Alfred University appoints Lauren Lake new dean of School of Art and Design, Division of Performing Arts
Alfred University announces the appointment of Lauren Lake as the new dean of the School of Art and Design and Division of Performing Arts. Lake, who begins her duties July 13, comes to Alfred University from the University of North Texas, where she has served as chair of the Department of Studio Art since 2017.
ALFRED, NY – Alfred University announces the appointment of Lauren Lake as the new dean of the School of Art and Design and Division of Performing Arts. Lake, who begins her duties July 13, comes to Alfred University from the University of North Texas, where she has served as chair of the Department of Studio Art since 2017.
“I am honored to be named the Michele and Martin Cohen Endowed Dean. Alfred University is an ‘Outside of Ordinary’ educational institution with a long-standing dedication to innovation and excellence in the arts,” Lake commented. “I look forward to continuing the University’s reputation by employing my leadership values of ownership, integrity, caring, and collaboration.”
Lake will take over for the dean’s position from Gerar Edizel, whose three-year term as Michele and Martin Cohen Endowed Dean expires at the end of the current academic year. Edizel served as interim dean in 2016-17 before his appointment to the dean’s position in June 2017. In the position of dean, Lake will also oversee the Division of Performing Arts.
“We are excited to welcome Lauren Lake to Alfred University,” said Beth Ann Dobie, provost. “She brings a breadth of experience and a new perspective to the academic leadership team. Lauren’s leadership goals of transparency, curiosity, radical kindness, and nurturing community will serve the School of Art and Design and the Performing Arts Division well. Her passion for all of the arts will make her a strong advocate for students, faculty, and staff in the school and the division.”
Lake said her primary goal as dean is to “provide students with a safe, inspirational, sustainable and dynamic environment that inspires innovation and curiosity while honoring both individuality and tradition.”
She added, “The School of Art and Design’s reputation is strong, and the addition of the Performing Arts Division to the organizational structure brings new and exciting possibilities. The faculty, staff, and students with whom I have met are inspiring.”
Prior to her appointment at North Texas, Lake served as chair of the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Alabama at Birmingham from 2013-17. She was assistant director and graduate chair and director of Graduate Studies-Studio at the University of Florida School of Art and Art History from 2010-13.
Lake earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art Education from the University of Florida and an M.F.A. in Drawing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She and her husband, Matt, are the parents of twin daughters, Magda and Yari.
Dobie commended Edizel for the work he did to advance the School of Art and Design and Division of Performing Arts during his tenure as dean, noting that his recruitment efforts led to increased first year enrollment in the School and a threefold increase in international enrollment.
She pointed to the School’s successful reaccreditation by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and its receiving a commendation for improved studio safety measures. Edizel assumed the decanal leadership of the Performing Arts Division, guiding the transition to the School’s new academic structure. He also shepherded the launch of the new Alfred/Duesseldorf M.F.A. degree in Painting, led a new strategic plan for School, and developed a new position in Textile Surface Design.