During the Thursday, May 21 meeting of the Fairmont State Board of Governors, the board voted to continue its community theatre, community music programs, and Academy for the Arts programming. The board also voted to discontinue academic programs in music and theatre, including music and theatre education. Fairmont State has always been a destination for performing arts education and events in North Central West Virginia and throughout the state. As we transition our theater and music programs the institution’s goal is to continue to honor and uphold that tradition through continued partnerships with our community.
The academic programs will continue through the next academic year as faculty members work on a program teach-out to ensure that most current majors can graduate in their chosen discipline. Beyond the next academic year, Fairmont State will continue to work to produce vocal concerts, theatrical performances, and direct our marching band. Members of the university's administration are working to operationalize a plan based on the board vote.
While these degree programs will no longer be offered at Fairmont State, we recognize the indelible impacts of Music and Theater on the wider University community, and the exceptional pedagogical opportunities inherent in the Performing Arts; therefore, the board chose to keep the broader community segments of these programs viable.
Throughout the United States, universities like Fairmont State are making tough decisions to avoid financial exigency. Institutions are canceling non-performing and under-performing programs in an effort to avoid closing their doors. Regrettably, consecutive years of focused review confirm that the academic programs in music and theatre have had consistent low enrollment for a number of years at a very high cost to the university.
Decisions like these are never made lightly. Fairmont State is committed to keeping the institution open and financially healthy. Fairmont State remains committed to educating the next generation of leaders who are poised for success in an innovative and ever-changing economy. The university will continue to provide cultural opportunities to our students and community through participation in community theatre and community music.
Together with the programs under the Academy of the Arts, community theatre, and community music, Fairmont State University looks forward to broadening opportunities for our students and our community to join together in celebration of the arts.