Bill Lowman. Photo by Marshall Smith

Bill and Carolyn to leave for Salzburg posting ...

Former Idyllwild Arts CEO and headmaster Bill Lowman is the new director of the University of Redlands (Redlands), Salzburg (Austria) Program. Lowman and his wife Carolyn leave in May for a month in Berlin for intensive German study at the Goethe Institute, and for a 2-year posting in Salzburg, beginning July 1.

The Lowmans could stay longer, but the agreement with Redlands at this point is for two years. The couple will keep their home in Idyllwild.

Lowman is a Redlands graduate and attended the university’s overseas semester in Salzburg in the fall of his 1968-69 academic year.

“We weren’t looking for a job,” said Lowman of his new position. “It was a pleasant surprise.” Lowman said Redlands officials contacted him to see if he would be interested in submitting an application for the directorship. Lowman had served as chairman of the 50th-anniversary celebration of the Salzburg Program, which began in 1960, and had stayed in touch with classmates from his Salzburg semester. Also, from his years as head Idyllwild Arts administrator, Lowman was experienced in living and learning environments, which is what the Salzburg Semester is about.

As Director of the Redlands Salzburg Program, Lowman will oversee faculty, staff and the 35 students who attend each of the program’s two semesters. He will also ensure Salzburg’s administrative compliance with Austrian governmental regulations, compiling and filing the many required forms and reports.

But it is the opportunity to teach a course each semester that Lowman said he is most anticipating. Lowman is preparing to teach “Austria in Europe, from Empire to E.U.,” a chronicle of the country’s journey from dominance as the seat of government for a large and influential European empire to a small landlocked republic, defeated in two World Wars, and its subsequent integration into the European Union.

“It’s very exciting for me to get to teach the course,” Lowman said, also mentioning the research he is conducting to build his course syllabus. Lowman, a history buff, finds the period he will teach rich with stories, encompassing two world wars, the Holocaust, the rebuilding of Europe, the fall of the Soviet Union, and the emergence of the European Union. “I’m going to get to become a teller of stories,” he enthused.

As is part of Salzburg’s curriculum, students take four courses including intensive German, “Culture and Nation in Contemporary Europe,” “The Sights and Sounds of Salzburg,” “Place and Power in Europe” and (for music students) “Applied Music.” They also will visit historic sites including Vienna and Budapest (the dual capitals of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) and trips to the Balkans. “We get to touch the places we are studying,” said Lowman.

Lowman said there were two reasons that most attracted him to this opportunity. First, the chance to help young people have the same world-changing experience that he enjoyed as a student attending the Salzburg semester, and also to have this extended European adventure at this point in his and Carolyn’s life.

In her announcement to Redlands College of Arts and Sciences Faculty, Interim Dean Kathy Ogren said this of Lowman’s selection:

“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Bill Lowman as Salzburg Program Director, beginning July 1, 2012 … It became clear to all of us that we needed to find an experienced program director who would contribute to the academic life in Salzburg but have as a primary responsibility the general oversight of Salzburg. This structure makes it easier for University of Redlands faculty to teach in Salzburg without the considerable demands of residential life, facilities, travel and cross cultural programming arrangements and operational matters … Bill’s extensive local and international experience as an arts educator, fundraiser, and living-learning program administrator will serve us well.”