By Dondre Lemon
Assistant News Editor
Being a dean can have its ups and downs. Deans are responsible for running their own offices, as well as all the departments within their school or college. Each of the five academic deans at LIU Post has the responsibility of making sure their schools run smoothly throughout the school year. In the College of Arts, Communications and Design, Steven Breese, who was appointed on July 1, 2017, has already instituted many changes in his first full semester at Post.
“Dean Breese has a rigorous and dedicated work ethic,” Jennifer Miceli, chairperson of the music department, said. “His easy, upbeat communication style makes him approachable even in challenging situations. In particular, I appreciate his sincerity, integrity, follow-through, and great sense of humor,” she said about her first semester working with him.
Breese is familiar with the responsibilities that come with the position of a dean. In the years before he arrived at LIU Post last summer, he served as dean at three institutions, the most recent being the academic dean of arts and sciences at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU). In the article “Meet New Communications and Liberal Arts Deans” in Sept.13, 2017 issue of The Pioneer, Breese said that in his five years at SCSU, he oversaw 250 full time faculty and 350 adjunct professors. The appointment to the Dean position was a “very long” and “not so easy” process, according to Breese. He was vetted by a search consultant firm in Boston that conducted a national search for the right fit for the campus. There were many applicants for the dean position. Breese did a lot of research and preparation before his interview with the firm. Once the search was narrowed down, a search committee of LIU Post faculty and administrators ultimately chose him out of three other finalists.
Breese replaced Noel Zahler, who was dean from August 2011 to August 2016. Professor Christine Kerr, the director of the art therapy program, acted as CACD’s interim dean during the 2016-2017 academic year until Breese was appointed.
Breese has enjoyed his first semester at Post. “I like the staff and faculty; they have been very supportive,” he said “The staff of the College of Arts, Communications & Design are highly creative artists and researchers, and are ready for a change,” he said.
CACD will undergo a few changes in the near future. Breese will be bringing the world of virtual reality and a new undergraduate communications major to the college, among other things. He is excited to help the departments in the college grow. “Dean Breese helped us to establish a sound recording contract, which allows us to archive and feature on our website LIU Post performing ensemble recordings,” Miceli said. “Together with Dean Breese, the Department of Music anticipates installation of new computer and keyboard labs as well as a state-of-the-art recording studio,” she continued.
“Dean Breese has asked us to develop new programs in digital arts & design, music and communications and film for next fall,” Barbara Fowles, the chairperson of the department of communications and film, said. “We will be launching a new degree program in general communications, which is a major step,” she continued. The faculty within the department submitted a draft to Breese, but Fowles said the degree of faculty involvement from that point forward is very different from past practices. “We are hoping a good program will result and bring in some new students for the department. He is very enthusiastic about various faculty projects and tries to support them,” she said.