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Pelton updates community on L.A. Center

President Pelton addressed the College earlier this week in an email to the community detailing the progress and next steps of the new Los Angeles Center. The center is scheduled to open January 2014 on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of Hollywood.

Emerson College Los Angeles Center

Architect's rendering of the new Los Angeles Center

After reviewing 60 proposals from each of Emerson’s seven departments and holding six meetings from January to May 2012, the faculty academic advisory committee recommends the center be organized to include: an undergraduate program for Emerson students; the current internship program (and a possible expansion); and post-baccalaureate programs for graduate students and professionals. Additionally, the center will serve as a gathering place for the Emerson community.

Undergraduate students, mostly seniors, will live in the center’s facility and enroll in classes specially designed to take advantage of the Los Angeles arts, entertainment, and communication industries. The internship program will continue to operate within the center under the leadership of Executive Director James Lane. Early- and mid-career students will be able to earn MA and MFA degrees as well as take advantage of customized programs developed in partnership with Los Angeles–area companies and businesses. 

Emerson also plans to host and sponsor cultural and arts events at the L.A. Center. The president identified three commitments the College is making to the city of Los Angeles: to bring Emerson’s rigorous and experiential academic excellence; to be a civic and cultural leader; and to meaningfully partner with Los Angeles–based industries and businesses. 

Pelton noted, “The Los Angeles Center will educate the next generation of leaders in arts and communication. It will be a beacon for excellence and add value to a world-class city.”  

The next step in developing the L.A. Center’s academic program is establishing a senior leadership team. This will include a senior executive director and dean, the director of the current Los Angeles Program, a director of the post-baccalaureate program, and a director of industry outreach. Emerson has hired Korn/Ferry to serve as search consultants, and expects to make an appointment of the executive director and dean in Spring 2013. This individual will be responsible for hiring the directors of industry outreach and the post-baccalaureate program.

The members of the search committee that will help identify finalists are: President Pelton (chair); M.J. Knoll-Finn, vice president for enrollment; Linda Moore, vice president for academic affairs; James Lane, executive director, Los Angeles Program; Andrew Tiedemann, vice president for communications and marketing; Nicole Miscioscia, interim assistant news director, Communication and Marketing; Kenneth Cheeseman, senior artist-in-residence, Performing Arts; Eric Schaefer, associate professor and associate chair, Visual and Media Arts; Kristin Lieb, assistant professor, Marketing Communication; Cindy Rodriguez, journalist-in-residence, Journalism; Jabari Asim, associate professor, Writing, Literature and Publishing; Robert Friend, Trustee; Marillyn Zacharis, Trustee; and Dennis Connors ’15, Musical Theatre. The Los Angeles Advisory Group and Trustees are: Ann Leary, Kevin Bright, Vin Di Bona, Doug Herzog, Holly Bario, Lisa Gregorian, and Jeff Greenhawt.

Pelton said in his letter to the community, “The academic programming statement serves as a template for future planning. It is dynamic. No doubt, the current thinking about the courses as well as the organization of those courses will evolve over time as the administrative leadership of the Los Angeles Center is put into place and both time and experience provide a different perspective on our aspirations for the center.”

Read President Pelton’s full statement here>>



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