Matt Means, PS

Dean, Honors College; Associate Professor of Honors
Headshot of Matt Means


Matt Means was appointed inaugural and founding Dean of the newly created University of Nevada, Reno Honors College on July 1, 2020. He was previously director of the honors program at the University of Nevada, Reno, after first serving as the inaugural and founding director of the Fort Hays State University Honors College. Since arriving at the University of Nevada, Reno, the student population in honors has more than doubled, the program completion rate has increased by 30%, the number of applications to the program has tripled, and the population of underrepresented students in honors has grown to exceed that of the general university.  Nationally active within the honors discipline, he has presented at National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) conferences numerous times, served as a consultant at the NCHC consultant’s corner, has served on national honors committees, and has served as a reviewer of proposals submitted to NCHC for selection at its yearly national conference. He has additionally co-authored published works with former NCHC national presidents and has served as and advisor and consultant for many US honors programs and colleges.

Prior to joining the discipline of honors, Means enjoyed a prolific career in music, maintaining an active international performing schedule as a professional violinist in solo, orchestral and chamber roles. He gave his European recital debut at the Paganini Conservatory in Genoa, Italy (the birthplace of that great violinist). In Asia, he performed as a member of the Pacific Music Festival (Japan), founded by the composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein. He has appeared in concert in orchestras across the United States under the batons of conductors such as Marin Alsop, Andrew Litton, Christian Macelaru, Charles Dutoit, and Gerard Schwarz, among others. He has performed the violin concertos of Tchaikovsky, Beethoven (Violin Concerto and Triple Concerto), Glazunov, Mendelssohn, Dvorak, and Barber, and others, in the solo role. As a chamber musician, he has performed with Sarah Chang, Angel Romero, and members of many of the leading orchestras in the United States, such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, and Cincinnati Symphony.

A dynamic music educator, he was awarded a certificate of merit by the Kansas American String Teachers Association and has served as a guest clinician over 300 times with youth orchestras across the U.S.. He has both founded and adjudicated at several competitions and was founding director of a regional youth orchestra/music instruction system which eventually grew to include 6 different ensembles and multiple music-related classes. Students he has taught and coached have subsequently been granted admission to prestigious and selective music schools and conservatories.

A supporter of new music, Means performed regularly for many years as a tenured member of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, the United States’ premier summer festival devoted to the music of the most eminent living composers. In this capacity, he has performed the works of Aaron Jay Kernis, Christopher Rouse, Philip Glass, John Adams, John Corigliano, Michael Daugherty, Jennifer Higdon, Kevin Puts, Anna Clyne, among many others.

Means received his B.M., summa cum laude, from the University of Northern Colorado, received his M.M. from the Cleveland Institute of Music/Case Western Reserve University, and his P.S. (professional studies diploma) from the Cleveland Institute of Music/Case Western Reserve University. His primary teachers and musical influences include Linda Cerone, Stephen Majeske, William Preucil and Donald Weilerstein.


  • B.M., summa cum laude, University of Northern Colorado
  • M.M., Cleveland Institute of Music/Case Western Reserve University
  • P.S., Cleveland Institute of Music/Case Western Reserve University