Bruce Kelley has been named dean of Fine Arts after serving as interim dean of the college since February.
Kelley arrived at USD in 2007 as an Associate Professor of Music. He was promoted to full Professor in 2013, then was appointed Assistant Provost in March of 2019 before being named interim dean of Fine Arts following the retirement of former dean Larry Schou in Feb. 2020.
Two weeks after he was appointed interim dean, USD moved classes online. Kelley said each discipline in the College of Fine Arts had unique challenges, so he gave the department chairs the freedom to find solutions that were best for their departments. He said he decided to act in the long-term interest of the College, regardless of who would be chosen full time dean next.
“We made it through the spring semester, and have continued with momentum into this fall,” Kelley said in an email interview with The Volante. “Our classes are going strong and our students are able to use the amazing facilities within this building. This has been a team effort, requiring sacrifices by faculty, staff and students, and I’m so proud of what they have done.”
Kelley said the pandemic has made the College of Fine Arts rethink how it features student performances, which means lots of events are now streamed online.
“Theater streamed their production of ‘Julius Caesar’ several weeks ago, and Music has been streaming their concerts as well. Art always brings in an amazing array of guest artists, and we have had to move their interactions with our students online as well,” Kelley said.
Each Fine Arts department, as well as the University Art Galleries, the National Music Museum and the Black Hills Playhouse, has unique needs, Kelley said, so there is no normal day of work for him, except that he has lots of Zoom meetings.
While he’s dean, Kelley said he wants to create a culture where students, faculty and staff can work together to create a difference in the world by combining creativity and scholarship.
“I want our graduates to have long and satisfying careers wherever they go, from the smallest of our South Dakota communities to the greatest stages in the world,” Kelley said.