Trustees vote to create new Department of Design

Paul Cocke
Western Today staff

Board of Trustees Recap for Oct. 11 and 12

Editor’s Note: After each Board of Trustees meeting, Western Today provides a recap of decisions and discussion. 

Western’s Board of Trustees on Friday unanimously approved establishment of a Design Department in the College of Fine and Performing Arts.

The trustees’ action divides the existing Department of Art into two separate departments, specifically the Department of Art and the new Department of Design, effective Sept. 1, 2012.

The trustees discussed the topic with Professor Elsi Vassdal-Ellis, Department of Design, and Professor Gaye Green, Department of Art. The Design Department was created and split off from the Department of Art primarily due to an evolution of the design field driven by new graphic design software and other technological changes, making it increasingly different than traditional art programs.

Last academic year, the art and design components of the Art Department functioned as if they had implemented the separation and that pilot was a success. The trustees strongly supported the change. More information.

And the trustees also approved abolishment of the Educational Leadership Department at Woodring College of Education. More information.

In other business, the trustees:

  • Welcomed new Trustee Susan Sharpe.
  • Heard an update on the highly successful Compass 2 Campus program, now in its fourth year, by volunteer Director Cyndie Shepard. Compass 2 Campus tour day, scheduled this year for Tuesday, Oct. 23, will bring about 900 fifth graders to Western’s campus.
  • Saw preliminary designs for the Carver Academic Renovation, a major renovation project in the center of campus. They heard a project update by Ed Simpson, assistant director of Facilities Development and Capital Budget, and LMN Architects of Seattle. The project has received design funding from the Legislature, and Western now is seeking construction funding from the Legislature for the renovation and expansion project. The trustees expressed strong support for the project, with some caution recommended on ensuring that overall design elements fit well with the historical appearance of the 1935 and 1960 gyms that are part of the redesigned academic structure.
  • Heard a report on continued success and growth of Western’s Honors Program by professor and program Director George Mariz and Steve VanderStaay, vice provost for Undergraduate Education.
  • Heard a report by Vicki Hamblin, professor and director of the Center for International Studies, and Earl Gibbons, vice provost for Extended Education, on a reorganization to the Center for International Studies. The trustees expressed support for the reorganization, described here.
  • Heard an update on fall enrollment numbers, including a presentation by Eric Nissen, assistant director of Admissions, on the Admissions Office’s new innovative outreach to prospective students that includes Western participating in an online hosting of college fairs and web-based virtual tour of Western.
  • On Thursday, head a presentation on “Preparing Students to Succeed in a Changing World: Inputs and Outcomes.” That included a presentation on the Senior Exit Survey by John Krieg, associate professor, Survey Research, and Steve VanderStaay; and a presentation on GUR Strands by Associate Chemistry Professor Emily Borda and Associate History Professor Johann Neem.
  • Recognized recent award winners: Karen Hoelscher, professor of Elementary Education at Woodring College – Outstanding Faculty Leadership Award; Kevin Dixey, Information Technology Specialist 3 with Academic Technology – Outstanding Classified Staff Award; Dana Edward, director of Certification and Accreditation at Woodring College – Professional Staff Award for Excellence; Willy Hart, director of University Residences – Diversity Achievement Award; Andy Bunn, associate professor of Environmental Sciences – Carl H. Simpson Bridging Award; James Loucky, professor of Anthropology – Philip E. Sharpe, Jr. Community Engagement Award; and the Team Recognition for Back2Bellingham Weekend. More information on these award winners.
Monday, October 15, 2012 - 11:32am