Dr. Eileen Strempel is the Inaugural Dean of UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music and a Professor in UCLA’s School of Education and Information Studies. She has pioneered the establishment of the first and only school of music in the University of California System, made possible by a generous $30M donation from trumpeter, producer, and artist Herb Alpert. Strempel is deeply committed to academic excellence and has prioritized expanding access to a UCLA musical education.

Under her visionary leadership, the school has forged significant partnerships with Los Angeles Community College, facilitating an undergraduate student growth of 65% during her tenure along with a remarkable 113% rise in the number of matriculated transfer students over two years. Strempel’s strategic initiatives have led to the formation of a new board of advisors and the introduction of innovative degree offerings tailored to the demands of the 21st-century music industry. As a result, the Herb Alpert School is rapidly ascending in national rankings, and in 2021, Strempel was acknowledged as one of “The Top Ten Deans in U.S. Colleges and Universities.”

In her tenure, Strempel has proven to be an adept fundraiser, securing nearly $40M in gifts during her service as dean at UCLA. Moreover, her expertise in garnering extramural funding is evident through her roles as Principal Investigator or co-PI on projects totaling around $11M, supported by institutions like the National Science Foundation, the Department of Labor, the Department of Education, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the New York State Education Department, and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Beyond her administrative prowess, Strempel is a trained opera singer and a Presidential Scholar in the Arts. Her scholarly pursuits delve into the realm of women composers, manifesting in numerous recordings, commissioned works, articles, and edited volumes exploring the political, social, and musical contexts of influential female composers.

Strempel is also a staunch advocate for transfer students, considering access to quality public education as a paramount social justice issue. Her dedication to this cause is evident in her co-authored works, including the recently released book, “Beyond Free College: Making Higher Education Work for 21st Century Students”, co-written with Stephen J. Handel. This marks her third collaboration with Handel, following the success of their previous publications: “Transition and Transformation: Fostering Transfer Student Success” and “Transition and Transformation: New Research Fostering Transfer Student Success”. Strempel’s expertise has made her a sought-after figure in the field; she shares her insights through op-eds for reputable outlets such as Inside Higher Education, The Medium, and the LA Times. Additionally, she has presented her research findings in a congressional briefing, providing valuable perspectives to policymakers and higher education leaders navigating the complexities of pandemic-era enrollment.

Prior to her role at UCLA, Strempel held the position of Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at the University of Cincinnati and was a Professor of Voice at The College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). Her academic journey began with a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music, and she earned her doctorate from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.

Outside of her professional endeavors, Strempel is a devoted mother of two sons and an avid marathon runner. She is on the boards of the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students, the American Council of Education’s Women’s Network Executive Council and secretary of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans.

Headshot Eileen Strempel