The Maroon

Kern Maass appointed dean of College of Music and Fine Arts

Student+Dan+Culpepper%2C+right%2C+is+part+of+a+collaboration+between+Eastman+and+a+design+class+at+Appalachian+State+University+to+design+outdoor+furniture+using+a+new+wood+product+developed+by+Eastman.+Professors+also+involved+in+the+project+are+Richard+Prisco%2C+left%2C+and+Kern+Maass%2C+both+members+of+the+industrial+design+faculty+at+Appalachian.
Student Dan Culpepper, right, is part of a collaboration between Eastman and a design class at Appalachian State University to design outdoor furniture using a new wood product developed by Eastman. Professors also involved in the project are Richard Prisco, left, and Kern Maass, both members of the industrial design faculty at Appalachian.

Student Dan Culpepper, right, is part of a collaboration between Eastman and a design class at Appalachian State University to design outdoor furniture using a new wood product developed by Eastman. Professors also involved in the project are Richard Prisco, left, and Kern Maass, both members of the industrial design faculty at Appalachian.

Student Dan Culpepper, right, is part of a collaboration between Eastman and a design class at Appalachian State University to design outdoor furniture using a new wood product developed by Eastman. Professors also involved in the project are Richard Prisco, left, and Kern Maass, both members of the industrial design faculty at Appalachian.

Davis Walden

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Kern Maass finds his home as the newly appointed dean of the College of Music and Fine Arts at Loyola University New Orleans.

The College of Music and Fine Arts has been successful in its enrollment growth and additions to its curriculum and community outreach. With 700 students enrolled in the fall 2016 semester, Maass will be inheriting the second largest undergraduate college at Loyola and will be replacing interim dean
Anthony DeCuir.

A 2020 goal for the College of Music and Fine Arts is to form artists who make excellent art and have sustainable careers, encourage artists to explore the rich artistic culture and heritage of New Orleans and form artists who are aware of their relationship in society, according to provost Marc Manganaro.

“The College of Music and Fine Arts is poised to introduce a new collaborative and innovative leader, and I have confidence that Kern Maass will bring great expertise to the college in these areas,” Manganaro said.

Maass, whose background is in furniture design, historic preservation and research on design, craft and manufacturing innovations, is a shift from DeCuir’s background in music therapy and vocal performance.

Briana Thompson, theater arts freshman, is curious about the new dean’s appointment.

“It’ll be interesting to see how he funds the arts,” said. “Finally, it’s a unique way to go about it. He’ll bring new ideas to the table.”

Some students, such as Mari Nerbovig, music therapy senior, have voiced their concerns over having a dean who does not have a background in music.

“The future of this school dictates how much my degree is worth in the future, Nerbovig said. “If Loyola’s music program dissipates, I’ll have less options in the future.”

Maass is the former associate dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts at Appalachian State University. There he created programs such as the AppLab and Howard Street, both of which were developed by industrial design students.

“There are a lot of programs that don’t get the recognition or attention that they deserve,” Colleen Ryan, music education junior, said. “It’s ultimately different with a change of this magnitude, but I believe all the programs can excel.”

The AppLab is an interdisciplinary program that “uses design thinking to find sustainable, practical solutions to everyday problems on campus,” according to the AppLab webpage. Students from a variety of majors work in teams to gather information and solve problems they see on campus. IDEX Lab members at Appalachian State University designed Howard Street, an interdisciplinary work and meeting space.

In 2001, Maass founded Maass Design, designing furniture and tabletop accessories that have been exhibited nationally and internationally.

“These experiences have given him [Maass] a unique perspective on how to position and leverage creative practice in multiple contexts,” Manganaro said. “Innovative, collaborative and visionary were all adjectives used to describe Maass.”

Maass’ appointment to the position was a two-year-long process, according to Laura Hope, chairwoman of the department of theatre arts and dance.

“I hope this is a time for collaboration and growth for us,” Hope said.

Kern Maass will begin at Loyola Feb. 1, 2017.

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Kern Maass appointed dean of College of Music and Fine Arts