Eric Lau, dean of the University of New Mexico’s Honors College and also University College, has accepted a position as dean of the College of Music & Dramatic Arts at LSU in Baton Rouge, La.
“Eric Lau has been an extraordinary faculty member and academic leader for UNM,” said University of New Mexico Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs James Holloway. “When I needed someone to take on the challenge of being a double dean - Dean of Honors and Dean of University College, there was no doubt in my mind that Eric could do it and do it very well! I’m thrilled that he now gets to share the skills he has learned at UNM with his alma mater.”
Holloway will appoint interim leadership for both the Honors College and University College.
“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 returns to his alma mater where he 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.
Prior to his appointment as dean at UNM, 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 feel fortunate to have served as the Dean of the Honors College and University College. This experience taught me so much and I will always cherish the time I had the privilege to serve as Dean of these two impactful colleges,” said Lau. “I will miss working with the incredible faculty, staff, and students of the Honors College and University College, as was the Department of Music and CFA, my academic home for 18 years. I am so thankful to UNM for the faith that was shown in me as a faculty member and academic leader.”
An active performer and teacher, Lau has performed concerts, masterclasses and clinics throughout the United States, Europe, Puerto Rico and Brazil. As a concerto soloist, Lau has been featured at both National and Regional North American Saxophone Alliance Conferences as well as with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and the Roswell Symphony. Lau also co-founded a saxophone quartet, Iridium, that has produced four professional CDs and eight world-premiere recordings. He has also been a regular performer with the New Mexico Philharmonic, the Santa Fe Symphony, and the Santa Fe Opera.
Lau will begin his new position on July 1, 2023, pending approval by the LSU Board of Supervisors.