Stuart Flack appointed dean of UChicago’s Graham School

Stuart Flack, a leader with extensive experience in the humanities and higher education, has been named dean of the University of Chicago Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies. He will begin on Dec. 2.

Over the past three decades, Flack has served in a range of senior roles spanning the non-profit, private and public sectors. He was the executive director of the Chicago Humanities Festival, managing a year-round series of 150 lectures, panels, exhibits and performances presented in partnership with leading arts, cultural and educational institutions. Flack served as chief executive officer of BestMatch, a higher-education technology startup, and was a longtime partner at the global consulting firm McKinsey & Company, working in the areas of digital strategy, marketing and public policy.

Flack’s experience extends to the arts as a playwright and accomplished jazz guitarist. His work includes productions and commissions at Steppenwolf, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Texas Performing Arts Center. Most recently, Flack was an interdisciplinary artist-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and served as a senior fellow at the Invisible Institute and the Environmental Law & Policy Center.

“The Graham School throughout its history has served the essential role of connecting the University of Chicago to non-traditional students,” wrote President Robert J. Zimmer and Provost Daniel Diermeier in announcing the appointment of Flack. “Stuart is an accomplished leader in developing innovative approaches to engaging broad and varied audiences, particularly in the humanities. These skills will help advance the Graham School as it brings the University’s distinctive approach to education to non-traditional students who seek academic experience.”

As dean of Graham, Flack will provide strategic direction and organizational leadership for the school, fostering a collaborative intellectual environment, supporting faculty and students, bolstering current programs, and developing new initiatives.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the Graham School and help build on its legacy of bringing the University of Chicago’s rigorous education in the liberal arts to new and non-traditional audiences. I look forward to partnering with colleagues across the University to expand and enhance Graham’s programming,” Flack said.

Originally known as University Extension, the school of continuing education was a part of UChicago at its founding. The Graham School serves as the center of lifelong learning at the University, with a mission of disseminating a liberal arts education to a broader set of learners in new ways, helping the University engage civically, globally, and with the latest innovations in teaching and learning. Focusing on degree and non-degree programs in the liberal arts, the Graham School offers courses, certificates and degrees to more than 4,500 students annually.

Stuart received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Cornell University and a master’s of fine arts degree from Columbia University.

The selection of the new dean by Zimmer and Diermeier was informed by the recommendations of a faculty committee chaired by Kathleen Cagney, deputy dean and professor in the Department of Sociology.

Zimmer and Diermeier thanked Chris Guymon for serving as the interim dean of the Graham School for the past two years.