Paul Kassel, Dean of the NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts, who has guided the college through some extraordinarily challenging times, has accepted the offer of a second five-year term as dean.
Kassel came to NIU in 2015 after more than a dozen years as a Professor of Theatre at SUNY New Paltz where he also served as Associate Dean of their School of Fine and Performing Arts, and had spent the last two years in the role of Interim Dean.
In his first term, Kassel was credited for his work instituting key curricular changes, recruitment efforts that have resulted in increases in enrollment in CVPA, and the hiring of new faculty. He has developed strong external relationships with the community, alumni and friends of the college. Kassel is seen as a strong and passionate advocate for the college and for the arts more generally. And he was lauded for his commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion demonstrated through programming and events such as the Art and Soul street painting event. His efforts to increase support to offer top notch arts programming to audiences university-wide resulted in the establishment of the Arts and Culture Fee to support those efforts.
Kassel received his M.F.A. in Performance from the Florida State/Asolo Conservatory of Professional Actor Training. He is a member of Actors’ Equity Association and the Screen Actors’ Guild/American Federation of Radio and Television Artists. Professional associations include the International Conference of Fine Arts Deans, the Alliance of Arts in Research Universities, the National Conference of Arts Administrators, and the Association for Theatre in Higher Education.
At 4:25 p.m., Wednesday, June 23, the NIU Foundation kicks off Huskies United — a day of giving — when those who love our great university can show their Huskie pride and help move NIU forward.
Huskies United centers around four strategic initiatives:
Student Emergency Fund.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Student Scholarships and Experiences.
The foundation is grateful to have many in our NIU family standing behind them in this endeavor. In fact, alumnus Ray Banks, ’86, and his husband Dr. Eric Erickson, agreed to kick off Huskies United with a special challenge gift. If Huskies United totals 1,000 gifts, it will unlock the Banks-Erickson Challenge of $150,000 to support student scholarships.
In regard to his and Eric’s philanthropy, Ray recently shared the following:
“We want young people to discover themselves as we did, to find out what they are good at and what they love to do, and to apply it to good endeavors that are right, just and better.”
Huskies United is one more opportunity for us to assist those who need help, and contributions of all sizes make a difference. Visit the NIU Foundation’s Huskies United website to learn more about the many ways you can participate.
Ed Klonoski has been selected as the Associate Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Northern Illinois University. He stepped into that role on an acting basis in the fall of 2020 after serving as NIU’s Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Curriculum from 2015-2020.
Klonoski is also an Associate Professor of Music in the School of Music, and received NIU’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2008. His research interests include music theory and aural skills pedagogy, and Schenkerian theory.
He earned a BM (Music Theory/Composition) from Marywood University, an M.M. (Music Theory) from Southern Methodist University, and Ph.D. (Music Theory) from Ohio State University.
Thank you to everyone who helped support the College of Visual Arts first crowdfunding campaign. Donations to Curtain Call! totaled more than $2,000 and will help fund seniors in the Schools of Art and Design, School of Music and School of Theatre and Dance for the capstone projects they completed this last semester.