Charles O'Connor is the Hixson-Lied Endowed Dean of the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He returns to Lincoln after nine years, having started in 1993 as a faculty member in the Department of Theatre Arts, now the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film.
The Hixson-Lied College is composed of three disciplines: the School of Music, the Department of Art and Art History and the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film. In addition, the Hixson-Lied College has four affiliate units: the Sheldon Museum of Art, the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center, the Nebraska Repertory Theatre, and the Lied Center for the Performing Arts.
From 2008-2012, Chuck was the Dean of College of Visual and Performing Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne. There, he was instrumental in securing an endowment from Sweetwater Sound, Inc. in support of a new music technology program. He opened an off-campus art gallery as part of the city's urban redevelopment efforts. He also hosted a weekly television show on WFWA-PBS for northern Indiana called Arts Weekly that can be found on YouTube.
As the Chair and Executive Director of the Department of Theatre and the Nevada Conservatory Theatre from 2003-2008, Chuck raised substantial money and doubled the audience size of the theatre. Under his leadership, the Nevada Conservatory Theatre became the most subscribed performing arts organization in Las Vegas, winning the "Best of Las Vegas" award in 2006.
At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the 1990s, he envisioned and formed a film and new media program implementing the early use of digital technology and interactive media. He served as the faculty liaison in the planning and design of the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center and the renovated Temple Building, which houses the film and new media program.
Chuck has won numerous awards for his work in computer visualization and design for television and theatre. He attends over one hundred concerts, plays, exhibits, and other events per year. He enjoys traveling and meeting people from all walks of life, and he speaks Spanish.
He holds an MFA from the University of Southern California School of Cinema and Television (now the School of Cinema Arts); and a BA in Theatre from California State University, Northridge.