About The Dean
Teri Schwartz is the Dean of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television (UCLA TFT), where she has launched an exciting new vision and long-range strategic plan that re-imagines entertainment and performing arts education as an interdisciplinary enterprise grounded in humanistic storytelling, social impact, technology and innovation and global diversity.
Appointed in July 2009, and in collaboration with students, faculty, staff and key stakeholders, Dean Schwartz has put her unique vision into action through new innovative interdisciplinary programs, initiatives and curricula that tear down the silos across disciplines to bring film, theater, television, digital media and animation into a collaborative new direction for the 21st century.
Under Dean Schwartz’ leadership, UCLA TFT is cultivating important industry partnerships and alliances with major film studios, television broadcast and cable networks, and digital streaming services; strengthening and energizing the School's highly successful alumni network and Executive Board; fostering key initiatives for social impact with industry alliances; launching new cutting-edge research programs at the intersection of story, performance and digital platforms with partners such as Cirque du Soleil, Disney Imagineering, YouTube and Google; helping to recruit outstanding, diverse faculty for UCLA TFT’s Film/Television/Digital Media and Theater departments; and nurturing exceptional student talent to be the leaders, storytellers and scholars of the future who will use the power of their stories, performances and research to make a difference in the world.
Dean Schwartz has launched programs for new full-ride and partial-ride scholarships to give access and opportunity to the most talented and diverse array of students from around the world; has secured important paid fellowships, key internships, and new mentoring and festival strategy programs for all UCLA TFT students. In 2014, she launched the Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment at UCLA TFT made possible by a $10 million donor gift in support of the power of entertainment and performing arts to inspire social change. Dean Schwartz is leading the first-ever major endowment and capital campaigns for UCLA TFT to ensure its long-range pre-eminence and leadership across the entertainment and performing arts educational landscape under the banner Creating What’s Next.
Prior to joining UCLA TFT, Dean Schwartz successfully served from 2003 to 2009 as the founding dean of the Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television in Los Angeles.
Her dedication to excellence is tireless and her accomplishments span an illustrious career. An award-winning feature film producer, Schwartz’ films, which include Beaches and Sister Act, have garnered nominations for Academy, Golden Globe, Emmy, Grammy, MTV and CLIO awards. She is a member of the Producers Guild of America; Directors Guild of America; the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and its Foundation Board of Directors; the Geffen Playhouse Board of Directors; the UCLA TFT/UCA Storytelling Institute in Cannes Board; and the Hawn Foundation Board of Directors. She also serves as a board member on the NAACP Entertainment Board of Advisors; the Governing Council of the Los Angeles-India Film Council; the Board of Trustees of the Swarovski Foundation; and is an invited member of the Kellogg Foundation National Task Force for Diversity and Inclusion. In 2017, Dean Schwartz was appointed by the UC Board of Regents to the California State Summer School for the Arts as a Board of Trustee member.
Dean Schwartz has served on numerous panels and festival juries including the Palm Springs International Film Festival, the Palm Springs International Shortfest; Book to Screen; Variety’s The Future of Digital Media Summit; the Monte Carlo International Television Festival; the Summit at Sea conference; the Salzburg Festival, in Salzburg, Austria, where she discussed social change for the empowerment of women; and the U.S.-China Film and Television Summit, where she was also a keynote speaker. She has also been a keynote speaker at MIPTV, Cannes, France; the Skoll World Forum, Oxford, UK; the FICCI Frames International Media Conference, Mumbai, India; the Alexandrinsky Theatre Festival, St. Petersburg, Russia; and at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, among others. In 2018, she gave remarks at the first SPARK Summit on Social Impact Entertainment in Los Angeles.
Along with Nadja Swarovski, Dean Schwartz produced the feature documentary Waterschool, which shines a light on the need to safeguard the world’s continuing supply of fresh water. She discussed the film on panels around the world including at the Salzburg Festival; the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland; the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah; and the Cannes Film Festival, in Cannes, France.
Dean Schwartz is the 2018 recipient of the UCLA Community School Bruin Partnership Award for Service and Dedication and the 2015 recipient of the CayFilm Cayman International Film Festival’s inaugural award for Outstanding Achievement in Film Producing. In 2013, she received the 2013 American Spirit Award from the Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors for her Special Achievement in Educating New Filmmakers; and in 2012, she was honored as Variety’s 2012 Media Mentor of the Year.
A native of Los Angeles, Dean Schwartz graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa in English Literature from UCLA, 1971, and received her M.A. in Film from the University of London, 1973.
Dean Schwartz is an optimistic, imaginative and dynamic leader who passionately believes in the power of entertainment and performing arts education to nurture and develop remarkable new artists and scholars who will use their stories, their performances, their research and their future successes to enlighten, engage and inspire change for a better world. Dean Schwartz has dedicated this chapter of her life to this goal and considers it a privilege and honor to do so. She is proud to be an alumna of UCLA and inspired to serve in her role as Dean of UCLA TFT.