College of the Arts Welcomes New Dean Daniel Gurskis

Dean says he plans on building upon current successes

There are many new faces on campus this fall and among them is Daniel Gurskis, new Dean of the College of the Arts.

Gurskis previously served as professor and chair of the Department of Film, as well as special assistant to the president, at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. While at Brooklyn College, he oversaw the creation of a new graduate school of cinema to be located at Steiner Studios, the largest film and television production facility outside of Los Angeles.

Gurskis also held creative and management positions in film, television, theatre, and advertising, and has performed pro bono work in arts management in addition to his academic role. He has written numerous screenplays for film and television, and received an Emmy Award in 1989 for his documentary James Stewart’s Wonderful Life.

Gurskis received a Bachelor of Arts in History of American Ideas from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts from Brandeis University.

He said he wanted to work at Montclair State, in general, and the College of the Arts, in particular, because of their growing reputation and hopes to contribute to the college’s continuing success.

As for any changes he would make at the College, Gurskis said he wants to wait so he can make more informed decisions. To that end, he plans to play the role of a student during his first year.

“I’m going to spend this academic year getting to know as much about the College as is humanly possible,” he said. “I think it’s important generally for someone to have a thorough understanding of an organization’s strengths and weaknesses before giving even a passing thought to making changes. Once I’ve done that, I’ll have a better idea of the kinds of changes that can and should be made -- and those will develop through conversation and collaboration across the college.

“I am most enjoying the opportunity to work with very talented faculty and students in a remarkably wide range of disciplines in my role as dean,” he added.

Read more about Dean Gurskis and watch an interview with him on Carpe Diem here.

Some information in this article was contributed by “Montclair,” the magazine of Montclair State University. Read the full article here.