Message from the Dean

Welcome to the College of Visual and Performing Arts.  We are proud of who we are—faculty, staff and students; what we do—creating in, and studying about, the arts; and where we are—our fine facilities, our location in DeKalb and northwest Illinois, and proximity to the great city of Chicago.

What I see in CVPA is the opportunity to help an already strong college thrive; a college that offers a model for the nation about how to educate a new, diverse creative class—Generation Renaissance—who will innovate and disrupt, but also sustain and honor tradition. Here we have a creative environment that encourages risk, allows talent and intelligence to unfold and grow, and offers a means to enter the world just slightly ahead of an impending future.

As a theatre artist, teacher and administrator, my adult life has been about translating ideas into action and taking strategic risks to deliver positive results. I am a collaborator and facilitator, and believe the best way to lead is by building trust, creating a common vision, and allowing people and programs to become their full selves. There are a challenges and opportunities ahead facing this College, this institution, this state. My approach is to be in front of change, and to work with students, faculty, staff and administrators to manage that change effectively.

I am thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of members of the College of Visual & Performing Arts loudly and long: artists who are a presence at the highest level nationally and internationally; scholars working at the cutting-edge and appearing in publications of the highest reputation; teachers routinely given the highest commendation by learners and peers; staff that provides the highest level of service, and most importantly, students eagerly sought by industry, graduate school, and public institutions because they know, the make, they do, perform, speak and write with authority, clarity, and purpose.

Please come by and see a play, attend a dance or music concert, or see an exhibit. I hope to see you soon!

Paul Kassel

Dean, College of Visual & Performing Arts