Dale A. Merrill

Dean, College of the Arts

Dale Merrill photo 

Prior to his appointment to Dean, College of the Arts at Cal State Fullerton, Dale Merrill served as dean of the College of Performing Arts at Chapman University. At Chapman, Mr. Merrill was instrumental in forming the College of Performing Arts, which has only been in existence for eight years. He served as the college’s first associate dean for four years prior to becoming the college’s second dean. Under Mr. Merrill’s leadership the college created many new courses and curricula, such as the new screen acting BFA and a collaborative degree offered with the College of Film and Media Arts; he also secured sponsorship from Kawai Pianos to create the President’s Piano Series, now in its fourth season, to showcase solo piano artists and bring master classes to students.

Mr. Merrill has been actively involved with the accreditation process for music, theatre, dance, and art at Chapman. He successfully led both the Departments of Dance and Theatre through their first accreditation self-studies and site visits, with both departments receiving accreditation on their first attempt. Mr. Merrill helped secure a $2 million endowment to create the Henri Temianka Endowed Professorship and Scholarship in string studies and has created a fundraising guild for Opera Chapman, which raises $50,000 annually. In addition to serving as dean, Mr. Merrill has been the creative director and producer for Chapman’s annual fundraising event American Celebration since 2005.

Mr. Merrill previously lived in Seattle for 22 years where he was the artistic director of Spectrum Dance Theater, a professional dance company and non-profit community arts organization. While in Seattle, Mr. Merrill received recognition and awards for his community leadership including the prestigious Corporate Council for the Arts’ Unsung Hero Award in 2002 and a 2001 Rudy, a national award presented by Safeco Insurance Company for community leadership and advocacy.

Mr. Merrill earned a B.F.A. in Ballet from the University of Utah and an M.F.A. in Dance from the University of Washington. He has over 20 years of choreographic credits and has taught for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago; Backhausdance; Anaheim Ballet; Cornish College of the Arts; University of Washington; University of California, Irvine; University of Montana; Wooden Floor (formerly the Saint Joseph Ballet); Washington Contemporary Ballet; Ballet Bellevue; Montana Dance Arts Association; Black Hills Dance Association; and The American College Dance Festival.