While Dean Chenette may appear to be disregarding the importance of the creative arts at Vassar, what many people don't know is that the Dean is actually the creative type.
Jon Chenette is known in some circles more for his career in music than in academics. Chenette himself was a student of the arts, receiving an M.M. in Music Composition from Butler University in 1976 and a Ph.D. in Music Composition from the University of Chicago in 1978.
In 1983 Chenette began teaching at Grinnell College in Iowa and received the title of Professor of Music in 1997. He served as Music Department Chair from 1987 to 1993 and also from 1998 to 2001. Chenette continued to hold the Professor of Music position even while serving as Associate Dean of the College beginning in 2004.
Above: Chenette at the Iowa Composers Forum in May 2008. Right: Chenette as a music professor at Grinnell College.
Even outside of academia, Chenette has pursued his passion for music. He served as chair of the Iowa Composers Forum from 1994 to 1997 and has also published several scores of original arrangements.
Perhaps Dean Chenette's history shows that he really is only doing his job and is not singling out any one department. At the same time, however, Dean Chenette must look back to his own education and career and consider where he would be if the University of Chicago had cut a music professor he loved, or if Grinnell College had put a stop to his own creativity.