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A Letter from the Dean on Academic Transformation

Portrait of Dean H. Keith Jackson

Dear College of Creative Arts students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends,

I want to address recent concerns and misunderstandings that have been circulating regarding the future of some academic programs within the College of Creative Arts here at West Virginia University.

Since this spring the College of Creative Arts has been engaged with the campus-wide Academic Transformation initiative. This Provost led process included review of all University degree offerings and how they might be restructured and improved to increase enrollment and retention, as well as respond to student needs and market trends.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Maryanne Reed provided an update to the WVU Board of Governors earlier today sharing recommendations from this review process.

I want to address the misconception that many of the studio arts offerings in the School of Art and Design are being eliminated.

We are reorganizing the BFA and MFA programs so that students can explore different areas of interest before specializing in a studio area. This is similar to the way the programs were structured several years ago with a general BFA and MFA in Art and Design. This process is supported by our Art and Design faculty and will still meet the standards of our national accreditation. Students will be able to take an area of emphasis in ceramics, graphic design, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture or time-based art.

Also, the Puppetry program, initially recommended for deactivation, has been granted an extension so we can create a vigorous recruitment plan and review the program’s curricular offerings. In the School of Music, there will be a restructuring of the Music Performance degree program to include areas of emphasis in instrumental, piano and voice. A review of other music degree programs and curricular are also in discussion, including the BA degree in Contemporary and Integrative Performance.

Reflection and change are necessary for the evolution of our programs. As a leading arts organization, the Academic Transformation process can continue to create opportunities for us to engage in important discussions about ways we can make our programs even more appealing to prospective students. 

So have no fear, the arts at the College of Creative Arts are still alive - and will continue to thrive in the years ahead!


Keith Jackson
Dean of the College of Creative Arts
West Virginia University