LIU School of Visual and Performing Arts Becomes College: Collaboration Increases

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By DaisyMae VanValkenburgh
Contributing Writer

The School of Visual and Performing Arts is becoming one college with two schools.

Noel Zahler, Dean of the School of Visual and Performing Arts, explained that the decision took place nearly two years ago. Starting this fall, the marketing for the new college begins. The college is expected to open in Fall of 2016.

Photo: Nicole Digiovanni
Photo: Nicole Digiovanni

The first school of this new college will be the School of Visual Art, Communications, and Technology, with the other one being the School of Performing Arts.

“Bringing the two schools under one college allows for more collaboration between programs,” Zahler said. In addition to keeping the four programs the school already offers, a new fifth department will be added that includes digital art, design, and gaming.

With the new addition, some repositioning will be happening with the film program that currently resides in the theatre and dance department. The film program is being moved and will be included in the new college.

Students and faculty have been wondering why exactly these changes are being made and how it is going to better the programs.

“It is to enrich the departments by giving students and faculty a more broader range to communicate in,” Zahler said. “The program change will not hinder the students’ education dramatically at all, but hopefully give them that wider prospect of opportunity.”

All these activities will be recognized at a university level, according to Zahler. “Some teachers will start moving locations of offices in August of this year,” Barbara Fowles, Director of the Media Arts Department, said.

The new locations of the programs will be broken up throughout the buildings. The departments are moving around and these changes are being made as well for prospective students to find their programs online and in brochures.

“The breakdown of the departments allow for better visibility, and does make them easier to find,” Fowles said.

While this is all a bit to get used to, it does offer opportunities such as the TV and film departments collaborating together to create documentary films. Gaming will have easier access to work with the digital arts students, and the performing arts students will be able to collaborate amongst themselves to create even bigger productions, according to Zahler.

Some students and faculty are wary of this change, while some are very ecstatic about it, and can’t wait to start collaborating with new departments/programs in 2016.

“The programs themselves won’t change too much, it’ll just give the professors and students more chances to collaborate with other programs in the schools,” Zahler said. Fowles agreed, “It’s not a huge difference, but still it is going to bring a new aspect to the programs already there,” she said.

A school becoming a college is a huge step for any university to take, but Zahler said that he sees it as bringing “a very bright future to the Visual and Performing Arts programs at Long Island University.”

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