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Three programs move into College of Visual and Performing Arts
Three programs move into College of Visual and Performing ArtsAugust 21, 2001Judy Holmesjlholmes@syr.edu
When the Fall 2001 semester begins, the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) will grow by some 500 students. The sudden influx is due to the movement of three programs from the former College for Human Development to VPA. Those who are involved say it’s an exciting change that promises to offer new opportunities for both students and faculty.
“We’re very excited to be moving into the School of Art and Design,” says Karen Bakke, chair of the new Department of Fashion and Design Technologies in the School of Art and Design. “It puts us where our peers are all across the country. The strongest programs are based in schools of art. It’s an extremely positive move for us.”
The Department of Fashion and Design Technologies will include programs in fashion, textile and surface pattern design. The programs and all of the related design studios, including the recently opened Nautica Design Studio, will be located in Slocum Hall.
The Sue Ann Genet Lecture Series will continue this fall and be housed in the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
The former College for Human Development Environmental Design/Interiors Program will join VPA’s Department of Design under the direction of department chair Mary Ellen Letterman and will be based in Smith Hall.
Finally, the Retail Management and Consumer Studies Program will become a new department within VPA under the direction of department chair Linda Cushman. The department will remain in Slocum Hall along with the Macy’s Technology Laboratory and the Sears Resource Room.
“VPA has been very enthusiastic and welcoming,” Cushman says. “We are all looking forward to establishing new relationships with existing departments in VPA that will enhance learning opportunities for our students.”
Students majoring in fashion or textile design will be able to continue in the bachelor’s of science degree program that the former College for Human Development offered. Students majoring in surface pattern design will continue in the bachelor of fine arts degree program, which has always been available in VPA. Similarly, students majoring in environmental design/interiors will continue to have the option of pursuing a bachelor’s of science degree in VPA.
“These are two interior design programs that have been separated for 70 years,” Bakke says. “Both are accredited by the Foundation for Interior Design Education Research (FIDER) and our graduates go on to work in the same kinds of positions and firms. The programs will lead separate but shared identities.”
For the first time, retail management and consumer studies will be a separate entity. It was part of the Department of Retail Management and Design Technologies in the former College for Human Development. Students in the new department have the option of pursuing a bachelor’s of science degree in retail management and consumer studies or in retailing/marketing. The later is a dual degree program offered in partnership with the School of Management.
“The first question most people ask about our new department is ‘why VPA?'” Cushman says. “Due to the nature of the retail industry, as well as our program emphasis on apparel retailing, VPA offers many avenues for interdisciplinary collaboration.”
For example, Cushman says her department envisions a new potential for cross-disciplinary alliances with the Department of Speech Communication, which offers coursework designed to help retailing students enhance their communication and persuasion skills. In return, the retail department can offer an additional career path to interested speech communication majors.
“Retail is a vast and growing industry where communication skills and some general retail industry knowledge can form the foundation for a successful career that speech communication majors might not have otherwise considered,” Cushman says.
Cushman says the move to VPA will also continue alliances between retail management and fashion design that were established and successful in the former College for Human Development.
“Many retail management students pursue minors in fashion design and fashion design majors often minor in retail management,” she says. “Retail management students, many of whom pursue careers in fashion apparel and accessories, need to know something about the products they are going to sell. Likewise, designers can benefit from an understanding of the buying behaviors and changing lifestyles of those who purchase the apparel they design.”