It is my pleasure to join the College of Communication and Fine Arts as the new dean! I was attracted to this position because of LMU’s commitment to the encouragement of learning, the education of the whole person, and the service of faith and the promotion of justice. And in particular, I was attracted to CFA as a college dedicated to the critical expression of the human experience through language and creative artistic activity.
My own educational background and research interests are as diverse as the programs in CFA. Grounded in communication, cultural and performance studies, my scholarly work explores the potentials of performance on the stage and in everyday life — in language, embodied engagement, and articulated skill as analytic towards critique, argumentation, engaged social consciousness, informed human expression and mindful self-knowing. I believe that these are also some of the guiding principles of our CFA programs in Art, Communication Studies, Theatre and Dance Studies, Music, Marital and Family Therapy, and the ways in which such potentials are heightened through interdisciplinary exploration.
Since my arrival I have met with a diverse group of Teachers/ Artists/ Professionals/ Scholars – T.A.P.S.— who embrace the mission of the university, providing our students with a high quality education and training filled with the challenges that stimulate, inform and transform their whole persons on the campus and in the classroom, with the potential to make a difference in the world.
Our highly respected former dean, Barbara Busse, has been a valuable asset in my transition into this position. To that measure, I borrow her words in stating: “We think the best part of CFA comes alive in our talented, creative, and ambitious students – each of whom enjoys their work in a spirit of playful seriousness.” I am committed to the continued joy and intrigue of their educational experience; an educational experience that should always be informed by intellectual rigor, innovation, a compassionate engagement, as well as an informed sense of direction and application.
There are a lot of exciting things planned for this academic year: the always inviting performance seasons of Theatre, Dance, Art and Music; faculty and student research symposiums in the planning, innovative art exhibitions in the Laband Art Gallery as well as the enthralling exhibition of our students in the Thomas P. Kelly Jr. Student Art Gallery. The college is also actively engaged in its unit level strategic planning in alignment with the LMU 2012- 2020 Strategic Plan. In this process, all constituencies of the college are invited to participate in developing a progressive plan in which we envision our continued commitment to Forming Leaders Who Transform the World.
It is great to be in CFA at LMU! I invite you to explore our full website to see what we are up to. You are always invited to join us — as a student, as an engaged audience member at any of our many events, as a community partner, and as someone who supports our efforts in diverse ways — always in service of the university’s mission and the Ignatian spirit of being men and women with/for others.
Bryant Keith Alexander