USU names Jessop and Allen as new deans

Deans for two new colleges at Utah State University have been named. Craig Jessop will head the newly created Caine College of the Arts and John C. Allen will lead the college that includes the humanities and social science disciplines. “We are extremely excited that two highly-respected, extraordinarily skilled, senior members of our faculty have agreed to serve as the founding deans of these two new academic colleges,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Raymond T. Coward. “Both search and screening committees concluded that Drs. Jessop and Allen had the prerequisite knowledge and background to provide leadership for the launching of these two new academic units.” The search for two deans began after the Board of Regents approved the creation of these two new academic units. Jessop, a Utah State University alumnus, joined the university in May 2008 following a distinguished career in the military and as the director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir from 1999-2008. Originally named department head for the Department of Music, he was later asked to also oversee the Department of Theatre Arts in January 2009. Carol Strong, dean of USU’s Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services, chaired the search committee for the dean’s position in the Caine College of the Arts. The committee was comprised of faculty members from the new college, as well as a development representative, a student and a key donor. “The committee was unanimous in its recommendation to President Albrecht,” Strong said. “Dr. Jessop distinguished himself by the breadth and depth of the relationships he has developed throughout his career. The members are very excited about Dr. Jessop’s leadership of this new college.” The committee was impressed by Jessop’s commitment to, and experience with, campus, community and statewide outreach through the arts. In his short time at USU, Jessop has increased the profile of the music department and its programs. A number of successful fundraising projects have been completed, including a highly successful concert with Donny Osmond. In addition, Jessop has been instrumental in highlighting the musical talents of USU students in multiple alumni gatherings across the country. Jessop said it was an honor to be named the first dean of the new Caine College of the Arts. “The Caine family has, and continues, to contribute to the arts at USU in an unprecedented and historic fashion,” Jessop said. “It is completely fitting that the new college of the arts will bear their noble family name as a memorial to their generosity to Utah State University for untold generations to come.” In laying the foundation for what will be a great college of the arts, not only in Utah but throughout the region and beyond, Jessop said a goal for everyone should be “excellence with integrity.” “Our goals will be focused on serving and producing the most qualified students possible in the arts in both undergraduate and graduate programs,” Jessop said. “Together with the faculties of these departments, the vision of the college will unfold. I look forward to becoming personally acquainted with each member of the faculties and staffs for the new college. Together we will dream and build.” Jessop holds a bachelor’s degree from Utah State University, a master’s in music education from Brigham Young University, and earned his doctorate of musical arts in conducting and performance practice from Stanford University. As the founding dean of the new college that includes the humanities and social sciences, Allen brings a wealth of experience as a community sociologist, educator and administrator. Most recently he served as associate dean for research and graduate education for the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at USU. He has been a faculty member and administrator at USU since 2004 when he joined the campus community as a professor in the Department of Sociology, Social Work and Anthropology and as director of the Western Rural Development Center. Allen worked as a faculty member and administrator at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for 14 years before moving to the Utah State University campus. Throughout his professional career, Allen has maintained contact in the classroom and with students because, he said, he enjoys interacting with students and participating in their growth. He also endorses and values the humanities and social sciences as a central part of a university education. “Dr. Allen has a long and successful record of entrepreneurial activities in a variety of situations,” said James MacMahon, dean of USU’s College of Science and head of the search committee. “These preadapt him to lead the new college as it determines it future directions and brand.” Allen is ready to address the future of his college, a future that is full of opportunities. “Our college will anchor the liberal arts at Utah State University,” Allen said. “It’s the core of who we are and what we do as a college.” We will also lend our expertise and enthusiasm toward the Land Grant mission of USU as we continue to move our college forward, he said. Research will play an important part in the future as well. “Collectively, we will build the college reputation in the research arena,” Allen said. “We have top quality faculty in the college — I truly believe among the top in the country. With a focus on research and creative activity, while retaining our core values in teaching, the college will grow. In ten years, our college will be a nationally-recognized research college at a nationally-recognized research university.” Important to Allen is community building in the new college, making it a place where students and faculty want to be. “With the help of my colleagues, we will continue a process of identifying our strengths — the pillars of our liberal arts strengths, and we will build our curriculum around those pillars,” Allen said. Allen earned his doctorate in sociology from Washington State University, a master’s degree in urban sociology and statistics from Portland State University and his bachelor’s in sociology from Southern Oregon University. Programs that make up the new college include the departments of Languages, Philosophy and Speech Communication; History; Journalism and Communication; Political Science; Sociology, Social Work and Anthropology; English; Military Science; and the Intensive English Language Institute. The Caine College of the Arts includes the Department of Music, Theatre Arts Department, Department of Art, the Interior Design Program and the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art. “I am pleased with the selection of our new deans,” said Utah State University President Stan Albrecht. “This is an exciting time as we move forward, and the new colleges are in the capable hands of deans with the vision to lead us into the future. And while we have two new colleges, the collaborative efforts between their departments and programs will not only continue, but deepen.”

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