headshot of Janis McKay

Janis McKay

Dean of the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Dean's Office

San Diego



Janis McKay joins SDSU from the College of Fine Arts at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), where she served for 28 years. She was a full professor of Music, specializing in bassoon and music history, and became vice dean of the college in 2020. In that role, she led seven unique units: Architecture, Art, Dance, Entertainment Engineering Design, Film, Music, and Theatre. Her responsibilities included managing college operations, facilities, budgets, curriculum, and personnel, while also leading various initiatives within the college. McKay was the chair of the UNLV Faculty Senate in the 2019-20 academic year and served from 2017-2021 on the Faculty Senate Executive Council. 

McKay also has been a professional classical musician for 36 years. She has played bassoon and contrabassoon in multiple orchestras and performed with numerous ensembles and world-renowned musical artists. Her solo album “Dark Wind” was released in 2017 and she is the author of Played Out on the Strip: The Rise and Fall of Las Vegas Casino Bands.