Leadership Update from the Office of the Provost


Dear Faculty Colleagues, 

I am pleased to announce the appointment of José García Moreno to the position of special assistant to the provost.

As special assistant, José will serve as the university's point person for faculty protections against threats on faculty academic freedom and advisor to other special projects. The advancement and protection of academic freedom is of the utmost importance to me and to university leadership, and José is uniquely qualified to serve in this key role. This position was developed based on recommendations received from the Working Group on Faculty Protections, which was convened in March 2022 after consultation with the Faculty Senate. In this role, José will breathe life into many of the recommendations from the working group and serve as a liaison and coordinator for university processes that assist faculty under threat.

José has been with LMU for 18 years as a professor of animation in the School of Film and Television and is currently director of the Academy of Catholic Thought and Imagination, a role he has held and transformed since 2020. He has served on two Strategic Planning Steering Committees, under both Presidents Snyder and Burcham, and served as chair of the Strategic Committee for Internationalization. As chair of the Animation Department at LMU from 2005-10, José redefined the culture of the department through his leadership views and actions, in addition to curricular changes, to move toward collaboration framed by diversity. Under his leadership, animation students achieved a 92 percent retention rate.

Complementing his work in academia, José is an active, multi-award-winning artist. His animated work has been featured and celebrated in film festivals around the world, earning prizes at Havana, Toronto, San Francisco, Montreal, Mexico, and Japan. José is also a Fulbright scholar and a recipient of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation grant/CONACULTA. In 2018, he received an Animation Meritorious Award from the Kennedy Center Theater Festival.

We look forward to sharing additional information and steps we are taking to address academic freedom and faculty safety as the summer progresses. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out to José if you need support in responding to a threat. 

With gratitude, 

Thomas Poon, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President and Provost
Professor of Chemistry