Corin Overland Brings Inspiration to Associate Dean Role

Frost School of Music associate professor Corin Overland aims to foster pride and community while making life better for students as the new associate dean of undergraduate studies.

Corin Overland, the new associate dean of undergraduate studies at the Frost School of Music, has an inspiring definition of a job that most people probably think of as uninspiringly administrative.

“If you distill the job to its essence, it’s how to make the lives of undergraduates better,” says Overland. “My job is to be the human part of the machinery.” 

Overland, who also continues as Associate Professor of Professional Practice in the Music Education department, began expressing interest in his new position several years ago. He emerged as the top candidate after a full search process, and was appointed associate dean last May. 

He says that teaching in high school before coming to the Frost School in 2012, and his undergraduate experience, built his affinity for young people moving into adulthood and independence. “Helping people figure the life thing out is something I’ve been able to do as a faculty member,” he says. “Here I can do it on bigger scale.”

Overland says the associate dean position includes overseeing curriculum descriptions, making sure students understand their degree requirements and take the right courses, that faculty “aren’t asking students to do too much or too little, that students are doing the things we expect them to, and they’re getting a world class education.” And to help undergraduates deal with any issues along the way.

On a broader level, Overland aims to build students' feelings of community and pride in the Frost School, to foster their sense that they’ve had a unique music education built on their own innovation, collaboration and independent thinking. “Frost embraces the world, embraces different parts of musicality, in a way that other schools do not,” says Overland. “One of my first missions is to increase and capitalize on the sense of identity and of a familial relationship here. That I’m a Frost student, I have a music degree from the Frost School; that that means something and I know what that means. I’m very happy to be a part of that.”