Art Department Earns National Accreditation

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University’s Department of Art has earned accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, the nation’s pre-eminent accrediting body for art and design.

The distinction represents a positive review and evaluation of CSU’s undergraduate programs covering studio art, which includes art history curriculum, and undergraduate and graduate programs in art education. Visiting artist residencies, lectures and exhibitions supplement the overall curriculum.

The accreditation follows a self-study by the department and on-site review by evaluators emphasizing continued growth and improvement for art students, who are part of the College of Arts on the university’s downtown Columbus RiverPark campus.

“While very honored, I was not surprised when our institution received accreditation with a commendation for clarity,” said Joe Sanders, Alan F. Rothschild Distinguished Chair of the Department of Art. “The faculty worked tirelessly on the overall development of the department for a number of years and, despite a high faculty turnover between 2004 and 2009, maintained very high standards, consistency and a commitment to excellence.”

The department’s student, faculty and visiting artist exhibitions are housed in the Corn Center for the Visual Arts. Opened in December 2006, the center contains more than 30,000 square feet of purpose-built art and design spaces including state-of-the-art studios dedicated to each programming area, two dedicated critique rooms and galleries.

A media lab, on the ground floor of the adjacent Yancey Center, also accommodates digital media courses.

“Our facility was cited as outstanding, and I believe it truly delighted and surprised our NASAD visitors,” Sanders said. “The ‘integration’ of the arts in a cluster with the uptown district is one of the many fabulous strengths noted by NASAD, as was the comprehensive nature of our program.”

Sanders, who relocated from Florida State University to CSU last fall, further credited the department’s previous and interim chairs, plus other senior faculty, for “creating an impressive self-study and appropriate responses that convinced the NASAD commission and have continued to drive much of our strategic planning and direction.”

Sanders said department support often originates elsewhere. “We enjoy a great deal of support and encouragement from our colleagues in departments across campus, and I believe that the spirit of collegiality among our faculty cuts across disciplines and makes us stand out,” he said. “I am grateful for all of the support and honored to serve among such a wonderful group of faculty across both campuses.”

While accreditation speaks volumes, Sanders remains focused on his vision for the department. “I strongly believe our program is heading quickly toward national recognition,” said Sanders. “Our students are high achievers, and we can do more to recruit quality students while exceeding their expectations. If we are successful with continuing to build our programs, facilities, faculty and funding at the level that we anticipate, our students will be the benefactors, as will the economy of the region and the development of the area as a cultural destination that offers the quality of life that we all desire.”

For more information about the Department of Art, go to http://art.colstate.edu. Read about the National Association of Schools of Art and Design at http://nasad.arts-accredit.org/.