Eileen Strempel, Ph.D.

Inaugural Dean of the Herb Alpert School of Music; Professor, School of Education & Information Studies

University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Eileen Strempel currently serves as the Inaugural Dean of UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music and is also a Professor in UCLA’s School of Education and Information Studies. Strempel is particularly proud of founding a “start-up company,” as the school is the first and only school of music in the University of California System, and recently formed as a result of a generous $30M donation by trumpeter, producer, and artist Herb Alpert. Strempel is a dean committed to academic excellence and has made expanding access to a UCLA musical education a top priority. Under her leadership, the school has created its first transfer student agreements with Los Angeles Community College as part of a comprehensive effort towards building deeper relationships with area community colleges, increasing outreach to historically underrepresented communities and easing the transition for transfer students.

Strempel led the school’s comprehensive strategic planning process, focused on rapid innovation that rigorously trains the next generation of musical scholars, musicians, educators and music industry leaders. The Herb Alpert School has targeted growth in areas critical to the 21st century global musical capital of Los Angeles, including the formation of a new board of advisors and degree offerings in the music industry. Under her leadership, the school is rising in the national rankings, with Strempel recognized in 2021 as one of “The Top Ten Deans in U.S. Colleges and Universities.”

As part of fortifying the future, Strempel is also a highly successful fundraiser from both foundations and individuals; and she has served as PI or co-PI on nearly $11M in extramural funding from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Labor, the Department of Education, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the New York State Education Department and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Dr. Strempel’s scholarly musical interests focus on the music of women composers, and her work includes eight recordings, dozens of commissions, articles, and edited volumes that examine the political, social, and musical contexts of the most influential female composers of our time.

A trained opera singer and a Presidential Scholar in the Arts, Strempel is also a nationally recognized champion for transfer students and views superb public education as one of the principal social justice issues of our time. Strempel and co-author Stephen J. Handel are celebrating the Rowman & Littlefield release of their third book together, focused on higher education public policy entitled: Beyond Free College: Making Higher Education Work for 21st Century Students. The two have previously completed books, including Transition and Transformation: Fostering Transfer Student Success and the follow-up, Transition and Transformation: New Research Fostering Transfer Student Success, both with the University of North Georgia Press. Strempel is a proud long-term member of the National Advisory Board for the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students (NISTS). She recently co-presented a webinar for NISTS and a congressional briefing, where she summarized their timely research findings for higher education and public policy leaders navigating a challenging pandemic enrollment landscape.

Previously, Strempel was the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at the University of Cincinnati and Professor of Voice at The College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). Prior to that, she served in a variety of roles at Syracuse University over a seventeen-year span, where she was awarded a Kauffman Foundation eProfessorship and the prestigious ACE Fellowship, which she served at Colgate University. Strempel received her Bachelor of Music from the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music and she received her doctorate from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. A board member of both the International Council of Fine Arts Deans and the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students, she is also the mother of two sons and an avid marathon runner.