Art history B.A. may return in fall

By Sarelle Azuelos

Amid a growing number of campus cutbacks, the future of the Art History program is looking better than might be expected.

While art history courses are still being offered, no new students have been admitted to the BA program for over a year. The program — which was suspended pending a list of recommendations from outside reviewers — could be up and running again by September.

The review process is almost complete and will need to be approved by the department head, a faculty committee review and the faculty council before any changes are implemented.

“The program is in the hands of the art department right now and they have been working to deal with the outcome of the review that took place,” said Faculty of Fine Arts dean Ann Calvert. “I think their findings are almost ready to go to a department review.”

Students’ Union vice-president operations and finance Joey Brocke, a fine arts student, said the SU is working with department head Jean-Rene Leblanc to ensure students have a say in the changes.

Leblanc had invited the president of the visual studies undergraduate society to participate, but “whether it was bad communication or he was not available, he did not attend the meetings of the review.”

Brocke explained the review was delayed by the resignation of the former art department head, who had initiated the process.

Calvert added that outside reviews, also known as desk reviews because they are based solely on provided documents, are not uncommon in academic circles.

According to an Academic Program Committee agenda, some of the suggestions made include offering more alternatives outside the art department and lowering the number of required senior courses to two. Other changes call for an increase in the number of students per senior course and hiring a new professor in contemporary art history.

Faculty council is meeting for the last time in March, after which the newly amalgamated arts faculty will be in session.

“It may not be ready by then, after that it would go to the new faculty council,” said Calvert. “It won’t affect the decision, I don’t think, because if the proposal is sound people will support it, whichever faculty it’s being presented to.”

As an art student, Brocke did not notice any immediate effects.

“It’s effects are more long term. Will we see a bigger variety of classes? Will we see a smaller variety of classes? As of last year, and continuing on at the moment, it’s just kind of business as usual.”


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