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Meeting of the Board of Regents | May 2007

Tuesday, May 1, 2007 - 11:00pm

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Johanna Duncan-Poitier




Villa Maria College of Buffalo: Master Plan Amendment to authorize the College to offer a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree program in Animation


May 1, 2007



Goals 2 and 4







Issue for Decision (Consent Agenda)


Should the Regents approve an amendment to the master plan of Villa Maria College of Buffalo authorizing the College to offer a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree program in Animation?


Reason(s) for Consideration


Required by State regulation.


Proposed Handling


This question will come before the Higher Education and Professional Practice Committee at its May 2007 meeting where it will be voted on and action taken.  It will then come before the full Board at its May 2007 meeting for final action.


Procedural History


Master plan amendment is required because this will be the institution’s first baccalaureate degree in the discipline of the Fine Arts.


Background Information


The Department has determined that the program, if approved, would meet registration standards. Master plan amendment approval is needed to authorize Villa Maria College to offer its first baccalaureate degree in the discipline of Fine Arts.




It is recommended that the Board of Regents approve a master plan amendment to authorize Villa Maria College of Buffalo to offer its first baccalaureate degree in the discipline of Fine Arts. This amendment will be effective until May 31, 2008, unless the Department registers the program prior to that date, in which case master plan amendment shall be without term.


Timetable for Implementation


If the Board approves this master plan amendment, the Department will register the program and the College will proceed to recruit and enroll students.


Information in Support of Recommendation


Villa Maria College is a degree-granting independent institution located in Buffalo, New York, offering associate degree programs in the areas of business, fine arts, education, and the physical sciences, and a baccalaureate degree program in Interior Design. In the fall of 2005, 502 students were enrolled in the College.


Villa Maria currently offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree program in Interior Design, which was registered in 2005. Due to the content of its curriculum, which is closely related to architecture, this program is categorized as a program in the discipline of engineering for master plan amendment purposes. In addition, the master plan amendment which authorized this program was restricted to that baccalaureate program, requiring the College to amend its master plan again when expanding into a new discipline at the baccalaureate level. The College now proposes to expand its baccalaureate offerings into the fine arts.


The purpose of the proposed program in Animation is to prepare graduates with the knowledge, skills, and professional behaviors expected in the animation industry. The curriculum, comprised of 125 credit hours, will include a fine arts foundation and a liberal arts core with options emphasizing communication skills that complement use of visual imagery in animation.


Existing and new faculty and material resources required for the proposed Animation program have been identified; the program when approved will include as full-time faculty those persons who developed the program. Additional resources to be incorporated over the next few years have been added to Villa’s strategic plans.  Villa’s Animation program students will use the resources of Villa Maria College’s Art and Music Departments including a recording studio, a painting studio, a drawing studio, a printmaking studio, and a graphic design G-5 Mac lab. Additional resources planned for the program over the next five years include the addition of three full-time faculty, two animation studios, computer hardware and software, and library print- and non-print materials.


In addition, construction of a new art shop facility has recently been completed on campus.  Its grand opening will take place in late spring 2007. The design for this 2400 sq. ft. building was drafted by Villa Maria Interior Design Professor Edwin Smart, a licensed architect. It is anticipated that this facility will support the growth of Villa Maria’s associate degree programs in Fine Arts, Graphic Design and Interior Design, as well as the existing and proposed B.F.A. programs.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the growth of software publishing, of which video game design is a part, will expand by 67.9 percent between 2002 and 2012.  This is the fastest growing industry across all sectors.  Job titles include Animation Artist, Animation Teachers, Art Director, Background Artist/Matte Painter, Character Designer, Character Rigger, Combustion Artist, Compositing Artist, Concept Artist, Director, Editor, Motion Graphic Artist, Script Writer, Special Effects Artist, Storyboard Artist, Technical Director, Clean-Up Artist, Colorist, Flash Animator, In-Between Animator, Inking Artist, Key Animator, Character Animator, Character Layout Artist, Lighting Artist, Model Maker, and Texture Artist.


A review of the College’s finances found a federal composite score of 2.9 for the period ending June 30, 2006, which is “financially responsible.” The composite scores for the previous two years, although slightly lower, were also rated as “financially responsible.”


A canvass that was conducted of all colleges and universities in the Western region elicited no responses.