College of Fine Arts & Communication
Texas State University
Five years ago, the College leadership team embarked on a mission to make Texas State University a destination for the fine arts and communication. This College Report highlights the individual accolades and national rankings that mark Texas State as a preferred destination, a place that provides a quality work environment, top-notch academics, cutting-edge research, and first-rate cultural experiences.
Excellence in teaching stands at the forefront of any academic institution, and in this College we boast at least 15 individuals who have earned “Teacher of the Year” accolades from their peers in national organizations in their discipline. Likewise, as Texas State has increased its profile to become a national research institution, the quality of the scholarly/creative activity has reached new heights. Fifteen times in the last 5 years faculty have earned article, book, or scholar of the year awards, with multiple junior faculty also earning “rising star” awards from their national organizations. On the creative front, faculty have starred in prime-time television shows, appeared on Broadway, and performed in top music venues across the world. Indeed, Music faculty have won 10 Grammy Awards and earned an additional 13 nominations as well as performed with artists such as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Itzak Perlman and bands such as Asleep at the Wheel, Fleetwood Mac, and The Eagles.
First-rate faculty help attract top student talent. This year M.F.A. Dramatic Writing student T.J. Young won two major playwriting awards from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival; with additional graduate and undergraduate students winning awards, Texas State was the most awarded playwriting program, edging out Yale and Juilliard. Similarly, our Elton Abernathy Forensics Society took 2nd place at the National Forensics Association National Championship, finishing behind Rice and ahead of UC-Berkeley. This is the level of student talent we are attracting and cultivating here in the College.
More than individual accolades, national rankings reflect a team effort and shared purpose. Academic programs in the College of Fine Arts and Communication rank among the finest in the country. A sampling of recent external accolades includes:
- Theatre, #8 Performing Arts Program
- Dance, #10 undergraduate program
- Art, #13 undergraduate program
- KTSW, #8 college radio station
- Musical Theatre, #7 program
- Communication Studies, #3 Master’s program
- Communication Design, top 11 Master’s program
- Opera, the #1 and #3 ranked productions
- Theatre, 44 KCACTF National Finalists and 13 National Champions
- Mariachi, 7-time winner of the Vargas Award
These national rankings mark us as a destination not only for faculty and students, but also for industry leaders. Recent guests to Texas State include ABC News’ Matthew Dowd, filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, and Tony and Oscar-winning designer Tony Walton. Likewise, audiences have taken notice, with a 70% increase in fine arts attendance since the 2014 opening of the Patti Strickel Harrison Theatre and the Performing Arts Center.
These are exciting times and we invite you to join us on our journey of sustained excellence. Please consider joining the Friends of Fine Arts and Communication, purchasing a seat in the Performing Arts Center, supporting a student by sponsoring an annual scholarship, having your company sponsor one of our major events, or creating an endowed scholarship. These are just a few of the ways you can be part of a winning team, and solidify our status as a destination for the fine arts and communication. If you are not yet on board, isn’t it time you arrived?
John Fleming, Dean
August 1, 2017