Digital Arts and New Media: MFA: Collaboration, Innovation, Social Impact

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DANM Program Revision update; admissions suspended for Fall 2024

Monday, April 1, 2024 - 12:00pm

After embarking on an evaluation of the DANM program via a self-study in 2021 and the external review in 2022, the DANM Principal Faculty will undertake a structural and curricular revision of the program in the academic year 2022-2023. This will be a transparent and inclusive process that will engage the DANM Executive Committee, Affiliate Faculty, students, and other stakeholders in the Arts Division and campus at large.

At its regular meeting of April 20, 2023, Graduate Council (GC) reviewed documents associated with the restructuring of the Digital Arts and New Media (DANM) MFA Program at UCSC, including the 3/24/23 cover memo from Director Hester, and DANM Restructuring March 2023 report, and the 4/5/23 transmission memo from Dean Shimizu. These materials were submitted in response to GC’s approval of the request for suspension of admissions to the DANM MFA for the 2023-24 year and GC’s accompanying request for a report on plans for the program, including plans for the 2024-25 admissions cycle.

Learning that DANM is developing a plan for partnering with an existing department(s), and recognizing that this will require a major re-envisioning of DANM's mission, educational goals, and curriculum, as well as significant changes to administrative and faculty governance structures, the GC extended the current suspension of DANM graduate admissions for the 2024-25 cycle (for students who would have started in fall 2024). This one-year continuation of the current suspension of admissions will allow DANM participants to focus on selecting an appropriate departmental home, solidifying its central vision, and resolving programmatic challenges needed to put DANM in a stronger position moving forward.

DANM participants will chart a path that allows for the training of outstanding MFA students while running a creative, interdisciplinary, and innovative world-class program. The nucleus of the DANM rebuilding process will include further development of its diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) plan aimed at the elimination of the digital divide. A fundamental challenge of the digital divide for education and society is correcting its limited access to high-speed broadband, hardware, and effective tools resulting in limited access to real-time information for all global citizens. Currently, the perpetuation of increasingly greater unequal access to digital technology, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and the internet drives wedges between global communities. The exponential growth of reliance on technology means that the digital divide creates a debilitating division and inequality around access to information and resources that ultimately result in an exponential diminishing of access to quality of existence for those ostracized globally.

If you are a student or faculty member with any questions about the review process, please contact DANM Director Karlton Hester