Recent decisions regarding the stand-alone art video B.F.A. and M.F.A. programs have caused confusion and concern for students, faculty and alumni. I want to provide some context for this decision and correct some misperceptions that exist.
First, current B.F.A. and M.F.A. students in art video will be supported until graduation with the full curriculum they expected when they enrolled at Syracuse University. No faculty positions will be eliminated as a result of this decision.
While art video will not be offered as a stand-alone major beyond the current cohort, the courses are not being eliminated from the Department of Transmedia’s curriculum. Students interested in art video will be able to take classes offered by the Department of Transmedia in art video and pursue valuable interdisciplinary opportunities in the field as part of other majors in VPA. Transmedia faculty will work to redesign their offerings to merge art video into existing programs, as recommended through program review. VPA leadership is committed to supporting this process, as well as continued creative collaboration within the Department of Transmedia and beyond.
As part of program assessment required by Syracuse University’s accrediting body, the University reviews academic programs every four years. This is a standard practice for top research universities that ensures continuous improvement of current academic offerings. As faculty are responsible for the curriculum, they play an important role in program review. Faculty from each school or department evaluate the programs offered by their unit. The resulting reports are then submitted to a committee made up of VPA’s academic chairs and directors, who make recommendations based on the faculty evaluations. The dean then either agrees with these recommendations or makes alternative recommendations.
The decision to merge the art video programs with related programs was based on the transmedia faculty’s program review during the 2019-2020 academic year. The college moved forward with discontinuing new applications to the stand-alone program, while still supporting existing art video students and, ultimately, merging the curriculum into related transmedia programs. The tradition of art video studies at Syracuse University and the culture of creative collaboration that has been fostered within the Department of Transmedia will continue. We are confident that we can continue to provide an unparalleled academic experience for our graduate and undergraduate students in art video and the Department of Transmedia as a whole.
Michael S. Tick, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor of Drama
College of Visual and Performing Arts