UAF discontinues BA in Theater

Zack Sherman / Sun Star

Following the lead of Provost Susan Henrichs, the UAF Faculty Senate agreed to cut the BA in Theater from UAF.  The senate reached this decision during the April meeting of the group.  It was the last step in the removal of the degree from the university.  The change will take effect in fall 2016.

“By no means is the theater program, as such, disappearing,” Professor Reiner Newberry said during the meeting. “Students will still be able to enrich their lives and focus on theater as part of their undergraduate.”

This change comes about as part of the curricular overhaul requested by the theater and film departments.

What were formerly separate programs have now been combined into a Bachelors Degree in Film and Performing Arts (FLPA).  Courses under the new program will be given the designator FLPA within the course catalog.  Students who want to pursue theater work will select the theater track within the Film and Performing Arts BA.

“Wow! I’m glad I got my degree when I did,” Tiana Hanson, a graduate of the UAF theater department said.  Hanson currently works in film and theater related industries in the Bay Area of California.

According to the motion, the changes are expected to cut administrative costs and increase program enrollment and graduation rates.

The combination of the Film and Theater departments came after an attempt to merge the two departments with the UAF Journalism department failed to come to fruition in September of 2015.

The Film department at UAF first began taking BA students in the Fall of 2011, and maintained sufficient enrollment to avoid being placed on the list of possible closures during the special program review cycle conducted by the Provost’s Office. The reviews were conducted to identify departments with low enrollment or high costs.  The theater department was on the list of possible closures.

Students who wish to declare a major in Film and Performing arts can do so by completing the requisite forms at the Bursar’s office located in the Eielson building.

Film and theater will still be available as separate minors.

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