Ohio University’s College of Fine Arts will merge its Schools of Dance, Theater and Film in the fall of 2013, according to information OU officials released Wednesday.

Since May 2010, the College of Fine Arts has been addressing the possibility of curriculum reorganization and delivery, according to a news release from OU.

“A plan is being developed to guide the college to an organizational model that articulates new opportunities for growth, collaboration, reorganization and interdisciplinarity,” the news release states.

The merging of the Schools of Dance, Theater and Film will be a part of that plan.

“The entire college explored how to enhance teaching, learning and performing in a changing artistic and educational landscape,” said OU Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit. “As a result of the hard work that has been done, students will be able to move easily between disciplines and pursue their artistic and expressive passions in new ways.”

The college’s new format was developed over more than two years of research and input from students, faculty and staff. Charles McWeeny, dean of OU’s College of Fine Arts, solicited input from a panel of undergrad and graduate students from across the college to determine their needs and concerns going forward.

“Many of our students were already pursuing interdisciplinary work with their peers, and they were enthused that we were determined to facilitate it further,” said McWeeny. “We are responding to a student desire that was evident by their participation. In fact, some even served on subcommittees regarding the reorganization. Our intention with merging the programs is to give students the rounded and strong educational background that they need to fully realize their promise. A student who wants to focus exclusively on one discipline will still have that option, but we are creating an even more welcoming space for those who want to work across disciplines.”

The College of Fine Arts also will be developing a Center for Arts Innovation and Studies to further encourage interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary collaboration, research and scholarship. According to the news release, the center will offer more flexibility in curriculum, degree and certificate offerings for students. New certificate programs will include Museum Studies, Arts Administration, Entrepreneurship, and an Artist Partnerships Program.

“The center will be a shared space that will facilitate work between members of the college, students or faculty, or between the College of Fine Arts and students and faculty outside of the college,” explained McWeeny.

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