arts education

38 petitions

This petition won 5 months ago

Petition to Julia Jasken, Academic Planning Committee

The Future of the Theatre Department

UPDATE FROM PROVOST: "I am not given the authority to offer any tenure track appointments until the early fall, so no department, regardless of the pressure that is exerted, can be hearing definitively that they will receive one of those positions. I will, however, assure you once again that you have made a good case for what you believe the department needs. The Theatre program is very valuable, both to our students and to the College. Please let me know if there is any additional information I can provide to you.​" Ira Domser, the main technical professor for the McDaniel Theatre Department is retiring. We need a replacement because we do not have a professor to teach technical theatre classes, including ones required to complete the Theatre Arts major. The Academic Planning Committee's current plan to replace Ira is to have two part-time positions fulfill the needs next year. However, the Academic Planning Committee wants to replace Ira's position with two part-time positions PERMANENTLY. This is not a sustainable solution and we are working to share our concerns with the Provost about this. Concerns include (but are not limited to): Part time instructors would be only required to work 13 hours a week outside of the classroom; not enough time to produce a department performance. Tech week takes 12 hours per day, so they would not be able to attend tech week for more than one day. There is a high turnover rate among part time professors, so hiring two part time instructors in permanent positions does not guarantee consistency, and there may end up being new instructors coming in every year, needing to be retrained about the specifics of our department. McDaniel College prides itself in teacher student relationships. Without consistency it is difficult for students to form meaningful relationships. This is essentially depriving students from one of the fundamental principles of this institution. Tech focused students would have not have academic advisers with familiarity in their focus, and no one to serve as a mentor. Elizabeth van den Burg will be the only full time professor in the theatre department. What will happen when she retires?  Elizabeth and Gene' Fouche would be the only two advisers for a department with over 30 majors, and would have a lot of strain from this  

Jennifer Willard
179 supporters
Update posted 7 months ago

Petition to Kirk Schultz

Immediately re-instate the theatre program at Washington State University

Washington State University President Kirk Schultz has targeted the self-sustaining theatre program at Washington State University and cut the positions of well-liked and respected professors Ben Gonzales and Mary Trotter. The theatre program has already been cut down over the years, and operates on a budget so small that it doesn't have a large impact on the WSU budget. Without the presence of the theatre, not only will the theatre building be an empty wasteland, but so will the soul of WSU be empty. Theatre has an amazing impact not only on the students who choose it as a major, but on the campus community and greater community as a whole. Theatre teaches students the importance of empathy, diversity, problem solving, communication, working to a deadline, narrative, group leadership, and is now an area that the business world is seeing as a well-spring for adaptable employees who can work with complex issues and meet deadlines and budgets. Groupon purposefully hired actors and comedians for customer service, sales, and account management positions within the company. Even top team leaders and managers come from the arts world in that company, and several others. Several graduates for the program have worked in Hollywood, New York and Chicago. The program has also brought in incredible guest artists, and former students like Ted Tremper who now works for comedienne Sarah Silverman. Theatre also enriches the educations of students in the Pullman area from kindergarten through grad school by providing performance opportunities, educational opportunities that teachers can add to their lesson plans, and opportunities that are sorely underserved in the Eastern Washington State Community giving children their first glimpse at the arts. President Schultz is selling the Washington Community short by eliminating this program in such a narrow-minded cynical fashion. In this era of devisiveness, theatre can heal divides, but that takes foresight, support, leadership and care, which the Washington State University Administration seem to be lacking. I will make it my personal mission to let the world known about corporate bottom line administrators like you, President Schultz who are undermining the well-rounded educations of liberal arts and state universities everywhere. President Schultz this is your chance to correct a wrong. Save the artistic soul of WSU.     

Christopher Plummer
2,321 supporters