Belmont University announced Wednesday that its College of Visual and Performing Arts will be separated into two distinct colleges with specific areas of focus.
According to a release, the College of Music and Performing Arts will include all music, theater and dance programs while the O’More College of Architecture, Art and Design will house architecture, art, fashion, interior design and design communications.
The structural change, which will be effective Aug.1, follows the O’More College of Design’s move from Franklin and merger with Belmont and in 2018 and last month’s announcement that Belmont is launching Middle Tennessee’s first Bachelor of Architecture degree.
“The time is right for Belmont to grow its stable of colleges from nine to 10, allowing us to increase our attention on serving students’ educational needs in these creative fields,” Belmont President Bob Fisher said in the release. “By moving our new architecture program — along with our established design majors — into their own college, we can more clearly define goals and develop a world-renowned brand for these exciting new areas on our campus.”
Fisher said the move further enables the newly named College of Music and Performing Arts “to cement its reputation as one of the nation’s leading educational homes for students passionate about music, music education, theatre, dance, music therapy and music performance.”
In February, Belmont announced plans to launch what will be the only Bachelor of Architecture program in Middle Tennessee and West Tennessee (the University of Tennessee offers such a program at its main campus in Knoxville). The five-year degree, which will begin classes in fall 2020, will provide graduates a direct path to pursue licensure in their field while also filling what BU terms a “significant gap for architectural education” in the Nashville area.
Dr. Stephen Eaves, who has served as dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts since 2016, will transition to become the Dean of the College of Music and Performing Arts. As such, Belmont will immediately begin a national search for the inaugural dean of the O’More College of Architecture, Art and Design with the intention of having the new dean in place before the start of the fall 2019 semester, the release notes.
Belmont also offers colleges of business, law and nursing, among others.