Hannah Poturalski

The School of Fine Arts (SFA) is looking ahead with a strategic plan to improve the student experience within the four departments of the school-art, architecture and interior design, music and theatre.

With Presser Hall, home of the department of music, having been newly opened this past fall after extensive renovation students can now practice in the most modern of updated facilities, said Provost Jeffrey Herbst at the Board of Trustees Academic Affairs meeting Feb. 5.

“It has been delightful for faculty and staff to be in this space … it is a wonderful addition,” James Lentini, dean of the school of fine arts, said.

Lentini said the SFA is looking to improve students’ professional training and provide them with a background in liberal arts and education. Lentini said with the increasing technology, Miami University can now graduate students that can go on to “produce films in Hollywood, be a musician or work for Apple and iTunes.”

Lentini said the SFA will be increasing course options in the next year however more space and technology will be needed. To address this need, Lentini said there will soon be a new computer lab in Hiestand Hall to teach animation courses.

“We should be anticipating what students need,” Lentini said.

Lentini said that along with all of the majors within the SFA being accredited, the Miami University Art Museum is also the only accredited university art museum in Ohio.

Currently there are ten main goals that the SFA is focusing on, Lentini said, ranging from recruitment and improved facilities, to graduate programs and fundraising.

Dean of the graduate school Bruce Cochrane said there are currently 920 students in the SFA, with 85 of those being graduate students.

“It’s a relatively small graduate program but we graduate really great master of fine art students in studio art like ceramics and metals,” Cochrane said.

After the recent review of the graduate program, there will now be an internal review conducted by the school of fine arts, Cochrane said, to make sure that resources are being allocated to the right places.

“We are doing strategic investment in places that have real potential for the future,” Cochrane said.

Cochrane also said that recent budget reductions within the graduate school were quite small compared to the overall budget and some assistantships stipend levels for graduates have actually been enhanced.

The SFA is also outreaching to non-majors to get involved. Lentini said through marketing, publicizing events, e-marketing through e-mail listings of all current and upcoming events, recent events such as the Glee Club concert with Michigan have been sold-out.

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