On July 1, the College of Fine Arts
and the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications will merge
into a new college. Donald Van Horn, currently dean of the College of Fine Arts
which includes the Schools of Music and Theatre and the School of Art and
Design, will become the Dean of the yet to be named new college.
The current interim dean of the School
of Journalism and Mass Communications Janet Dooley will become the director and
associate dean of the school of journalism with in the new college. Dooley said
the move in her mind makes sense.
“This is a new college. This isn’t
blending or banging two things together. It’s looking at what’s out there,
what’s ahead, what new jobs are on the horizon and how do we go about
structuring a curriculum that prepares them for that,” Dooley said.
According to the Academic Provost Gayle
Ormiston the move to bring fine arts and journalism together is just one of
many opportunities that are occurring now and have occurred He said any
budgetary benefits are just a plus.
“We’re always looking for opportunities
to do something innovative, that will benefit our students and benefit the
academic programs and so on and in this particular case we’re looking at
approximately a half a million dollars in savings of salary and benefits and so
that helps us in consideration of any budget reductions that we may be facing
which are this point speculative,” Ormiston said.
Other changes include bringing together
the Graduate School of Education and Professional Development with the existing
College of Education.
Van Horn said it’s not unprecedented
that Marshall would make this move. He said other schools that have made
similar changes include Sam Houston State in Texas and Troy University in
“I think the first couple of years are
really critical because it’s new. That’s when our ripest opportunities will
exist to be progressive and forward thinking and identify some collaborations,”
Van Horn said.
Current Interim Dean Janet Dooley says combining
fine arts and journalism will give students more learning opportunities. For
example theater and music majors will have access to Marshall’s broadcast
studios and graphic design students will work with advertising students in the
school of journalism. Dooley said it will take time to adjust to the change.
“I think initially we will probably stay
on the same paths that we’re on and we will slowly see where this blending
needs to take place. So the first change, there is clearly going to be some
operational change, but in terms of how the students will be working it’s not
going to be dramatically different. You’re probably going to see things happen
over time where see the need arise,” Dooley said.
Van Horn dismisses worries that the journalism
school and the programs in the fine arts might get lost in the consolidation.
“I fully recognize that the J-School is
a highly regarded, well respected, productive program and as a dean of this new
college that has all this potential, we won’t realize any of that if the
J-School gets lost,” Van Horn said.
Van Horn has formed a committee that
includes four faculty members from the College of Fine Arts and four from the
journalism school to help in the transition.