Robert Sylvester

Sylvester, Robert

Portland State University has named Robert Sylvester as dean of its School of Fine & Performing Arts. Sylvester’s tenure begins Sept. 1.

Formerly director of cultural affairs for Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., Sylvester was also a renowned cellist.

“I think Robert Sylvester has the ideal personality for the job at hand,” said Robert Bailey, general director of the Portland Opera. “He communicates well both with artists and laymen.”

As dean, Sylvester will oversee 67 faculty members and 11 staffers. The school has about 860 enrolled majors.

The selection of the Juilliard graduate came after a nine-month search to find a full-time replacement for Richard Toscan, who left Portland State to become dean of the School of Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University.

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