LSU Names Alumnus Eric Lau as Dean of the College of Music & Dramatic Arts
April 18, 2023
BATON ROUGE – LSU has named alumnus Eric Lau the Dean of the College of Music & Dramatic Arts, effective July 1, pending approval by the LSU Board of Supervisors. Lau currently serves as Dean of both the Honors College and the University College at the University of New Mexico.
Lau was selected from a competitive pool of highly qualified candidates for his professional and leadership experience in music and higher education. As a saxophonist, Lau is an active performer and teacher who has presented concerts, masterclasses, and clinics throughout the United States, Europe, Puerto Rico and Brazil.
“We are excited to welcome Eric Lau to LSU, where his experience will help us elevate our already exemplary College of Music & Dramatic Arts,” said LSU President William F. Tate IV. “It’s a special thing to welcome an LSU alumnus back home and into a position of such esteem. We can’t wait to see what Dr. Lau and our talented faculty and staff in CMDA will do together in the very near future.”
Lau graduated summa cum laude from LSU with a bachelor’s degree in music and was a member of The Golden Band from Tigerland. Originally from Gainesville, Florida, Lau was recruited to LSU by former Director of Bands Frank Wickes. Both of Lau’s high school band directors – who had themselves been students of Wickes’ – also encouraged him to attend LSU. As a Tiger, Lau was a recipient of the University Chancellor’s Honors Scholarship and the Louisiana Music Activities Award.
After graduating from LSU, Lau received Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from Michigan State University, where he was a recipient of both the Catherine Herrick Cobb Fellowship and the Dean’s Recruitment Fellowship.
“I am thrilled to return to LSU as the Dean of the College of Music & Dramatic Arts.” Lau said. “As a graduate of LSU, I know first-hand the excellence of the CMDA and have closely followed the continued success of the programs throughout my career. The CMDA is a national leader in music and theatrical arts and has a long tradition of contributing to the artistic and cultural landscape of Louisiana. I am honored to join the outstanding faculty and staff of the college as we train the next generation of scholars, performers, creators, and leaders for the 21st century.”
Prior to his appointment as Dean at the University of New Mexico, Lau served as chair of the UNM Department of Music and professor of saxophone. During his tenure as department chair, Lau directed the department through its academic program review process, led a curricular redesign, established a plan to address faculty salary issues, and helped secure the largest single gift to the Department of Music in over 20 years. As Dean, Lau oversaw the successful transition of the UNM ROTC to University College, spearheaded an alternative pathway for current and transfer students into the Honors College, and facilitated substantial increases in philanthropic giving to both units.
“I am pleased to welcome Eric Lau and his family back to LSU,” said LSU Executive Vice President & Provost Roy Haggerty. “Dr. Lau’s experience as Dean of both the Honors College and University College at the University of New Mexico, his chairmanship of the UNM Department of Music for five years, his record of scholarship and his performance as a professional musician make him an excellent choice to lead our College of Music & Dramatic Arts.”
As a concerto soloist, Lau has been featured at the National and Regional North American Saxophone Alliance Conferences, the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, and the Roswell Symphony. Lau co-founded a saxophone quartet, Iridium, that has produced four professional CDs and eight world-premiere recordings. Lau is a regular performer with the New Mexico Philharmonic, the Santa Fe Symphony, and the Santa Fe Opera.