Jose A. Diaz named interim dean of College of Arts and Humanities

Dr. Jose A. Diaz will serve a one-year appointment as interim dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at Fresno State, Provost Lynnette Zelezny announced.

Diaz has been associate dean for the college since 2004. His new assignment began July 1. He succeeds Dr. Vida Samiian, who served as dean for 10 years before stepping down to return to the faculty.

“Dr. Diaz is highly respected by the faculty, staff and artistic community at large,” said Zelezny, the university’s chief academic officer. “He will bring significant breadth in institutional knowledge and leadership continuity to the college.”

Diaz served as acting dean of the college for the 2011 fall semester when Samiian took a professional leave. In his decade as associate dean, he has played a leadership role in the development and cultivation of collaborative educational programs with artistic and cultural organizations in the San Joaquin Valley. In 2010, he undertook additional responsibilities as founding director of the Center for Creativity and the Arts at Fresno State.

“I look forward to working with the faculty, staff and students of the College of Arts and Humanities to promote and support the highest standards in teaching and learning, scholarship and creative activity,” Diaz said.

Diaz has served in various capacities at Fresno State, including chair of the Music Department. He was a founding member of University High School and served on its board from 1999-2004. He has served as a site evaluator for the Accreditation Commission of the National Association of Schools of Music since 2004.

Diaz is a board member of the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra. From 2009-11 he was principal and solo oboe of the Fresno Grand Opera Orchestra. From 1986-2011, he held the Hon. Edward and Anita Shanahan Principal Oboe Chair with Fresno Philharmonic.

He has served as vice president on the board of the Youth Orchestras of Fresno and as vice president on the board of the Fresno Coalition for Art, Science and History.

Prior to joining the Music Department in 1982, Diaz was actively engaged as a performing musician with orchestras and chamber ensembles in Mexico and Texas. He continues to contribute to the professional musical and cultural life of the Valley as performer, adjudicator, clinician and guest speaker for various musical organizations.

He holds a bachelor’s, master’s and Doctorate of Musical Arts in Oboe Performance from the University of Texas at Austin.

Samiian had served as dean since 2004 and previously as interim dean and associate dean for 10 years. She was chair of the Linguistics Department from 1989-93 and a faculty member in Linguistics from 1984-1993.  

Kathleen Schock

written by

Director of Media and Development Communications, University Communications
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