Shepherd School Dean Yekovich steps down from his role
Robert Yekovich will step down from his role as dean of the Shepherd School of Music in June 2021, and return to being a faculty member.
“The end of this year will be my 30th consecutive year as a dean, the last 18 years of which have been as dean of the Shepherd School, so it’s been a good tenure,” Yekovich said.
Marty Merritt, director of information and music technology at Shepherd, said Yekovich was a thoughtful leader who enhanced the school and program overall. In his tenure, Yekovich was responsible for overseeing the fundraising, design and construction of the new Opera Hall.
“His most visible legacy at the Shepherd School will of course be Brockman Hall for Opera, and it was a privilege to work with him on the team that designed and constructed it,” Merritt said. “Dean Yekovich also moved the school toward a greater embrace of technology, increased outreach opportunities, and worked to build a major increase in scholarship support and improved donor relations.”
The process for finding and choosing a new dean has already begun, and is led by Provost Reginald DesRoches.
“I am in the process of constituting a search committee for the search and hope to be able to announce the committee next week. The committee will begin meeting in December,” DesRoches said. “I expect that we will conclude the search process in the spring, with the selection of a dean that can start on July 1, 2021.”
Yekovich said he will miss the role but is also looking forward to aspects of being a faculty member again, including being able to focus more on the students than the school operations.
“I’ve been a dean for so long that I’m not sure what it will feel like to no longer be one. I will certainly miss the daily contact with the faculty, students and staff and especially walking down the halls and hearing music being made in nearly every room in the building,” Yekovich said. “[But I’m looking forward to] sharing what I’ve learned and having more frequent, direct interactions with the students.”
Janet Rarick, associate professor of music career development, said that as dean, Yekovich provided support for the school’s community engagement programs throughout the Houston area, and also helped advance curriculum to better prepare students for future careers.
“I have very much appreciated working with Bob over the years and am very grateful for his wisdom, leadership and advocacy for the Shepherd School,” Rarick said.
More from The Rice Thresher
Larry McMurtry (class of ’60), a novelist and screenwriter who attended and taught English courses at Rice University, passed away on March 25 at age 84. He is survived by his wife, son, siblings and grandson.
Rice University announced yesterday that the state of Texas will give the university 4,000 first doses of Pfizer vaccine for distribution on campus. The first clinic will be Thursday, April 1 in Tudor Fieldhouse, according to Vice President of Administration Kevin Kirby.
Several colleges have changed the name of Willy Week this year due to the different structure of the week compared to past years, including the restrictions on the types and frequency of events that can be held due to the pandemic, and because of the ongoing conversation regarding Willy’s statue.