Dean Hayes off to fresh start

Brenda Echeverria, Arts & Rec Editor

Dr. Eileen M. Hayes was announced as the Dean of College of Arts and Communication at UW-Whitewater last semester in April.

Dr. Hayes was set to assume her role as dean on August 1, 2017 and felt prepared for it as well.  

“I felt quite prepared because I saw a lot of similarities between being Chair of the Department of Music. So I’ve felt prepared for the position but perhaps not so much for all the snow” joked Dr. Hayes.

Dr. Hayes was a professor and Chair of the Department of Music at Towson University in Maryland where some of her responsibilities included budget management, faculty development, student success, amongst many others.

“In both contexts I have enjoyed working with faculty, students and staff trying to ensure faculty and student success,” said Dr. Hayes. “However, what is different now as dean is that I get to work at lot more with the college’s advisory board, participate in fundraising efforts, interface with more of the offices charged with student success across campus, and interact more with members of the community.”

After almost five months as Dean at UW-Whitewater, Dr. Hayes says the highlight has definitely been the people.

“My favorite thing about being dean has been the people. We have marvelous people and everyone has been very nice and welcoming,” said Dr. Hayes. “Administration and faculty have shared so much information with me. It’s helpful to know some background history about an institution but also to know we are flexible enough to go forward and to explore new pathways. So definitely the people and their enthusiasm and warmth have been the highlight really.”

She said working with so many talented and skilled people in the arts was a reason she was interested in the position in the first place.

“A thing that drew me to the position was the opportunity to work with so many different arts and communication units,” said Dr. Hayes. “To be able to work with faculty and staff that are in design, musical, theatre and dance, communication on a daily basis is really exciting. I’m learning a lot.”

Another reason Dr. Hayes said is because UW-Whitewater has such accredited programs in theatre, music, art and design.

At the moment one of the many projects she is proud and excited about is a current collaboration between UW-Whitewater students and artist Nick Cave. So far the students have visited Cave’s studio in Chicago and are helping him on a current project that will be showcased sometime next semester.

For the future, Dr. Hayes is also looking forward to remaining consistent to the college’s mission and to valuing diversity as a whole.

“I’m very interested in pursuing our value of diversity and helping the college make that a reality. I would like to do that in terms of appointments of new faculty and staff, a recruitment and retention of students of color and underrepresented populations of students.”

At the end of her first semester as Dean at UW-Whitewater, Dr. Hayes is looking to the future with optimism and feels comfortable calling Whitewater a new home.

“The campus has been so welcoming that I do really enjoy my job. I’ve never been one to pine about the past but I’ve been one to look forward, so Whitewater is a home I have” Dr. Hayes said