Joseph H. Seipel Named Dean of the VCU School of Arts

Joseph H. Seipel has been named dean of the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Arts, the premier public graduate school of arts and design in the United States, effective March 15.

Seipel, currently vice president for academic services at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Ga., will provide leadership in education, research, community outreach and fund development activities.

Seipel was a distinguished member of the VCU School of the Arts faculty for more than 30 years and most recently served the school as senior associate dean and director of graduate studies for the school from 2002-2009.   

“Joe played an integral role in the growth and prominence of the school and particularly of the Department of Sculpture + Extended Media,” said VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D. “He continues to provide national and international leadership in the field of arts education and will be instrumental in important emerging projects that are essential for an internationally prominent arts school such as ours.”

Beverly J. Warren, Ed. D., Ph.D., interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, said Seipel’s return is highly anticipated among faculty.

“The strength of any art school is its faculty, and Mr. Seipel has demonstrated his remarkable ability to engage the faculty and to open doors to their individual and collective success," Warren said.

Seipel received his undergraduate degree in art from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his MFA in sculpture from the Rinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Institute of Art.   

“I am truly honored to be chosen as the leader of this great School of the Arts,” Seipel said. “Through the years of expansion under Dean Murray Depillars, the wise leadership of Dean Richard Toscan and the recent efforts of interim Dean Susan Roth, VCUarts is perfectly poised to expand its influence and leadership in the arts in this country and abroad at our VCU-Qatar campus.”

The VCU School of the Arts includes a campus in Qatar, part of Education City, and is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the No.1 public university graduate arts program in the nation.

About VCU and VCU Medical Center

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 226 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-seven of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see

Joseph H. Seipel
Joseph H. Seipel