Board of Regents meets for first 2015 meeting

Jessica Voorhees

The Board of Regents members approved a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and discussed the construction of a Confucius Institute building at their meeting Friday morning.
The Board unanimously approved a Master of Fine Arts degree type and a MFA in Creative Writing program.
Rob Hale, head of the department of English, said he was excited about the MFA program, which will be implemented Fall 2015.
The program will prepare students to become proficient writers of novels, short fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry and scripts.
“One of the niches we’re going for is script writing to get some cooperation with the film program,” Hale said.
The Board also discussed the design and construction of a new Confucius Institute building on Normal Drive adjacent to the International Building.
President Gary Ransdell said the university received $1.5 million from the Chinese Education Ministry to fund the project.
Faculty Regent Barbara Burch opposed the construction of the new building.
“I think it’s very important we understand how we need it and how it’s going to be used,” Burch said. “I thought use dictated design. I’m struggling with what’s going to make it uniquely needed.”
Ransdell said the building will provide classroom, gallery and resource space for Chinese teachers and students to utilize.
He said the Chinese Learning Center will remain in Helm Library, but the offices for the Confucius Institute will move to the new building to allow for multipurpose space.
Ransdell said the building will be about 7,000 square feet.
“It’s a modest project but one I believe is important symbolically and pragmatically in building our Chinese relations,” he said.
Except for Burch’s opposition and a regent who abstained, the rest of the Board approved the motion to construct the building.
The Board will convene for its second quarterly meeting on April 24.