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Loyola University New Orleans Names New Dean of College of Music and Fine Arts

Loyola press release - November 29, 2016

Following a nationwide search, Loyola University New Orleans proudly announces that Kern Maass, MFA has been named new dean of the College of Music and Fine Arts. Maass, who currently serves as associate dean for the College of Fine and Applied Arts at Appalachian State University, will begin his new position at Loyola on February 1, 2017.

“Loyola University New Orleans’ acclaimed College of Music and Fine Arts enjoys a long and strong legacy as both a crown jewel of the university and a center of learning in an historic 300-year-old city steeped in musical tradition,” said Marc Manganaro, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. “Home to studies in art, design, and music of all genres, the College of Music and Fine Arts is poised to introduce a new collaborative and innovative leader, and we have confidence that Kern Maass will bring great expertise to the college in these areas.”

“I am very honored and excited to have been selected as the next Dean for the College of Music and Fine Arts at Loyola University New Orleans,” Maass said Wednesday. “The faculty, students, and staff are so talented and passionate in everything that they do, I think it would be hard to not be invigorated by their amazing work and creative expression. Combine that with a community that is the epitome of a creative culture, and the future is boundless for engaging in and creating opportunity through the disciplines the College of Music and Fine Arts offers.”

Maass brings more than 15 years of leadership experience to Loyola New Orleans. In his current role as the Associate Dean for the College of Fine and Applied Arts at Appalachian State University, Maass oversees the curricular, advising and resource needs of more than 3,000 students and 200 faculty. Other leadership roles have involved: program development, curriculum review and development, policy administration, assessment, intellectual property, industry partnerships, and accreditation. These experiences have given him a unique perspective on how to position and leverage creative practice in multiple contexts. Most recently, Maass has developed and led two such projects, AppLab and Howard Street. These projects were created to break down silos; enable interdisciplinary research opportunities for faculty and students; and engage the community.

Outside his work in higher education, Maass in 2001 also founded his own furniture design business, a move that led to exhibition of his work both nationally and internationally. He has served as the President of The Furniture Society; as a member of the Board of Directors of the Bienenstock Furniture Library, and as the vice-chair of the furniture section of the Industrial Designers Society of America. Maass’ passion is to solve problems and create organizational buy-in for “design thinking,” by decoding, communicating, and using the process in day-to-day practice.

CMFA Interim Dean Tony DeCuir, who will retire at the end of the academic year, will help to welcome Maass to Loyola, the only university within the 28 associated Jesuit colleges and universities to have a College of Music and Fine Arts.

“Tony Decuir has been an immeasurable asset to Loyola in both his role as interim dean and as a devoted member of the Loyola community, where he has worked for more than 40 years,” Manganaro said. “We are extremely grateful for his leadership and service.”

Located within Loyola’s College of Music and Fine Arts, Loyola’s acclaimed Film and Music Industry Studies Department, which prepares aspiring musicians, singers, performers, directors, producers, crafts, and industry executives for entrepreneurial success in the creative professions.

CMFA also includes Loyola’s School of Music, a conservatory in which professional musicians are trained in a rich academic environment, and where students can roam the halls and converse with Grammy Award winners and internationally renowned musicians.

It includes Loyola’s Theatre Arts and Dance department, now entering a new Golden Age; the Department of Art, which offers disciplines in art history and visual culture, computer-based imaging, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture; and Loyola’s Department of Design, where students learn motion graphics, print design, interactive design alongside traditional skills such as drawing, hand lettering, and photography.