Mary Hafeli, who has served as dean of the School of Fine and Performing Arts at New Paltz since July 2009, has accepted a senior faculty position in the Art and Art Education Program at Columbia University’s Teacher’s College. She will leave her position at New Paltz on July 5. Paul Kassel, an associate professor and associate dean of the School of Fine and Performing Arts, will serve as interim dean, effective on July 8.
During Hafeli’s tenure at New Paltz, she served as the academic leader of the School of Fine and Performing Arts, which includes the departments of Art, Art History, Music, and Theatre Arts, and was also in charge of the three related units of the school: the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, PianoSummer Institute and Festival, and the Premiere Performance Series.
Kassel currently heads the Theatre Department’s Performance area, teaching all levels of acting and play analysis. He also directs plays in the Mainstage season. A professional actor, director, and writer, Kassel has worked off, and off-off Broadway, in regional theaters, and in a number of films, several television shows, and industrials. His term as interim dean will last for two years. A national search for a new dean will take place during the second year. He will name an interim associate dean for the School of Fine and Performing Arts.
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