Headshot of Nancy Uscher

Nancy J. Uscher, Ph.D.

Dean, College of Fine Arts

Fine Arts


Nancy J. Uscher is Dean of the College of Fine Arts and presidential professor of music. She oversees seven departments and schools, eight curated gallery spaces, including the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art; six theatre venues, and the UNLV Performing Arts Center.

Prior to joining UNLV in 2016, Uscher was president of Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle for five years. Before that, she was provost for seven years–and for six months co-acting president–of the California Institute of the Arts, where she also was on the music faculty. Uscher previously spent 12 years at the University of New Mexico as professor of music, and, at various times, associate provost, department chair and center director. She also taught in the women studies program.

A concert violist, Uscher earned her bachelor’s degree in music at the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY, her master’s degree in music at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and her Ph.D. from New York University. She also holds a certificate of advanced study and A.R.C.M. from the Royal College of Music in London and also studied at The Juilliard School in New York City.

Uscher had an international career as a violist that spanned more than two decades, including six years as co-principal violist of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and performances on six continents. She has recorded works of Mendelssohn, Shostakovich and Hindemith for the Stereophile and Musical Heritage Society labels. In addition to guest teaching and coaching in more than 20 countries, Uscher has authored two books and more than a score of articles, mainly for music publications. She is a past board member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design, and past vice chair and board member of the American Composers Forum.