Aug. 29, 2022

Dear Friends:

Welcome to the fall 2022 semester! What an exciting time this is for our College of Fine Arts and UNLV! Higher education, and the promise that it offers to humanity, has never been more important to society than it is in today’s world. The new academic year brings with it hope and renewal, starting fresh, meeting new colleagues and students, greeting old friends, and providing a context for new learning opportunities. It is about stretching ourselves, inspiration, growth – which often involves positive struggle, and even constructively challenging pre-conceived ideas and the status quo to embrace new vistas, contemporary contexts, and to experiment with newly relevant ways of looking at the world. Of paramount significance is this perspective: as artists, we should be incredibly proud of our valuable, treasured and essential place in the world -- and with this, our elevated responsibility to be an uplifting force in the global society.  

This is a special moment in the life of the College of Fine Arts at UNLV. Our college is, in many respects, a laboratory for both (1) the creation of knowledge and (2) the future of the arts.

When we speak about workforce development, and bridging the education that we offer to the workplace environment, not only are we referencing the worth of gaining practical interview skills and attaining traits such as critical thinking, and cultural and emotional intelligence as core themes. Even more consequential is the ability of students to prepare for careers and job opportunities that actually do not yet exit – and that students themselves may well invent. Our current students will likely have multiple identities and “hyphenated” lives. The rigorous education and faculty mentorship our students receive at UNLV will help them adapt and leap forward in their artistic lives, and even vault across disciplines including science, business, technology, medicine, engineering, hospitality, and the humanities and social sciences as our emerging artists become eminent and original thought leaders, with their stunning contributions mirroring changes in the 21st century taking place at a dizzying pace.  Creativity is what our students have and it is what our world needs.  

We are moving forward swiftly this fall with transformative projects: strategic planning through 2028,  inaugural competitive undergraduate research awards, a Center for Entertainment & Media Research, Development and Education supporting interdisciplinary activities, outstanding cultural collaborations and distinguished partnerships with regional, national and international institutions, new internships for students, a major interdisciplinary creative collaboration project for faculty scholars, and a monumental endeavor for our students and faculty working together in the summer of 2023 (in part, made possible through the college’s new $1 million endowment celebrating the creation of knowledge in the arts) to participate in our first-ever College of Fine Arts around the world extravaganza!

I look forward to seeing everyone soon as we begin the semester. We are exuberant about all that is possible! We have limitless opportunities and prospects on the horizon! We so very much value the faculty, staff and students in our college. We thank the faculty and staff for the stellar work and for your strong commitment to enhance the education of our remarkable students.

Very best wishes to all of you for a deeply meaningful academic year,

Nancy J. Uscher, Dean
College of Fine Arts