Curtis Institute of Music vice president and dean John R. Mangan has resigned, school officials said.

Mangan, 47, who held the post for 3½ years, declined to speak about his reasons for leaving the conservatory, referring a reporter to Curtis' press office.

"John resigned on Jan. 4 indicating that, as Curtis prepares for the next strategic phase of its future, he made the decision to step down," said a spokeswoman. "He plans to explore other opportunities in his field."

At Curtis, the dean oversees musical and liberal-arts curriculum and the library, and works closely with president/CEO Roberto Díaz and others on student and faculty matters.

Mangan came to Curtis after seven years at Yale University, where he was assistant dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and lecturer in the history department. A classical guitarist, he had been a music critic for the New Haven Register. His doctorate, in history and education, came from Columbia University, his master's from Yale, and bachelor's from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

He took over as Curtis dean after the retirement of Robert Fitzpatrick, who held the job for more than two decades. Paul Bryan, Curtis' registrar and associate dean of academic affairs, has been named interim dean.

As for a permanent replacement, "as Curtis begins developing its next strategic plan this semester we will assess the needs of the school and students and look at a number of positions, including the Dean's role. At the right time we will determine if and when we will launch a search," the Curtis spokeswoman said.