A cast-off department finally found a home over winter break, while a thriving program upgraded its space in the first of many changes coming to the College of Liberal and Creative Arts.
The anthropology department, which has been in a state of flux since its merger in 2011 with the College of Arts and Humanities, now the LCA, moved to the fifth floor of the Fine Arts building, while English claimed the former dean’s suite.
“We have gone from isolation to what we believe is going to be the advent of a thriving community,” said Anthropology Chair James Quesada.
Quesada envisions a space where a sense of locality can be fostered. The space is set to have conference rooms for graduate seminars, a visual anthropology lab, a multi-use dry lab, as well as ample space for lectures, according to Quesada.
“It’s very comfortable,” said Isis Hao, an anthropology and art student. “I think it makes things more convenient because of the central location.”
The English department moved two floors up to the fourth floor of the Humanities building into a space that English Chair Dr. Sugie Goen-Salter believes will elevate the department.
“It was a net loss of square footage for English, but a net gain for utilized space,” Goen-Salter said.
While English and anthropology have been relocated, some facilities have yet to be finished, according to the department chairs. The goal was to have both departments moved in by now, as well as opening a new computer lab and advising center for information technology which will have to be pushed back to spring break, according to Interim Dean of the College of the Liberal and Creative Arts Daniel Bernardi.
“We delayed (information technology) because we were at staff and moving capacity,” Bernardi said. “We did it because we like to do things right.”
With so many changes happening at once, the University’s sole moving company couldn’t complete all the moves without increased risk, such as over working staff and delaying classes, Bernardi said.
“John Cleary (humanities building manager) did a really monumental job in making the move as smooth as possible,” Goen-Salter said.
English has only a few small changes to make until it is complete. A graduate reading room, some office spaces and another small meeting room are not yet ready and some classes have yet to move to the fourth floor, according to Goen-Salter.
While four classes are already in session in the new space, additional lab equipment is scheduled to arrive in the next month, according to Quesada. Despite the challenges of moving, Quesada said he is very excited about the potential of the fifth floor.
“It’s been a tumultuous year,” Quesada said. “We’re now able to come together in a way we’ve never had before.”