The College of Liberal Arts is committed to sharing on-going information with students and faculty about how units within the School of Arts and Communication operate and how decisions are made. One of the tools is a dynamic list of frequently asked questions. Please feel free to ask us additional questions and voice concerns at:

How are the liberal arts supported at Oregon State?

The liberal arts play a critical role at the university and within the world beyond OSU. The arts — including OSU’s art, graphic design, music and theatre arts programs — are crucial drivers of creativity, innovation and diversity, and OSU would be a lesser university without them. The university’s reputation is advanced by the strength of its programs in the liberal arts and sciences, and we are dedicated to the ongoing excellence of these programs moving forward. Every one of OSU’s 26,000 undergraduate students takes a range of classes in the College of Liberal Arts. At least three of those credits are in literature and the arts, which provides students with an understanding of creative, musical and artistic endeavors across a range of disciplines.

Additionally, the construction of the education and performing arts complex is part of an ambitious plan for improvements for the School of Arts and Communication that will include a range of building renovations and general capital improvements.

What investments are being made in Community Hall?

Leaders from OSU’s Facilities Services and CLA joined students on a tour of Community Hall on Monday, May 13, to assess the condition of the building. As a result, a plan is being developed to address a range of classroom improvements, media and tech improvements, as well building maintenance and general custodial issues. Work will go on throughout the summer.

How is the Arts and Education Complex being funded?

The Arts and Education Complex is envisioned as a $60 million project funded with $30 million in state bonds and at least $30 million in donor support.

When will the Director of Bands position be filled?

The Director of Bands position will be posted this week and applications will be solicited. This instructor/director position will devote 100% of its focus to student teaching and directing. Because of the importance of the position to the OSU music program, it is the only full-time replacement position in the College of Liberal Arts being immediately filled.

Has the number of faculty employed in the music program changed?

In 2014, Music employed 10 tenured and tenure-track faculty, including professors and instructors. With the retirement of two tenured faculty and two tenure-track faculty in 2015, the number dropped to six.

Music currently employs nine tenured and tenure-track faculty, and will employ eight in 2019-2020. Overall, investment in music faculty in the College of Liberal Arts has remained fairly stable over time and will continue to remain so.

The conversion of some tenure-line faculty positions in music to instructor positions since 2014 has led to instructor turnover. We are aware of the stress that turnover can cause for students, and are dedicated to doing everything we can to ensure stability and success for them.

Faculty and staff change positions within the university and leave OSU for various reasons; some personal, some financial, sometimes due to health issues, and sometimes because of family obligations. Appointments are non-renewed for various reasons, including financial and pedagogical considerations. While most information involving specific employee work situations is confidential, we are doing what we can to support all OSU and CLA employees to the best of our ability and are committed to providing an excellent education for our students.

What is going on with the Bachelor of Music program?

Faculty began conceiving the new program in 2016. In fall 2018, the degree program proposal, which included a list of more than 60 new classes, was submitted. There are multiple steps to getting a proposed new degree program approved by the university and the Oregon Higher Education Commission. These steps include assessments, reports, letters of recommendation from school districts and universities throughout Oregon, and approval by the CLA curriculum committee.

The proposal has made its way through the college review and approval process and is now being reviewed by OSU’s curriculum coordinator for academic programs. This process can take anywhere from weeks to months to complete, depending on factors such as the time of the year and the committee’s workload. Next, the proposal will go to the:

  • Graduate School
  • Budget and Fiscal Planning Committee
  • Graduate Council Chair
  • Curriculum Council Chair
  • Faculty Senate Executive Committee
  • Faculty Senate
  • Provost for Academic Affairs
  • OSU Board of Trustees
  • Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Committee (HECC)
  • Academic Programs
  • Catalog Coordinator

Ideally, the proposal will get through all of these steps next year and the program will begin in fall of 2020.

How can I learn more about the university budget?

Information about the OSU budget model can be found at:

University budget conversation forums are hosted by the Office of Budget & Fiscal Planning and are open to all OSU employees and students. The 2018-19 schedule is available at:

While the college and university are facing a budget shortfall and will be required to make some difficult choices as a result, leadership and faculty at Oregon State are dedicated to providing all students with a quality education and life-changing opportunities outside the classroom.

Will graduate assistantships in the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), Music Graduate Option program continue to be offered?

The new budget model changes how colleges receive university funds for tuition remissions. In the past, tuition remissions were dedicated line items from the Graduate School. Now, the funds are included in the general budget allotment provided by the office of Budget and Fiscal Planning. This means that the money for tuition remissions must come from school budgets.

The MAT degree is awarded by the College of Education, which does not have funding available for music tuition remissions. Meanwhile, the music program is reducing its budget and does not have capacity to pick up the additional expense. In the case of music, our greatest budget allocations have gone to retaining as many current faculty and supporting as many current students as possible.

We realize that the loss of tuition remission presents a challenge for some current students. Music faculty are working to award scholarships to help offset some of the lost tuition remissions. We are working to find other solutions while we await the start of the new Bachelor of Music degree that will include a music teaching license. We will keep everyone informed.

Why are there courses in the catalog that are not currently offered? Does this affect the program?

The catalog includes all classes that have been offered at OSU in the past. This means that some classes that have not been taught for several years will remain in the catalog until a process is initiated and completed to remove them. Classes that are currently in the approval process for the new Bachelor of Music program also appear in the catalog.

Overall, course offerings in music have remained relatively stable for more than a decade. We are confident about the quality of the music and music education programs at Oregon State and our ability to offer students what they need to be successful and graduate.

How can I get involved?

We encourage students and faculty to be as involved in the music program as you want to be. Your involvement requires you to develop a deep understanding of university, college, school, and program processes and principles.

We are open to your suggestions about how you would like to be involved. Please feel free to express your ideas here:

What does OSU’s Director of Performing Arts and Popular Music do?

Bob Santelli is the university’s Director of Performing Arts and Popular Music. Formerly the executive director of the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles, Santelli was hired at the university to help raise the profile of the arts at Oregon State. OSU was the second university to become an official GRAMMY Museum Affiliate university.

To date, Santelli has collaborated with OPB, The Oregon Historical Society and the Jewish Museum of Portland. He has also created several lecture and concert series, including the OSU Album Club, “American Strings,” and “The 60s: The Decade that Changed America.” He also teaches courses on popular music and music’s place in history. Additionally, Santelli has been instrumental in raising funds for the new Arts and Education Complex.

While assigned to the College of Liberal Arts Dean’s Office, this position has university-wide and regional impact. Support for the position includes private funding from the OSU Foundation. Even as Santelli’s classes support and help finance the music program at OSU, none of his salary comes from the program’s budget.


For information on classes, please contact: Kristin Rorrer or Felix Oliveros.

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