Clifton Brown, associate professor of dance, stepped down from his position as coordinator for the program.
Brown said, via email, that his “vision for the program was at odds with parts of the administration.”
He will resume his status as a regular faculty member after years of being connected with the coordinator position.
Department head David Young notified Theatre & Dance students of Brown’s decision in an email, last week.
“I’m grateful for everything Clifton has done for this department,” Young said.
Young’s email expounded on Brown’s tenure.
“I want to thank him for the untold number of hours he has put into the position,” Young said. “I very much appreciate his commitment to quality and his dedication to our program … I look forward to his continued contributions as a excellent teacher, creative artist and colleague.”
Brown said the decision to step down was not easily made.
“It’s been their reaction and support that continues to give me the strength to fulfill my duties as a professor,” he said. “However, there has been a lot of sadness and frustration from the students.”
Sara Pecina, a senior dance major from Kokomo, Indiana, has spent nearly every day with Brown since beginning her collegiate career. Pecina said, while Brown could be difficult to work with at times, the program has grown under his leadership.
“Many of us are afraid of what the program will be like without him,” she said.
In response, several dance majors created a petition to show Brown the impact of his time as coordinator. Current dance majors, alumni of the program and various other members of the theater and dance community have signed the petition, Pecina noted.
Pecina said some dance students wished to “remain neutral,” choosing not to sign the petition.
“It’s understandable, given something of this magnitude that happened,” she said.
Brown’s coordinator duties included administration and oversight of the program, recruiting and auditioning incoming freshmen and mentoring faculty.
He said returning to a faculty member position would allow him to continue training students and focus on his own research.
“Through my tenure, it’s been my honor to lead this program throughout successful accreditation, as well as starting a pre professional company that has continued to perform on the national and international stage,” Brown said.
Young said decisions have not been made as to the future of the coordinator position.