Appointment of Professor Ellie Hisama as Dean, Faculty of Music (PDAD&C #37)

From: Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President & Provost
Date: January 6, 2021
Re: Appointment of Professor Ellie Hisama as Dean, Faculty of Music (PDAD&C #37)

I am delighted to announce that the Agenda Committee of Academic Board has approved the appointment of Professor Ellie Hisama as Dean of the Faculty of Music for a five-year term from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2026. Professor Hisama will also be joining the Faculty at the rank of Full Professor.

Professor Hisama joins the University of Toronto from the Department of Music at Columbia University, where she is currently appointed in the areas of theory and historical musicology. Professor Hisama has served in several leadership positions at Columbia, including Vice-Chair of the Department of Music, Music Theory Area Chair, and most recently as Chair of the Academic Review Committee at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Professor Hisama currently serves as a humanities representative on the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ Committee on Equity and Diversity at Columbia. In recognition of her service, Professor Hisama was recently named as a Provost Leadership Fellow at Columbia – a program that recognizes outstanding and emerging leaders in the university community – and as an inaugural recipient of the Provost’s Faculty Mentoring Award for her work mentoring tenure-track and mid-career faculty.

In addition to her leadership roles within the Department of Music and at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Professor Hisama has held several positions relating to her teaching, research, and public engagement. She is the Founding Director of ‘For the Daughters of Harlem: Working in Sound’ – a ongoing and multi-year series of workshops for students from public schools in Harlem and throughout New York City. The program matches up girls from local public schools with Columbia faculty members, students, and alumnae in order to explore work in recording, sound art, and composition with a capstone public performance and reception. Professor Hisama has also served as the Director of Graduate Studies at the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Columbia, and as the Director of the Hitchcock Institute for Studies in American Music at Brooklyn College. Across all of her leadership roles, Professor Hisama has been noted for her ability to bring communities together, and for her impactful research and scholarship that continues to change the field of music theory.

Professor Hisama is an internationally recognized scholar with a focus on interdisciplinary studies, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and the social and political dimensions of music. Her research focuses on musicians who have been largely unexamined in the canon and includes music as it relates to the areas of visual arts, dance, film, theatre, collaborative works, and public engagement. Professor Hisama is also a regularly invited speaker and presenter on the topic of music pedagogy, and has been nominated twice for the Mark Van Doren Award – the highest honour awarded by students at Columbia to just one professor each year – for her excellence in teaching, great humanity, and inspiring leadership.

Professor Hisama completed her BA in English at the University of Chicago, and her BM in Violin Performance and PhD in Music Theory at City University of New York. Prior to joining Columbia University, she was a faculty member at City University of New York.

Professor Hisama’s exceptional leadership, keen insight, and remarkable dedication to inclusive excellence in all aspects of her work will be invaluable to the Faculty in the future. Please join me welcoming Professor Hisama to the University of Toronto.