I share exciting news. After considering many factors, including recommendations and feedback from our search committee, the Committee on Rank and Tenure, our faculty, and senior leadership, I am pleased to announce that Peggy M. Rajski (pronounced RYE-skee) will be the next dean of our LMU School of Film and Television. As a producer, director, and educator, Dean Rajski’s vision, creativity, and collaborative spirit will serve SFTV well. I am confident she will build upon SFTV’s national reputation for excellence and chart its ambitious course for an impactful future, particularly as we embark on a bold new chapter with SFTV’s graduate programs’ move to the LMU Playa Vista Campus in the fall. Our Silicon Beach location positions us at the epicenter of the world’s most forward-thinking talent, and Dean Rajski will lead us on our extraordinary journey to create and inspire with global imagination. She will succeed Dean Stephen Ujlaki on June 1, 2018.
Dean Rajski is an Academy Award-winning filmmaker with more than a dozen feature-film credits. She directed the Oscar-winning short film “Trevor,” which subsequently led her to create the life-saving nonprofit, The Trevor Project, one of the nation’s leading providers of suicide prevention services for LGBTQ+ youth. Dean Rajski joins us from New York University, where she serves as associate arts professor and producing area head of studies for the Tisch graduate film program. In her past nine years at NYU, Dean Rajski has been instrumental in elevating the producing curriculum to increase students’ ability to transition successfully into the professional arena. She also served several years on the Dean’s Executive Council and played a pivotal role in the creation of the Tisch Faculty Council, the school’s first autonomous faculty governance committee.
Dean Rajski is a longstanding member of the Directors Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. She has served for more than a decade as a judge for the academy’s prestigious Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowships, on the academy’s Shortlist Committee for Best Foreign Film, and has been a juror at Sundance and other prominent festivals. She has received awards for her professional and charitable work including the New York Women in Film and Television Muse Award for “Outstanding Vision and Achievement” and the California State University, Fullerton “LifeKeeper Award” for her work with “Trevor.”
Prior to joining NYU in 2010, Dean Rajski was a highly sought-after lecturer on producing and pitching worldwide, including at AFI, USC, UCLA, and Los Angeles Film School. She has produced award-winning movies for more than 30 years, and her films have garnered 40 major nominations, including wins at the Independent Spirit Awards and the Academy Awards. Her producing credits include “Towelhead,” “Home for the Holidays,” “Little Man Tate,” “The Grifters,” “Matewan,” “Eight Men Out,” “The Brother from Another Planet,” and “Bee Season” among others. She is passionate about expanding opportunities for women and people of color in the entertainment industry, providing top-tier instruction across a variety of media platforms, and empowering students to thrive in a lifetime of creative work.
Dean Rajski earned her M.F.A. in radio, TV, and film from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her B.A. in communications from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Her personal interests include exploring theatre, cinema, and the arts around the world, and advocating for the mental health needs of LGBTQ+ youth.
I thank our search committee, chaired by Dean Bryant Keith Alexander, for conducting a rigorous and comprehensive process that yielded a competitive and outstanding candidate pool. Their professionalism and engagement provided me with invaluable insights during the decision-making process.
I look forward to Dean Rajski visiting our campus again soon to meet students, faculty, and staff. In the meantime, please join me in congratulating Peggy and welcoming her to our SFTV and LMU community.
Thomas Poon, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President and Provost
LMU SFTV Dean Search Committee
Bryant Keith Alexander (chair), dean, College of Communications and Fine Arts
Jose Garcia Moreno, associate professor of Animation
Johana Hernandez, assistant dean, School of Film and Television
Karol Hoeffner, clinical assistant professor of Screenwriting
Carla Marcantonio, associate professor, School of Film and Television
Evelyn L. McDonnell, associate professor of English
Stephen Mosko, former chairman, Sony Television and trustee
Ken Ornstein, head of production
Rodger Pardee, professor of Recording Arts
Marc Pitre, assistant professor, School of Film and Television
Rich Rocheleau, associate vice president for Student Life
Lynne Scarboro, executive vice president and chief administrative officer
Edward Siebert, lecturer of Film Production and head of Loyola Productions
Charles Swanson, associate professor and chair of Production
Matthew Rabin, vice president for Development
Octavia Marie Bray, graduate student
Paige Prevost, undergraduate student
Rebecca Chandler, vice president for Human Resources (ex-officio)