The dean of the USC School of Dramatic Arts, David Bridel, resigned on Thursday, effective immediately, according to an email sent to SDA faculty, staff and students by the Provost.
“The university is looking into an allegation of inappropriate behavior prior to his deanship,” Provost Charles F. Zukoski wrote in the memo.
Bridel explained in a statement to his colleagues that he briefly dated a senior BFA student while a faculty member at the School of Dramatic Arts in 2009. The two dated over a period of weeks and the relationship ended amicably, according to Bridel.
The relationship was made public during a town hall meeting on Wednesday with faculty, current students and alumni of the MFA acting program.
“In that meeting, an alumna used a term to describe this relationship that is grossly inaccurate,” Bridel wrote in his statement. “I fully accept, however, that my behavior in 2009 demonstrated a failure in judgment and evidence of irresponsibility.”
“At this time, I believe that the good health of the School and its future progress will be best served by a leader whose background is not tainted in this way,” he wrote.
Elizabeth Daley, dean of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, has agreed to serve as interim dean, according to Zukoski’s memo.
David Bridel was appointed dean of the School of Dramatic Arts on April 15, 2016, and was the inaugural holder of the Braverman’s Family Dean’s Chair. He had previously served as interim dean, associate dean of global initiatives and director of the MFA acting program. During his time as dean, the School of Dramatic Arts began new programs in musical theatre and social change. Bridel has worked professionally as a director, choreographer, playwright, librettist and performer. He is also the founder and artistic director of The Clown School in Los Angeles, which is the only studio in the city that focuses specifically on the practice of clowning.
This story will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.