Approaching the winter holidays and a new year, I’m delighted to reflect on progress made in 2022 and share ongoing initiatives and future goals with you—our alumni, donors, and friends of the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication. While some duly cautious COVID safety measures have remained in place, we were able to resume a full slate of in-person classes and live events across our departments this year. The Department of Cinema and Television Arts’ Cinematheque series broke its two-year pause with a slate of classic and modern horror films that drew enthusiastic audiences back to the Armer Screening Room. The Department of Theatre produced its full four-production fall season live, including sold-out performances for an inventive staging of Hamlet. Music faculty and students were able to bring rehearsals fully back indoors with minimal restrictions to engage in a complete season of live solo recitals and ensemble concerts presented to appreciative audiences, including the return of ChamberFest after a two-year hiatus. Journalism student media, having held critical in-person courses throughout the pandemic, hummed back to full capacity, along with kicking off the “Telemundo Local Academy” journalism training program at CSUN. The Department of Communication Studies’ Forensics Team resumed in-person meetings to practice the interpersonal dynamics vital to their excellence, along with the return of the Barbera Invitational Forensics Tournament. And exhibitions are on view across the Department of Art and the CSUN Galleries, including an ongoing series of collaborative shows featuring works from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s extensive collections.
Our grads continue to enjoy bragging rights, with top entertainment industry publications The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, and The Wrap again ranking CSUN’s film and television programs among the very best in the nation. Likewise, music industry giant Billboard included CSUN on its list of Top Music Business Schools for its formidable Music Industry programs, noting the their experiential strengths in VOVE, a student-run, faculty-advised record label, and its excellent internship opportunities. As we build on these existing programs, we are greeting shifting media industry needs with responsive new degree options. We are currently well into the development of a master’s degree in Entertainment Industry Management that will incorporate contemporary best practices leading to an innovative, highly experiential and career-focused graduate program akin to our successful master’s degree in Music Industry Administration. Beyond this fresh degree opportunity, the Curb College is nimbly working to meet evolving industry technologies and practices with expanded cross-disciplinary experiences. This spring faculty in the Mike Curb College will be engaging in a number of new interdisciplinary projects designed to ultimately interweave our programs more tightly together to provide the kinds of highly collaborative multi-disciplinary environments that our students will experience when they enter the workforce.
The Mike Curb College continues to improve its already strong graduation rates, meeting and exceeding CSUN’s goals for the CSU system-wide Graduation Initiative 2025, which is focused on ensuring success for all CSUN students and eliminating gaps for students from historically underserved backgrounds. We are particularly proud that our four-year graduation rates for first-time freshmen are among the strongest in the University, helping Curb College students complete their education in a timely fashion to embark on their chosen careers with less student debt. We are also enthusiastically participating in CSUN’s Roadmap to the Future, a set of strategic directions and priorities representing a holistic approach to academic excellence that was launched in 2022 by President Erika D. Beck. The Mike Curb College’s existing mission, vision, and values are already aligned with the Roadmap and with the University’s goals to promote systemic changes that ensure equitable student success for populations across ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Along with partners across the University, we will continue to assess methods, opportunities, activities, and communications through an equity lens as we strive to close opportunity gaps. We won’t be satisfied until every individual who enters CSUN as a freshman or transfer student crosses that commencement stage, a goal that everyone can endorse.
Our ability to meet the changing needs of our faculty, students, and programs is in part due to the support we receive from all of you. If we’re in your thoughts this giving season, be aware that CSUN’s matching campaign has funds remaining to double the impact of qualified gifts to the Curb College Dean’s Fund and Scholarship Fund. You can learn more about this matching gift opportunity by visiting this link.
As a valued friend of the College, you’re already a huge part of our continued success, whether an alum, a proud CSUN parent, a donor, or an enthusiastic attendee of our events. Now fully back on campus we’ve seen many of you at our music concerts, theatre productions, film screenings, and gallery exhibitions. If you haven’t been to campus lately, watch our newsletters and College Calendar this spring for enticing occasions to visit and cheer on our talented students. In the meantime, may the winter holidays bring you peace, comfort, and a bountiful new year.