UConn School of Fine Arts Names New Dean

Deanna Fitzgerald brings an extensive background as an artist, educator, and administrator

The Zachs Family Fine Arts Administration Building.

(Gerry McCarthy / UConn Foundation Photo)

The UConn School of Fine Arts is delighted to announce the appointment of Deanna Fitzgerald, MFA, as its new dean, ushering in a new era of artistic education and creative excellence for the School.

Fitzgerald currently serves as Vice Dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Arizona and has a multifaceted background as an administrator, as well as an artist and educator in the field of lighting design.

“Deanna brings an extensive background and record of achievement in managing complex budgets, overseeing endowment and scholarship distributions, and leading strategic initiatives,” says Anne D’Alleva, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. “This speaks to her ability to navigate the administrative challenges of higher education while remaining focused on the core mission of fostering student success and artistic excellence. Her reputation as a creative, transparent, empathetic, and pragmatic leader aligns well with the School of Fine Arts values and priorities.”

Fitzgerald’s appointment begins August 1, 2024.

Deanna Fitzgerald, newly named as dean of the School of Fine Arts
Deanna Fitzgerald (contributed photo)

“I couldn’t be more excited to lead the next chapter of the excellent and important work being done in the School of Fine Arts at the University of Connecticut,” says Fitzgerald. “The determination of the faculty toward student success and the institution’s commitment to the Arts is indisputable. I look forward to getting to know all who are invested and dedicated to UConn SFA, and rallying them toward a bright future in which the Arts are integral to all that UConn does and the communities it serves.”

Academic Experience

Fitzgerald joins UConn School of Fine Arts with 20 years of experience in higher education. Prior to joining the University of Arizona in 2020, she served at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory as the Special Events Production Manager and the University of Utah’s Marriott Center for Dance as the Resident Lighting Designer and Technical Director and as an assistant professor.

Other academic ranks in Fitzgerald’s career at the University of Arizona include Associate Dean for Academic and Student Success, Director of Graduate Studies, Associate Director of the School of Music, Associate Director for Theatre programs, and Interim Director of the School of Dance.

She earned a bachelor’s degree at Flagler College in Florida and her master’s degree at the University of Cincinnati-Conservatory of Music in Ohio.

Career in the Arts

Fitzgerald has contributed her lighting design skills to numerous domestic and international projects such as the premiere of the Las Vegas adaptation of STOMP Out Loud and tours of the original STOMP production, the Cirque Mechanics: Boom Town tour, Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo, La Boheme, and more.

She is a regular designer for the Rogue Theatre in Arizona and has created designs for the San Francisco Opera’s Merola and Coconut Grove Playhouse’s Young Artist programs. Fitzgerald also created original dance designs for choreographers including Deborah Hay, Ben Levy, and Andy Vaca.

She is also a published author. Her works include the book “The Heart of Light: A Holistic Primer to a Life and Career in Lighting Design,” and the articles “An Introduction to Neurodiversity for the Lighting Designer and Educator,” and “Contemplative Practices for Designers, Technicians and other Theatre Professionals.”

Other Prestigious Roles

Fitzgerald currently serves on the Western Region Exam Committee for United Scenic Artists and as a General Editor for Theatre Design and Technology magazine.

Previously, she has served on the Boards of Directors for the University Resident Theatre Association and the United States Institute of Theatre Technology and fulfilled other roles with notable companies such as the Cincinnati Ballet, the Opera Theatre Music Festival in Lucca, Italy.

Next Steps

Fitzgerald will take over for Interim Dean Alain Frogley, who served in the position for two years. Frogley will return to the position of SFA Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, Research and Creative Practices full-time once Fitzgerald’s appointment begins.

“The entire SFA community is thrilled by the appointment of Deanna Fitzgerald as our new Dean,” says Frogley. “Her multi-faceted administrative experience and inclusive vision will be crucial as we enter a new era for the school and for higher education.”

“Sincerest thanks to Alain Frogley for his dedicated service as Interim Dean of the School,” says D’Alleva. “His leadership has significantly contributed to the advancement and success of the arts at UConn over the past two years.”