ST. GEORGE – This week, Dixie State University announced plans to divide its current School of Arts and Letters into two new academic institutions, the School of Humanities and School of Fine Arts. The change will officially take effect July 1, in anticipation of the 2013 fall semester.
DSU Interim Vice President of Academic Services Dr. Donald Ray Hinton said the recent addition of several baccalaureate programs in the School of Arts and Letters precipitated the need for reorganization and the creation of the new academic schools. He will become dean of the School of Humanities and will oversee DSU’s English, social and behavioral science and humanities departments.
“Splitting the School of Arts and Letters into the School of Fine Arts and the School of Humanities is long overdue,” Hinton said. “As it is, even with the split, our School of Humanities will still be the largest school on campus. This will allow me to focus my efforts more tightly on what is still a vast area of academic disciplines.”
The School of Fine Arts, led by newly appointed dean Dr. Brent Hanson, will include all cultural and performing arts. Hanson said that the recent degree additions, including four-year degrees in theatre, music and art, along with emphasis in each of those disciplines and dance in the DSU’s integrated studies degree offering, adds to the value of having a stand-alone school of fine arts at DSU.
“Our programs have developed to the point to where they need the kind of intimate administrative attention that the creation of a school and the assignment of a dean offers,” Hanson said. “What’s really exciting is that we are serving students in a way that we did not imagine; that we would have demand for the programs that we are offering and that the programs are growing. It’s an amazing dynamic.”
Also in progress at DSU is a split of the new Department of Humanities into two sub-departments. The change has been approved but will not take place until January 2014. There is a possibility of creating individual departments for the degree programs in theatre and art, which are currently the structure for DSU’s music department. The creation of smaller institutions with a more intimate focus is designed to appeal to students.
More information on DSU can be found on the school’s website.
Submitted by: Dixie State University