April 1, 2010
Welcome to the new Faculty of ArtsOn April 1, the Faculty of Arts officially begins to conduct business, bringing to culmination nine months of planning since the Board of Governors made the decision to combine the faculties of communication and culture, fine arts, humanities and social sciences into a single faculty structure.
"The Faculty of Arts may be the university's newest faculty, but it consists of a group of departments and programs with a strong and lengthy history of research success and teaching innovation at the University of Calgary," says Kevin McQuillan, dean of the Faculty of Arts. "As one faculty unit, we will harness and strengthen the potential of all our programs."
Since September 2009, a transition team and subset of working groups with membership from across the new faculty have been addressing issues related to faculty governance, staffing, student issues, research, learning spaces, external relations activities, and budget. Additionally, on March 18 the General Faculties Council approved a recommendation to establish a Department of Communication and Culture and a Department of Dance within the Faculty of Arts.
One key rationale for unifying the faculties was to create opportunities for harmonizing processes and policies for entrance and degree completion across undergraduate programs now located in the Faculty of Arts. A student issues working group for the faculty has created regulations to improve students' experience including relaxing breadth requirements across the faculty and easing the process for transferring between programs and pursing multidisciplinary and double degrees.
"The foundation for the Faculty of Arts is now in place. We will continue to create important processes beyond April 1 to fully bring about the vision of the amalgamation of the faculties and evaluate the outcomes of transitioning to this structure," says McQuillan.
That vision includes enhancing interdisciplinary research and teaching opportunities, for which an associate deanship for interdisciplinary studies has been created. This portfolio, which is unique within the University of Calgary, will focus on facilitating increased interdisciplinary collaboration and teaching across departments and programs as well as among graduate studies in the faculty.
"The Faculty of Arts is our most diverse faculty and it is one of the foundations of the University of Calgary," says Alan Harrison, provost and vice-president (academic). "The new administrative structure positions the faculty to serve students and research endeavors in healthier, more vibrant ways and aligns us with the broader community of G13 universities."
Learn more about the new Faculty of Arts at www.arts.ucalgary.ca