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School for the Arts Becomes College of Fine Arts

Following a “fairly lengthy process,” the School for the Arts was recently renamed the College of Fine Arts, according to CFA Dean Jeffrey Babcock.

Called the Boston University School for Fine and Applied Arts before it was SFA, Babcock said the school’s name change does not mean a change in academic material. Although the name was changed from school to college on all BU publications and school letterhead, Babcock said the change reflects the level of education received by students.

“The entity was more appropriate named college rather than school,” Babcock said.

Babcock said he was absolutely in favor of the name change.

“I think it is an elevation for SFA to become a college,” Babcock said. “I think it is a broader designation for us, and it provides us with a vehicle going forward that gives us a broader scope for what programs we may implement in the future.”

Additionally, Babcock said he felt the change of the name would help to “align us with a number of our national counterparts.”

Although the process had begun before Babcock arrived at BU, he formed a committee made up of CFA faculty and senior staff members. From there, the group arrived at a conclusion and made a recommendation to the CFA Executive Committee.

The CFA Executive Committee made a unanimous recommendation to the full faculty of CFA at an October meeting, according to Babcock. The full faculty unanimously accepted the decision to change the name.

The recommendation, after being passed through President Jon Westling and Provost Dennis Berkey, was accepted by the BU Board of Trustees at its October meeting. Rather than make the switch then, however, the school waited until second semester to officially make the change, according to Babcock.

“We gave ourselves some time to make necessary changes in signage, letterhead changes and other stuff,” Babcock said. “It becomes effective this month, and we’re starting to use it now.”

The structure of SFA, which had three separate schools for music, theater arts and visual arts will be maintained as the school becomes CFA.

Babcock said almost all were in favor of the change, and almost all of the alumni he has spoken with and notified have been very pleased.

“The feedback that we’ve gotten has all been pretty much unanimously positive,” Babcock said. “It’s been very well received by alumni who felt that the change was long overdue.”

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