As of July 1st 2010 the Division of Art will now be part of the new College of Arts and Communication at West Liberty University. The new College is made-up of the Department of Journalism, Communication Studies and Visual Art and the Department of Music and Theater. The new College will be led by Interim Dean Bill Baronak and will be housed in the Hall of Fine Arts, the Media Arts Center and College Hall.
The Department of Arts and Communication was the largest academic department at West Liberty University with twenty-five faculty members. The new college offers some of the most technologically driven degrees, and is the main provider of cultural activities on campus. It is also responsible for a large portion of the University’s community engagement. The new College of Arts and Communication with 25 faculty members will be larger than the College of Business and the College of Education. There are currently over 275 students enrolled in programs housed in the new College of Arts and Communication and has enjoyed growth in student enrollment by almost 17% over the last five years.
The move better positions West Liberty to fulfill its educational mission and to meet the needs of rapidly changing fields. The creation of a College of Arts and Communication will allow the faculty to build on the investment made by the University when it created the Media Arts Center. The idea behind the Media Arts Center is to foster research and teaching on media convergence. The convergence of conventional media with innovative technology has created surprising new realms of communication. From journalism to design to music technology, new methods of communication are transforming every industry and every discipline. The creation of the new College of Arts and Communication is the first step to creating flexible spaces and programs that will meet the needs of current and future students.