Provost Marten denBoer has formally informed the Department of Art that he is recommending the discontinuation of the Fine Arts option within the BA in Art Program in the College of Environmental Design.
“It’s no secret that these are unprecedented fiscal times,” denBoer said. “We must be responsible to the communities we serve and invest the university’s diminished resources in programs that meet the highest standards of academic quality. After a comprehensive review, we believe it is in the best interests of the department and college to close the program.”
The Department of Art engages in regular accreditation reviews by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. The review team, which includes two respected professors from other institutions, identified several serious problems in the Fine Arts option. The findings are consistent with concerns within the college and from the Office of the Provost.
The discontinuation recommendation will go through the normal curricular review process, including an analysis of the impact on students, faculty, and resources, with input from the department, the college curriculum committee and the college dean, before consideration by the Academic Senate. It is unlikely a senate vote will take place this academic year, but the campus process should be finalized by spring 2011. The discontinuation of an academic program also requires approval by the university president and review by the Office of the Chancellor.
The Fine Arts program currently includes 79 active students, two tenure-track faculty members and seven lecturers. The option will continue to be open throughout the decision-making process.