Save Art History at the University of Otago

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On the 26th of September there is a University of Otago Senate meeting, in which the fate of the Art History discipline will be decided.

The current proposal is to stop new intakes and “phase out” the programme, so that by 2020 it no longer exists.

However, we are concerned that the justification of this cut (drop in EFTS) is due to long term neglect of the discipline by the University. The failure to plan for and consult with students and staff about its future has led to a short-sighted decision that undermines the values and purpose of what a University should stand for.

Dunedin is a vibrant city with a rich history of culture and arts, and the University plays a major part in driving and supporting this legacy. At a time when other universities around New Zealand are questioning the future of their Art History programmes, it is crucial that the University of Otago honours this legacy by standing by the importance of art history as an academic discipline and ensuring that there is a space retained in New Zealand for those who wish to study it.