June 26, 2020


SUBJECT:    Department of Music Chair

Following years of exceptional service as chair of the UC San Diego
Department of Music, Professor David Borgo will conclude his three-year
commitment to the position, effective June 30, 2020.

A saxophonist and ethnomusicologist, Professor Borgo will return to
full-time teaching duties in the department’s Integrative Studies, and
Jazz and Music of the African Diaspora programs. He has been with the
university since 2002.

Most immediately, Chair Borgo is commended for his leadership during the
current health crisis, where he not only effectively supported the
successful and complicated process of moving courses to
distance-learning for our students, but also the difficult decisions to
alter a robust series of in-person concerts for the safety of students,
faculty and community alike.

Chair Borgo remained dedicated to advocating for students and the
opportunities that performances bring: a chance to celebrate
time-honored and new work, and build a community of musicians that
endure. An empathetic leader, Chair Borgo’s listening ear and commitment
to student engagement is exemplary.

Under Chair Borgo’s leadership, the Department of Music saw its
undergraduate cohort increase by 11%, and he spent special attention
championing increased funding for the department’s graduate students.

Chair Borgo has been instrumental in expanding faculty diversity with a
number of crucial and impactful hires, which resulted in curricular
innovation and new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion courses for the
entire university.

In addition to supporting Arts and Humanities outreach efforts with
philanthropic donors and alumni, Chair Borgo was dedicated to raising
the profile of the department and arts at the university. He oversaw two
successful graduate and undergraduate departmental reviews, spearheaded
a reform of degree requirements to add clarity and nimbleness to the
curriculum, and facilitated a complete overhauling of the department’s
website and outreach.

David Borgo has built a career of combining his creative work with
scholarly research on all aspects of music: sonic, social, historical,
cultural and cognitive. His primary interests rest in improvisation,
techno-cultural studies, chaos and complexity, and embodied, situated
and distributed cognition.

His book “Sync or Swarm: Improvising Music in a Complex Age” won the
2006 Alan P. Merriam Prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology as the
most distinguished, recently published English-language book on
ethnomusicology. A revised version is due next year.

Currently serving as associate chair, Professor Anthony Burr will assume
chair duties for a four-year term starting July 1, 2020. Professor Burr
is a clarinetist who has worked across a wide range of genres, and
teaches courses on music theory, recording and popular music. Audiences
will also be familiar with his performances of classical repertoire as
part of the department’s Camera Lucida series.
“David’s excellent stewardship of the department over his term as chair
has positioned us well to be able to negotiate the current crisis, and I
would especially like to thank him for going above and beyond during the
past three months,” Burr said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to work
with our faculty, staff and students to build on our existing strengths
as we move into the future.”

Please join me in thanking Chair Borgo for his dedicated service to the
faculty and students in the Department of Music, as well as his
commitment to advocating for arts and arts education on campus.

Cristina Della Coletta
Dean, Division of Arts and Humanities