Headshot of Douglas Dempster

Douglas Dempster is a philosopher and professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a founding member of the SNAAP board. For two decades he has been employed as a faculty member and Dean of the College of Fine Arts at UT. He was formerly employed by the Eastman School of Music, holding faculty appointments in the departments of Philosophy, Humanities, Music Theory and Musicology. He was Associate Director and Dean of the Eastman School.

Dempster has championed student-centered, career-advancing curricular innovations throughout his career. He founded the Arts Leadership Program at the Eastman School, now the Institute for Music Leadership as well as the Department of Chamber Music and a student-managed chamber orchestra. At the University of Texas, he established the School of Design and Creative Technologies, the UTeach Fine Arts teacher-education initiative, entrepreneurship centers, as well as curricular collaborations between the College of Fine Arts and various departments, including Computer Science, the Dell Medical School, the McCombs Business School, and the Cockrell School of Engineering. He established the Mesoamerican Center at Casa Herrera in Antigua, Guatemala, the University of Texas’ first international research center and the UTNY internship seminar in New York City.

As dean, he raised $100 million for the College of Fine Arts toward a $200 million endowment, including a dozen faculty endowments, scholarships, as well as an endowment for need-based student professional internships.

When still a practicing philosopher he taught and published in philosophical aesthetics, the philosophy of music theory, the philosophy of language, and cultural policy studies.