Craig Jessop, dean of Utah State University’s Caine College of the Arts, announced today that he will step down as dean on June 1, 2019, and return to USU as a faculty member in the department of music.
Beginning in the summer of 2019, Jessop will take a sabbatical leave and return as a full-time faculty member in the USU music department in fall semester of 2020.
“Under Dean Jessop, more than 3,000 students have earned degrees in the visual and performing arts at USU,” said USU President Noelle Cockett. “Many have benefited from his ability to foster a deep appreciation of learning and from his professional expertise. He inspired many students and elevated the profile of the college.”
An accomplished, Grammy-nominated musician, Jessop began his tenure at Utah State in 2008 as department head and professor of music. He was appointed the first dean of the Caine College of the Arts in 2010.
With funding from the Marie Eccles Caine Foundation—Russell Family, Jessop founded the Caine Scholars for Excellence program. He was responsible for the recent renovation and expansion of the Chase Fine Arts Center that includes the Jibson Family Courtyard, Hansen Atrium, Daines Concert Hall, Impact Commons and the Tippetts and Eccles Galleries. The project also expanded the scene and costume shops, and created new lobbies for the Daines Concert Hall and Morgan Theatre.
“I am grateful to have been afforded the many opportunities that presidents Stan Albrecht and Noelle Cockett have given me to be a part of this great university, where I first began my love of teaching,” Jessop said. “I have been deeply honored to serve with the most capable and remarkable academic leaders, scholars, artists and staff in higher education. Our greatest ambassadors, the students and alumni of the Caine College of the Arts, have continuously inspired and humbled me and represent our brightest hope for the future of the arts in our communities.”
Since coming to USU in 2008 Jessop has been the recipient of Utah’s highest honors for service to the arts including the 2016 Governor’s Leadership in the Arts Award, the highest award in the Arts from the State of Utah. In April of this year, Jessop received the Lifetime Achievement in Arts Education from the Sorenson Legacy Awards for Excellence in Arts Education.
In addition to his duties as the arts college dean, Jessop is the founder and music director of the American Festival Chorus and Orchestra, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. Jessop will continue to serve as music director of the American Festival Chorus.
Prior to his appointment at USU, Jessop was the music director of the internationally acclaimed Mormon Tabernacle Choir. As a commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force, he served as commander and conductor of the Air Combat Command Heartland of America Band, commander and conductor of the Band of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and as director of the U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants in Washington, D.C. He retired from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel in 1995.
Jessop has a bachelor’s from Utah State University, 1973; master’s from Brigham Young University, 1976; and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from Stanford University, 1980.