It’s no secret that the Academic Programs and Administrative Services task force (APASP) recommendations released in mid-January have been causing a bit of a storm. One of the proposals was to merge the School of Art and the School of Media Arts under the umbrella of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA).
“[This] allows students to tailor their education,” said director of the school of art and associate professor Kevin Bell.
Bell said he’s excited for the combination of the schools, but neither he nor the University administration are certain about specifics. There are still a lot of decisions to be made and no fixed date for when the schools will combine.
Bell also said that he believes the combination of the schools will help with recruitment and “raise visibility” of the arts program at the University. He said after the merging, UM’s art and media school would be the largest in a six-state region. Bell hopes this combination of schools will attract potential students to the program and to UM, boosting enrollment. It will also have two fully online degree options that several personnel have begun working on an outreach campaign for.
“It’s going to be a lot of work, but we’re really excited about the possibilities, especially for the students,” Bell said.
Director of Media Arts Mark Shogren declined an interview with the Kaimin, but said in an email that he did not have “anything positive to say about a scheme that depends on an imaginary budget.”
He included that he was “opposed to the destruction of Media Arts” and said that the media arts program would be the only area of growth in the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
Gabrielle Tusberg, a media arts major, said she’s excited for the two departments to collaborate, especially because she thinks it will help media arts majors continue to be more creative.
“I’ve been wanting it for a long time,” Tusberg wrote. “There is room for growth and I’m very excited to see the relationship between the two departments more united.”
Art major Hannah Harvey said she feels there was a divide between the two schools, even though many students are interested in both art and media arts.
“I think it’s going to be a good thing,” Harvey said. “It just makes sense that the two go together.”