End of year report

by Jeffrey Carter

This report was posted to faculty this week:

Last week I distributed a five-year plan for our Department of Music, one that will entail some revisioning, some revisiting, some revising, and no small amount of flexibility as we further define and enhance people, programs, and performances.
Much of our ability even to begin the discussion of moving forward is due to our work together over the last three years, and especially to this year.
When we gather to review our efforts one day down the road, I think that we may well point to two seminal events of 2010-11.
The first, of course, is the designation as the 123rd All-Steinway School in the world.  The university has invested mightily in the Department of Music.  We should expect to see a quantitative boost in quality of students and applicants over the next 18 months.  We are already feeling a sense of pride connected with this purchase.  And the pianos sound and look so much finer than what we had!
A second life-changer event is the addition of another faculty line for the voice area.  Growing a faculty is even more important than maintaining good faculty members.  We’ve gained a dandy new colleague in Martha Hart, and her hire helps position us for
even more success in the already-strong vocal studies area.
Other successes are more mundane and less flashy, but still important:
1.  We retooled three of our classrooms as ‘smart’ rooms, and continue to make progress on various facilities upgrades.
2.  We received a positive response from NASM, with no deal-breakers in their letter.
3.  We established not one but two new lectureship series – one of them endowed – to take place in 2011-12.
4.  We received a new endowed scholarship fund.
5.  We have the promise of a major external renovation and climate control work to take place this summer.
6.  We continue to refine our processes and documentation so that we are more consistent and customer friendly in all that we do.
7.  We moved opera performances to Nerinx Hall, breathing new energy into this performance program.
8.  We continued to reach out beyond the campus through various engagement concerts and activities.
9.  We revised our sophomore candidacy procedure to make it easier on faculty and more stringent for students.
10.  We witnessed a number of outstanding performances from students and student ensembles in what one faculty member called ‘an exceptional end to the year.’
11.  We served the University on more committees than has been the norm, thereby strengthening our cross-campus bonds.
12.  We welcomed 15 different national-name teachers, seminar speakers, and master class presenters in addition to a dozen more influential local artists in similar activities.
13.  We made strides in beginning to redesign our curriculum, including a few tweaks that were approved by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.
I am certain that we could each add another important success, but these are representative of a department that is growing, that is changing and retooling as appropriate, and that is healthy in many, many ways.
As I have been for three years, I am grateful for our common life and work.  We change lives here.  I’m glad to labor amongst you in service of art, music, students, and others.