Fairmont State to discontinue music and theatre programs, expand community music and theatre offerings

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FAIRMONT, W.Va. (WDTV)-- The Fairmont State Board of Governors decided in a meeting Thursday to discontinue academic programs in music and theatre, including music and theatre education, according to a news from Fairmont State University. The board also voted to expand its community theatre, community music programs and Academy for the Arts program.

"Fairmont State has always been a destination for performing arts education and events in North Central West Virginia and throughout the state," University officials say in the news release. "As we transition our theater and music programs the institution’s goal is to continue to honor and uphold that tradition through continued partnerships with our community."

Fairmont State says the academic programs will continue through the next academic year. Faculty members will work on a program teach-out to ensure that most current majors can graduate in their chosen discipline. Beyond the next academic year, the University will continue to work to produce vocal concerts, theatrical performances, and direct our marching band.

University administration members are working to operational a plan on the board vote, the news release states.

"While these degree programs will no longer be offered at Fairmont State, we recognize the indelible impacts of Music and Theater on the wider University community, and the exceptional pedagogical opportunities inherent in the Performing Arts; therefore, the board chose to keep the broader community segments of these programs viable," University officials said.

Universities across the country are having to make decisions to avoid financial exigency, University officials said.

"Decisions like these are never made lightly," said University officials. "Fairmont State is committed to keeping the institution open and financially healthy. Fairmont State remains committed to educating the next generation of leaders who are poised for success in an innovative and ever-changing economy. The university will continue to provide cultural opportunities to our students and community through participation in community theatre and community music. "