August 22, 2019 | 72° F

Mason Gross Dean to step down in June, will continue as music professor

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Robert E. Mortenson Hall, located within the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center on Douglass campus, was unveiled in September of 2013. It provides additional rehearsal and performance spaces for the music, dance and theater departments.

In an email to the Rutgers community, Interim Chancellor Christopher J. Molloy announced the decision of George B. Stauffer, dean of Mason Gross School of the Arts, to step down from his position effective June 30, 2019 and return as a distinguished professor in the Department of Music. 

Stauffer has been serving as dean for nearly two decades, according to the email. During his tenure, he established new programs, facilities, divisions and endowments. 

According to an email to The Daily Targum, Stauffer said he constructed Bettenbender Plaza and Robert E. Mortensen Hall and raised more than $50 million for the University, with $25 million going to endowments. Through national and international recruiting, he moved undergraduate out-of-state enrollment to 27 percent. He has also created programs such as the BFA Acting Program and the MFA Program in Art and Design.

He expressed desire to focus on the music and culture of the Baroque Era, as well as the life and works of composer J.S. Bach, which are subjects he is known internationally for as a scholar, performer and writer. In the email to the Targum, Stauffer said he published eight books, wrote features for The New York Times and is working on a volume titled “Why Bach Matters” to be published by the Yale University Press.

The email from Molloy stated that during the 2019-2020 academic year, Stauffer will take a research leave to prepare for his return to the faculty as a professor the following year. Rutgers will also be establishing a committee to conduct a search nationally for a new dean of Mason Gross School of the Arts. 

“I look forward to building on the many successes achieved by Dean Stauffer,” Molloy said in the email. 

Catherine Nguyen

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