Koozer ’06 builds programs to challenge the status quo

A standout vocal performer during her years at Hastings College, Dr. Maggie Koozer ’06 was a soloist in productions of Handel’s “Messiah” and Mozart’s “Requiem,” the female lead in the musical comedy “Hollywood Pinafore” and a member of nearly every musical group on campus from choir and band to the Hastings Symphony Orchestra and music theater ensemble.

But it was her work behind the scenes that resonates most with her current role as senior vice provost of curriculum, learning and academic affairs at The New School in New York City, a private university enrolling more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

Maggie Koozer 23w
Dr. Maggie Koozer ’06

“I got a lot of practice at Hastings College. It was a soup to nuts experience where you had to think about how to build an audience, raise funds, produce something and actually make it all work, in addition to the great artistic experiences I had,” Koozer said. “Hastings afforded me those opportunities all in one place. At a lot of colleges, you focus only on performance and miss out on other types of skills.”

Those hands-on experiences at a small liberal arts college helped inform Koozer’s curriculum creation for The New School’s master’s degree in arts management and entrepreneurship, a program for artists who want to create new businesses or nonprofits.

Koozer described two recent graduates, a dancer and a multimedia artist, who had an idea to make waiting in line (a common annoyance in NYC) more interesting. They pre-recorded dance performances in the spaces where lines form and made them available through 3D goggles and a phone app for people actually waiting in those spaces. They eventually turned the capstone project into a nonprofit.

“We are proud to be innovative and challenging the status quo in all of the programs The New School offers. That’s why I work here,” Koozer said.

A different way forward

Founded in 1919, The New School is known for being “a little bit unorthodox and against the grain,” Koozer said. During the rise of the Third Reich in the 1930s, the School hosted a University in Exile as an academic haven for Jewish scholars facing persecution in Europe.

“Looking for a different way forward for the world has been a really important part of our history and continues to be central to who we are,” she said.

After joining the provost’s office in 2021, Koozer faced a unique challenge in a city that had been largely shut down by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“My first job was figuring out how we would return to campus after being fully online for a year and a half,” she said. The New School is in Greenwich Village, with an academic quad extending from 11th to 16th Streets along Fifth and Sixth Avenues. The university also has a satellite campus in Europe called Parsons Paris.

As senior provost for the central university, Koozer oversees all credentialed academic programs for The New School’s six colleges in the areas of design, performing arts, liberal arts, social research and public engagement, as well as Parsons Paris. She teaches one course each semester in music, entrepreneurship or pedagogy.

Koozer earned a master’s degree in music education from the University of Connecticut and a doctorate in executive leadership at Fordham University. She was school programs manager at The Metropolitan Opera Guild before joining the former Mannes School of Music at The New School in 2012.

Through this broad range of educational experiences, Koozer has developed an even greater appreciation for the faculty who taught and mentored her at Hastings College.

“I hope folks realize how great it is to have faculty in a place like Hastings who are so expert in what they do,” she said. “In addition to being experts in their fields, they’re really good teachers. In my work, I focus a lot on what it means to be a great educator. I had so many examples of that at Hastings.”

A newlywed (Koozer married Hastings native Mac Rundle this past summer), she is the daughter of Ann and Dr. Robin Koozer ‘76, emeritus chair of the Department of Music and recently retired development officer for the Hastings College Foundation.

“I’m a higher education administrator at this point,” she said. “At Hastings College, I got to see a lot of great examples in people like Phil Dudley, who showed how you lead a campus in doing really cool and innovative things. My dad played a big role in that too.”

By Judee Konen ’85

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