The College of Fine Arts at Illinois State University is comprised of the Schools of Art, Music, Theatre and the Program in Arts Technology. Degrees offered include the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Music Education, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Music Education, and Master of Fine Arts.
In 1970 the departments of Art, Music, and Theatre were organized into a single College. In subsequent years, Dance joined the College and the Arts Technology Program evolved to a degree-granting program. The College of Fine Arts has developed into a vibrant and dynamic organization with a broad spectrum of academic programs. Most academic programs are fully accredited by their respective national accrediting body.
The School of Art is accredited by the National Associations of the Schools of Art and Design and offers degrees in: Art History, Ceramics, Drawing, Glass, Graphic Design, Integrated Media, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, Teacher Education, Video, Visual Culture, and Woods and Metal.
The School of Music is accredited by the National Associations of the Schools of Music and offers degrees in: Collaborative Piano, Conducting, Composition, Liberal Arts, Music Business, Musical Theatre, Music Therapy, Performance, and Teacher Education.
The School of Theatre is accredited by the National Associations of the Schools of Theatre and offers degrees in: Acting, Dance, Design/Production, Directing, Theatre Studies, and Teacher Education including Dance Education.
Arts Technology majors work across the arts to create performances, installations, and multiple media works using the computer and its related technologies as primary instruments.
Students study in highly specialized studios, laboratories, and classrooms with highly trained faculty who are committed educators and practicing artists/scholars. College of Fine Arts students not only meet the admission standards of Illinois State, but also meet rigorous admission standards of the College. As a result, graduates of the College enter into fulfilling careers and lives in a variety of arts and arts-related professions.
All students in the College of Fine Arts are expected to understand how the arts influence the larger society and, conversely, must understand how the world at large must inform their work. To this end, the College embraces the liberal education of artists and values the training of artists in the context of a university.
In addition to being a major academic community, the College of Fine Arts is the cultural heart of Illinois State University and a hub of arts activities for Central Illinois. The College is home to University Galleries, Normal Editions Workshop, the Center for Performing Arts, Kemp Recital Hall, Westhoff Theater, and the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, and it hosts visiting artists in all disciplines and provides arts outreach activities to community members of all ages.
The College of Fine Arts fosters creative living and aspires to be a leader in the preparation of world-class artists, performers, scholars, teachers, and therapists through pedagogic and creative excellence.
Invigorated by creative discourse and diversity of opinion, the College of Fine Arts advances the arts within a global context. Through collaboration, applied learning, and artistic practice, the College fosters curiosity and critical thinking to illuminate the human experience. Our creative and intellectual endeavors enrich the quality of life of the university, the community, and beyond.
The College of Fine Arts shares Illinois State University’s commitment to the pursuit of learning and scholarship, individualized attention, diversity, integrity, and civic engagement as expressed in Educating Illinois. These five core values are central to the University and the College as they influence and guide our priorities and plans.
Pursuit of Learning and Scholarship: The College works with students, as partners, in their educational development to contribute new knowledge and creative expression as lifelong learners.
Individualized Attention: The College fosters an educational process that recognizes each student as an individual with unique creative and intellectual potential.
Diversity: The College commits to building an inclusive community founded on respect and dignity for all people, cutting across the lines of economics, race, age, ability, gender, sexuality, and identity.
Integrity: The College works to ensure the highest level of academic quality and integrity, and requires ethical standards of our administration, faculty, staff, and students.
Civic Engagement: As a bridge to the community, the College prepares informed and engaged artists and scholars who promote quality of life for all citizens through collaborative and individual action.
This plan utilizes Illinois State University’s strategic plan, Educating Illinois, as a guide in its form and content. It also draws upon the University’s Research, Scholarship and Creative Expression: A Strategic Research Plan and Master Plan 2010-2030: Looking to the Future. This plan is organized by major College goals, which are followed by strategies describing how to achieve each goal. Many strategies are accompanied by specific actions necessary to implement that strategy.
The purpose of this plan is to provide the College of Fine Arts with guidance over the next five years. Although the plan is broad in its scope and specific in its actions, it is not intended to limit the creation, change, or the execution of plans that come about as a result of external events or new initiatives developed by the University or College faculty, staff, and students. In light of this, the goals, strategies, and actions contained in this plan will be annually reviewed for relevance and progress.
Goal 1.1 Encourage cross-disciplinary engagement and collaboration among and between the College of Fine Arts programs.
Action 1.1.1: Promote a culture of engagement in which CFA students support the work and attend events produced by all College entities.
Action 1.1.2: Create an intra-college committee that plans and promotes events hosted or produced by all College entities.
Action 1.1.3: Create a student lounge for the College that encourages interaction in a casual environment.
Action 1.1.4: Provide incentives for faculty and teaching staff to collaborate on programming and curricula across the College.
Goal 1.2 Encourage and expand curricular offerings and events that explore diverse artistic traditions beyond the traditionally held Western canon.
Action 1.2.1: Recruit and hire faculty who have expertise in areas not currently reflected in our curriculum.
Action 1.2.2: Increase the number of visiting artists, scholars, and performers who represent diverse fields of study in the arts.
Goal 1.3 Mentor all new faculty, staff, and graduate students with teaching responsibilities.
Action 1.3.1: Establish a college-wide program to provide appropriate mentor-ship to all new faculty, staff, and graduate students with teaching responsibilities.
Goal 1.4 Encourage excellence in online teaching by implementing appropriate evaluation procedures.
Action 1.4.1: Facilitate faculty training for the creation and delivery of online course offerings.
Action 1.4.2: Encourage excellence in online teaching by implementing evaluation procedures consistent with those applied to courses taught in classroom settings.
Goal 1.5 Encourage and enable students to participate in international partnerships and study abroad programs.
Action 1.5.1: Identify and establish relationships with academic-year or semester-long programs abroad that offer courses comparable to those required of majors in the College.
Action 1.5.2: Encourage faculty to design summer study abroad programs that are academically rigorous and that offer courses appropriate for students pursuing majors in the College.
Action 1.5.3: Create a 4-year plan-of-study incorporating study abroad for each major in the College.
Action 1.5.4: Establish strategic academic partnerships with international institutions including 3+1 programs and graduate studies.
Goal 1.6 Establish endowed positions in the College that enrich academic and artistic excellence by rewarding career achievement.
Action 1.6.1: Establish a rotating, endowed College of Fine Arts Fellow position that would fund the invitation of an outstanding visiting scholar or practitioner to teach and work with faculty and students.
Action 1.6.2: Create an Endowed Chair position in each of the schools in the College, allowing each discipline to better reward and retain high achieving tenured faculty.
Selected Accountability Measures:
Goal 2.1 Enhance the cultural responsiveness of the College to foster a socially rich, inclusive, and creative environment.
Action 2.1.1: Recruit and retain diverse faculty to reflect the University’s cultural values and support student engagement.
Action 2.1.2: Establish a diversity-focused funding opportunity that can be used to bring visiting artists to campus and support college-wide collaborative projects.
Action 2.1.3: Create promotional materials that affirm the uniqueness of every individual and their contributions to our College, University, and community.
Action 2.1.4: Include language in each School’s mission statement that recognizes the spectrum of human diversity and embraces social justice.
Goal 2.2 Expand curricular opportunities, structure, and guidance to heighten awareness of diversity and to emphasize the value of inclusivity in the students, faculty, and staff.
Action 2.2.1: Encourage culturally responsive components across the curriculum.
Action 2.2.2: Incentivize student attendance at diversity-focused events.
Goal 2.3 Foster development of diverse programming across the University and within the community.
Action 2.3.1: Develop a beginning-of-year college-wide event to articulate available resources and encourage meaningful engagement.
Action 2.3.2: Encourage meaningful participation by students in diversity-focused faculty research and college programming.
Action 2.3.3: Increase diversity-focused volunteer and internship opportunities in the local community to develop students’ civic engagement skills.
Action 2.3.4: Expand diversity-focused opportunities for students to interact with the public through site-specific performances and exhibitions outside of the College, in public spaces, and local businesses in the community.
Goal 2.4 Enrich and broaden diversity-focused resources to foster accessibility and social justice.
Action 2.4.1: Appoint a College Diversity Liaison.
Action 2.4.2: Consistent with University policy, establish a college-wide protocol for reporting concerns related to diversity and social justice issues.
Action 2.4.3: Establish diversity training sessions for faculty, staff, and students.
Action 2.4.4: Create a diversity portal on the College website with links to on-campus and community resources, including RSOs, Student Counseling Services, Diversity Advocacy, and the Campus Climate Task Force.
Action 2.4.5: Evaluate and enhance equal access to facilities.
Selected Accountability Measures
Goal 3.1 Foster the admission, enrollment, and retention of a talented, diverse student body.
Action 3.1.1: Evaluate current admission practices and create best practices for our College to attract and retain a diverse student body.
Action 3.1.2: Increase scholarships and assistantships for exceptionally talented applicants, traditionally underrepresented populations, and graduate students.
Action 3.1.3: Enhance and support curriculum to reflect contemporary practices and inclusive values.
Action 3.1.4: Increase student-alumni relations through the integration of alumni in the recruiting process, as well as the development of mentoring, networking, and collaborative opportunities for current students.
Goal 3.2 Promote and increase civic engagement by preparing students to be responsible, lifelong contributors to our democratic society.
Action 3.2.1: Incorporate civic engagement into the curriculum by coordination and collaboration among current and new civic engagement activities.
Action 3.2.2: Increase arts advocacy education.
Action 3.2.3: Increase Fine Arts student engagement throughout the University campus and within the local community.
Selected Accountability Measures
Goal 4.1 Increase the level of external funding across the College.
Action 4.1.1: Continue to pursue private foundation support for research, creative activity, and scholarship.
Action 4.1.2: Encourage new and continuing faculty and staff to utilize the grant-writing resources available through the College.
Action 4.1.3: Increase the number of interdisciplinary and cross-institutional collaborations.
Action 4.1.4: Encourage and support student involvement in formal research endeavors with faculty mentors.
Action 4.1.5: Pursue external funding to support research and creative activity by considering flexible and differential teaching and research loads.
Action 4.1.6: Continue to work with our government relations specialist to promote state and federal creative initiatives and research projects.
Action 4.1.7: Develop strategies with the Director of Development in the College to leverage matching or cost-sharing requirements of external funding agencies.
Goal 4.2 Increase resources to enhance support for research endeavors across the College.
Action 4.2.1: Seek funding for an endowed, merit-based, competitive College Research Fellowship to enable significant research projects distinct from sabbatical periods.
Action 4.2.2: Allocate resources to fund graduate research assistantships in each of the Schools, thus facilitating recruiting opportunities in the areas of academic research.
Action 4.2.3: Increase indirect cost allocations generated by successfully funded research grants and contracts in the College.
Action 4.2.4: Increase Dean’s Travel Awards program.
Action 4.2.5: Provide funding for faculty and student participation and presentation at academic and creative conferences.
Action 4.2.6: Fund research and travel for staff and student research and creative activity.
Goal 4.3 Celebrate and promote the outstanding research, scholarship, and creative pursuits of the College to strengthen the sense of our creative community.
Action 4.3.1: Establish an annual Dean’s Speaker Series to publicly recognize the research accomplishments of College faculty that represent scholarship of national and international prominence.
Action 4.3.2: Acknowledge award recipients and outstanding research and creative activity at the Annual CFA End-of-the-Year Meeting.
Action 4.3.3: Recognize faculty and staff who actively pursue and submit external grant proposals.
Selected Accountability Measures
Goal 5.1 Ensure a safe, efficient, pedagogically effective, artistically excellent, and welcoming physical environment.
Action 5.1.1: Develop a plan for consistent and regular maintenance to all facilities that provide attractive, well-maintained, and safe areas.
Action 5.1.2: Clarify a college-wide procedure for reporting, prioritizing, and addressing facility concerns.
Action 5.1.3: Create and maintain flexible-use spaces for collaboration across majors, programs, and sequences.
Action 5.1.4: Evaluate the inventory in spaces provided for class instruction and performance to determine functionality and needs.
Goal 5.2 Enhance services that support teaching, learning, performance, creation, exhibition, research, and collaboration.
Action 5.2.1: Implement the use of digital portfolios or web spaces across the College containing deliverables from all coursework, providing students and alumni the ability to store and share work in their disciplines.
Action 5.2.2: Create a platform for ongoing training in arts-related digital tools available to students, faculty, and staff.
Selected Accountability Measures
Goal 6.1 Promote and enhance the reputation of the College.
Action 6.1.1: Regularly communicate student, alumni, faculty, and staff success stories to feature fine arts career paths and professional accomplishments.
Action 6.1.2: Promote and invite stakeholders to exhibitions, performances, awards, and special events.
Action 6.1.3: Showcase philanthropic impact through donor and recipient testimonials and profiles.
Action 6.1.4: Create donor-centric communications to share with all stakeholders.
Action 6.1.5: Develop and maintain a College-specific database of alumni, emeritus faculty, donors, community patrons, parents of alumni, prospective students, and other interested and relevant stakeholders.
Goal 6.2 Increase stakeholder engagement in the College.
Action 6.2.1: Strengthen ties to alumni through events and communications.
Action 6.2.2: Create volunteer opportunities, internships, and mentorships that link alumni, emeritus faculty, students, and parents with arts organizations, businesses, and community members.
Action 6.2.3: Engage academic leaders and faculty in efforts to identify and cultivate donors.
Action 6.2.4: Educate current students and young alumni about the value and importance of philanthropy.
Action 6.2.5: Create greater awareness about volunteer groups within the College, such as Friends of the Arts and the Illinois Shakespeare Festival Society.
Action 6.2.6: Collaborate with all of the Colleges in the University to leverage fine arts events for alumni and community engagement.
Goal 6.3 Grow the pipeline of major gift and annual fund donors.
Action 6.3.1: Increase major gift support through thoughtful and intentional relationship-building that identifies and matches donor passions with College needs and priorities.
Action 6.3.2: Cultivate and steward major gift supporters and prospects through events that enhance community-building and networking opportunities.
Action 6.3.3: Create compelling annual fund programs and appeals, including online crowdfunding initiatives with clear needs, goals, objectives, timelines, and leadership.
Action 6.3.4: Increase annual giving from alumni and community members who identify with fine arts affinity groups, including performing ensembles, studio and visual arts, and outreach programs.
Selected Accountability Measures
Goal 7.1 Promote research and creative scholarship by producing an annual print magazine that incorporates a dedicated scholarship essay from each area of the College.
Action 7.1.1: Appoint an editor and elect an editorial board.
Action 7.1.2: The editorial board will solicit and commission essays that convey the diverse and lively scholarship of the College, ranging from non-specialist to scholarly essays that generate balanced coverage across the College, targeting each School’s active alumni population.
Action 7.1.3: Include distinct sections for alumni news, major upcoming events, current faculty and staff news, current student news, obituaries, donor recognition, and College initiatives.
Action 7.1.4: Distribute the publication in multiple formats.
Goal 7.2 Hire or appoint a College Marketing Specialist to improve College publicity.
Action 7.2.1: Enhance an engaging social media presence that celebrates the entire College.
Action 7.2.2: Leverage traditional marketing strategies.
Action 7.2.3: Develop and streamline the existing unified calendar system to better communicate fine arts events.
Action 7.2.4: Establish a graduate assistantship supervised by the College marketing specialist.
Action 7.2.5: Create a Student Ambassador Program to promote events across the College, focused on the interests of current and future students.
Action 7.2.6: Develop a quarterly electronic College newsletter about student, faculty, staff, and alumni accomplishments and events.
Selected Accountability Measures