University Hires New Arts, Media Dean

A picture of Laurie Baefsky
Laurie Baefsky

MISSOULA – The University of Montana has hired an individual committed to the critical roles played by art and design in creating healthy, resilient communities as the next dean of the College of the Arts and Media.

Dr. Laurie Baefsky will start her new duties Jan. 1, 2021. She comes to UM from the University of Colorado Denver, where she serves as associate dean of research and strategic partnerships in the College of Arts & Media.

“I’m excited to immerse myself in the vibrant arts scene that defines UM and Missoula,” Baefsky said. “The College of the Arts and Media’s richly diverse programming offers the ideal blend of deep tradition and generative new invention. In its new formation, CAM is well-positioned to distinguish itself as a leader in creative industries training and opportunities.

“I am inspired by Missoula as a thriving arts and cultural hub, and even more so by the people I’ve met that make UM such a special destination,” she said.

Baefsky holds three degrees in flute performance: a Doctor of Musical Arts from Stony Brook University, a Master of Music from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Music from California State University, Fullerton.

Before joining CU Denver in 2018, Baefsky was executive director of the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities and ArtsEngine at the University of Michigan (2014-18) and grants manager for the Utah Division of Arts & Museums (2014).

Former appointments also include working as the founding director of Utah State University’s ArtsBridge program, as well as education director and director of development research with the Virginia Arts Festival.

“Dr. Baefsky comes to UM with a successful track record in traditional and interdisciplinary program development – both inside and outside of academia,” said Reed Humphrey, UM acting provost and vice president for academic affairs. “She presented a compelling vision for the future of arts and media throughout the recruitment process, and I am confident her experience in the arts and academia will help her succeed in leading the College of the Arts and Media.”

The College of the Arts and Media at UM serves as the flagship institution for the arts in Montana. The college offers a full complement of undergraduate and graduate degrees in art, media arts, music, journalism, theatre and dance, and integrated arts and education.


Contact: Adrea Lawrence, search committee chair and UM education dean, 406-243-5054,