The Fine and Performing Arts have a key place in the history, values, and life of the College of Arts and Science, the University of Saskatchewan (USask) and the Province of Saskatchewan.
In our medical-doctoral research-intensive university, the Fine and Performing Arts intersect with other disciplines to co-create knowledge, channel community commentary, and interpret societal challenges.
These disciplines play a leading role in creating healthy and resilient communities and economies.
Art and Art History, Drama and Music have and continue to enrich and advance the University’s mission, vision, and goals, resulting in a deeper engagement with communities and an enhanced awareness and reputation of USask as a cultural institution.
The College and University are proud of its Fine and Performing Arts programs and are especially proud of the graduates from these programs who lead the way in Saskatchewan and beyond, both in their own artistic and professional practice and in their citizenship and their contributions to the social, cultural, creative, and economic fabric of the country and beyond.
The Fine and Performing Arts are playing a key role as we emerge as a post-pandemic community.
While the Fine and Performing Arts already contribute to a realization of the five aspirations articulated in University Plan 2025, and the College’s “Think Big – Be Bold” Plan 2025, we believe that more is possible.
In the College of Arts and Science, a single, strong, and sustainable academic unit will be created by combining the departments of Art and Art History, Drama, and Music. By coming together under common leadership, the programs in each of these disciplines will continue building on their solid foundations of excellence. Building on strengths, the disciplines will be enabled to set more expansive goals for attracting students and faculty, research investment, alumni and donor support, and community partners and collaborators. The unit will reaffirm and celebrate the essential and distinctive role of the Fine and Performing Arts in connecting the University with the local community, as well as nationally and internationally. Opportunities to optimize and renew infrastructure will be pursued.
Close engagement with Indigenization, decolonization, and reconciliation: ohpahotân | oohpaahotaan, the Indigenous Strategy for the University of Saskatchewan, and the Indigenization Plan within the College of Arts and Science, will be central to renewing a vision for the Fine and Performing Arts.
This project is a strategic initiative of the College of Arts and Science, supported by the University, based on the mission-critical place of the Fine and Performing Arts at USask, and to enable these disciplines to flourish within a research-intensive university.
- Outcomes focused – explicitly contributing to aspirations within University Plan 2025 and the College’s Think Big – Be Bold 2025 Plan
- Focus on growing and evolving from platform of existing strengths
- Financial sustainability
- Commitment to Indigenization, decolonization, reconciliation
- Student success
- Adherence to collective agreements
- Collegiality and consensus seeking
- Respect for academic disciplinary integrity
- Transparency and effective communications
- Widely consultative
- Reasonable timelines
Aspirational goals for this project:
- Demonstrated responsiveness to foundational commitments and calls to action in the USask Indigenous Strategy and College Indigenization Strategy
- Increased enrolment in Fine and Performing Arts programs and courses (number, quality, diversity), including increased enrolment and retention of Indigenous students
- Recruitment and retention of Indigenous faculty to tenure track positions
- Further steps toward Indigenization of curricula
- Increased research, scholarly, and artistic work (RSAW) in the Fine and Performing Arts, especially external funding
- Increased inclusion of Fine and Performing Arts within USask research signature areas
- Enhanced collaborations with Fine and Performing Arts community organizations and professionals
- Enhanced number and total value of all gifts and sponsorships in support of Fine and Performing Arts
- Maintain disciplinary distinctiveness and increase visibility for art and art history, drama and music
- Expansion of interdisciplinarity in programs, teaching, RSAW, and community engagement
- Enhanced employee engagement within the Fine and Performing Arts
- Financial sustainability of new Fine and Performing Arts unit
- Successful recruitment of unit head
A project steering committee, which is currently under development, will include the project lead, the fine and performing arts department heads, and other members.
From January to June 2022, we listened to and consulted with senior university and college leaders to secure support for action and to address key barriers and drivers of success of the fine and performing arts:
- AVP Government Relations
- Chair and Vice-Chair of Planning and Priorities Committee of Council
- Interim Dean and Associate Dean of Education
- Deputy Provost
- Director of Academic Governance
- Director of Provost Communications
- Director of Resource Allocation and Planning
- Interim Associate Provost, Strategic Priorities
- Interim Vice-Provost, Teaching, Learning and Student Experience
- Manager, Executive Initiatives and Projects, Office of the VP Research
- President’s Executive Committee
- Provost and Vice-President Academic
- Senior Director of Assessment and Analytics
- Senior Strategic Officer, Office of the Vice-Provost Indigenous Engagement
- Senior Strategist, Office of the President
- University Secretary and Chief Governance Officer
- Vice-President Research
- Vice-Provost Faculty Relations
- Vice-Provost Indigenous Engagement
Based on conversations with the fine arts department heads, we consulted with College stakeholders:
- Dean’s Executive Committee
- Department of Art and Art History
- Department of Drama
- Department of Music
- Director of Development
- Director of University Galleries
- Faculty Council
- Fine Arts department heads (current and incoming)
- Interim Vice-Dean Indigenous
- Interim Vice-Dean of Faculty Relations
- Vice-Dean Research, Scholarly and Artistic Work
We also held individual meetings with fine arts departments faculty, staff, and sessionals.
Beginning in July 2022, we will begin community consultations.
We will maintain a strong and influential place within and further enrich the Fine and Performing Arts communities beyond the University.
We will engage our partners and collaborators as we imagine ways to future-proof and strengthen the College’s programming.
We are seeking meaningful engagement and collaboration within the University and with community:
- Indigenous scholars, Knowledge Keepers, Indigenous students, and Indigenous communities
- External collaborators and partners
- Community organizations
- Private and public Fine and Performing Arts educators
- Alumni and donors
Professor Jon Bath, incoming head of the department of art and art history will be leading the project’s Visioning Development Team, and together with Professor Jennifer Lang from the department of music and Professor Natasha Martina from the department of drama, will be conducting on-campus and community consultation sessions for this visionary work – details will be forthcoming.
Dr. Ernie Barber Ph.D
Andrea Wasylow M.A.