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Dean to CVPA Graduate Students on October 3

October 3, 2023

Dear CVPA MFA and Postbaccalaureate Students,

It was good to meet with you again on Thursday, September 28 to discuss the progress we are making in creating alternative studio facilities for your use during the 2023-2024 academic year. We are glad to answer your questions and appreciated hearing your input on a range of issues.

For those who were not able to attend, I wanted to summarize some key points that we discussed along with some updates in response to questions you asked:

  • Extended Drop Date: Given the extenuating circumstances, the University has extended the date by which you can withdraw from courses without penalty from September 13 to October 20. Withdrawing from a course will result in a refund, subject to federal financial aid guidelines. If you wish to withdraw from a course, please reach out to Director of Graduate Studies Suzanne Schireson, who can walk you through the next steps you need to take.
  • Supplies Fund: The Provost’s Office has established a fund to assist students in replacing materials and supplies that could not be moved. The Dean’s Office will send you an application form and guidelines this week.
  • Studios for Painting/Drawing: We heard the concerns from painting and drawing students about the possibility of disruptive noise from equipment in the Art & Design Studio. To address those concerns, we are creating studio spaces for these students within the painting and drawing area on the third floor of the CVPA building on our main campus. Work to create these spaces is underway, and we will update you as soon as we have a concrete timeline for you to move in.
  • Studio spaces for ceramics and textile students in the Art & Design Studio are available at this time. Each studio space currently includes the requested 8 feet of homasote board. Additional partitions will be provided in mid-October, and we are seeking a permit to provide electric power to the studio space beyond what is currently available. 
  • Glaze & Clay Mixing Room: We heard your strong desire to have facilities for mixing clay and glazes in the Art & Design Studio. We have asked the engineers to assess what is needed to safely create a space for this purpose in the Art & Design Studio. 
  • Kiln Installation: We plan to install five electric kilns and four test kilns in the Art & Design Studio as soon as possible this fall. Our next immediate step is to follow the Town of Dartmouth process for permitting to do the necessary electrical work. We understand how important access to a gas kiln is to your program. We are therefore exploring whether we can safely convert the wood-fired kiln on the main campus to a gas kiln in time for the spring semester.  

We will continue to update you regularly on our progress with these and any other issues.

Best regards,


Lawrence Jenkens

Dean, College of Visual & Performing Arts


Ramprasad Balasubramanian

Provost & Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

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