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Dr. Aleks Sternfeld-Dunn named dean of UW-Eau Claire's College of Arts and Sciences

| Gary Johnson

Photo caption: Dr. Aleks Sternfeld-Dunn has been director of the School of Music at Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas, since 2018.

Dr. Aleks Sternfeld-Dunn will become the new dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire on July 1.

Since 2018, Sternfeld-Dunn has been director of the School of Music at Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas, where he also is an associate professor of music.

Dr. Patricia Kleine, UW-Eau Claire provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, says finding a dean for the College of Arts and Sciences always is challenging and rewarding.

“Dr. Sternfeld-Dunn is well-grounded in the liberal arts traditions while being a visionary in the 21st-century narrative of what it means to be liberally educated,” Kleine says. “He has had significant, successful experience as a director of a school and as a leader in shared governance at both the institutional and state levels. He joined Wichita State University at a time when it was moving forward with a school of music. He is joining UW-Eau Claire at a time when it is moving toward greater regional and national distinction.”

Dr. Rodd Freitag, professor of political science, has served as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for the past three years after the university’s previous dean, Dr. David Leaman, left in May 2018.

UW-Eau Claire’s College of Arts and Sciences has about 325 faculty and instructional staff; 170 major, minor and certificate undergraduate programs; and three graduate programs.

The college is the largest and most broadly based college at the university, with 19 academic departments and multiple interdisciplinary programs that contribute courses and experiences for students majoring in programs based in the college; extensive liberal education coursework; and supporting courses for academic programs in other colleges and for pre-professional programs.

Sternfeld-Dunn says he and his family are excited to be joining the “UW-Eau Claire family.”

“As I spent more time meeting with various people from the campus, it became clear to me that I would be joining a collaborative college and university leadership team,” Sternfeld-Dunn says. “I am energized by the opportunity to partner with the faculty, staff and students in the College of Arts and Sciences and discover our new identity, post-pandemic and at the start of a new academic, strategic and EDI plan. At its core, the liberal arts are about examining, challenging and even disrupting the world. I hope to help the campus community use those guideposts to build our future.”

Dr. Carmen Manning, chair of the search committee, says UW-Eau Claire had a strong pool of candidates for the dean position.

“I am thrilled we are able to welcome Dr. Sternfeld-Dunn as the next dean of the College of Arts and Sciences,” says Manning, dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences. “He has a strong vision for the role of liberal arts in a college education and concrete ideas for how to move the college and the university forward in somewhat uncertain times. He is energetic and a strong communicator, and I am looking forward to working with him.” 

Sternfeld-Dunn received his bachelor’s degree in music from California State University East Bay in Hayward, California, and his master’s in music composition from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. He received his doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Hartford's Hartt School of Music in West Hartford, Connecticut.