Greetings from the College of the Arts Dean

Welcome to the College of the Arts at The Beach!

We are a comprehensive arts college focused on your future, and the future of the arts in our world. Through our collective embrace of inclusive excellence, creative expression, and interdisciplinary collaboration we are committed to elevating the voices of tomorrow’s artists, designers, performers, scholars, and creatives.

We are a College of the Arts for All—valuing the unique experiences, identities, aspirations and accomplishments of our students, staff and faculty and understanding that this diversity is the bedrock of our college’s success.

We value equity and access and strive to open education in the arts to all who wish to study at The Beach. Our college is a thriving community with a local and a global focus. The College of the Arts benefits from proximities to and rich relationships with Southern California’s creative institutions and industries. Our local engagements also serve as a platform for international dialogues in the arts—helping the college serve as a creative gateway into the Americas and beyond.

Alumni from the College of the Arts have become some of the very best actors, performers, dancers, producers, artists, musicians, designers, technicians, scholars, teachers, entrepreneurs, and creative problem solvers. Our outstanding faculty and staff will prepare you to make the arts a lifelong passion and career—with the flexibility and adaptability to respond to an ever-changing world.

We are excited to welcome you to COTA, so you can share your story with us and so we can share what makes our college so unique and inspiring.


Royce Smith COTA dean
Dean Royce W. Smith, College of the Arts

Royce W. Smith, Ph.D.
Dean, College of the Arts

About Dean Smith

Royce W. Smith, Ph.D., was recently named dean of the College of the Arts, bringing to The Beach a deep understanding of college-specific strategies and community building. Royce previously served as dean of the College of the Arts and Architecture and professor of contemporary art history at Montana State University. Before that, he was director of the School of Art, Design and Creative Industries at Wichita State University in Kansas. 

Royce has begun his first semester at CSULB by embarking on a commitment to 100 Days of Listening. Follow his journey in getting to know the campus and the College of the Arts community on Instagram: @deanroycewsmith