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Ed Adams

Dean's Goals & Initiatives
  • Improve Physical Facilities
  • Enhance and Build Community among Faculty, Staff, Students, Patrons and Public
  • Strengthen Administration and Develop Leadership Among Academic Units
  • Support and strengthen off-campus learning and student experiential learning opportunities


Ed Adams was appointed dean of the BYU College of Fine Arts and Communications in May 2015. He was renewed for another five-year term in May 2020. The college is home to six academic units, two interdisciplinary programs, and the Museum of Art. More than 250 faculty and staff are employed by the college, which has an enrollment of 3,700 majors. The college serves an estimated 10,000 student non-majors a year through its general education classes, dance classes, choral and touring groups. The college puts on more than 500 performances a year.

Improving facilities has been a major initiative under Adams leadership. In August 2023, construction was completed on the new Music Building, which features the only vineyard-style concert hall in the Intermountain West. During the summer of 2023, ground was broken on a new Arts Building which will feature two performance theatres, a production studio, a cinema, and art galleries. The Departments of Art, Design and Theatre & Media Arts, the division of Arts Marketing & Production, the dean’s office, as well as college support offices will be housed in this new building. Over the past few years, renovation in the Richards Building has enhanced and improved facilities and classroom teaching areas for the Department of Dance.

Significant fundraising and development activities have led to the establishment of the Orrin Woodbury Endowment for Touring Groups, the Leona Holbrook Endowment in Dance, the Ira and Mary Lou Fulton Endowment in Animation, and an enhancement of the Mary Lou Fulton Chair in Theatre & Media Arts.

Other college initiatives have included the realignment of touring groups, realignment of technical and marketing support services, organizational reorganization of the museum, expanded resources for academic units, and an increased number of hybrid class offerings.

Adams is a strong supporter of the university initiatives with First-Gen students and the work of the University Accessibility Center. He is co-chair of the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Partnership with elementary schools, chair of the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, and he is a member of the BYU Performing Arts Management Executive Committee.

Before becoming dean, he served as an associate dean in the college, and 11 years in leadership in the Department of Communications. He transitioned the department into a school and became its first director. In total, he has served in leadership positions at BYU for over 23 years.


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Communications from Ohio University in 1993
  • Master of Arts in Communications from BYU in 1991

Awards and Recognition

Adams was a recipient of Brigham Young University’s Young Scholar Award (2002), the Kreighbaum Award (1998) from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), an annual award presented to an outstanding journalism and mass communication educator in the nation under 40 years old, which is one of the association’s highest honors. And, he was listed the first edition of Marquis Who’s Who Among the Media and Communications (1998).

Prior to his arrival at BYU, Adams taught at universities in Texas and Ohio. His professional experience also includes a position as an administrative director of a magazine publishing company in Phoenix, Arizona.


Name: Ed Adams
Title: Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communications and Professor, BYU School of Communications
Emphasis: Administration
Office: 194 WCO
Phone: 801-422-1221

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"Whether you are an artist, communicator, creator, educator, patron or scholar you will find excellence throughout the college. The awards and recognition are too numerous to list and can be found within the individual academic units."

- Ed Adams