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From the Director - Spring 2016

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Dear Friends,

What a year it’s been for the School of the Arts!

Our faculty continues to rank among top public universities for scholarly productivity, with six books and 20 journal articles or book chapters published since this time last year. Our creative output has been equally outstanding, with our professors accounting for dozens of exhibits, performances, films, installations and residencies at prestigious venues around the world.

On the curricular level, every department in the School has worked to make arts education at KU attractive and available to more people. We’ve added arts courses to the KU Core Curriculum, created a thriving minor in Visual Art, and made it possible for incoming freshmen to apply directly to any of the School of the Arts majors. We’ve also stepped up our recruitment activities regionally and nationally, resulting in rapidly rising applications and admissions to the fall 2016 incoming class.

Equally importantly, this spring we awarded 115 degrees, our largest graduating class since 2012.

The message is coming through loud and clear. The KU School of the Arts is committed to artistic excellent and student success.

What makes these accomplishments even more noteworthy is that we’ve done it in the face of the significant financial cutbacks forced on us by the state budgetary climate. Like all great artists, our faculty, staff and students are adept at doing “more with less,” but the real heroes are patrons, alumni and friends like you. The support you provide through donations, ticket sales and sponsorship makes it possible for us to do “more with more.”

Here on campus, we’ve staged dozens of arts events and hosted visiting artists and scholars in every discipline in the School. Our student travel fund has helped send 61 students to artist residencies, film festivals, museum exhibits, and professional and study abroad opportunities from Bloomington to Brisbane. And thanks to your generosity, almost half of all School of the Arts students receive scholarship support to help them meet the rising costs of college.

We hope you’ll continue to support these outstanding students and faculty as we create a brighter future for the arts in Kansas and beyond.

Have a great summer, and rock chalk Jayhawk!


Henry Bial
Director, School of the Arts
Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences



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