I share bittersweet news: Professor and former dean Peggy Rajski has decided to leave LMU to pursue other opportunities.
Professor Rajski joined LMU as dean on June 1, 2018 from NYU’s graduate film program as we were preparing to expand the school’s presence into the LMU Playa Vista Campus. She spearheaded our efforts to broaden our engagement with industry partners, to enhance immersive learning, and to build career pathways in Silicon Beach and beyond for our students. Under her leadership as dean, Professor Rajski worked to advance the school as a place where storytellers combine art and advocacy, using their artistic expression and the power of media and entertainment to illuminate their understanding of the world. She also worked with faculty and staff to ensure our curriculum and practices were aligned with rapidly changing expectations and opportunities for our students in the entertainment industry.
Highlights of her contributions include:
- Elevating the school’s ranking to an all-time best: 7th in the U.S. by The Hollywood Reporter and 8th in the nation by TheWrap, reflecting the school’s progress with enlarging and diversifying its faculty, expanding its facilities, launching new programs, and supporting its students and alumni;
- Finalizing the fundraising and design of the Howard B. Fitzpatrick Pavilion, which recently opened for Fall 2021, and offers high-tech post-production studios, the new Broccoli theatre, a camera directing stage, motion capture studio space, classrooms, and other technical spaces to support our students;
- Partnering with Film Independent to host The Portal, focused on multimedia storytelling (virtual, augmented, and mixed reality experiences) and the SFTV-FIND Storytelling Residency, an intensive screenwriting lab;
- Establishing the LMU SFTV Presidential Fellow Program in 2020 and recruiting renowned film producer Janet Yang as the inaugural fellow;
- Forging a strategic partnership with the Village Roadshow Entertainment Group to establish the Emerging Talent Lab to provide graduate students and recent alumni with production grants and mentorship from industry advisors to help move their creative projects and careers forward;
- Launching the Film, TV, and Media Studies major, which invites our students to explore the ways in which filmmakers use the media for personal expression and as a means for interpreting the world as informed citizens and savvy interpreters;
- Initiating efforts with faculty and the LMU Seaver College of Science and Engineering to create the recently launched interdisciplinary immersive/gaming/interactive minor.
Prior to her arrival as dean, Professor Rajski’s career as an Oscar-winning producer and director was long and distinguished. I thank her for bringing her expertise and experience to our school, for her efforts and accomplishments during her time at LMU, and for inspiring us to new heights. Professor Rajski’s collaborations with our creative, hardworking, and resilient SFTV students, alumni, faculty, and staff make possible our vision and ambitions.
Please join me in thanking Peggy for her accomplishments, service, and leadership and in wishing her well and continued success in her future endeavors.
Thomas Poon, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President and Provost