Letter: Liberal arts faculty would fail to provide proper education

Editor, The Gauntlet,

I am firmly opposed to the notion that the faculties of Fine Arts, Humanities, Communication and Culture and Social Sciences could viably be combined into a single liberal arts faculty [“All for one and one for all,” Julie Phillips, Oct. 30, Gauntlet]. I am presently studying music performance; a highly specialized discipline that I can assure you is not related to international indigenous studies, museum and heritage studies or religious studies, although the University of Calgary seems to believe that all of the programs listed above should exist within a single faculty under a single dean.

My degree program is unlike most others. It is not an academic program as much as it is a program of intense practical study, a program that is successful only because individuals who understand the unique needs of music students administer it. To put it bluntly, it is ridiculous to think that an exceptional music program can exist and succeed under the guidance of a faculty administration that does not intimately understand the intricacies of music education and the music business.

This department is neglected by the university’s administration enough as it is. Cuts have been made to this department in recent years due to underfunding. Our jazz program has been almost completely eliminated. There are routinely not enough musicians to fill all required positions within a given ensemble, be it a chamber group, orchestra or wind ensemble. Burying the Department of Music within a “Faculty of Pretty Much Whatever You Can Think Of” will only hide us music students from public view completely and make it all the more difficult for this department to recruit students and acquire funding.

The university has a duty to serve its students by offering the best quality education possible. A liberal arts faculty merger is not the way to fulfill this duty.

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