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U of Evansville Scraps Plan to Cut Music Department

February 9, 2021
 
 

The University of Evansville, a Methodist institution in Indiana, has abandoned tentative plans to cut its music department, The Courier & Press reported. A draft plan released in December had included scrapping the department along with two others. It would involve cutting 17 majors and 40 faculty positions, although the administration said there was still time for feedback before final decisions were made.

The new plan will maintain the department’s five degrees and there will be no immediate faculty reductions, although a few positions will be phased out through retirement attrition in the next few years. The university is also planning to launch a music conservatory to teach private lessons and a music therapy clinic. Evansville’s Wheeler Concert Hall will also be renovated, costing about $3 million.

The plan was the result of collaboration between faculty, the administration and other stakeholders. It will make the department financially sustainable, the university said in a news release, by reducing operating costs through planned retirements, establishing new revenue streams and increasing fundraising.

University president Christopher Pietruszkiewicz said that after making the initial announcement, the administration began hearing from people who supported the department.

“We began hearing an outpouring of support from students, from community members and from alumni who told us how much the music department meant to them and how important it was to their education at the university and their experience here in the community,” he said in a university video. “We listened.”

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