Western names Dean of Music

The University of Western Ontario has announced the appointment of Betty Anne Younker as dean of the Don Wright Faculty of Music, beginning a five-year term on Aug. 1. Younker succeeds Robert Wood, who has served two five-year terms as dean since July 1, 2001.

Younker comes to Western from the University of Michigan, where she is presently associate dean for academic affairs and associate professor of music (music education) in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. Since joining the University of Michigan in 2000, Younker has also served as chair of the Music Education Department (2004-06).

Prior to joining Michigan, she was assistant professor of music (music education) at The University of Western Ontario (1997-2000) and a lecturer in the Faculty of Arts, Department of Music, at the University of Prince Edward Island (1991-97).

Prior to her university-level appointments, Younker was an instructor at several junior and senior high schools in PEI and Newfoundland (1981-90). Among her many honours and distinctions, Younker was named Distinguished Alumnus of the Year by Pennsylvania State University College of Arts and Architecture (2008), and served as president of the Michigan Music Educators Association.

Younker earned her BMus in performance and music education from the University of Prince Edward Island (1978), MEd in music education from Pennsylvania State University, State College (1980) and PhD in music education from Northwestern University (1997).  Her research interests include the philosophy and pedagogy of music education and critical and creative thinking. Her scholarly publications and presentations number in excess of 100 in a variety of state, national and international journals and conferences.

As a musician, Younker is presently a member of the Vocal Arts Ensemble in Ann Arbor, where she also guest teaches in area schools and serves as a solo, ensemble and band adjudicator.

“Professor Younker impressed the decanal selection committee with her energy, creative thinking and vision for what makes a faculty of music excellent,” says Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Janice Deakin. “The experience she has gained as an academic administrator at a leading university in the U.S. will serve Betty Anne and Western’s Don Wright Faculty of Music very well through its next stage of growth.”

Western President Amit Chakma adds, “The Don Wright Faculty of Music is an area of teaching and research strength for Western, being widely recognized as one of the top music schools in the country. We are fortunate to have recruited a leader of Betty Anne’s quality to our campus, and we look forward to supporting her and her colleagues in pursuit of academic excellence and advancing Western’s stature on the national and international stage.”