Donna White

Professor Emeritus

 Donna M. White was a member of the Modern Dance faculty at the University of Utah from 1991-2016. She served as Chair of the Department for 8 years, from 2002-2010, and spearheaded the successful national accreditation process for Dance at the University of Utah. In 2010 Donna was appointed Associate Dean of the Graduate School. She also served as Interim Dean of the Graduate School from December 2013-August 2014. Donna was the first woman to serve as a Dean of the Graduate School and the first faculty member from the College of Fine Arts to hold such a position in the upper administration.

A native of Phoenix, Arizona Donna trained in New York City and later received both her Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts degrees from the University of Utah. She is also a Certified Laban Movement Analyst (CLMA) and has completed PhD course work in Performance Psychology. As a professional performer and choreographer, she danced and toured both nationally and internationally with the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company (Salt Lake City, UT) for twelve years. She also danced with Tandy Beal and Company (Santa Cruz, CA) for many years. Donna was the recipient of a National Endowment Individual Choreographer's Fellowship and choreographed for many university dance departments, solo artists, and professional companies including, Ririe-Woodbury, Repertory Dance Theatre, Utah Ballet, and Performing Dance Company. Donna has been a guest teacher at numerous workshops and institutions including the University of Hawaii, Tulane University, the Beijing Dance Academy, and the Staatliche Ballettschule in Berlin, Germany.

During her tenure as a faculty member in the Department of Modern Dance, Donna received numerous grants (NEA and University Research Committee) to reconstruct historical dance masterpieces for the students including works by Martha Graham, Hanya Holm, Alwin Nikolais, Murray Louis, and Merce Cunningham.

While serving as Chairperson of the Department of Modern Dance, Donna became increasingly interested in academic administration. She completed two leadership development courses at the University of Utah and also attended the Management Development Program (MDP) at Harvard's Graduate School of Education in 2004 and the Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) institute in Denver, Colorado in 2013. Donna has presented papers on such topics as curriculum design and leadership at numerous conferences including the International Dance Education Forum sponsored by the Beijing Dance Academy, the Academic Chairperson's Conference in Orlando, Florida, The National Association of Schools of Dance, and the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities in Honolulu, Hawaii. She served as a dance panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, as President of the Council of Dance Administrators (CODA), and was invited to Beijing again in August 2010 to present at the 18th International Congress on Aesthetics at Peking University. As the Associate Dean of the Graduate School, Donna regularly attended annual meetings of the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) and the Western Association of Graduate Schools (WAGS), and served on the WAGS Executive Board from 2014-2016.


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