James W. Hunt, provost and dean of the faculty at Southwestern, said, “Paul has an exceptional range of experience that will serve him well as the new dean of The Sarofim School of Fine Arts. He brings to the school an energy and vitality that I believe will inspire the multi-talented faculty and students to work collaboratively in the creation of vision for the school that will further enhance its distinctive nature. He is definitely the right person at the right time and we are delighted that Dr. Gaffney has agreed to join the Southwestern Community. We are eagerly anticipating his arrival on our campus.”

Southwestern is one of only a handful of national liberal arts colleges that has a separate and distinct school of fine arts.

Gaffney holds a doctorate from the University of Kansas, an M.A. from Indiana University, and a B.S from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. He has been a member of the faculty at Dartmouth since 1987 and has held faculty positions at the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Kansas.

As a theatre artist, Gaffney has specialized in the field of directing. In addition to staging a wide range of types of plays at the various universities where he has taught, he also has kept an active career as a director in the profession. He has directed at such theatres as the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, the Nebraska Repertory Theatre, the Minnesota Repertory Theatre, the California Theatre Center, the Texas Shakespeare Festival, and Teatro La Comedia in San Jose, Costa Rica. While comfortable with a wide range of dramatic material, he especially prefers Shakespeare, Moliere, classic and contemporary Irish work, and bilingual (English/Spanish) plays.

“I’m very pleased to be joining Southwestern University as Dean of the Sarofim School of Fine Arts, not only because it is such a fine institution, with a strong student body, an excellent faculty, good facilities, and a clear commitment to the arts, but also because it represents something of a homecoming. I am very glad to be back in Texas.”

Gaffney is the proud father of two children. Son Carter, 26, a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, is an officer in the Navy SEALs. Daughter Meredith, 23, recently graduated from Emory University in Atlanta, and is currently on a travel-and-work trip through Australia, South Africa and Europe.


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