Leadership

College Leadership

Office of the Dean
100 Architecture Building
608 E Lorado Taft Dr, MC-622
Champaign, IL 61820
217-333-1661 | faa@illinois.edu
Academic questions: faa-uaa@illinois.edu


Kevin Hamilton

Kevin Hamilton

Dean
217-333-1661 | kham@illinois.edu

Role of the Dean

As the chief academic and executive officer of the college, the Dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts has the primary responsibility for providing a unified vision, in alignment with the university strategy, strategic direction, faculty and staff development, the promotion and tenure process, budgetary oversight and planning, academic and curricular issues, fundraising, and facilities development.  The Dean of FAA reports to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost and is a senior administrative position with a seat on the Council of Deans.  The Dean supports and empowers faculty, students, and staff; promotes diversity, equity, inclusion, and access across the college; enhances and builds interdisciplinary partnerships and collaborations across the campus, Illinois, and the world; and is a strong advocate and spokesperson for the college both on campus and with external partners and stakeholders.

Kevin Hamilton

Kevin Hamilton

Kevin Hamilton was appointed dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts in 2018. Previous to that, he served from 2013-15 as a Dean’s Fellow supporting the college’s promotion and tenure processes, and from 2015-2018 as Senior Associate Dean through three years of interim leadership under Deans Harleman and Mortensen. A member of the Illinois faculty since 2002, Hamilton’s original training was in painting, before he turned to newer media forms as applied in public art settings. While at Illinois, he has been especially active as a collaborator with scientists and scholars, including research on bias in digital search platforms that led to a significant Supreme Court ruling (Van Buren vs. United States, 2021), and the publishing of Lookout America!the Secret Hollywood Studio at the Heart of the Cold War (Dartmouth, 2019), a definitive history of nuclear test photography in the United States. His work has earned support and recognition from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Illinois Arts Council. Hamilton also contributed to a leading white paper on recognizing community-engaged research in faculty promotion processes, and is the co-founder of Ground Works, a peer-review platform for arts integrative research hosted by the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities.


Misty Houston

Misty Houston

Assistant to the Dean
217-300-2410 | mjhousto@illinois.edu

Role of the Assistant to the Dean

As the principal administrative assistant to the Dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts, this position ensures that the Dean’s Office operates in an efficient, effective, and appropriate manner to progress  its daily work in a manner consistent with college goals, values, and applicable policies. Duties of the role include: organizing the Dean’s time and commitments; assisting the Dean’s Office staff in organizing and tracking projects of the College; managing the Dean’s scholarly commitments and activities; and assisting in the management of College procedures as they relate to implementation of campus and college policies. The Dean’s Assistant provides high level support for the convening and actions of standing college committees including the Promotion and Tenure Committee, the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access Committee, the Administrative Council, and the Executive Committee. This support includes ensuring that relevant correspondence proceeds through appropriate channels to ensure resolution of all matters across promotion and tenure, governance, and other faculty concerns.

Misty Houston

Misty Houston

Misty Houston joined the Dean’s Office in 2023, bringing 25 years of administrative experience to this role, most recently after almost nine years of service as Assistant to the Director of the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL). From this and prior work on campus at the Information Trust Institute and elsewhere in healthcare and creative industry settings, Houston brings experience in project management, establishment and maintenance of communication systems and protocols, and most importantly – the work of ensuring that people feel human in their navigation of our often confusing and imposing institutional processes.


Ollie Watts Davis

Dr. Ollie Watts Davis

Associate Dean for Academic Programs
Suzanne and William Allen Distinguished Professor of Music
Professor of Voice and Director, Black Chorus

217-333-6061 | owdavis@illinois.edu

Role of the Associate Dean for Academic Programs

The Associate Dean for Academic Programs provides college-level leadership, strategic planning, programmatic development and oversight for all areas related to curriculum, international education, graduate education and strategic academic partnerships. This charge includes the cultivation of sound teaching in the context of the rapidly changing demands of our educational moment, and alignment with college and university strategic goals for learning and educational attainment. Working closely with the Senior Assistant Dean on undergraduate academic matters, the Associate Dean seeks opportunities for better alignment of teaching, curricula, and other forms of student support with college and university goals and strategy. As the college’s primary liaison with the Graduate College, the Associate Dean for Academic Programs also engages with unit-level Directors of Graduate Studies to ensure appropriate communication and support for the college’s graduate-level and doctoral programs. The Associate Dean’s work also includes oversight of the college’s participation in the Provost’s Academic Program Review processes and establishment of learning outcomes for all programs.

Ollie Watts Davis

Ollie Watts Davis

Dr. Ollie Watts Davis joined college administration as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the fall 2023. She is the Suzanne and William Allen Distinguished Professor of Music, Professor of Voice, Provost’s Fellow, and Artistic Director and Conductor of the Black Chorus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2018, Davis was awarded the Outstanding Faculty Leadership Award; her second Campus Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2014; the Illinois Student Senate Teaching Excellence Award in 2012; and was named a University Scholar in 2008, one of the highest honors bestowed upon a member of the faculty at the University of Illinois.


Jon Salvani

Jon Salvani

Associate Dean for Advancement
217-300-2869 | jsalvani@illinois.eu
Office of Advancement

Role of the Associate Dean for Advancement

Reporting jointly to the Dean and to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Advancement, the individual in this role serves as the head fundraiser for the college and coordinates all alumni relations, stewardship, donor relations, communications, and related activities. The position leads an overall team of approximately 10 professionals that includes major gift officers, a marketing and communication officer, a stewardship and donor relations officer, and administrative professionals. In this work they plan and implement a comprehensive strategic plan and goals for the College’s advancement program in support of the University’s mission, vision, and goals, providing guidance as the Dean’s chief advisor in matters related to advancement. As an ex-officio member of the Administrative Council, the Associate Dean also brings an alumni and external relations perspective to supporting core college strategic planning and operations. As liaison to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Advancement, the Alumni Association, and the Illinois Foundation, the Associate Dean also ensures the college’s visibility and presence within the work of those organizations to advance the university’s mission.

Jon Salvani

Associate Dean for Advancement

Jon Salvani is Associate Dean for Advancement and the chief advancement officer for the College of Fine and Applied Arts. He leads a team of advancement professionals that specialize in fundraising, alumni engagement, marketing, communications, stewardship, donor relations, and advancement events for the college. Over the past ten years, Jon has served in fundraising and advancement leadership roles at the University of Illinois. He joined the College of Fine and Applied Arts in April 2018 and brings over eighteen years of higher education advancement and fundraising experience to this role. Jon has a Bachelor of Science degree from Northern Illinois University, a Master of Science degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and has been a resident of the state of Illinois for most of his life.


Rochelle Sennet

Dr. Rochelle Sennet

Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Associate Professor of Piano and International Yamaha Artist

FAA Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access

Role of the Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion leads the college’s pursuit of excellence, engagement, and service through the centering of all programs and operations within a framework of anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion. This deliberative and cooperative work draws together distinct efforts within the college’s departments, schools, and public engagement units, while also contributing to a broader campus strategy led by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In addition to advising the Dean, the Associate Dean regularly meets with individual units, chairs of the FAA Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access Committee, and serves as an ex officio member of the college’s Executive Committee and Administrative Council. Duties include: implementation of diversity initiatives across the college; leading diversity education and advocacy for students, faculty, and staff; supporting academic affairs, recruitment, and advancement in their efforts to recruit, retain, and sustain a more diverse student body; working to address climate within the college; creating programs to help increase retention of underrepresented faculty and staff; and expanding the college’s network in higher education on-campus, locally, and nationally.

Rochelle Sennet

Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

In 2021, Dr. Rochelle Sennet, having established herself as a well-known performer, teacher, and scholar, began her tenure as the Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Her recital programs showcase her versatility at the keyboard, with frequent performances of works by J.S. Bach and Black composers such as H. Leslie Adams, Jeffrey Mumford, James Lee III, and Pulitzer-Prize winning composer George Walker. She was co-winner for the Krannert Center Debut Artist Competition, national finalist at the MTNA Steinway & Sons Young Artist piano competition, and a prize winner in numerous competitions. She is also a 2023-2024 Public Voices Fellow of The OpEd Project, and she has published in articles in Newsweek and The Fulcrum. Sennet is a Voting Member of the Recording Academy and a Yamaha Artist.


Jeffrey Sposato

Dr. Jeffrey Sposato

Interim Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs
Professor of Musicology
jsposato@illinois.edu

Role of the Interim Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs

The Interim Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs makes studied recommendations to the Dean and College on matters related to faculty success and structure, particularly as supported by clear policy. In conversation and consultation with college and unit leadership, and informed by best practices in the broader field of higher education, the Interim Associate Dean drafts policies and practices intended to improve the ability of faculty to perform their services from a place of strength and thriving. For the 2023-24 academic year, the particular priorities for this role include: establishment of clearer policies and practices for promotion of specialized faculty; recommendations on processes for the mentoring of these faculty through available promotion pathways; and improving communication about of current opportunities for their professional development.

Jeffrey Sposato

Interim Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs

Jeffrey S. Sposato is Professor of Musicology in the School of Music and Interim Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs. He is President of the Association of Illinois Music Schools and served as Director of the School of Music from 2019 to 2023. His teaching and research interests include music of the baroque, classical, and romantic periods; sacred music; choral music; concert traditions; and opera. Before joining the faculty at Illinois, Sposato served as Associate Director and Director of Graduate Studies at the Moores School of Music, University of Houston, where he taught in the musicology division for twelve years.


Mike Ross

Mike Ross

Associate Dean and Director of Krannert Center
217-333-2700 | mikeross@illinois.edu

Role of Associate Dean and Director of Krannert Center

In his Associate Dean role, Director Ross advises on college strategy and ensures coordination of the college’s complex teaching, research, and engagement activities as they cohere under the auspices of the Krannert Center for Performing Arts. He performs this work in addition to his service as chief executive officer of one of the nation’s most uniquely integrated state-of-the-art facilities for advancing both the academic and engagement aspects of the university’s mission with respect to the performing arts.

Mike Ross

Associate Dean

Mike Ross became the sixth director of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in 1997. He came to the Center from the Miller Theatre at Columbia University in New York City where he received his doctorate with distinction in music composition and where, under his direction, the Miller Theatre was recognized by The New Yorker as “the city’s hottest hotbed of innovative programming.” He has served as board chair for the Association of Performing Arts Presenters and as board president of Arts Alliance Illinois and is a founding member of 40 North, the Champaign County Arts Council. He is a recipient of the North American Performing Arts Agent and Managers Association’s Award for Excellence in Presenting the Arts and was selected by National Arts Strategies to participate alongside 100 national and international cultural leaders in its inaugural Chief Executive Leadership Initiative.


Jorge Lucero

Dr. Jorge Lucero

Associate Dean for Research
Professor of Art Education
217-333-1661 | jlucero@illinois.edu
FAA Research Enterprise

Role of the Associate Dean for Research

The broad charge of the Associate Dean for Research is the development and maintenance of a culture and structure of support for college faculty, from routine matters of mentoring and promotion review through the direction of strategic support to areas of distinctive strength. The Associate Dean brings experience navigating both traditional structures of academic publishing and doctoral study as well as experimental spaces of performance and collective authorship stand to help us apply policy, processes, and resources toward support of our college’s full range of research.

The Associate Dean for Research leads the development and maintenance of a culture and structure of support for college faculty, and advises the Dean on related matters. Working with Dean’s Office staff, school and department leaders, and appropriate governance bodies, the Associate Dean supports planning and action across the long-term, and leads address of emerging areas of need to ensure a sound basis for faculty success and thriving in their research, creation, and progress through processes of hiring, review, and promotion. Responsibilities include the establishment and maintenance of clear criteria, policies, and processes in support of promotion and tenure review; the Associate Dean convenes the college Promotion and Tenure Committee, communicates with the Provost and units about cases, and works with the academic units to ensure that cases meet expectations for clarity and form. Faculty matters requiring the Dean’s supervision from hiring to leaves and sabbaticals also benefit from the Associate Dean’s coordination and advice. In conversation with the Dean and in support of college strategy, the Associate Dean also identifies opportunities for building on emerging strengths to catalyze new cultures of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research and creation across the college, and represents the research of the faculty to outside audiences.

Jorge Lucero

Lucero

Artist Jorge Lucero is a professor of Art Education in the School of Art and Design. For eight years, he was the Chair of the Art Education Program. Now he serves as Associate Dean for Research in the College of Fine and Applied Arts. Lucero studied at the Pennsylvania State University and at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Prior to being at the University of Illinois, he happily taught art and art history at the Chicago Public School Northside College Prep. He has performed, published, lectured, exhibited, and taught widely in the States and abroad. In 2023, Lucero was named the National Art Education Association’s (NAEA) Higher Ed Educator of the Year.


Zelda Gardner

Zelda Gardner

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs
217-333-9198 | zgardner@illinois.edu
Office of Academic Affairs

Role of the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs

The Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs leads admissions, recruitment, advising, retention, and student engagement initiatives in support of the college’s undergraduate programs. The Associate Dean supports this work through both supervision of the staff and operations of the FAA Office of Academic Affairs, in collaboration with faculty, staff, and leaders across the college’s departments and schools. Key to this work is the development and continuous improvement of an overall college advising strategy that advances college and university goals for student support and retention, ensuring that all students have an equal chance of success. As the college’s primary liaison to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, and leading professional advisor, the Associate Dean draws on both university resources and the latest professional advising practices to equip faculty and staff to meet students in their areas of need and accomplishment. Working with the Assistant Dean for Recruitment and Admissions, the Associate Dean also ensures support for the college’s overall student recruitment strategy through coordination of outreach, communication, and financial aid opportunities.

Zelda Gardner

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs

Zelda Gardner is Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs. Since joining the college in 2015, Gardner has applied her expertise to continuous improvement of academic advising across the college, ensuring common goals of service to our students in support of their success. She brought ten years of service in advising and career services on campus, and another six prior as an advisor at Eastern Illinois University, where she also earned her Masters of Science in Education in 2002. Recognition of her work has included designation as Co-Chair of the campus Academic Support Committee within the Provost’s Student Success Initiative, invitation to participation in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Access’ Emerging Women Leaders Series in 2016, and Ebony Excellence Award for Academic Professional of the Year in 2012.


Greg Anderson

Greg Anderson

Assistant Dean of Budget and Resource Administration
217-265-0930 | gnanders@illinois.edu

Role of the Assistant Dean of Budget and Resource Administration

Under the direction of the Dean, the Assistant Dean for Budget and Resource Administration ensures principled, efficient, and strategic delivery of the college’s daily administrative and operational functions and systems, including business services, information technology, finance, facilities, and human resources. As the highest executive with oversight over operational matters, the Assistant Dean collaborates with college leaders to develop and implement strategies to ensure alignment, consistency, and efficiency in approaches to all administrative and operational systems in light of the goals and values of the college and university. As the college’s Chief Financial Officer, the Assistant Dean advises the Dean on decision-making regarding resource allocation, drawing on systems and methodologies for budget forecasting, and growth and conservation strategies related to space, staffing, and financial investment. Also key to this position’s responsibilities is the promotion of literacy among faculty, staff, and leaders in the college’s administrative and operational systems through presentations, documentation, training, and discussions with groups and individuals.

Greg Anderson

Greg

Greg Anderson is the Assistant Dean of Budget and Resource Administration for the college. He has been at the university for over 20 years working in business and administrative operations in a number of different roles with units including Materials Research Laboratory, Grants & Contracts (now known as Sponsored Programs Administration), Engineering Administration, and Fine and Applied Arts, where he has been for the last nine years. He also serves as chair of the Business Affairs Committee within the Business Managers Group.  He received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Illinois State University.


Andy Blacker

Andy Blacker

Director of Communications and Marketing
217-244-8692 | blacker@illinois.edu
Office of Communications and Marketing

Role of the Director of Communications and Marketing

Reporting to the Dean, the Director of Communications and Marketing guides and oversees all functions of the college’s communications office and serves as the Chief Communications Officer. The Director develops and oversees a communications and marketing strategy for the College, working closely with all academic units and college offices including Recruitment, Academic Affairs, Advancement, and communication professionals at Krannert Art Museum and Krannert Center for Performing Arts. In all matters the Director guides the college in its part of carrying out university branding and communication initiatives. As the college’s liaison with the Office of Public Affairs and the News Bureau, the Director of Communications and Marketing supports appropriate and consistent communication in matters both strategic and emergent, advising the Dean on matters of import across institutional protocol, crisis communication, and the ensuring of welcome, inclusion, and hospitality in how the public encounters the college’s messaging and identity.

Andy Blacker

Comms Director

Andy Blacker joined the college as the director of communications and marketing in 2017. Blacker has an extensive career of serving the University of Illinois in many units including the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, Facilities and Services, and Allerton Park and Conference Center. He serves as FAA’s Chief Communications Officer and on several campus and college committees and councils.


Carolyn Randolph-Kato

Dr. Carolyn Randolph-Kato

Director of Engaged Research
(217) 300-7643 | crandol2@illinois.edu

Role of the Director of Engaged Research

The Director of Engaged Research cultivates and leads strategic research initiatives that pair faculty and external partners toward address of critical societal needs, stewarding both the relationships and the projects that result. Reporting to the Dean of the College, the Director works with faculty to identify opportunities for collaboration that are a true benefit to external partners, assisting in the securing support for long-term projects, and managing funded efforts toward delivery on promised outcomes. In conversation with the Dean and the Associate Dean for Research, the Director: prioritizes the development and resourcing of externally-partnered research efforts in support of college strategy; designs and updates project management plans for research efforts identified for college support; and manages funded projects and budgets, coordinating with faculty, staff, and external partners to realize project goals from initial funding stage to project conclusion. In this role the Director also keeps the college abreast of emerging trends and best practices in publicly-partnered research; liaises with the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Public Engagement to ensure alignment; and initiates self-directed engagement efforts that draw on personal expertise to address community needs, working with the Dean to resource them.

Carolyn Randolph-Kato

Visiting Associate Director of Arts Impact Initiative

Dr. Carolyn Randolph-Kato is Director of Engaged Research.  She leads the college’s strategic efforts in both applied and publicly engaged arts research to help guide education, workforce development, policy and planning in the state and region.  This includes the Arts Impact Initiative, the Illinois Creative Workforce Partnership, and the CU BIPOC Artist Collective.   In this new role, Randolph-Kato is excited to continue to provide research development, management, and administrative support and to further cultivate public and private partnerships to help facilitate equitable community and economic growth in Illinois for artists, practitioners, and other creative laborers.

Randolph-Kato earned her Ph.D. in Communications and Media Studies from the Institute of Communications Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Kemal Nance

Dr. C. Kemal Nance

Dean’s Fellow for Curricular Transformation
Dance Associate Professor and Undergraduate Recruitment Director
cknance@illinois.edu

Role of the Dean’s Fellow for Curricular Transformation

The Dean’s Fellow for Curricular Transformation works with one area of the college at a time, for at least a year at a time, as a facilitator and process designer for ambitious faculty-led curricular reform efforts. Reporting to the Associate Dean for Academic Programs, This new role in the college will work to further develop processes for curricular review, reflection, and reform through creative and scholarly practices. In our aspirations for more ethical, anti-racist, and liberatory curricula, the processes by which we achieve such change are as important as the changes themselves.

Kemal Nance

Dean's Fellow for Curricular Transformation

Dr. C. Kemal Nance was named Dean’s Fellow in 2023. He is a native of Chester, Pennsylvania, a performer, choreographer, and scholar of African Diasporic Dance. Nance is a master teacher of the Umfundalai technique of African dance. His work with the National Association of American African Dance Teachers has resulted in teachers’ training programs for budding African dance artists to be certified in the technique. He currently directs the Nance Dance Collective, an all-male dance initiative that produces dance works about Black manhood. His choreographies have appeared on national and international stages. In recent years, many in the college have learned about the process Dr. Nance designed and co-facilitated for the Department of Dance’s ambitious reform; this new appointment will invite him to develop that process further as part of his own creative and scholarly practice, and to the benefit of more students and faculty far beyond his home discipline.


Terri Ciofalo

Terri Ciofalo

Dean’s Fellow for Live Arts Audience Engagement
Assistant Professor and Director of Production

tciofalo@illinois.edu

Role of the Dean’s Fellow for Live Arts Audience Engagement

The Dean’s Fellow for Live Arts Engagement leads the formation of an audience engagement strategy for the performing arts in FAA, including the work of the Departments of Dance and Theatre, the School of Music, and the Krannert Center for Performing Arts. Supported by a working team of faculty and staff, and resources to support research and development of new structures, approaches, and events, the Fellow leads the formation of a vision, strategy, and five-year action plan to guide the college’s staging of performances for university and community audiences in physical and virtual venues on campus, in Champaign-Urbana, and beyond.

Terri Ciofalo

Dean's Fellow

Terri Ciofalo is also the Director of Production at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and assistant professor in the Department of Theatre. Originally from New York City, Terri was the production manager and production stage manager for Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet where she premiered nearly a dozen new works and site-specific installation pieces for the company. She earned her MFA in Stage Management from the Yale School of Drama.


Mary Pat McGuire

Mary Pat McGuire

Dean’s Fellow for Research
Associate Professor and MLA Program Co-Chair
mpm1@illinois.edu

Role of the Dean’s Fellow for Research

The Dean’s Fellow for Research currently leads the college’s adoption of the Provost’s new criteria for evaluating publicly-partnered research as part of promotion and tenure review. With recent faculty hires across the college producing scholars whose long and hard-won community relationships are core to their commitments, the Dean’s Fellow works to ensure that we can support these scholar-creators in their plans, and take up our rightful response to the Chancellor’s call for more meaningful and lasting investments in our region. Their work includes the revision of college and unit criteria and processes to include the new Public Engagement Research Option (PERO), orientation of review committees to these processes, and mentoring of faculty through these paths. Reporting to the Associate Dean for Research, the Dean’s Fellow also supports the development of broader communities of research and collaboration among college faculty.

Mary Pat McGuire

Dean's Fellow for Research

Mary Pat McGuire is a licensed landscape architect and an associate professor of landscape architecture. McGuire is also chair the Master of Landscape Architecture program and has affiliate appointments in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory. Previous to her academic work, she practiced landscape architecture for ten years including for Peter Walker & Partners and Conservation Design Forum. McGuire leads a design research studio called Water Lab located in Chicago that investigates the infrastructural condition of urban ground and identifies opportunities to reconnect communities with soil, water, and tools of climate adaptation. Currently Water Lab (with involvement by graduate research assistants) is leading the start-up of an initiative called Depave Chicago — a collaborative, community-based program to renature unused and underutilized parking lots where there could be parks and public space with tree canopy, rain gardens, living earth, and community programming.

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