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Visual Art Quality Improvement Plan

Program : Visual Art
Review Date : September 26-28, 2018
Last Updated : June 21, 2019

*Visiting Team Recommendations **Update on Actions Taken/Current Status Completed Date


The further development and refinement of their mission statement to more precisely define the department’s relationship to both the Church and to their colleagues across campus as well as provide a platform for the development and implementation of future goals.

No actions taken. We will meet to address our program mission statement.

2.Student Success

The department could find ways to better connect with alumni.

Alumni Newletter

Program Quality—Teaching

  • An important future issue for the department will be to make strategic decisions regarding the distribution of its faculty and recommends that the faculty and administration together look closely at defining future positions in order to focus on areas of strength and opportunities for programmatic excellence. Areas of potential growth need to be examined in developing a strategic plan for faculty hires as such opportunities become available. The situation demands careful planning as to which areas of the curriculum are the highest priority for such investments. To hire additional full-time faculty when future retirements and/or resignations occur will require shared understanding of these realities.
  • There are not clear or written expectations for faculty workload and research. It appears that a *comprehensive system for calculating the workload of full-time faculty needs continuing study. The institution should review the procedures for determining how it calculates faculty load, contact time, type of instruction, and credit allocation and communicate more understandable metrics. Moreover, the nature and opportunities for research and creative work by faculty differ significantly from those of the studio and design faculty or disciplines and thus differentiated guiding criteria for tenure and promotion would appear to be needed.
  • The teaching load is so heavy it is hard for faculty to do their research. Address the limited funding and dedicated time for faculty research needs. The committee recommends all classes meet the standard of 6 hours of contact a week. We recommend a smaller teaching load for full time faculty. The disparity between the workloads between the two areas in the art department needs to be addressed.

We are currently addressing this matter in terms of the FTE to replace Bro. Tolutau. Looking at ways we can simultaneously maintain the sculpture area and support the painting programs growth to equip students with a better skill set to enter the job market.

  • Faculty workload is being addressed at a University level. VA program faculty have also discussed ways studio coursed could be weighted to balance out workload.
  • New year end review addresses some of the issues regarding research/creative work.

3.Program Quality—Learning

  • Clarify the distinctions in purposes and processes between the BA and BFA programs.
  • Student learning outcomes for Graphic Design and painting are mixed. It is recommended that they have different goals and different student learning outcomes.
  • The department should develop a new rubric that assesses critical thinking to include creativity, problem solving and an understanding of art theory.
  • University administration should consult with faculty to address their needs. It is recommended that art and design students have dedicated classrooms, studios and labs that are not shared across media or with other programs.
  • It is recommended that the administration provide a dedicated and professional gallery space for the exhibition of student and faculty work, not only as it relates to the goals and aspirations of the department, but the potential it has for greater public impact and visibility for the institution.
  • Provide an adequate printmaking space that would allow full-time faculty to teach at a level of their expertise.
  • Develop a contemporary focus in the area in drawing and paintings, to develop student’s critical thinking skills as well as to prepare them for graduate school and professional practice.

New Cohort Plan addresses some of these issues. Student learning outcomes have not been actively addressed in terms of Painting vs. Graphic Design.

  • New Assessment Criteria have been developed in our upcoming five year assessment plan.
  • Recently met with a university architect rep. to assess the classroom needs of our program.
  • Gallery space was discussed as a necessary element to the success of our program in recent meeting with Whitney Ward.
  • MCK 167 Rob and Jeff removed some cabinets to accommodate “some” of the new printmaking equipment. Much more needs to be done.
  • We are considering the inclusion of contemporary painting, illustration or concept art as part of our new FTE Job description, as someone with some of this skill set would benefit the depth of the painting program and develop the necessary skills for our student to be successful in the job market. The difficulty is balancing between sculpture and painting needs.

Improvements that require no budget or policy change

  • More attention needs to be paid to health and safety in the painting studio. Solvents such Gamsol need to be stored in a fireproof cabinet, and rags and paper towels soaked in solvents need to be disposed of in fireproof trashcans.
  • It is recommended that Visual Arts collect, analyze and use retention and graduation data to monitor student retention and progression from first year through graduation. Improve processes to collect, analyze and use hiring and graduate school data to monitor alumni success for networking and as a resource to innovate curriculum.
  • Collegiality
  • Safety needs. Nothing has been done. Gamsol is a weak “no-odor” solvent and are paper towels are thrown away in the regular trash bins. We have a fireproof trashcan but it is small and students don’t use it.
  • We’re using exit survey.

Improvements that require policy change.

  • The department has a well-qualified special instructor available who was successful in teaching the course a new kiln was recently purchased that isn’t being used. In interviewing students they expressed interest in the return of the sculpture major. Jacob Jackson would like to reinstate a beginning ceramics class that is repeatable. In the past there were 20 students in the beginning class and 25 students on the wait list for the beginning class. There were fewer enrollments in the upper levels, so having a repeatable class would solve that problem. He believes it would be helpful to graphic design students to take ceramics, because it builds their cognitive ability to visualize in three dimensions.
  • Some small changes are being planned for the Ceramics studio in terms of facility changes . . . removal of old equipment and a general cleaning and reorganization of the space. Ceramics course has been discussed to possibly return Spring or Fall 2020.

Improvements that require budget.

  • Hiring new FTE positions
  • Acquiring printmaking equipment
  • No additional funds have been provided to hire both a painting and a sculpture professor.
  • New printmaking equipment is in line to arrive with new program improvements.