[Theaterfacultystaff] FW: SAVE UMKC THEATRE---UMKC Theatre is too Expensive----write to University of Missouri Curators

Lincoln, Michael lincolnm at ohio.edu
Wed Jun 7 15:29:50 EDT 2017


Dear Faculty,

Tom Mardikes said it would be most beneficial for as many of us as possible to write individual letters rather than a group letter. Please take the time to write if you can. Note that there is a small sample letter at the bottom of this email. If have a digital signature and you’d like, you can email the text of your letter and we will print and mail the letters from the office.

In solidarity,
Michael

Michael Lincoln
Artistic Director/Head
Professor, Theater Division
Ohio University
740 593-4818, 917 301-5173(c)

From: "Mardikes, Tom" <MardikesT at umkc.edu<mailto:MardikesT at umkc.edu>>
Date: Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at 11:34 AM
Subject: SAVE UMKC THEATRE---UMKC Theatre is too Expensive----write to University of Missouri Curators

Please write to the UM Board of Curators in our support.
Here is our 2nd missive
Tom

UMKC THEATRE IS TOO EXPENSIVE

UMKC Theatre is constantly challenged over the expense of its MFA program.  Other departments on campus know our value, the community knows our value, and our students certainly do. Yet every few years an administrator asks why we are so much more expensive that the standard UMKC comparator schools in the Urban 20.

Our methods and our mission are unique for an academic institution.  Theatre departments in Urban 20 schools often have a faculty size of 3-4 teaching a variety of subjects.  These programs rarely have graduate degrees, certainly not professional training degrees like our MFA.  When these schools do have a graduate program, it is an MA with only a handful of students helping to teach and mount productions.  This kind of Theatre program can produce excellent graduates who seek further training in a program like UMKC’s.

UMKC Theatre currently has a faculty of 18 who teach highly specialized disciplines that are only appropriate in unique MFA Theatre programs of excellence.  For example, we have a professor who teaches voice projection and dialects.  We have a professor who specializes in mask, physical theatre and devised performance.  We have a professor who specializes in the technical construction of costumes.  We have a professor who teaches digital audio technology at the highest level, and another teaching lighting technology emphasizing safety.

We are a founding member of our accrediting organization, the National Association of Schools of Theatre.  UMKC is required each year to file a data report to NAST’s Higher Education Data Services (HEADS) and since all members file their data, we are allowed to request Special Reports.
Theatre requested a report in 2013 and the comparator schools used in the report are:
Cal Arts
UCLA
SMU
Penn State
Cincinnati Conservatory
UNLV

All of these schools are NAST members and have excellent MFA Theatre programs.  All are programs with over 100 Theatre majors.  A number of schools must be selected to run a report, as anonymity is maintained by the multitude of responses.

How does UMKC compare cost-wise?

Faculty Salaries of All Institutions:
Full Professor:  Low/ $50,750    High/ $168,800    Avg/ $103,343      UMKC/$85,419
Assoc Prof: Low/$54,609     High/$107,514     AVG/$76,542        UMKC/$61,684
Asst Prof: Low/$45,000     High/$80,000     AVG/$58,109        UMKC/$50,282

Overall Expenses of the Theatre Unit:
Low/$2,020,114          High/$6,268,631         AVG/$4,119,295          UMKC/$2,978,544

Production Expenses Total for the Unit: (cost to mount the student plays)
Low/$111,663             High/$295,320            AVG/$199,867             UMKC/$165,500

Total Expenditures per Theatre Major Student:
Low/$10,747               High/$24,172              AVG/$18,205               UMKC/$19,093

This shows that against this list of comparator schools UMKC Theatre is below average in all categories except Expenditures per Major, where we are about $1000 over the average.

This report was run in October 2013 for the 2012-2013 academic year.  The next academic year UMKC Theatre’s budget was cut by 15% and since that time we are down three faculty positions and one staff position; people retired or left UMKC and we were not allowed to rehire.

Look for a new report for 2016-2017 shortly.  It will show that we are significantly lower in costs compared to 2012.





SAVE UMKC THEATRE writing campaign:
Please tell five people, and have them commit to telling five more people

Write a Letter:
People have asked what they can do to help Save UMKC Theatre.
Please write letters to the following state and university leaders. We encourage you to use your own personal stories, but see below a sample text that you may include.

University of Missouri Board of Curators
316 University Hall
Columbia, Missouri 65211

Office of Governor Eric Greitens
P.O. Box 720
Jefferson City, MO 65102


Subject: Save UMKC Theatre

Dear ___________________,

UMKC Theatre has for nearly forty years generated and supported Kansas City’s theatre community. Kansas City’s vibrant professional theatre scene has brought the city to national prominence as a center for the arts, and it relies heavily upon UMKC Theatre’s training of its young, emerging artists.

Now the very existence of UMKC Theatre is threatened by administrative budget cuts and we ask you to help SAVE UMKC THEATRE, which in turn will save the livelihoods of hundreds of taxpayers and thousands more people because of the proven domino effect of the arts. Arts and culture add $1.1 billion to Missouri’s economy each year, more than revenue generated by professional sports.

We ask that you urge UMKC’s administration to support and maintain UMKC’s highest nationally ranked program, the MFA in Theatre.

Sincerely,

__________________

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