Senate approves changes

Derek Lenehan

As spring closed in, and the temperature eased to a refreshing 70 degrees, the Faculty Senate may have felt the breeze of change.

The senate approved a new name change for the College of Fine and Professional Arts, approved the removal of the name Kiva from the Student Center auditorium, and approved a new major, the Bachelor of General Studies.

The College of Fine and Professional Arts requested approval to change its name to the College of the Arts, with Tim Chandler, dean of the college, proposing the change.

“This is a faculty-driven initiative,” he said.

Pamela Grimm, assistant professor of marketing, noted that some students currently in the College of Fine and Professional Arts might not fit under the new name.

“It doesn’t look like there is any room in this school for merchandising students,” she said, referring to fashion merchandising students.

Elizabeth Rhodes, director of the School of Fashion Design and Merchandising, acknowledged that while there are more merchandising students in the school than design, the name change was acceptable.

“You could see that synergy is so great that you wouldn’t want to split them. We’ve talked about it in our own unit and it’s an umbrella we’re comfortable fitting under,” she said.

The change was approved without a single vote against it, and was followed by applause.

Thomas Norton-Smith, associate professor of philosophy, proposed abandoning the current name of the Student Center auditorium, the Kiva. Norton-Smith made clear that he was not proposing to change the name, just to abandon the one that is being used.

Norton-Smith said that the name Kiva was inappropriate, as a kiva is a religious structure in southwestern Native American cultures.

“You wouldn’t call an amphitheater a mosque, temple or church, and given the role of a kiva in Pueblo society,” it’s inappropriate, he said.

Several senators provided examples of the word kiva being used in a non-religious way, citing its usage as a winter residence, term for an ant colony, storage facility, and a name for numerous inns and spas throughout the country.

The change was approved, by a margin of six votes, and the possibility of naming and endowing the building was mentioned.

The proposed Bachelor of General Studies was approved by a voice vote, with few objections.

It is meant to target students who fail to maintain a GPA for their major program, students who can’t decide on a particular field, or adults with associate degrees or some college credit. Jerry Feezel, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the college that would award the degree, said the new program could assist attendance.

“We want to retain students we would lose, and bring in new students,” he said.

Holly Clark, academic advisor coordinator, said that while many classes could be considered under the new degree, it would be regulated.

“It’s not a mish-mash of anything they can throw on a piece of paper,” she said.

Both name alterations and the new degree must be approved by the Board of Trustees before enacted.

Contact academic affairs reporter Derek Lenehan at [email protected]