AMPD Dean Shawn Brixey to take new post at Virginia Commonwealth University

Shawn Brixey
Shawn Brixey featured image

The following message to the University community is from Interim Vice-President Academic and Provost Lisa Philipps:

Dear colleagues:

It is with mixed feelings that I announce that the Dean of the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (AMPD), Shawn Brixey, will be leaving York University to take up a new leadership opportunity as Dean, School of the Arts (VCUArts) at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., effective July 1.

Shawn Brixey
Shawn Brixey

Dean Brixey joined York University from the University of Washington in July 2013 as dean of the (then) Faculty of Fine Arts. He has provided dedicated and energetic leadership to AMPD during his deanship, developing new program directions, advancing student support and engagement, and fostering partnerships with industry and arts community organizations. Early in his term as dean, he led the development of a proposal to change the name of the Faculty of Fine Arts to the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design, in order to signal a new vision for the Faculty, encompassing the full scope and depth of its research and teaching opportunities, and conveying to potential students and to the community new and innovative directions in the school. Shawn’s deanship has seen an expansion of undergraduate and graduate programming, including collaboration with the Lassonde School of Engineering in the offering of programs in digital media, and the development of the new Department of Computational Arts. Among the new community partnership initiatives advanced under his leadership is Sensorium, a research centre promoting collaborative research around the impact of digital technologies on creative knowledge industries. In 2016, the Motion Media Studio @ Cinespace was created to build education-industry links in partnership with Cinespace Film Studios.

Founded in 1838, Virginia Commonwealth University is home to over 31,000 students. As Dean of the School of the Arts, Shawn will lead a Faculty of nearly 3,000 undergraduates, 180 graduate students and 170 faculty members, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in a range of areas including cinema, communication arts, art education, craft and material studies, dance and choreography, fashion design and merchandising, graphic design, interior design, kinetic imaging, music, painting and printmaking, photography, sculpture and extended media, theatre and art history. VCUArts is currently the No. 1-ranked public arts and design program in the U.S., as reported by U.S. News & World Report. Shawn will also serve as special assistant to the provost for VCU’s School of the Arts in Qatar.

Please join with me in thanking Shawn for his contributions to York University over the past four years and in wishing him every success in his new role at VCU.

Information regarding plans for leadership within the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design will be forthcoming soon.