Eileen Strempel to Step Down as Dean of The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music

June 10, 2024

Dear Colleagues:

I am writing to share that Eileen Strempel, who has led The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music since July 2019, has informed me of her decision to step down as inaugural dean and return to the faculty. Her last day will be June 30, 2025. We plan to conduct the search for a new dean in academic year 2024–25.

Dean Strempel has helped build and grow the UC’s first standalone school of music into a nationally recognized academic and cultural institution. She has raised nearly $50 million to support new named faculty chairs, research centers and student scholarships, and founded The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Board of Advisors, comprised of music industry leaders and experts. The resulting initiatives have increased the school’s enrollment by 65% and have strategically built an accomplished and highly diverse class of students in multiple fields of study. She also helped formally establish — and currently serves as chair of — the Chancellor’s Council for the Arts, charged with increasing collaboration and coordination of arts activities and programming at UCLA.

Among her other accomplishments, Dean Strempel oversaw the launch of the new B.A. in Music Industry — the first of its kind in the UC system — which aims to help UCLA students become leaders in the music industry through innovative courses, internships, apprenticeships and student-led projects. Further positioning the school’s new program as an industry leader, Dean Strempel recently shepherded a $5 million gift pledged by Berry Gordy, founder of the iconic record label Motown, to establish the UCLA Berry Gordy Music Industry Center launching next month. Now the school’s largest major, the program has cemented The Herb Alpert School of Music’s status as “the place for 21st century music making.”

Dean Strempel’s deep commitment to equitable access and student success is reflected in her academic scholarship, as well as in the undergraduate and graduate student advisory boards formed during her tenure to assure the centering of students’ voices. She has focused on raising funds for the creation of student support scholarships, including scholarships dedicated to transfer students. Dedicated to faculty excellence, Strempel created a dean’s special assistant for faculty mentoring for the school and created the Chancellor’s Council for the Arts junior faculty mentoring program. Named faculty chairs have been established, including the endowed Promise Chair in Armenian Music and Culture and the Shapiro Chair in Piano Performance. She facilitated the recruitment of nearly 25% of the school’s faculty during a period of faculty renewal, more than 50% of whom are BIPOC and/or LGBTQ+.

Chancellor Block and I are grateful to Dean Strempel for her leadership of the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music during a pivotal time — and for helping to establish a foundation for the school’s continued success as it deepens music’s impact on communities near and far. Please join me in wishing her all the best as she enters her final year as dean and then joins the school’s full-time faculty.


Darnell Hunt
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost