UMass Dartmouth College of Visual and Performing restructuring planned to streamline administration and create more flexibility for students


Proposal designed to strengthen art and music education licensure as well as
community engagement activity wins 31-3 support of faculty

Following a year of dialogue among faculty, students and administrators, the UMass
Dartmouth College of Visual and Performing Arts is restructuring to streamline
administration and create more flexibility for students.

The proposal, which reduces the number of academic departments within the college
from six to three without eliminating any course offerings, was recently endorsed by
CVPA faculty on a 31-3 vote following a nearly two-year process that included
college-wide consultation.

The plan responds to emerging trends in the art world, combining a focus on specific
areas of expertise with a wider exploration of cultural issues and concerns. This
requires a more open curricula and increased opportunities for interdisciplinary
study. The next step will explore creative visions for a new CVPA curriculum that
will assure the college’s academic offerings will meet the expectations of future

«When I arrived this fall, I was excited to see the progress and dialogue that had
already begun to re-shape our offerings to students,» said CVPA Dean David Klamen,
who joined UMass Dartmouth this fall. «The proposed new structure will align our
programs with the shifting opportunities and challenges in the contemporary
landscape of the arts. We firmly believe this will make the CVPA more attractive to
students and faculty, and more responsive to the regional and international arts

Under the plan, a Performing Arts Department will include just music at the outset,
but opens the door to other programs such as theater and dance that prospective
students are requesting. The plan also calls for the teacher licensure portion of
the music program to be aligned with art education to assure that students pursuing
an art or music education degree are strongly positioned to earn their teaching
license upon graduation.

In addition, Dean Klamen sees the new structure breaking down divisions between
departments, and creating more interdisciplinary opportunities for students. «Too
often, old academic structures create silos that separate creative people for each
other,» Dean Klamen said. «I am confident this new structure will better connect us
with each other and the community around us.»