Dr. Oliva provides leadership and oversight for academic planning, program development and assessment, educational policy, and academic standards, as well as faculty assessment and development, promotion, and tenure. He ensures that curriculum and faculty competencies align with the college’s strategic plan, and works with the academic deans to provide a vision for the programs offered through the schools of Art and Design, Business and Technology, Continuing and Professional Studies, Graduate Studies, and Liberal Arts. Dr. Oliva also oversees the Gladys Marcus Library, the Career and Internship Center, the Center for Excellence in Teaching, Grants, International Programs, the Presidential Scholars honors program, and Faculty Services.
Prior to FIT, Dr. Oliva was dean and professor of music at the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has a distinguished background as an academic administrator and professor. His leadership enabled the seven-year old Hixson-Lied College to forge its identity and direction, increase enrollment, develop new programs, raise funds, and expand faculty efforts to seek support for research and creative activities. His efforts assisted the college in becoming a presence in arts education in higher education. Previous positions he held include serving for nine years as director of the School of Music at the University of Florida and head of the Department of Music at Mississippi State University for seven years. In 2007, he was named National Administrator of the Year by the National Association of Educational Office Professionals.
A pianist, conductor, and accompanist, Dr. Oliva has frequently been the featured pianist in concerts devoted to American popular music and musical theater. He has performed for more than 35 years with chamber ensembles and was for several years musical director and accompanist for singer Connie Francis. He has also been a program reviewer and consultant for numerous university arts and performing arts programs.
Dr. Oliva is chair of the College Music Society’s International Initiatives Committee and is a past president of the International Society for Music Education. He served a two-year term as president of the Lincoln Arts Council.
Dr. Oliva earned his EdD in Music Education at New York University and his MA in Applied Music at Montclair State University, from which he also received a BA cum laude in Music Education.