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K-State Today

March 31, 2023

Ben Stark appointed interim assistant dean for research and facilities

Submitted by Marcia Locke

portrait of Ben Stark

Following an internal search, Ben Stark, professor of theatre and associate director of the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, has been appointed interim assistant dean for research and facilities for the College of Arts and Sciences, effective March 6. Appointed by Chris Culbertson, interim dean of the college, Stark will serve until a permanent dean is hired.

"I’m happy to have Ben join us as he has been an important member of our College Safety Committee and has been managing theatre facilities for several years, both of which are good backgrounds for this position,” said Culbertson. “With his help, we are looking to further address facilities and deferred maintenance issues in the college.”

As interim assistant dean for research and facilities, Stark will manage the college instructional fee programs, which support laboratory supplies and equipment; participate in research, scholarship, creative activity and discovery training activities with the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs; oversee undergraduate research and travel awards; coordinate with research compliance and safety offices; plan and oversee facility construction, maintenance and repair; and coordinate space migration.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to join the leadership team and help move the college forward,” said Stark.

Stark joined K-State as an assistant professor of theatre in 2009, serving as the technical director for theatre. He was promoted to associate professor in 2014 and professor in 2022. He leads the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance’s administrative efforts in production, facilities, technology and programmatic budgeting. He also advises the school’s marketing and management and teaches classes in technical design and professional development. Professionally, Stark works for a variety of production companies. Most recently, he worked with Hudson Scenic on the revival of “Sweeney Todd” on Broadway.

Stark has served on several committees at K-State, including unit and college planning and safety committees and faculty senate. He also has led many improvements in K-State theatre-related facilities, including Chapman Theatre in Nichols Hall and the Purple Masque Theatre in West Stadium.

In professional theater, Stark has been an engineer, technical and scenic director and designer on many productions throughout Kansas, the Midwest and the East Coast. In addition to theatre, Stark has worked in television and live production for recurring events such as the NBA on TNT and the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular.

Stark holds a bachelor's degree in theatre and English from the University of Iowa and a Master of Fine Arts from Yale School of Drama.