George Mason UniversityAlumni

Keeping in TouchAlumni Chapters|E-mail Directory|Personal Updates|Publications|Board of Directors|Alumni Office Info

Getting InvolvedActivities/Events|Career Development|Facility Resources|Volunteer Information

Knowing the BenefitsAwards and Scholarships|Health Insurance Plans|Mason Visa

Visual and Performing Arts College Approved

By Carrie Secondo
The Board of Visitors, at its September meeting, approved a proposal to create a College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA). The CVPA will unite the arts disciplines into a single, academically rigorous unit and merge the Institute of the Arts (IOA), the Center for the Arts, and the Music Department, which is currently housed under the College of Arts and Sciences.

Provost Peter Stearns supports the college's creation for three reasons. "It clarifies the relationship between the academic and performing units, it also brings music together with the other arts, and it acknowledges the rapid enrollment growth in the arts," he says.

Enrollment in the arts programs (i.e., academic programs within Art and Visual Technologies, Dance, Theater, and Music) increased by more than 70 per-cent from 1996 to 1999 to a total of 665 students, according to the proposal.

The CVPA will house the departments of Dance, Theater, Music, and Art and Visual Technologies, which includes InterArts (Interdisciplinary Studies in the Arts), as well as the Center for the Arts, the Theater of the First Amendment, the Internet Multimedia Center and Multimedia Performance Studio, the Gallery Program, and other academic and performing units to be developed.

Last summer, former IOA director Betsy Brininger left the university. "If the need for new leadership hadn't come up, the decision [to create CVPA] probably would have been extended into the fall," says Stearns. Stearns says he will "use this [CVPA] proposal as the basis for the search for new leadership." After the provost hires a dean for the college, that person will then hire chairs for each department.

Based on the late Music chair Joseph Shirk's "A Vision for the Arts: George Mason University Arts Restructuring Proposal," the latest proposal describes how the new college will focus its faculty, facilities, and budgets on seven interlocking goals:

  • Development and promotion of arts literacy for students and the community
  • Education, training, and, where appropriate,licensing and certification of arts teachers
  • Education and training for the next generation of professional artists
  • Creation and presentation of vibrant arts events and other programming at the student and professional level
  • Development and application of technology in the arts
  • Exploration of interdisciplinary initiatives and opportunities in the arts
  • Advocacy of the arts as an important aspect of citizenship

Director's Letter | President's Letter | Association and Chapter News

Articles | Transitions (Class Notes) | Alumni Features