Robert Alan Yekovich became the fifth dean of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in 2003. He is also the Elma Schneider Professor of Music at the university.After receiving a bachelor's and master's of music in 1978 and 1980 at the University of Denver, Yekovich earned doctorate at Columbia University. He has held teaching positions at Columbia University, Connecticut College, the North Carolina School of the Arts and the University of Denver.In 1991, he became dean of music at the North Carolina School of the Arts (NCSA) at the University of North Carolina. During his time there, he helped establish the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute with a $10 million commitment from the A.J. Fletcher Foundation and subsequently created one of the most prestigious graduate opera programs in the country. His conceptual vision provided the plan for and eventual realization of the school's $15 million music building and concert hall. Yekovich also was managing dean of "illuminations," a summer arts festival at Manteo, North Carolina for two years. In addition, he administered 11 consecutive European tours of the NCSA's International Music Program's Festival Orchestra.As Dean of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, Yekovich has significantly increased the visibility and enhanced the reputation of the school and its students by increasing faculty quality, adding new positions, redesigning the opera program, assisting with the redesign of the doctoral program, augmenting the number of performance opportunities, and, through the development of a new fund-raising strategy, building the infrastructure and financial resources needed to attract highly gifted students with the best prospects for success as professional musicians.Bio courtesy of his faculty page.