coalesce and reinforce a trio of distinguished programs. “Gary has an extensive background in business and the arts and will provide exceptional leadership to this exciting new academic unit.”

Wortley said his first steps will involve developing a shared vision and strategy for the new college. “Collaboration and teamwork will be key,” he said. “Ultimately, of course, our goal will be to expand the reach of CSU both nationally and internationally, providing students and the community with access to the best in the fine and performing arts.”

Wortley has bachelor’s and master's degrees in music education and flute performance from the University of Texas at Austin and has completed doctoral studies in aesthetic studies and comparative literature at the University of Texas at Dallas. He also studied flute at Boston University and with Jean-Pierre Rampal at the Academie Internationale d’Ete in Nice, France.

Wortley also has performed with the Dallas Symphony and Dallas Ballet orchestras and was principal flutist with the Richardson Symphony Orchestra.

“I strongly believe that the fine and performing arts will continue to play a very strategic role in the growth of CSU and the city of Columbus,” he said.

The College of Fine and Performing Arts is the university’s sixth college, joining the College of Education, D. Abbott Turner College of Business, University College, College of Science and College of Arts and Letters. The three units that will fall under the new College of Fine and Performing Arts have historically been part of the College of Arts and Letters.