Considering potential innovations, especially to a constantly changing field, is crucial for any field’s future development. However, it’s equally important when considering potentially major changes to a university department that the opinions of students affected are not ignored.
Early in the semester, Provost Richard Englert asked faculty to start discussing the idea of moving the theater department from the School of Communications and Theater to the Boyer College of Music and Dance to form a college of performing arts. On Oct. 26, SCT faculty invited students to discuss this idea at a meeting.
In “Proposing a change in scenery,” Page 1, students offered varied opinions on whether the department move would be beneficial. While the idea is still in its discussion stages among faculty, Englert said the execution would require funding for a new program or a new building.
The Temple News supports a discussion on potential innovations to the department and the extension of the academic discipline at Temple, as long as both sides of the conversation engage in considering the department’s future.
Although talks about a move for the theater department are ongoing, the discourse shouldn’t be limited to administration and faculty.
Both SCT and Boyer implemented task-force committees to study potential effects of the change across the departments involved and to bring a proposal to the provost.
However, it is easy to focus the analysis on the bottom line, and to forget that where the theater department ultimately ends up will affect more than where its students walk to class.
Maurice Wright, chair of Boyer’s music studies, said many universities’ performing arts colleges develop as a result of the university dedicating a new state-of-the-art facility. While Temple is developing Main Campus into a 21st-century site as a part of its 20/20 plan, and is beginning construction on the new architecture building to finish its mini-arts campus, now is the time to consider new arts facilities.
Students must also be mindful that the theater department and additional disciplines involved in this discussion will be here beyond their four years.
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