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UMD Names New Dean of SFA

June 20, 2017

After a nationwide search, Dr. Robert Kase is the new dean of the School of Fine Arts (SFA).

A performer and an educator, Kase is a Grammy-nominated musician who comes to Duluth from the University of St. Francis in Chicago, where he served as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Robert Kase

Dr. Robert Kase

Previous to his work at St. Francis, he was a faculty member and chair of the Department of Music at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point.

"I am very excited about joining the School of Fine Arts at UMD, a magical university by a magical lake,” says Kase. “I truly look forward to working with this remarkable college to help them create some amazing art.”

This is a homecoming of sorts for Dr. Kase. He graduated from UMD in the 1970s. He then received his master’s degree from North Texas State University and his doctorate of Music Arts from the University of Minnesota.

He’ll begin serving as the SFA Dean in late June.

Former School of Fine Arts Dean Bill Payne

Dr. Kase will be leading SFA after its former dean William (Bill) Payne announced his intentions to return to his roots.

Starting this fall, Payne will rejoin UMD’s Theatre Department. He had been the dean of the School of Fine Arts since 2011.

“I would like to extend my gratitude to Bill and wish him well in his creative endeavors as he returns back to the faculty,” says Fernando​ Delgado, Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.


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