UPDATE: Whitworth here. Apparently the Theatre department is not quite dead yet. Is it getting better? Well, John Cameron has written a second blog post with additional information. You can read that here. John’s original post is below.
As part of their years-in-the-making strategic plan – a to-be-expected mess of corporate jargon and “visioneering” or whatever – the University of Regina took a hatchet to the Fine Arts Faculty this Tuesday, announcing in a corner of the administrative chunk of the university’s website that, this June, several theatre-related BFAs have been suspended or “revised”:
Suspension of admissions to the BFA (Acting);
Suspension of Admissions to Bachelor of Fine Arts (Design/Stage Management);
Suspension of Admissions to the Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts (Theatre Studies) and Bachelor of Arts Honours in Fine Arts (Theatre Studies);
Revision to Bachelor of Arts, Major: Theatre and Performance – refocusing the program around available resources to offer higher flexibility and relevance to students;
Revision of the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Arts Honours in Political Science to meet student demand, streamline the program and enhance collaborative offerings with other departments.
More revisions are in the works, apparently. But the Fine Arts faculty is the first to see a part of itself excised from the university. Which departments face hammers depends on decisions made at the board level, which means that the decision-making process itself, the information that the board acts on, and the rationale behind decisions are occluded from public view.
It’s bullshit, of course. And it’s bullshit that they wouldn’t announce this decision for months, and even then just on a tiny chunk of online real estate. And it’s also bullshit that the current government has left the university with a funding shortfall of $4 million, which because of everything from contractually-set wage increases to the never-ending grind of annual inflation means that the government can technically increase allocated funds to post-secondary institutions in Saskatchewan and claim they have no fault when those funds aren’t enough. It’s a clever game, and the U of S knows it as well as the U of R.
But, hey, who cares about theatre, the arts, the humanities, and all of those things that are globally trending right into a black hole. Since when has that stuff been valuable? Stuff like critical thinking, or reading?
Yeesh. You’d think you were on an alt-paper’s blog or something.