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New Dean of the Mike Curb College selected

May 13, 2014

Professor Jay Kvapil standing in front of his work at the Couturier Gallery

(from the Office of the Provost)

It is my pleasure to announce the new Dean of the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication, Professor Jay Kvapil.

Jay is difficult, if not impossible, to categorize.  He graduated with a B.A., Honors, in Literature at the University of the Pacific.  Soon thereafter, he achieved the rank of Journeyman Potter for the Study of Tea Ceremony Ware at Takatori Seizan Pottery, Kyshu, Japan.  He then earned his M.F.A. degree in Ceramics at San Jose State University.

His work shows deep meditation on the relations of Asian and American art--on the delicate shapes and intimate scale of tea ceremony, as well as on the richly textured and organic shapes of mid-century American expressionism.  He has exhibited widely, and he has been reviewed widely.  Kvapil is a noted ceramic artist and his work is represented by Couturier Gallery Los Angeles.  He possesses the aesthetic sensibility and versatility that his college needs in its leadership.

Of course, we hired Jay mainly as a leader.  And you would have a hard time finding another accomplished artist with his understanding of the CSU, LA, and higher education.  As I said, he graduated from San Jose State.  Eventually, he joined Cal State Long Beach as an assistant professor.  He rose through the ranks there.  He chaired the Art Department and now serves as the Director of the School of Art.  Between these posts, he has been Associate Dean and Interim Dean of the College of Arts.  He knows budgets, contracts, accreditation, assessment, and the Chancellor's Office, etc.

Kvapil has also held positions at the national level.  For example, he has served as Conference Director for the National Council for Education in the Ceramic Arts.  He has been a Board member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, as well as Treasurer and member of the Executive Committee.  Now, he is a Member of the Commission on Accreditation for this body.

I thank the Search and Screen Committee for their excellent work: Bernardo Attias (Chair), Edward Alfano, Jose Luis Benavides, April Bey, Deborah Cours, and Michael Spagna.  And we all thank Joseph Antuez for staffing the search.

Harry Hellenbrand
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs