New Arts and Sciences Dean Appointed
After a rigorous selection process, the University of St. Thomas/Houston has named Dr. Dominic Aquila as the new dean of the School of Arts and Sciences.
“Our selection was based on his rich background, his degrees in music, history and business and an award-studded resume in education that spans more than 35 years,” said Dr. John Hittinger, vice president for Academic Affairs. “Dr. Aquila was our top choice because he is committed to the Catholic intellectual tradition, and he wants to see this tradition engage culture and contemporary society. I am delighted to have him on board as dean of Arts and Sciences.”
Aquila, currently the founding dean of the School of Liberal Arts and tenured professor of history at the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, Ind., will arrive at the University of St. Thomas in June.
Aquila is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music from The Julliard School, and an MBA from New York University and a D. Litt et Phil., from the University of South Africa.
“The work I see ahead is to find ways to integrate this tradition into the entire curriculum in a way that is non-invasive and to see how that tradition informs each discipline,” he said. “I want to help advance the University of St. Thomas to the next level of excellence.”
Aquila will fill the position currently held by Dr. Jerry Kramer, who has served as both dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and as the associate vice president of Academic Affairs.
Aquila said he was attracted to UST because of “its outstanding faculty and its growing reputation as an institution where the Catholic intellectual tradition holds primacy in undergraduate education.”
UST is further along than many Catholic universities in its pursuit of the Catholic intellectual tradition because “it has held to its core curriculum that forms a basis for that and offers a unique way to see academic disciplines beyond the debate between science and religion,” said Aquila. “There is a revitalized interest across the nation to reconcile the two, and St. Thomas’ core curriculum is a great asset to reclaim this tradition and bring it forward.”