Agenda Item FA 15-20

Submitted by the Executive Committee

REQUEST: To change the name “Department of Music” to “School of Music.”

05/14/15: Passed

05/19/15: Approved


REQUEST:  To change the name “Department of Music” to “School of Music.”
 


  

Date:

April 20, 2015
 

TO:

Barbara Hetrick, Dean
College of Arts and Sciences
 

FROM:

Randall C. Tinnin, Chair
Department of Music

 

SUBJECT:

Proposal for Departmental Name Change

 


RATIONALE: 

 

The Department of Music (DOM) has attracted a highly acclaimed faculty and established a program for students that enjoys a six year graduation rate of nearly 80% and experiences virtually no attrition.   We have established a strong foundation of offerings of which UNF can be proud:

  • Bachelor of Music Degrees: Jazz Studies, Music Education, Strings, Voice, Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion, Music Technology and Production, Piano, Piano Pedagogy
  • Performers Certificate: Strings, Voice, Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion, Piano
  • Master of Music Degrees: Conducting, Jazz Studies, Strings, Voice, Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion, Piano

 

We enjoy a high level of student success, with former students going on to successful careers as performers in some of the most prestigious professional ensembles in the U.S., as well as receiving acceptance and scholarship awards to the top graduate music programs in the U.S.  We maintain strong ties in the community through mutually beneficial relationships with the Jacksonville Symphony, the Jacksonville Youth Symphony, First Coast Community Music School, Riverside Fine Arts Association, and Beaches Fine Arts Association.  Our international partnerships allow us to offer a diverse array of study abroad experiences each year, including Opera in the Czech Republic, the Beaujolais (France) Chamber Music Festival, an Exchange Program with Shih-Chien University in Taipei, Taiwan, and UNF Chorale performance tours in Portugal, Italy, and South Africa.

 

The discussion on the possibility of being designated as a School of Music has been ongoing since 2005.  The prominence of our Jazz Program initially inspired the idea, and it has been part of our strategic plan to develop a comprehensive program before seeking the designation.  We were granted Flagship Status in 2011, and as a result the program has experienced significant growth and diversification.  The Master of Music Degree (launched in fall 2014), and the BM concentration in Music Technology and Production (launched in fall 2014) have enhanced our curriculum and allow us to offer comprehensive and relevant training for musicians in the 21st century.   

 

One major impediment to our growing national reputation is that we do not hold the designation of a School of Music. In our efforts to recruit the best students, we are in competition with universities in other states, private schools in Florida, and schools in the Florida SUS system.  Our biggest competitors are the University of Florida, Florida State University, Stetson University and the University of Miami.  Florida State University has a college of music.  The University of Florida, Florida International University, the University of South Florida, Florida Gulf Coast University, Stetson University and the University of Miami all have schools of music. Though we offer a unique environment with excellent faculty, facilities and performance ensembles, schools are perceived to be better than departments.  It is possible that students who graduate from schools are perceived as better than those who do not.  If this is true, it places our students at a competitive disadvantage. The fact that we are not a school places us at a strategic disadvantage with regard to recruitment. 

The designation as a School of Music will be attractive to current and potential donors, and is more in line with how we are already perceived.

 

Because of the scope and diversity of our curricular offerings, the success of our graduates, the stature of our faculty and the central role the UNF Music Flagship Program plays in Jacksonville’s arts community, and in view of the competitive disadvantage we face with our competitors, we request designation as a School of Music.