When Lauren Friedmann returned to UNC in August, she expected the beginning stages of a new dance minor to be here, too.
Friedmann, a senior math and economics major and a member of the Student Advisory Committee to the Chancellor, started Carolina Dance Project her freshman year to try to bring a dance minor to UNC.
Former Chancellor Holden Thorp originally approved the minor in February 2013. Following his approval, the program entered the budgeting process to vie for money.
But Terry Rhodes, senior associate dean of the College of Fine Arts and Humanities, said progress is halted at this time pending funding approval.
“The minor is only being blocked because of money and budgetary concerns and the fact that we’ve had major cuts,” she said.
“It’s not a lack of will or people wanting it to happen.”
Friedmann said she was disappointed that the minor did not have the funding to continue the planning process.
“It’s quite a bit saddening and frustrating, not just for me, but for other people who are really excited for this,” she said.
Rhodes said the budgetary process goes through many channels and that there is not one person in particular who decides which programs get funding over the others.
“We’ve been really blocked with money and budgetary issues. It’s just been a really difficult period,” Rhodes said.
The minor, originally slated to offer enrollment in the fall semester of 2013 or 2014, now has no definite timeline.
“What really has to happen is that once we see that we would have a budget to make this happen, then the program would have a working group to talk about what that minor would look like,” Rhodes said.
“Then it would get approved and then get a faculty.”
Adding faculty, Rhodes said, will be the most expensive aspect of implementing the minor.
Sometimes when a minor or program is created, the faculty and resources are already in place.
“This is a different situation,” Rhodes said.
“There are courses that could be utilized as part of this program but really to make a minor, we’re going to need more specialized faculty.”
The minor, pending budgetary approval, will be housed in the department of dramatic art.
“In addition to continuing to make available popular courses in dance that have been offered over the past number of years, it’s an opportunity to raise the profile of dance on this campus,” said Adam Versenyi, chairman of the Department for Dramatic Art.
Rhodes said some progress has been made; however, last spring, funding was secured to improve the floors in Woollen Gym to make way for the minor.
This funding was secured by Karen Gil, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, she said.
Friedmann said she is trying to understand exactly where the minor stands in the road to implementation.
“My role is to try to make sure that the wheels keep on turning,” she said.
Working with students and faculty to create the dance minor was a point in current Student Body President Christy Lambden’s platform.
Lambden refused to comment for this story.
Junior Rachel Cianfichi said she would have been interested in the dance minor.
“Coming to Carolina and realizing there were dance opportunities but no dance program was really hard for me,” she said.
Cianfichi said dance could thrive at UNC.
“I think dance is a very important art,” she said.
“UNC is known for many things, and I think its diversity and liberal arts education would be enhanced through dance education.”
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