In a move to showcase its fine arts and media programs, the Board of Trustees approved the establishment of the Center for the Arts and the School of Media and Communication this summer, which shifts departments between the schools.
The Center for the Arts now includes the Boyer College of Music and Dance, Tyler School of Art and the Division of Film, Media Arts and Theater, as part of the realignment approved by the board in June.
The School of Communications and Theater has also been renamed the School of Media and Communication includes the departments of advertising, strategic communication, journalism and media studies and production.
“The name change was the result of the provost’s plan to reorganize the school, moving the arts programs together,” Andrew Mendelson, chairman of the journalism department within SMC, said. “This was the result of more than a year discussion with faculty and administration. The departments of film and media arts and theater were the two programs that were moved to the new [Center for the Arts]. So before this, there was no plan to change the school’s name.”
Mendelson added that without theater in the school, a name change had made sense, one that would better represent the remaining departments. He said there will be few changes in the school, and the curriculum of the journalism program will very much stay the same.
“This doesn’t mean we are sitting still,” Mendelson said. “We are continuing to experiment with new courses in journalism, including courses this fall in business practices for freelancers, photographic lighting, writing about film and more. In the spring we will be offering a new course in data journalism.”
Officials said the Center for the Arts adds an element to Temple that allows it to show off its programs within the center. Acting President Richard Englert told The Temple News that he’s excited by the new center and said that it marks Temple’s achievements in the arts.
“The Center for the Arts is really an opportunity for us to showcase the arts, putting Temple University front and center as one of the truly great arts universities on the eastern seaboard,” Englert said. “Plus, I believe that it will attract fundraising dollars for the arts. We will be able to compete very well for fundraising dollars for the arts.”
Linda Fiore, director of marketing and communications at Boyer, said that the consolidation into the Center for the Arts adds opportunities for students to get involved with faces from other schools.
“Students will continue to receive the highest quality educational experience,” Fiore said. “Students will be excited as the formation of the new center opens up many opportunities for dance, music, theater, art and film students to interact with each other and faculty.”
One change that many students who reside in the School of Media and Communication noticed is that tuition has risen slightly. Though, Mendelson said the increase has been on the table for quite a while.
“A differential tuition for [SMC] has been under consideration for a few years,” Mendelson said. “Specialty schools like Tyler and Boyer (and many of our peer communication schools) have a slightly higher tuition to cover the higher costs for all the equipment and software students need to use. This higher tuition will allow us to acquire more cameras, lights, computers and other pieces of equipment.”
Senior Vice President of the Office of Management and Budget Ken Kaiser said the move to increase tuition in the school was actually proposed 18 months ago and that it also eliminates most fees in the school.
The board also approved the reorganization of academic units within the College of Education as well as the establishment of two new academic units, the Department of Teaching and Learning and the Department of Psychological, Organizational and Leadership Studies, in place of the college’s three previous departments.
Englert said that many restructurings focused more on efficiency and cutting costs than moving departments around. For example, Englert said, buildings were consolidated on the Fort Washington Campus and the university renegotiated its lease in Center City in order to cut costs.
The restucturing were first proposed by Englert, former provost, in his White Paper documents last year.
“There were a lot of types of restructuring that we’ve done,” Englert said. “Some focused on showcasing the arts, others focused on reducing administrative expenditures around the university.”
Dominique Johnson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
News editor Sean Carlin contributed to this article.