You know those weeks when the most exciting things that happen are exactly the things that you can’t tell? That’s the way it goes sometimes with Deans.
Now that our brief two weeks of winter rains have dissipated, it’s hiring season! It’s hard to believe that in this budget parched climate our state university is allowed to hire. But with so many retirements and some growing programs, I’m spending over half of some days meeting with candidates. Last Tuesday at the University Club was particularly delightful as Arts and Letters filled the restaurant with four candidates and committees. There are early reports that we will have an abundant crop of new faculty come harvest time next fall.
Last week ended with a flurry. A meeting Thursday at Cal State Long Beach about the CSU’s Strategic Language Initiative and our role in continuing Korean language and cultural studies at Cal State L.A. followed by a concert at Disney Hall. Friday I stayed late to catch our Winter Dance Concert at the State Playhouse. Saturday night was the debut of Achim Freyer’s oversized puppetry take on Das Rheingold (musically strong but what was with the giant flying jacket?). Not exhausted enough, apparently, I was completely reinvigorated by our Friends of Music scholarship concert on Sunday afternoon. From outstanding classical vocals to flute, trumpet, and jazz trio, Cal State LA music students swung! Hainu Tan introduced a recording of her prize-winning composition and Ben Caron and Femke Weidema both played guitar to accompany their original songs.
Until next time, I’m your Dancing Dean!