Tuesday, March 18, 2014

[Yasmin_discussions] To Phd or Not to Phd Redux


Our community is involved in an international discussion about the
emergence of
the PhD in Art and Design

Many of our programs in art-science and art-technology are setting up such

In the U.S.A there is a vigorous debate about the role of the PhD in Art or
as compared to the Master of Fine Arts

In recent decades the MfA was considered the 'terminal degree' or the most
advanced degree
in art in universities. With the emergence of PhDs, many universities are
now considering
that educators that wish to supervise PhD students must themselves have a
PhD first (
as is usually the case in other disciplines).

There are a number of books an articles that have been appearing in the
last few years
addressing the various issues involved- for instance the problem faced by
artists who in
addition to their art creative work are asked to produce a scholarly
written thesis.

The U.S College Art Association is developing a policy statement on the
issue- i append
details they have released.

The Leonardo Education and Art Forum is developing an input to the US
College Art Association
that must be submitted by April 22.

We have set up a google group named: LEOCAAPHD
for those interested in contributing to this input- joint the google group
or email me
at rmalina@alum.mit.edu if you want to be included.

Or you may wish to send your inputs directly to the CAA at

Roger Malina

Development of a Statement on Terminal Degree Programs in the Visual Arts
and Design

While the College Art Association (CAA) continues to affirm that the Master
of Fine Arts (MFA) is the terminal degree in visual arts and design
practice, a growing number of PhD and other doctoral degree programs in the
arts are being offered by institutions within the United States and abroad.
Consistent with its commitment to offer guidance to its members, their
institutions, and other professional arts organizations, CAA recognizes the
need to develop a statement regarding terminal degree programs in the
visual arts and design. In February 2013 CAA's Professional Practices
Committee (PPC) outlined a twenty-month course of action to develop a
Statement on Terminal Degree Programs in the Visual Arts and Design. This
process began with the formation of an ad hoc committee to lead the project.

The committee worked over the past year on collecting and comparing
information about terminal degree programs and developing draft statements.
The most recent draft was presented to members at the CAA Annual Conference
in Chicago in February 2014. The session was extremely well attended and
included an open discussion period and a mechanism for collecting
post-conference feedback. In addition, the committee presented an earlier
draft at the September 2013 National Council of Arts Administrators Annual
Conference and many committee members attended an open hearing on the same
subject at the October 2013 National Association of Schools of Art and
Design Annual Meeting.

The committee continues its work on a timetable to submit a final draft
statement for PPC review by June 1, 2014; for CAA staff and legal counsel
review by September 1, 2014; and for CAA Board of Directors review in
October 2014.

Please review the current draft statement. Members can offer responses,
comments, and suggestions atfeedback@collegeart.org until April 22, 2014.
All submissions will be reviewed and considered. Please be aware that the
committee will be unable to respond directly to members.

Thank you for your time and for your continued support of CAA.

Linda Downs
Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer
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