Who’s Who on Campus: Meet Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Dr. Jeffrey Johnson


Photo credit/ Carter Cerretani

Dr. Jeffrey Johnson was previously an associate dean and assistant provost at the University of Bridgeport.

Carter Cerretani, Contributor

Dr. Jeffrey Johnson has been writing musical compositions his entire life, and now he’s ready to start his journey at Marywood on a high note.

Johnson said he interviewed for the position of the new Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in early March and fell in love with Marywood.

“I felt an extremely warm reception from the faculty and administrators that I met here,” said Johnson. “The students, everyone that I met on campus just felt so connected. It was a really easy choice for me.”

Before coming to Marywood, Johnson was an associate dean and assistant provost at the University of Bridgeport.

“I got tenure, and I was promoted to full professor,” said Johnson, “I loved teaching, so I continued to teach for quite a while, and then I really did get interested in administrative work, and I worked with student success for a bit and connecting faculty practice to student success at Bridgeport, and the next thing you know, you want to be a Dean, so that’s what happened.”

Johnson majored in Musical Composition at Ithaca College and went on to earn his master’s degree at Eastman School of Music and his doctorate at Boston University. According to Johnson, he was one of the last generation of composers to learn composition writing by hand without the use of software.

Johnson’s published works include “Piano Lessons in the Grand Style”, where he explains the golden age of the Etude Music Magazine that ran from 1913-1940, and “Thesaurus of Abstract Musical Properties”, where he explores the mathematical properties of music.

“I think of music rather like architects think of structure,” said Johnson. “You learn to hear a structure and where all the pressure is, where you need to support the weight.”

Science Department Chairperson and Faculty Senate President Dr. Deanne Garver explained that, in this new role, Johnson has a range of diverse departments to cover.

“He’s got everything from music, theater and dance to science, math and computer science, so that’s a good swath of real estate,” said Garver.

However, Garver said Johnson is doing an excellent job handling his new position.

“He has to be a very good listener, really integrate ideas, and be willing to learn,” said Garver. “He’s doing all of those things and asking really good questions. He’s also a visionary, and is a really positive person. He has a very positive energy.”

Johnson had one piece of advice for the freshman class of 2024.

“Get ready to be transformed,” said Johnson, “This is an experience that is so amazing.I remember what it’s like to be a freshman, and your whole world opens up.”

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