Annual Report 2017-18

Colleagues, Students, Alumni, and Friends,

It is with great enthusiasm that I share with you this year's Annual Report for the College of The Arts. This report provides an opportunity to formally reflect on our journey together these past months. Thank you for contributing your extensive creative energies to help continue to propel the College forward in both excellence and relevance.

The true measure of our College is clearly revealed in the extent of the fulfillment of our mission, as well as in our success in achieving the goals set out in the University's overarching strategic plan. This past year, the fine work of our faculty, staff, and students enabled our College to take great strides in the key areas of student success; research, creative, and scholarly endeavors; global initiatives; community engagement; interdisciplinary and community partnerships; and sustainability. The individual achievements of our faculty also continue apace, bringing regional and national recognition to the College and the University.

While there is no way to fully catalog the prodigious work of all our faculty, students, staff, and alumni, I hope you will take the opportunity to review the following pages to explore how our college supports the University of South Florida's Strategic Goals and discover some of the exciting progress we have achieved throughout this academic year.

This year's College of The Arts Annual Report is organized into three sections:

I again congratulate all our faculty, students, and staff for your ongoing efforts and dedication.

Yours sincerely,

James S. Moy

James S. Moy, Dean

  • Musical Theatre Cabaret, an enchanting evening of musical theatre highlights and a rollicking good time


    The USF School of Theatre & Dance production delighted audiences with songs from Broadway classics to new favorites featuring the talent of our TheatreUSF students and alumni.

  • Blake High School students on a field trip to USF Graphicstudio


    Students from the Howard W. Blake School of the Arts are invited to feel the raised screen printing ink on a Graphicstudio collaboration with artist William Villalongo. Photo by Jay Nolan.

  • Learning new techniques at a visiting artist lecture and workshop


    Visiting artist Xin Song gave a talk and workshop at the USF School of Art & Art History, open to community memberes interested in learning about Chinese Paper Cutting Art.


With a focus on alignment with USF's Strategic Plan, Performance Based Funding, Statewide Preeminence, and National Prominence, the College of the Arts (COTA) reports the following outcomes:

Dance students performing with USF Choral students

Student Access, Retention, Progression & Success

Headcount by Level, Residency, and International

The total headcount of 1076 for Fall 2017 indicates a decrease of 3.9% over the previous year. It is noted that while declines were observed in undergraduate and grad level I, grad level II has remained relatively consistent from 2013 to 2017.

Instate headcount by residency has seen declines in both undergraduate and graduate from 2013 to 2017 while out of state graduate headcount by residency has steadily increased since 2013. In addition, graduate headcount shows an 18% increase in international students.

Enrollment by SCH and FTE

COTA enrollment by SCH and FTE as a percent of one year change from 2016-17 to 2017-18 reveals increases of 6.0% and 5.6%, respectively.

Online Education by SCH and FTE

The College of The Arts has made a significant financial investment in online education through course development, staffing, and course offerings throughout the year, including Maymester and Winter session. As a result, COTA has seen impressive gains in online education by SCH since 2013-14. SCH generation through online education now accounts for 58% of COTA's total SCH. Similarly, FTE generation through online education has increased to 56%.

Graph of Online Education by SCH and FTE for 2014 to 2018

The College of The Arts recently redesigned its Master of Arts in Music Education. This program has been redeveloped to provide a unique curriculum focused on alternative pedagogical techniques as applied in music as well as research techniques. COTA is making a significant investment in marketing to increase interest in this degree program.

Students participating in the Chinese paper cutting class by visiting artist Xin Song
Prof. Chuck Owen and the Jazz Surge performing in the USF School of Music concert hall.

Enhanced Curriculum and High Impact Practice

The amended general education program approved by the General Education Council in September 2017 was redesigned to ensure that every student's undergraduate experience is completed by taking at least two High Impact Practice courses. Three such practices of particular note at COTA are: undergraduate experiential and service learning, undergraduate research, and education abroad.

Undergraduate Experiential and Service Learning

The current method for data collection uses the existing data in Banner to recognize courses designated as service-learning. COTA has 161 students participating in undergraduate experiential and service-learning courses which represents approximately 15% of current enrollment. However, it is apparent that not all COTA undergraduate and experiential learning coursework is currently recognized through current data collection methods. The College will engage in further discussion with university administration to explore this issue.

Seymor and Audrey II in USF's musical theatre production of Little Shop of Horrors

Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate research participation has been shown to be highly beneficial and can lead students to achieve higher grades, deeper understandings of their chosen disciplines, and make them more competitive for awards, graduate and professional school, and jobs. Approximately 11% of COTA enrollment participated in undergraduate research as noted by select data sources (Banner, USF Office of Undergraduate Research [OUR]). It is not clear that all COTA undergraduate research is currently recognized by data collection methods. Further discussions will be held with administration to review the situation.

In addition, the College of The Arts has a very special creative partnership with the OUR. Under the direction of COTA faculty members and OUR Program Directors, Research in the Arts Scholars participate in the annual USF School of Art & Art History's Summer Study Abroad in Paris Program and produce research-based art projects from initial idea to installation.

Education Abroad

These international experiences include participation in University-sponsored exchanges, faculty-led programs, international internships, and service learning programs as well as international experiences sponsored by another university. Approximately 14% of COTA enrollment participated in education abroad programming as noted by select university data sources.

Art in Paris

This well-established program, now in its 31st year, provides students with an opportunity to immerse themselves in Paris through visual arts investigations under the guidance of USF art faculty who have a strong knowledge and interest in the role of this city in the history and practice of art.

Dance in Paris

The Dance Program at the University of South Florida offers study abroad opportunities available to university-age dance majors through its two USF Dance in Paris Programs. Both the Semester and Summer courses of study provide opportunities for serious dancers to take classes, see performances, reside in, and experience Paris from the viewpoint of a dancer.

It is important to note that current metrics to not presently account for all COTA study abroad programs. The College of The Arts has a number of embedded optional courses available to students through the School of Architecture & Community Design and School of Music.

Art Students and faculty visiting an art gallery in Paris
Dance student dancing in Paris
Percussion section for the USF Wind Ensemble

DFW Grade Distribution

The College of The Arts reviewed internally all of the DFW grade distributions to investigate any potential issues. Steps have been taken to address the small number of courses that accounted for the DFW rate. In addition, clarification of course expectations is presented to students to help them make informed decisions about course selection.

Freshman Retention and Academic Progress Rate (2nd Year Retention with GPA above 2.0)

Over the last year, COTA stepped up efforts to ensure active follow-up with students as well as tracking to monitor timely registration. Due to these efforts, COTA saw an increase in second year retention rate from 83% to 88%. In addition, the academic progress rate increased from 82% to 87%.

4 year and 6 year FTIC Graduation Rates

The College of The Arts has seen marked improvement in four-year FTIC graduation rate. In Fall 2017, COTA started actively tracking students to ensure their timely progression toward degree completion. Focused efforts to address retention and continuity combined with close monitoring of timely registration, course availability, and professional advising services now provide greater support for students' progress. As of this date, FTIC data for the 2012 and 2013 graduate cohort are not yet available.

Doctoral Degrees Awarded

The College of The Arts offers one Ph.D. program. The Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education is a research focused terminal degree intended for aspiring leaders in music education research, teaching, and administration. Program data indicates three degrees are awarded annually over a five-year average.

Degrees in Strategic Emphasis

To better align the degree production goals of the State University System, the Board of Governors' Office periodically conducts environmental scans to identify labor market demands and identify programs for strategic emphasis. COTA currently has four programs identified as strategic emphasis: Master of Urban & Community Design, Master of Architecture, Bachelors in Music Education, and Master in Music Education.

Graph of Degrees Awarded in Areas of Strategic Emphasis from 2007 to 2010, comparing Undergraduate and Graduate awards.

Excess Hours

In order to ensure the timely progression to degree completion and reduce contributing factors to student debt, COTA is actively in the process of reducing the required number of hours to 122 in the Music Education program. In addition, all COTA advisors regularly inform students of the potential complications of excess hours and encourage use of the university's Excess Hours Counter to track credit hours.

Student Awards

The College of The Arts is pleased to recognize the following Student Award for 2017-18 as noted by the USF Office National Scholarships:

Other recent student awards and recognitions are noted in the Highlights and Accomplishments section of this report.

USF Dance students leaping during a performance of the 2018 Spring Dance Concert

Academic Program Reviews and External Accreditations

The following CIP titles were completed in 2016-17:

The following CIP titles are in progress for 2017-18:

  • Alumnus Matthew Lopez's The Inheritance Takes Stage at The Young Vic Theatre in London


    The Inheritance, written by playwright and USF theatre alumnus Matthew Lopez, takes the stage at The Young Vic Theatre in London now through May 19. Vanessa Redgrave and Poldark's Kyle Soller are among the cast for the world premiere.

  • USF Music Alumna, Melissa Salguero, wins 2018 GRAMMY Music Educator Award


    USF School of Music alumna, Melissa Salguero, Music Education '09, won the 2018 GRAMMY Music Educator Award for her significant contribution to the field of music education.

  • Art in Health


    The University of South Florida's Art In Health Program explores the intersection between the arts, healthcare and wellness with a primary focus on advancing education, outreach and research.

  • School of Architecture and Community Design Joins Health Research Consortium


    The USF School of Architecture and Community Design's Florida Center for Community Design and Research, in partnership with the USF College of Public Health, has been accepted to The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Health Research Consortium.

Research, Innovation and Creative Activity

Proposals Submitted and Sponsored Awards

The proposals submitted by the College of The Arts show a five-year average of approximately $2.5M. Sponsored Awards indicate a five-year average of $1.2M

Research Expenditures and F&A Rates

The five-year average for Total Sponsored Research Expenditures is $740,556. The overall F&A rate over the five-year average is approximately 12%.

Faculty Awards

The College of The Arts is pleased to recognize the following Faculty Awards for calendar year 2017 as noted by the USF Office of Research & Innovation:

Other recent faculty awards and recognitions are noted in the Highlights and Accomplishments section of this report.

Presentation at the PAMA conference in the USF School of Music
High School Students receiving a behind-the-scenes tour of the Contemporary Art Museum


Instructional Personnel Headcount by FTE

The College of The Arts instructional personnel consists of 79 FTE regular full-time faculty and is supplemented by 12 FTE adjunct faculty, many of whom teach one or more classes.


As of January 31, 2018 the market value of the COTA endowment has grown to over $23M representing a 15.9% gain over the 2017 market value.


The College of The Arts gives special thanks to the following generous donors whose important gifts to the College of The Arts will enhance the arts-education experiences of our students for generations to come (as of April 15, 2018):

USF Theatre students in front of a projected wall for the play The Crucible
USF SACD student work at Tampa Bay Design Week. Creating urban rooms within Ybor City’s alleyways.
Male student singing at the microphone during USF's 2018 Musical Theatre Cabaret.


Textbook Affordability

In response to the rising costs of textbooks and the financial burden it places on students, the College of The Arts is actively engaged in the Textbook Affordability Project. All graduate and undergraduate courses were reviewed for textbook costs that exceed the national average. Only a few courses were above the threshold. However, upon further inspection it was noted that additional conversations were needed to address minor outlier issues. College directors are continuing these discussions with the TAP committee to ensure accuracy in reporting.

Provost's Curricular Review

The curricular review is a critical component of our comprehensive student success focus and is considered a best practice among leading institutions of higher education. To meet the needs of our students and the communities we serve, the College of The Arts is undertaking a comprehensive, faculty-led, undergraduate curricular review using the following guiding principles to ensure the quality of our academic programs:

This review process will be completed by the end of the Spring 2018 semester.


The College of The Arts is pleased to participate in the FUSE program which was designed to promote timely degree completion for students transferring into USF from local Florida College System Institutions. Currently, COTA has partnerships with both St. Petersburg College and Hillsborough Community College for the following degrees: B.A. Art History, B.A. Studio Art, and B.F.A. Studio Art. Discussions are underway for the creation of the B.A. Theatre pathway with St. Petersburg College.

OUR RIAS Student presenting art works
Ballet students warming up in the dance rehearsal studio

General Education Revision

The College of The Arts received approval to offer the following eight courses in the new general education program:

The College of The Arts received approval to develop the following course in the new general education program:


Beginning in Fall 2017, the COTA started a college-wide initiative to proactively monitor admits to the college. In order to assist students' progress through the admissions process, unit directors are reaching out to contact and assist students with any questions or issues they may have.


This year, each unit was asked to host various arts day experiences at their schools. Some of the multitude of events included: open houses; tours for high school and community college students; residential clinics with master classes and concerts; camps, workshops, and lessons; competitions, conferences, and festivals; exhibition tours, dance intensives, auditions, and productions.

Side-by-side screenshots showcasing the responsive nature of the new College of The Arts website design

External Relations

New Website

To support the student recruitment and student success objectives of the College of The Arts, the Office of External Relations launched a new approach to marketing by redesigning the COTA website. The redesign directed by Web Curator, Nina Contreras Womeldurf, launched in Fall 2017. The new website greets visitors with a video showcasing talent from each COTA unit. The new template design provides ample room to illustrate academic and student by telling a visual story throughout the website and breaking the monotony of text content. Among the key changes in this new website is the responsive design, where web pages adapt to various devices and screen sizes, thus ensuring an easy and pleasant viewing experience across both mobile and desktop platforms.

Serving as an information resource for prospective students and their families, the new COTA website focuses on content. Information was reorganized to increase ease of navigation. The "Apply" tab provides prospective students with a brief overview of the admissions processes for each school, along with helpful links to guide them to additional information. Prospective students and their families can easily and quickly discover all the COTA academic programs available, searchable by school, level of study, and minors and certificates.

Social Media Reach

The secondary focus of the new website was to improve CoTA's community outreach by integrating social media in meaningful ways. As a pilot program in Summer 2017, COTA began co-hosting the Institute for Research in Art's events on Facebook, casting a wider net of interest which garnered new followers and increased awareness of events. Due to the positive response from followers, starting in Fall 2017 all official COTA events from all units were promoted in full utilizing a new Facebook Event toolkit for co-hosting and sharing. Due to these efforts across all COTA social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), the College has recorded an in-progress total organic reach of 421,411 impressions for the academic year 2017-18 (to date), compared to 115,769 views on our FastBook website calendar for the entire 2016-17 academic year. Review of this social media data allows COTA to determine what events from each COTA unit were audience favorites. The goal is to continue to engage the community while simultaneously raising the profile of our schools and students and their work.

Marketing and Branding

In addition to addressing enrollment concerns, the COTA website redesign and social media strategy are also efforts to make all marketing and communications from the College of The Arts and its schools more cohesive. To help engage visitors in the USF experience, the Office of External Relations is also working with University Communications and Marketing to redesign each COTA school website with the same objectives in mind. In order to promote the COTA brand as a single united front, the schools' new websites will follow a similar layout to the COTA website, thereby achieving a consistent look that is visually engaging, informational, and easy to navigate.

SACD Student-designed furniture on the lawn in front of the Museum if Fine Arts in St Pete


As the creative center of the University of South Florida, the College of The Arts provides an enriched, student-centered, outcome-driven, professional environment for tomorrow's leaders in architecture, community design, art, art history, music, theatre, and dance. Through experimentation and scholarship, the College of The Arts provides diverse perspectives, creates new representational practices, and informs the emergence of new research trajectories and visualization techniques to give our students the ability to function with agility in the ever-changing cultural landscape.

Following are links to the remarkable highlights and accomplishments of the faculty, students, alumni, and staff of the College of The Arts over the last academic year:

To find out more about the programs, research, and cultural opportunities occurring at the College of The Arts, visit the following sites:

Balloon and confetti drop during the annual Graduation Celebration event at the USF College of The Arts