Fusion of schools to bring together arts, humanities and technology

Fusion of schools to bring together arts, humanities and technology | Pro Club Bd

The School of Arts and Humanities and the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication collaborated to present a multimedia show featuring famed jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard at UTD last spring. This fall, both schools will merge to form the School of Arts, Humanities, and Technology.

The University of Texas at Dallas will enhance arts on campus this fall by merging two schools.

The School of Arts and Humanities (A&H) and the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication (ATEC) will merge into one larger school with a broader focus on the arts and humanities, to be known as the School of Arts, Humanities and becomes technology (AHT). The UT system approved the merger, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board updated the university’s degree program directory to reflect the new administrative structure as of fall 2022.

“The idea behind this move is a strong, unified academic presence for the arts at UT Dallas,” said Dr. Inga H. Musselman, Provost, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Cecil H. Green Distinguished Chair of Academic Leadership. “I’m very glad about that. This is a good step for the university.”

dr Nils Roemer, interim dean of A&H and ATEC, director of the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies, and Stan and Barbara Rabin Distinguished Professor in Holocaust Studies, has been named inaugural dean of AHT effective August 22.

According to Musselman, Roemer, who first joined UT Dallas in 2006, earned the trust of the campus community while serving in interim dean roles. Musselman has hired several deans through a national search process. Due to the unique circumstances of the merger, she and President Richard C. Benson, the Eugene McDermott Distinguished University Chair of Leadership, followed the exceptional procedure outlined in UTS 187 to appoint Roemer without a search.

“Nils is a leader who knows both schools very well and can help make this transition relatively quick and smooth,” Musselman said. “In addition, Dr. Roemer’s knowledge and dedication to the arts at UT Dallas, extensive connections to the Dallas-Fort Worth arts communities, adept managerial skills, and personal attributes make him the ideal person to lead the school post-merger. He has a unique perspective on our history of art as well as our pioneering initiatives in art, so I think he is truly unique in his ability to do that.”

Musselman said the School of Arts, Humanities, and Technology is not a new school. Rather, the move is an administrative reorganization that will bring A&H and ATEC together to utilize UTD’s future arts and performance complex – the Edith and Peter O’Donnell Jr. Athenaeum.

“The two unified and complementary schools will chart a new path for excellence, innovation and growth in the arts. Their combined strength will enhance the student experience, advance research, and support the mission of our arts, humanities, technology, and communications programs. Existing degree programs and curriculum remain the same, although faculty can work together to propose changes,” she said.

A&H was founded in 1975. In 2015 the school’s Arts and Technology and New Media and Communications programs were spun off from A&H and became a new school.

“The idea behind this move is to have a strong, unified academic presence for the arts at UT Dallas. I’m very excited about this. This is a good step for the university.”

dr Inga H. Musselman, Provost of UT Dallas

The vision for the merged school was discussed in a series of meetings Musselman held with faculty and staff from A&H and ATEC, university-wide faculty and staff leadership committees, and leaders from student government and the Graduate Student Assembly. After the merger, there will again be seven academic schools at UT Dallas. Last fall, A&H and ATEC had a combined enrollment of approximately 2,100 undergraduate students, including 103 master’s students and nearly 200 graduate students.

“Our ability to better share the expertise of our faculty and enhance our students’ educational experience is significant,” said Roemer, who was also a member of Lead UTD, the Provost Office’s leadership development and managerial training program, from 2019-2020. “We’re also creating opportunities to make a statement across the country about our commitment to the arts, humanities and technology.”

While the merger goes into effect on August 22, faculty will work over the next few semesters to identify the best ways to enhance academic programs with potential new courses or combined offerings. Roemer said the end goal is to create a rich academic environment where students excel.

“Creativity and innovation are at the core of UT Dallas teaching and research. Our faculty and students share a deep creativity, a bold imagination and an unwavering drive to create a better future. The result is academic excellence that is evident in our alumni making a difference in North Texas and beyond,” he said.

Römer appointed first dean of the School of Arts, Humanities, and Technology

dr Nils Roemer, who has served in a variety of roles since joining the University of Texas at Dallas in 2006, will add a new role this fall as the new dean of the School of Arts, Humanities, and Technology.

Roemer, Stan and Barbara Rabin Distinguished Professor in Holocaust Studies, has served as interim dean of the School of Arts and Humanities (A&H) since fall 2019 and has held the same position for the School of Arts, Technology and New Communications for the past year.

“Since joining UT Dallas 16 years ago, I’ve seen so much positive growth, especially in the arts and humanities,” said Roemer. “It is a great honor to lead and work with the faculty, staff and students who will take this merged school to new heights.”

Roemer’s arrival at UT Dallas coincided with the expansion of the Holocaust Studies Program to include the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies. He has been the director of the center since 2015.

“The Ackerman Center will remain a critical part of the School of Arts, Humanities, and Technology, as will A&H’s other centers,” said Roemer. “They are vital for connecting with other universities and researchers, as well as the community.”

Roemer brought the Annual Scholars’ Conference on the Holocaust and the Churches to the UT Dallas campus and nearly tripled the number of endowments to benefit the Ackerman Center and A&H. He has succeeded in forging partnerships between universities and programs around the world and cultivating key volunteers to lead UTD fundraising efforts. And as part of his commitment to advancing the field of Holocaust studies, Roemer leads the collaborative research project Digital Studies of the Holocaust. The project, which he started in 2018, brings together a diverse group of faculty, students and alumni from different disciplines to introduce new ways of remembering and visualizing the Holocaust.

Teaching and mentoring students remains at the heart of Roemer’s work at UT Dallas, and he will continue to teach undergraduate and graduate programs. His research interests cover a wide range of topics, in particular cultural and intellectual history. Roemer offers graduate supervision in the fields of modern European and modern Jewish history, literature, art and philosophy. He is the author of the books Jewish Science and Culture in Germany in the 19th Century: Between History and Faith (2005) and German City, Jewish Memory: The Story of the Worms (2010).

Before joining UT Dallas, Roemer was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Southampton in England for six years. He received a Master of Art in History, Literature and Philosophy from the University of Hamburg and a PhD in History from Columbia University.

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