University of Evansville Announces New Plans for Department of Music
Collaborative deal will create UE Music Conservatory and fund renovation of Wheeler Concert Hall
Evansville, IN (02/08/2021) — The University of Evansville (UE) announced today that it will retain the Department of Music and create enhancements to better serve students and the greater Evansville community. The announcement was made in conjunction with UE administration, Department of Music co-chairs, Friends of UE Music, the UE Student Government Association (SGA), and the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra (EPO).
"We are delighted that our faculty and the community came together to preserve our rich tradition of music at UE,'' said University President Christopher M. Pietruszkiewicz. "They not only have made the department financially viable, but also have reimagined our program in a way that will benefit our campus and local community."
Pietruszkiewicz said the plan was a collaboration between Department of Music co-chairs, faculty, Friends of UE Music, community partnerships, private donors, trustees, and the administration.
The department's new initiatives include:
- Retention of all five music degrees: Music Education, Music Therapy, Music Management, Music Performance, and Music - General
- Creation of the University of Evansville Music Conservatory, which will benefit UE students, provide private lessons to preschool through 12th grade students and adults, continue to offer Suzuki violin instruction, begin to offer dual enrollment courses in music, and strengthen the University's enrollment pipeline
- Implementation of new offerings, including a music therapy clinic and a redesigned summer music camp which will increase revenue, enhance community engagement, and strengthen recruiting opportunities
- Full renovation of Wheeler Concert Hall and the Krannert Hall of Art and Music lobby
- Increased fundraising from Friends of UE Music
"We are grateful for the support of Friends of UE Music, collaboration with administration, and encouragement from the Evansville community to create a solution that retains the UE Department of Music," said department co-chair Ken Steinsultz. "This plan solidifies our commitment to the community as well as the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra."
Kimberly Bredemeier, executive director of the EPO, said she is thrilled about the department's new direction.
"The Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra maintains a strong and important relationship with the UE Department of Music and our community," she said. "This will ensure continued collaboration for many years to come."
The plan will make the Department of Music financially sustainable by reducing operating costs through planned retirements, establishing new revenue streams, increasing fundraising commitments, and focusing on recruiting and retaining new students.
"Because this department is a cultural hub for music in our region, our plan is the result of input from many stakeholders, alumni, and arts organizations." said Timothy A. Dickel, president of Friends of UE Music. "With financial support from Friends of UE Music and members of the UE Board of Trustees, we will be able to execute this plan immediately."
Fundraising is well underway to transform Wheeler Hall and the lobby of Krannert through leadership gifts from G. Richard and Rita Eykamp, Sharon McCarthy (Mrs. Burkley McCarthy), and John C. and Diane Schroeder. The University is incredibly grateful for the generosity of these longtime friends and trustees. UE will soon begin next steps in the renovation.
This significant development is part of the current draft academic realignment process to resolve a financial operating deficit and bolster the University's strengths. Michael Austin, PhD, executive vice president of academic affairs and provost, noted this proposal was "one of many" that the administration has seen since the process began in December.
"We continue to receive proposals from faculty and engage in earnest dialogue to revise programs and make the University financially sustainable well into the future," he said.
Students at the University of Evansville shape powerful and enduring change. UE is the first in Indiana to be designated as an Ashoka U Changemaker Campus, and its changemaking culture empowers students to improve the world around them as UE Changemakers. UE has an array of majors in business; engineering; the arts and sciences; and health science programs. UE has a diverse student body that represents 44 states and 52 countries. U.S. News & World Report recognizes UE as the #4 Best College in the Midwest among private schools. For more information, please visit evansville.edu.