School of Arts Gets a Name Change

Luke Hartman and Lauren Carr


Starting in fall 2015, Manhattan College’s School of Arts will undergo a big change: its name. The school will be officially renamed as the School of Liberal Arts after deliberation by college administration and faculty.

Twenty years ago, when the School of Arts and School of Science split into their respective schools, it left the School of Arts with a very misleading name. In fact, the name even caused some students to not enroll at Manhattan College.

“Many people, including potential student applicants, over the years, mistook the school for a School of Visual and Performing Arts, and, in the case of unknown numbers of those potential student applicants, they did not even consider Manhattan an option, much less did they apply,” Dean of the School of Arts Keith Brower said.  “There are relatively few Schools of Arts on campuses across the country, but virtually all of them are Schools of Visual and Performing Arts.  There are, however, many Schools of Liberal Arts, and most of them look almost exactly–if not exactly–like our School of Arts.”

Dean Brower said that he spoke with many people affiliated with the School of Arts and talked to them about the possible name change last fall.

“I brought the question up with Provost Clyde and with the School of Arts chairs and program directors early last fall,” Brower said. “Soon thereafter each School of Arts department considered whether we should pursue changing the name to the School of Liberal Arts, and all departments approved of us moving forward. Discussions took place on various other fronts beyond the school, and approval came in the spring.”

This change, however, will have no impact the school’s offerings or operations. All departments will stay intact and the classes offered will stay the same. This name change is simply a correction to fix the confusion that has been happening for years.

“I think the change is great,” junior broadcasting major Erin Cassidy said. “This name definitely reflects the school in a much better way.”

Administrators hope the School of Liberal Arts is a name that will not only better reflect the school as a whole but will also give Manhattan College a better way to market itself to prospective students.

“The name change does give us the opportunity to re-embrace and re-celebrate, so to speak, our commitment to the liberal arts identity and mission, and we welcome that as part of our sort of grand re-opening as the School of Liberal Arts,” Brower said.

However, some students question if instituting this change is the best use of the school’s time, seeing as that the name of the school is only a label.

“While the distinction is nice in this new change, I would rather administration do something that impacts my education like looking how to improve the core curriculum,” junior Taylor Allen said. “It has caused multiple problems for me and my friends and in some ways inhibits me from taking more classes applicable to my individual interests. This seems like a much more pertinent use of administration’s time and resources.”