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Clarification on DRMS comments

I thought it would be useful to provide some clarification on the situation with regard to Dramatic Arts. The administration understands the importance of Dramatic Arts to the constellation of disciplines within Fine Arts and, more broadly, a liberal Arts education. However, a number of developments over the past few years created a situation where the Mills Dramatic Arts Department now lacks tenured or tenure-track faculty members. Such a situation cannot support the kind of long-term excellence that Mills aspires to in all of its academic programs. Thus, it is essential at this point to stop and consider how best to move forward in the future.

One goal for the next year is for Dramatic Arts to have productions of absolutely the highest quality. Another goal is to offer the array of courses that students majoring in the Dramatic Arts require. A third goal, connected with the improvements in Lisser Hall, is to strengthen the connections between Dramatic Arts and other programs. Within the budget available to the provost’s office, I have attempted to provide the funding for Dramatic Arts that will make these goals achievable. The operating budget is less than last year’s budget, but should sufficient for at least one outstanding production a semester. I also increased the operating budget in response to student’s concerns. Further, the faculty positions associated with Dramatic Arts for next year are only slightly less than last year (4.full-time positions versus 4). Again, an increase was made in response to student concerns.

My expectation is that next year will provide us with the evidence that Dramatic Arts can be a thriving and successful concern, so that we can begin to plan for the future.

Susan Steele

Provost/Dean of Faculty