Butler School appoints Mary Ellen Poole from San Francisco Conservatory for Music as new director


The Butler School of Music appointed Mary Ellen Poole as the school’s director Monday.

Poole will replace Glenn Richter, who was named interim director in 2012 when former director Glenn Chandler resigned under pressure from University leaders after advocating that the school should be separated from the College of Fine Arts.

Poole has been the dean of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music for 10 years. She attended Baylor University and Michigan State University and has a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The Butler School of Music currently has 380 undergraduates and 320 graduate students.

In a press release, Doug Dempster, dean of the College of Fine Arts, said Poole’s experience as a scholar and musician made her qualified for the position.

“As dean of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Mary Ellen Poole put up an extraordinary leadership record, turning a very good music school into a great one,” Dempster said in a press release.

Poole, who will hold the Florence Thelma Hall Centennial Chair in Music and whose appointment will be effective Sept. 1, said the position at the Butler School of Music was a great opportunity.

“It’s a great honor to be welcomed by this remarkable group of people at this equally remarkable moment,” Poole said.