The future of art education at MU is sketchy at best.
Last week, the College of Education suspended the undergraduate art education program. Students planning on pursuing this degree in the future will first need to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and then attend graduate school or pursue the degree at another university.
Students who are currently in the art education program will be able to graduate from it. As of now, the current sophomore class will be the last accepted into the program. High school seniors interested in the program were sent an apology letter. Freshmen will have to change their undergraduate plans.
MU cites a number of vague reasons for this suspension: small enrollment numbers, lost faculty members and budget cuts. All of these reasons are very valid, but with an issue of this esteem and effect (there’s a Change.org petition with more than a thousand supporters,) we feel MU owes the student body an explanation. We ask for transparency.
Suspending the art education program sets a precedent that has multiple unseen ramifications. MU is the flagship university in Missouri, and other institutions, from college-level to primary school, look to its decisions for guidance. The choice to suspend this program will trickle down to the level of elementary education.
Where MU spends its money shows where its values lie. As a university, MU needs to be conscious that it represents the education interests of the state. This isn’t the precedent we want to set.