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Visual Arts Program Finds New Life

Headline: Visual Arts Education program to transition after nearly being discontinued

By: Alyssa Wingo

As KU’s Faculty Senate held hearings to decide which programs to cut last fall, the Visual Arts Education program was headed towards discontinuance.

Due to large amounts of support, the Faculty Senate voted to continue the program – which teaches students how to become art teachers.

However, Professor Liz Langdon says the Provost had other plans for their program. While students will no longer be able to major in Visual Arts Education, they will be able to obtain a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts with an emphasis on it instead.

“It’s a little bit different. Their arts education may not be quite as broad,” Langdon said.

Many supporters of the program showed up to the hearing to speak on the importance of arts education, which was why the Faculty Senate voted to keep the program at KU.

“We had got letters of support and local art educators that have been in the field and know how important it is and who really appreciate the education they got here,” she said. “And they were very verbal and spoke up.”

However, even with the outpour of support and a vote to keep the program, the university administration decided to change it to an emphasis in the fine arts degree, which is not what Langdon or her colleagues were expecting.

“It was a unanimous vote to support our program, which we thought was going to be the end of it,” Langdon said.

Langdon said offering arts education at KU is very important for the future generation of both students and teachers in the field. She hopes the university will show more support for the arts in the future as her program transitions. 

“I mean we train regional art teachers, and we have an amazing art department that supports it, so, to take out that key element doesn’t make any sense,” she said.

After confusion about the program’s continuance last semester, Langdon wants students to know that Visual Arts Education will still be offering classes this spring and into the next academic school year.

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