Berklee's Vision for 2025

As the preeminent institute of music, dance, and theater, Berklee will transform arts education and empower artists to better our world. Building an inclusive culture that promotes diversity in all its forms, Berklee will nurture the growth of the world’s most inspired artists so they may fully realize their creative and career potential. Berklee will forge new connections among art forms, traditions, technologies, and institutions, creating a dynamic global network that fosters innovation, collaboration, and community.

About Berklee

Berklee is dynamic, innovative, creative, global, and bold—a place that embraces improvisation and innovation.

Building on its roots in jazz, a strong connection to the African diaspora, and a dedication to contemporary music, Berklee has grown into a singular institution for the study of the performing arts. The institution continues to integrate and find connections between its historical roots and the contemporary worlds of music, dance, and theater. Berklee is a place where artists come together to innovate and cocreate, and where artistic and cultural diversity is embraced and celebrated. This ethos permeates all aspects of Berklee—from teaching and learning to administration and governance—and is fundamental to the Berklee experience.

Just as it nurtures the creative and career potential of the world’s most inspired artists, Berklee continually cultivates its own promise—stretching, expanding, and reinventing itself in a rapidly changing world. In recent years, Berklee has opened a campus in Valencia, Spain; grown Berklee Online into the world’s largest online music school; and partnered with the City of New York to establish a center for Berklee at the storied Power Station Studios in Midtown Manhattan. In 2016, Boston Conservatory—the oldest and one of the most prestigious conservatories in the U.S. for dance, music, and theater—joined forces with Berklee College of Music, establishing a performing arts training institution unparalleled in its breadth and depth. The combined institution—Berklee—is an education powerhouse with global reach and vast cultural impact.

The preeminent institution of contemporary music, dance, and theater, Berklee offers degree-granting programs in Boston and Valencia, and through Berklee Online. Dedicated to nurturing the creative and career potential of the world’s most inspired artists, Berklee’s commitment to arts education is reflected in the work of its students, faculty, and alumni, who have been recognized with 297 Grammy Awards, 99 Latin Grammy Awards, 34 Emmy Awards, nine Tony Awards, and seven Academy Awards.

At Berklee, students explore interdisciplinary approaches to music, dance, theater, film, business, entrepreneurship, education, technology, and more. Youth programs reach underserved classrooms throughout the U.S. and beyond. With students and alumni from more than 100 nations and educational partners across the world, Berklee forges connections among art forms, musical traditions, and technologies to build a dynamic, sustainable, diverse, and collaborative global arts community. Diversity in all its forms is a source of strength for the institution.

Newsweek recently ranked Berklee College of Music as third among all U.S. colleges that “offer an exceptional artistic atmosphere.” In 2017, Billboard listed Berklee among the “Elite Music Business Schools Shaping the Industry’s Future,” highlighting Berklee’s growth in Valencia and its music business degree programs. The Luxonomist ranked Berklee’s campuses in Boston and Valencia as the top two music colleges in the world. Boston Conservatory has earned dozens of accolades in recent years, including "Best College Dance Programs in the U.S.” (Dance US, 2019), “Five of the Best Music Education Schools in the U.S.” (Careers in Music, 2019), “Big Ten 2019: The 10 Most Represented Colleges on Broadway” (Playbill, 2019, 2018, 2017).  

An Unparalleled Institution

Each learning environment at Berklee brings distinctiveness to the whole and creates a portfolio of opportunities to deepen and broaden the Berklee experience of every student and all members of the faculty and staff.

  • Berklee College of Music has become the world's singular learning lab for the music of today—and tomorrow. It is a microcosm of the music world, reflecting the interplay between music and culture; and an environment where aspiring music professionals learn how to integrate new ideas, adapt to changing musical genres, and showcase their skills in an evolving community.
  • Boston Conservatory at Berklee is internationally recognized as an innovative leader among conservatory programs, focused on elevating and celebrating every aspect of the performing arts. The school continues to distinguish itself with a vision of music, dance, and theater that encompasses a multidisciplinary learning environment, creative programming, and deep community engagement.
  • Berklee Online is the world’s largest online music education system, with online undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificate programs that serve musicians from more than 150 countries. Because Berklee Online isn’t tethered to a physical campus, anyone in the world can get a Berklee education at their own pace at 60 percent less than on-campus tuition.
  • Berklee Valencia, founded in 2012, is Berklee's first international campus, offering four master's degree programs, study abroad, and summer programs. Leveraging its presence in Europe and the Mediterranean, as well as its connection with Latin America, the campus helps students develop a global mindset while expanding their professional opportunities on a global scale.
  • BerkleeNYC, created in 2017, is a landmark public-private-nonprofit partnership that brought together Berklee, the City of New York, and a private donor to revitalize the historic recording studio on West 53rd Street, which was renamed Power Station at BerkleeNYC. This facility, currently under renovation, provides a home for educational programming to serve Berklee students and alumni, as well as New York musicians and public school students, while continuing operation as a recording studio.
  • Berklee City Music provides educational opportunities for talented but economically disadvantaged urban youth. The program has partners in cities across America and abroad, reaching more than 55,000 students. A partnership with the New York City Department of Education brings music programs to more than 60,000 K–12 students in 600 New York City public schools. The Encore Gala, the annual fundraising event for City Music, has raised $30 million for the City Music Scholarship Fund, and provides financial support to students to attend summer programs and enroll full time at Berklee.

Berklee’s different learning environments serve the wide range of interests and aptitudes of its artistic student body.

Berklee Is Strong

Much has been written about the challenges facing institutions of higher education in the United States; however, Berklee has been forward-thinking in addressing many of these issues.

  • Demand for a Berklee education continues to grow.

    • Enrollment across all Berklee degree-granting programs increased 32 percent from 2012 to 2018.
    • Conservatory applications have increased by more than 50 percent since the merger in 2016.
    • Enrollment for online undergraduate degree programs increased by more than 400 percent since they were first offered in 2014.
    • Berklee Valencia's enrollment grew from 24 students in its first semester in 2012 to currently enrolling over 500 undegraduate, graduate, and summer programs students on a yearly basis.  
    • Berklee’s YouTube channel is the most viewed college or university channel in the world, with more than 200 million views and one million subscribers.
  • Scholarship support has increased by more than 570 percent since 2005. Thrive, Berklee's new strategy to aggressively address affordability, provides additional support to improve retention and graduation rates. Additionally, Berklee Online provides an exceptional option for many students at 60 percent less than on-campus tuition.
  • Berklee launched its first-ever capital campaign, Giant Steps, in 2008 with a goal of $40 million. The campaign concluded in 2011, with funds surpassing $54.5 million. The follow-up campaign, Soundbreaking, concluded in 2019, raising more than $160 million—over 30 percent more than its goal of $121 million—to support scholarships, facilities, and the creation of institutes for musical discovery and artistry.
  • The endowment has grown over 10 years at an 8.7 percent annualized rate of return to $363 million through a sound investment strategy, prudent operational management, and successful fundraising. 
  • Berklee instituted a comprehensive, strategic Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Framework that includes campus climate; curriculum and pedagogy; equity; professional development; recruitment and retention; space and accessibility; and student access, engagement, and success. 

Position Summary

Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the president is the chief executive officer of Berklee, responsible for the strategic, artistic, educational, financial, operational, and cultural health of the organization. The arts and higher education are dynamic and rapidly evolving. In this context, the president is responsible for ensuring that Berklee continues to strengthen its position as the innovative leader in music, dance, and theater education, delivering value to all its students worldwide.

Priorities for the Next President

  • Expand Berklee’s distinctiveness and its impact in the world, reinforcing the unique positioning of its learning environments, while realizing all the collaborative opportunities available to Berklee from the combined strengths of its various units.
  • Continue to innovate on the dimensions of access, affordability, belonging, and outcomes as Berklee continues to deliver a high-quality, creative education across multiple platforms operating as a coherent system.
  • In partnership with a strong and committed board, identify and develop the next generation of donors and trustees, ensuring Berklee has access to the philanthropic support and expertise it needs to thrive.
  • Continue to optimize Berklee’s operating platform—systems, processes, facilities, organizational structure, etc.—so that it seamlessly supports the work of current students, faculty, and staff, and can scale to support future growth opportunities.
  • Continue to strategically pursue opportunities for domestic and international partnerships that strengthen Berklee’s global footprint and leadership position.
  • Ensure that the strength, diversity, and collaborative nature of Berklee’s leadership team is maintained.
  • Work with the provost and the faculty to strengthen the curriculum and fully integrate it with music, dance, and theater education.

Berklee is eager to engage with successful, multidimensional leaders from a wide range of backgrounds who bring some combination of the following qualities and experiences to the opportunity:

  • Successful leadership of a multistakeholder organization with meaningful levels of scale, complexity, and pace
  • A passion for and profound curiosity about music, dance, and theater education, and the power of creative expression
  • A demonstrated ability to build deep relationships with a wide range of people and groups that create a culture characterized by empathy and collaboration
  • Evidence of impactful engagement on issues of equity, diversity, multiculturalism, and belonging
  • A talent for leading, developing, and recruiting high-performance teams
  • Experience working in a multicultural, international organization
  • The ability to develop strong institutional partnerships that are mutually beneficial and advance an organization’s mission

Core Capabilities

Strategic Thinking: In the rapidly evolving landscape of higher education, music, dance, and theater, ensure that Berklee stays at the forefront by:

  • developing an organizational strategy that incorporates complex market issues, current initiatives, competitive challenges, core values, and future needs in a clear and coherent way;
  • communicating a clear strategic direction for Berklee and the evolving markets in which it operates, leading to logical changes in actions and approaches, and ensuring that everyone is pulling in the same direction; and
  • developing a clear set of priorities, identifying areas for new or continued investment.

Organizational Capacity Building: In an organization that has been highly entrepreneurial and developed many new programs and initiatives, ensure that Berklee’s organizational capacity can scale to match its growth by:

  • continuing to build efficient and effective business processes, administrative functions, systems, and protocols that support Berklee’s current ambitions and can scale as the institution continues to expand and grow;
  • creating the optimal balance of administrative integration across Berklee’s learning environments, realizing economies of scale and expertise while preserving appropriate levels of customization to support the distinctive programmatic portfolios and needs of the different units; and
  • developing and retaining diverse leadership talent and teams throughout the organization and ensuring that they are energized, aligned, and working collaboratively with each other, with all employees, and with the Berklee faculty union.

Driving Results: In a tuition-dependent organization with global reach, presence, and ambition, continue to drive positive results for Berklee coupled with great outcomes for students by:

  • providing thought leadership on a national and international level about the value of creative education and the impact of the arts on culture, society, and advocacy by maintaining and enhancing Berklee’s leadership in the sector;
  • refining a resilient business model for Berklee that can continue to thrive in the rapidly changing worlds of higher education, music, dance, and theater;
  • serving as the chief fundraising officer for Berklee, cultivating donors and ensuring that Berklee has a cadre of philanthropic supporters who are deeply committed to the institution; and
  • fostering an organizational culture of collaboration, social awareness, and trust.

The Search Process

Spencer Stuart Logo

A presidential search committee comprising trustees, faculty, staff, and a student representative will advise the Board of Trustees on the selection of Berklee’s next president. The committee has retained Spencer Stuart to support the search.

Committee members are actively seeking to identify the best candidates. To that end, they welcome your comments, inquiries, applications, and nominations, which may be submitted via an email message with supporting materials to berkleepres@spencerstuart.com.

Watch a Student Performance

Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory at Berklee students perform Pedro Osuna's arrangement of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."

Berklee is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages individuals of all backgrounds and cultures to consider this leadership position. Berklee’s commitment to inclusivity encompasses, but is not limited to, diversity in nationality, ethnicity, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, and disability.