Dean Timothy Blair has served West Chester University of Pennsylvania for more than 27 years. In 1990, he was appointed an assistant professor of keyboard music in the School of Music and by 1995 he earned promotion to the rank of associate professor. Dr. Blair was appointed dean of the School of Music in 1997 by President Madeleine Wing Adler and in 2004 he was appointed the founding dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. In 2008, in addition to his duties as dean, he was appointed professor of piano. Subsequently, in 2016 he was appointed by President Greg Weisenstein to lead the creation of the College of Arts and Humanities as dean, consisting of the School of Music, School of Visual and Performing Arts and the School of Humanities. In Fall 2017, Dr. Blair announced his retirement from the university.
Among the many notable achievements and innovations under his watch as dean are the Apple Authorized Training Center for Education, the Samuel Barber Summer Institute for Music Educators, the Brandywine International Piano Institute, numerous Kennedy Center national awards for WCU Theatre & Dance, stellar international initiatives by the WCU Art Program, an educational partnership with The Philadelphia Orchestra, annual WCU artist faculty recitals at Steinway Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York, and concerts by School of Music student ensembles and faculty at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. In addition, visual and performing arts students and faculty have the outstanding award winning Swope Music Building and the Performing Arts Center to support their talent and advance their creative efforts. Dean Blair’s international initiatives include artistic and educational partnerships with the Xi’an Conservatory and the Foshan Liu Shi-Kun Music and Art School, China; and the University of Ulsan in South Korea.
Dr. Blair is a member of many professional organizations and also serves on numerous boards of the arts throughout the region and nation in addition to being a National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) accreditation visitor on behalf of the Commission on National Accreditation. Dean Blair serves on the Music Teachers National Association’s Committee for Advancement and Development and has served on the Board of Visitors of the New England Conservatory of Music. Other endeavors include leadership by Dr. Blair for the completion and opening of the multi-million dollar E.O. Bull Center for the Arts which serves as home to the Departments of Art + Design, Theatre & Dance. Dean Blair has also provided ongoing accreditation leadership which has resulted in national accreditation being granted to all programs within the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Music, Theatre, Dance, and Art now hold national accreditation which is an historic first for WCU.
As a result of Dr. Blair’s initiative and with the purchase of 111 new Steinway and Steinway designed pianos, West Chester University became a prestigious All- Steinway School, the first among public colleges and universities in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As a Steinway artist himself, pianist Timothy Blair performs in concerts around the world, including recitals at Tulane University, New Orleans; the famed Holywell Music Room, Oxford, England; Steinway Hall, New York; the Academy of Music, Philadelphia; the China Conservatory of Beijing and Guizhou University, where he was appointed by the Chinese Government to the Guizhou University artist faculty. In May of 2011, to officially recognize his leadership in the arts and education, the Huaxi District Government of Guiyang City, Guizhou, China conferred upon Dean Blair honorary citizenship and the key to the city. This high honor was the first ever to be granted by the Chinese Government in Guizhou to a visiting artist and educator from America.
Dr. Blair has been recognized on the national, state, and local levels of government for his outstanding leadership in the arts and education and for the widespread achievements and ongoing commitment to excellence of his College’s faculty, staff and students. Dean Blair has received official citations for his creative, artistic and educational endeavors from U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr., The Senate of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania sponsored by Senator Andrew E. Dinniman and was also honored with an official citation from Mayor Carolyn T. Comitta of West Chester, Pennsylvania.