Professional Information

Professor of Arts Administration

Professor William Byrnes brings an extensive background in academic administration, management, teaching, and leadership to his current role on the faculty. Professor Byrnes has been teaching in the SUU Arts Administration graduate program since 2005. He teaches seminars in board relations and planning, fundraising, economics and financial management, and leadership and organizational development. His textbook, Management and the Arts, now in its fifth edition, is widely used in arts and culture management courses throughout the world. The book has been translated into Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Russian, and Serbian. He also contributed a chapter to Arts Leadership: International Case Studies, published in late 2012 by Tilde University Press, Australia.

Professor Byrnes maintains a strong international presence with his service on the Advisory Board of the Internationales Studienzentrum Wirtschaft Business School in Freiburg, Germany (ISW), a private school offering programs that include culture and sports management. He annually lectured at ISW from 2003 to 2103 and was a guest speaker at a German statewide conference in 2004 entitled, "Mozart, Marketing, and Money." In June 2003, he presented a short paper on "Culture Management Training in Five Years" at the International Conference on Culture Management and Education, in Turino, Italy.

In January 2007 his travels extended beyond Europe when he lectured about current trends in arts administration training programs at the Institute for Theatre Research at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan. In October and November 2009, Byrnes lectured on arts and culture management and strategic planning in Changsha and Beijing China on the campuses of Hunan Normal University and Renmin University. He returned to Renmin University to lecture on arts management in June 2010. In March of 2010 and September 2014, he was a guest speaker and lecturer at the LASALLE College of Arts in Singapore. He was one of the international presenters at the China Arts Administration Education Association (CAAEA) conference held in Beijing in September of 2010. In November 2010, he was a presenter in Koln Germany at an international symposium on arts management training programs. He also lectured on arts economics in Serbia at the University of the Arts in Belgrade in 2010. In June 2011 he was a guest lecturer at Viadrina University in Frankfurt (Order), Germany. Professor Byrnes is also a member of the Editorial Advisory Committee of the Asia Pacific Journal of Arts and Cultural Management. He also serves on the editorial board of the Graduate Journal of Cultural and Creative Industries.

From 2009 to 2014 Professor Byrnes was the Associate Provost and Director of Strategic Planning at Southern Utah University. Professor Byrnes has worked as an administrator at every level in higher education. He has been a curricular area head, program director, associate chair, chair, associate dean, and dean. As Associate Provost he worked with the Provost and Deans offering vision and to help guide the direction in the following areas: academic planning and curriculum development, accreditation, program review, and strategic planning. Byrnes also contributed to shaping the academic and long-range strategic vision for the University as well as the determination of its anticipated outcomes and assessment measures.

Professor Byrnes was appointed Dean of the SUU College of Performing and Visual Arts (CPVA) in 2004. In his capacity as Dean, Byrnes worked with a talented and dedicated faculty and staff and over 560 majors in the departments of Art and Design, Music, Theater Arts and Dance, and in the graduate program in Arts Administration (MFA). He helped develop, promote, and strengthen the College and its programs. He coordinated the 10th Anniversary of CPVA in 2008-09 and helped development the Future is Rising capital campaign initiatives for the college. In addition, he had oversight of the Braithwaite Fine Arts Gallery, the American Folk Ballet, and worked with the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespearean Festival.

Before coming to SUU, Byrnes served as Associate Dean of Florida State University's School of Theatre (1994-2004). He also served as Director of the Theatre Management master’s degree program while at FSU. He initiated a reorganization of an extensive production program, supervised the design and production faculty and administrative staff, and was responsible for supervising the overall marketing for the School's production season. He taught a series of six graduate seminars in arts administration in support of the Theatre Management program and two other arts administration degree programs on the FSU campus. He also served on the planning committee for the regional arts festival, "Tallahassee: Seven Days of Opening Nights" and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Southern Shakespeare Festival.

Prior to his service at Florida State, he worked for 22 years at Oberlin College, in Oberlin Ohio, home of a highly regarded liberal arts college and outstanding Conservatory of Music. He started as a Lecturer and left there as a Professor of Theatre. His first appointment was as the technical director and lighting designer for the Theatre & Dance program. Over the course of his time at Oberlin, he served as the production director, and director of the Theatre and Dance program, production manager for the Oberlin Opera Theatre, and finished as the Associate Chair of the Theatre and Dance program. He taught numerous courses in design and production at Oberlin including an interdisciplinary course in arts administration. That course was the impetus in 1992 for his writing his book, Management and the Arts.

During his tenure at Oberlin, he maintained a busy professional schedule as a lighting designer and production manager. Professor Byrnes created the lighting designs for over 80 college and 25 professional productions. His work has included lighting designs for over 18 productions for the Cleveland Opera Company as well as designs for Toledo Opera, Dayton Opera, Kentucky Opera, and the Porthouse Summer Theatre in Kent, Ohio. He was twice recognized with the Peggy S. Ezekiel Award for Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Design while in Ohio.

He was the President of the U.S. Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) in 2000-02. USITT is a 3800-plus international membership association of professionals in design, production, education, and technology in the performing arts. He is a Fellow of the Institute and was given the prestigious Founders Award in 1996 for his continued service to USITT and the theatre profession. He served as a board member and Vice President in USITT from 1985 to 2000. He currently is the editor for "Inside USITT" in each quarterly issue of the journal Theatre Design & Technology. He has served on the Finance Committee and in 2007 led the USITT 21st Century Task Force. He is an active member of the Management Commission, and frequently presents at the USITT annual conference. In 2011 he was the recognized with a USITT award for Distinguished Achievement in Management.

In December 2001, Byrnes was inducted into the National Theatre Conference (NTC), an honorary society of theatre professionals and distinguished educators. He maintains active memberships the Association of Arts Administration Educators (AAAE), Association of Theatre in Higher (ATHE), and in the Council for Advancement and Support in Education (CASE)). Professor Byrnes also served on the board of the ESTA Foundation from 2007 to 2014 (now known as the PLASA Foundation). The PLASA Foundation is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization in New York City established in 2005 to create and support educational and charitable programs for the entertainment technology industry. He has also served on the boards of the Utah Shakespeare Festival and the Cedar City Arts Council.

He holds a B.A. in English from the University of New Mexico and a M.F.A. from UCLA in Design and Production from the School of Theatre, Film, and Television. He was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. He and his wife Christine, who hails from Toledo, Ohio, live in West Chester, OH. Their children Alison, Emily, and Matt live and work in Ohio and he has a daughter Julie, who works and lives in Sacramento, California.

Updated August 2014