Dean's Newsletter

Vol. 5, Issue 5

April 2011: Vol. 5, Issue 5

The Provost and I met on Friday, April 8, to discuss a final target for the CLASS budget adjustment. Although we did come to a broad understanding regarding the basic shape and size of the CLASS budget adjustment, the decision process will not be completed until both the President and the Board of Trustees approve the Provost’s recommendations. Hence, I am not yet at liberty to spell out all the specifics. I can tell you that, at this point, we are looking at a proposed reduction of $1,803,182, or about 8.7% of our permanent budget, with some additional cuts held in reserve in case they are needed down the road. As you recall, the college was asked to prepare budget scenarios representing reductions of 7.5%, 11%, and 14.5%. Thus, the good news is that this proposed budget adjustment is at the lower end of these possibilities.

To reach our target, the college is proposing a package that includes modest revenue enhancements (new fees) and a variety of cuts—including cuts in non-salary items, salary lines, part-time instructional savings, and summer instructional costs. More good news is that we will not be asked to give up the five faculty replacement searches that are currently in progress. These searches can now be concluded without fear that the lines will be cut. Finally, the Provost also asked us to take a longer, more systematic look during the academic year 2011-12 at the prospect of eliminating any small degree programs or merging any departments.

I understand that college employees are uneasy about potential cuts and eager to hear the final details of these adjustments. I will communicate more details as soon as I am able, and I thank you all for your patience in this difficult process.

I would like to turn to more inspirational material. Here is an update on the most recent research and creative activity of our talented Art faculty. Our Art History faculty have been active. For example, Marian Bleeke’s article “Versions of Pygmalion in the Illuminated Roman de la Rose” appeared in the February 2010 issue of Art History. Kathy Curnow has published several encyclopedia entries and also a long article on Benin dress in the Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. In addition, she recently curated an exhibition entitled IYARE! Splendor and Tension in Benin’s Palace Theatre at the Penn Museum of the University of Pennsylvania. Samantha Baskind, who recently returned from a year-long National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, has authored several articles, and her book Diaspora and Zion: Jewish Artists and Modernity, which she co-authored with Larry Silver, has just been published by Reaktion Books.

The studio artists have also been busy. Richard Schneider exhibited some of his ceramic creations at the 11th Annual Painting, Drawing, Photography, and Print International Juried Art Exhibition in Omaha, Nebraska. Ken Nevadomi’s paintings were exhibited recently at the Bonfoey Gallery Summer Show and the Walley Gallery Show. He also was the subject of a one-man exhibition at the CSU Art Gallery in September of 2010. Russ Revock’s prints were on display at the Digital Art Extravaganza (Hudson, NY), the Surreal Salon (Baton Rouge, LA), and an exhibition entitled Altered (Pensacola, FL). Qian Li has recently exhibited her art at several venues in different parts of the United States and Greece. She was also Artist in Residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, CA. Mark Slankard exhibited his photos at several galleries in Ohio, and he also recently staged a one-man exhibition of his photos from Turkey in the CSU Art Gallery. In addition, he won not only a 2011 Creative Workforce Fellowship (from Cuyahoga County Arts and Culture, $20,000) but also a $5000 Fellowship from the Ohio Arts Council.; George Mauersberger, who recently exhibited his paintings at the Bonfoey Gallery, also won a 2011 Creative Workforce Fellowship from CAC ($20,000).  Irina Koukhanova not only had recent exhibitions in various galleries in Cleveland and Salisbury, Maryland, but she also exhibited her sculpture at DKO Gallerie in Zurich, Switzerland. Finally, Jennifer Visocky-O’Grady, who was an invited speaker at several recent design conferences, also recently published The Information Design Handbook.

This is indeed an impressive record of achievement from a very talented and hard working group of faculty colleagues. They teach in one of our largest undergraduate majors, which continues to grow steadily. It’s no wonder that students are attracted to study art here!

I conclude by noting that our Associate Dean for Curriculum, Teresa LaGrange, will be leaving her position at the end of the month to become the new CSU Vice Provost for Academic Planning. According to the Provost, she will provide “administrative leadership for strategic planning and oversight for institutional research, assessment, evaluation, accreditation, and program review functions. She will also assume several additional responsibilities, including academic fiscal and facilities planning, academic technology, and academic leadership development.” Teresa has been an indispensable member of the Dean’s Office team for five years and, because of her stellar record of accomplishment, she has earned the respect of colleagues both within the college and externally. She certainly will be missed. However, this is a significant promotion, and at this point we can only thank her for her many contributions and wish her every success in her new position.

The job announcement for her replacement in the college will be coming out shortly. Please look for it.

Best wishes,