School of Liberal Arts

The FIT Strategic Planning Process devoted the fall term to identifying the key challenges and opportunities the College will face over the next decade. More than 80 interviews were conducted; four special roundtables were convened; and, in January we met as a Steering Committee to push the process forward by establishing nine special planning committees. The results of these discussions and deliberations are summarized in the four documents accompanying this charge to the special planning committee we are asking the School of Liberal Arts to establish. 

  • A Memorandum identifying Issues for First Roundtables;
  • A Report on Interview Results;
  • A Report summarizing the Central Themes from the Strategic Planning Roundtables convened December 6-7 and December 15-16, 2004; and
  • A Report on Enrollment Trends.

Over the next two months we are asking the special planning committee for the School of Liberal Arts to address three strategic challenges.

Strategic Challenge 1

FIT seeks to be a magnet for the most capable and promising students of New York City, the nation, and the world—students with an interest in a premier institution for attaining an education at the nexus of design, business, and technology, at an affordable price. FIT has a strong commitment to educating a student body that is characterized by diversity in terms of race and ethnicity, gender, family income, geography, and nationality. FIT seeks to be an institution that serves as an accelerator of the most talented and promising students—including those whose creative potential finds expression through other means than traditional college entrance exams.

The Report on Enrollment Trends indicates that FIT, over the last five years, has made important strides in achieving these goals and at the same time, there have been important shifts in the distribution of FIT students from two- to four-year programs and from part-time to full-time status. Now is the time to ask How will these changes impact the School of Liberal Arts? What changes ought to be made in the Liberal Arts portion of the FIT curriculum? When should students be expected to satisfy the Colleges and SUNY's requirements in terms of their more general education? What will be the impact on the School of Liberal Arts if the Schools of Art and Design and Business and Technology develop more baccalaureate programs to which students are admitted in their first year?

Strategic Challenge 2

In the increasingly competitive market for top students, those institutions that rise to the top have both excellent academic programs and exhibit a tangible commitment to being student centered. Students know when they are being served, when they see themselves as truly belonging to a community that reflects their interests and concerns, and when they are taken as serious partners in the learning process.

Now is the time for all of FIT's programs and services to ask What changes to the campus environment will enhance teaching and learning while also increasing student satisfaction with their educational experience at FIT? More specifically, this Strategic Challenge asks, How might the School of Liberal Arts best strengthen its commitment to being student-centered in terms of the support students receive from classroom and non-classroom faculty as well as from the administration and staff, and the nature and extent of the Schools co-curricular programs?

Strategic Challenge 3

A key goal for FIT emerging from the strategic planning process is to be and be seen as a creative hub linked to an increasingly dispersed set of industries—a nexus for the distribution of new ideas, new techniques, and the imaginative use of new technologies. As a creative hub with global reach, FIT might conceive and organize some of its elements as a think tank—a generator of innovative, entrepreneurial ideas that serve and help advance the fashion and related industries. FIT as a creative hub would engage in dynamic partnerships—with industry, with other higher education institutions, with its own students as barometers of new directions in the fashion and related lifestyle industries. FIT creates opportunities for its students as well as its faculty to serve as intellectual capital to enhance the workings of its industry partners. One of the keys to becoming such an institution is the recruitment and retention of faculty with broad experience, with reputations for excellence, and with a global perspective.

This Strategic Challenge asks the School of Liberal Arts to identify those new programs and opportunities which can best ensure that FIT remains a creative hub to which industry leaders look for both new ideas and workers. In considering how best to invest in FIT's future equal attention should be given to the question of faculty recruitment and retention.

In considering these Strategic Challenges we ask that you: 

  • explore and then specify the planning goals you would like the School or Graduate Studies to achieve in responding to each challenge;
  • identify a limited set of specific initiatives and the principal resources that will be needed to achieve these goals; and
  • suggest a limited set of metrics and benchmarks that the School could track to see if, over the next five years, sufficient progress is being achieved.
  • identify those issues and concerns that will need to be addressed once this current round of strategic planning is complete.

School of Liberal Arts Committee Members

CHAIR: Irene Buchman, professor, Educational Skills; acting dean, Liberal Arts
CO-CHAIR: William Mooney, professor, English and Speech; acting assistant dean, Liberal Arts
Damien Barrett, user services assistant, IT Instructional Computing Center
Isabella Bertoletti, assistant professor, Italian
Stephanie Bird, associate professor, Health and Physical Education
Christine Davis, professor-director, Counseling Center
Ann Denton, adjunct assistant professor, Textile Development and Marketing
David Drogin, assistant professor, History of Art
Michael Hyde, assistant professor, English and Speech
Maurice Johnson, assistant professor, Fashion Merchandising Management
Yasemin Levine, assistant professor, Social Sciences
Sandra Markus, adjunct instructor, Fashion Design-Apparel
Melanie Reim, instructor and associate chairperson, Illustration
Albert Romano, assistant professor, Advertising and Marketing Communications
Lasse Savola, adjunct instructor, Science and Mathematics