Dr. Edward Schaefer, associate dean at the University of Florida College of the Arts for over ten years, recently decided to step down from the role and make a return to teaching at the School of Music.
As associate dean, Schaefer’s work was varied and far-reaching.
“Generally speaking, I was in charge of all things academic,” said Schaefer.
Such academic duties and programs he oversaw included tenure, promotions, approving courses, solving student problems, and working with student clubs and rewards. He was part of the establishment of the “What is the Good Life?” course, which he described as a “noble experiment in the humanities.”
Additionally, he approved three major curriculum additions in COTA: the Doctor of Musical Arts, Masters Program in Jazz Studies, and the changing of the graphic design program to Master of Fine Arts in Design and Visual Communication, a change which he said will help students tackle all sorts of major problems.
Asked about his favorite experience while working at the Dean’s Office, Schaefer had this to say:
“I’ve been able to work with some extraordinarily gifted people, and that’s been exciting. They’re the most congenial group of people you could ever ask to work with. Dean Lavelli has been an extraordinary supervisor, mentor, colleague and friend. I don’t think I could have been as successful as I have been without her guidance.”
He also added that he’s appreciated and enjoyed the opportunity to help position COTA better for the future, and will miss being in a position where he will have a college-wide impact.
Working as associate dean, Schaefer said, has “Certainly been valuable in helping me to understand the role of all the arts in society on a larger scale, as well as within the university.”
In the Dean’s Office, his sense of fulfillment came more from accomplishing institutional goals, whereas working with students gave him a more intimate feeling of gratification; as Schaefer described it, “You get to see real people grow, set goals, and accomplish them. You see them progress over time.”
In the move back to the School of Music, Schaefer said that he is looking forward to having more regular contact with students and faculty, and being able to reinvigorate his teaching and research.