PR man must have written Chronicle editorial on new Fine Arts Masters Degree

In an editorial that just gushes, which surely must have been written by a university PR man, the paper talks about the new Masters Degree in Fine Arts.

FC post follows:

✔The University's strategic plan, "Making a Difference," adopted in 2006 after two years of intense planning led by Peter the Provost that embraced stakeholders throughout the university, does not mention a Masters Program at all.

Rather, in addition to talking about renovation of Baldwin and Page into first class performance venues and other facilities convenient for students on East, West and Central, it focuses on undergraduates and the need "to create multiple avenues for students to deepen their understanding of the arts, while increasing their engagement in artistic creation, performance, and related activities."

It talks of more artists in residence. It does foresee new certificate programs like the one linking cultural policy and arts management.

All of which makes me wonder why this Masters program bubbles to the surface now. I fear the answer is the fiscal crisis, and Duke's realization it can squeeze profit out of Masters degrees created with very little new investment, either in facilities or faculty.

This may be a cynical view. It is also the reality of 2010. And several officials have confirmed this to be the case.

The Academic Council properly has noted this trend and taken steps to keep close tabs, to insure the proliferation of Masters programs that we are seeing through-out the university do indeed offer an experience worthy of a higher Duke degree.

Fact Checker wishes you a good day.