After more than 40 years of being known as divisions, the titles of the academic units within the West Virginia University College of Creative Arts have been changed to be more consistent with peer institutions—they will now be known as the School of Music, the School of Art and Design, and the School of Theatre and Dance.

The change was approved by the WVU Board of Governors on Nov. 4 and is effective immediately. The chairs of each of the former divisions will now be known as directors of the schools.

“The College is grateful to the administration of WVU for supporting this change,” said Paul Kreider, dean of the College of Creative Arts. “Now known as ‘schools’ within the College of Creative Arts, this change brings our titles more in line with the national nomenclature of arts disciplines and equal with our peer institutions.

“Furthermore, with several undergraduate and graduate programs in the three schools, this change accurately reflects the stature and nature of our comprehensive programming.”

The School of Music, originally established at WVU in 1897, was known as the School of Music for 67 years before it was renamed the Division of Music when it was relocated to the new Creative Arts Center in the 1960s, joining the Division of Art and the Division of Drama.

The Department of Drawing and Painting was also established at WVU in 1897, but closed on the eve of World War I. It was re-established in 1939 as the Art Department and moved to the CAC in the 1960s when enrollment increased dramatically after phase 2 of the building—containing art studios—was completed in 1973.

Theatre has always been a part of student life at WVU and was a component of the University’s speech department by the 1920s. It became an official University department in 1964 when it was moved to the CAC and enrollment surged. In 1994 the University’s dance program, founded in 1928, became part of the division.

Today, all of the programs within the College of Creative Arts are professionally accredited and nationally recognized, with more than 100 faculty and staff and nearly 800 students.

Alumni have successful careers as professional artists, teachers, or arts administrators, working in studios, theater companies, film, television, publishing and graphic arts companies, design studios, colleges and universities and more.


CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts

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