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COAS Announces New Interim Roles for Leslie Durham, Kathleen Keys

Leslie Durham, COAS Dean’s Office, studio portrait

Effective June 1, Leslie Durham will serve as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (COAS). This move follows the announcement that current COAS dean Tony Roark will act as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs at Boise State when current provost Martin Schimpf returns to a faculty position this summer.

“Leslie’s seven years of service as associate dean in COAS positions her extraordinarily well to serve as interim dean,” Roark said. “She’s incredibly smart, hardworking, well connected and has great vision. The college will prosper under her leadership during this transitional period.”

Durham joined the Department of Theatre Arts at Boise State in 2001 after earning her Ph.D. at the University of Kansas, where she studied theatre history and dramaturgy. In 2017, Durham was named the inaugural director of Boise State’s new School of the Arts, which encompasses the departments of art, music, and the newly combined department of creative writing, film and theatre. With Durham’s transition into the interim dean role, Kathleen Keys has been named interim director of the school.

“I’m honored to have the responsibility of leading the College of Arts and Sciences in this time of transition,” Durham said. “While I felt incredibly lucky to be able to build the foundation of our new School of the Arts with my disciplinary colleagues, I’m looking forward to turning my attention back to all our departments and programs. I will work tirelessly to advance the entire college and to promote the vision my colleagues share of an innovative student-ready college that is deeply and creatively engaged with our various communities.”

Studio portrait of Kathleen Keys
Kathleen Keys

Keys, chair of the Department of Art, will replace Durham as interim director of the School of the Arts. Keys has taught in and coordinated the art education programs since joining Boise State’s tenure-line faculty in 2005. Keys has served as president of the Boise Art Museum Board of Trustees, and is currently in her seventh year of service with the museum. In 2003, Keys first joined Boise State as a temporary gallery director for the Department of Art’s Visual Arts Center after earning her Ph.D. in art education from Ohio State University.

“The vital and unprecedented arts synergy facilitated by the School of the Arts will greatly serve the university and community,” Keys said. “Working as interim director promises to exercise my academic and practitioner interests in community engagement, art/s education, and arts-based community development in new and fruitful ways, and I am thrilled to assist in guiding the school’s collaborative vision.”