Westminster Choir College dean accepts post at Ohio University

Matthew Shaftel

Matthew Shaftel, the director and dean of Westminster College, has been named the new dean of Ohio University’s College of Fine Arts.

The move comes at a time when the future of Westminster Choir College is unclear. Rider University announced the sale of the college and Princeton property this spring.

Shaftel has only been the dean at Westminster since July of 2015. As dean and director, he was in charge of all aspects of academic affairs for programs in music, popular music, theater, music theater, dance, arts administration and art. He developed a strategic plan for the college while building the college’s endowment  and establishing partnerships with other organizations, including the Julliard School, the Trenton Public Schools, the Kennedy Center, and the American Repertory Ballet. He also established a center for community engagement that connected students to the broader community. During his short tenure, officials said the college exceeded all enrollment targets, released five commercial recordings, and offered more than 200 performances and exhibits annually. Previously he spent 14 years at Florida State University as a teacher and administrator.  Shaftel earned his master’s degree and doctorate degree in music theory from Yale University. He also earned a certificate in higher education leadership from Harvard University.

“Dr. Shaftel’s creativity and extensive experience as an artist, professor and academic administrator will bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the College of Fine Arts, and I am excited to welcome him to Ohio,” said Ohio University Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit in a statement about the appointment. “The search committee was most impressed with his positive energy and enthusiasm for the Arts and community engagement.”

The dean of Ohio University’s College of Fine Arts serves as the chief academic and administrative officer of the college, providing leadership, planning, coordination and management for all academic, fiscal, and personnel matters. Shaftel will begin his new job on July 15.

“I am so enthusiastic about this opportunity to work collaboratively with the innovative students and faculty of the College of Fine Arts,” Shaftel said in an announcement about his appointment. “It is truly exciting to be part of a culture that seeks to extend the value of the arts beyond the classroom and into the community and I look forward to expanding upon the College of Fine Arts’ long history of creative excellence as we build a brighter future through the arts in Athens and beyond.”