Catalyst for a Creative Campus

The College of Fine Arts is the catalyst for a creative campus at UF

The University of Florida joins other leading universities in efforts to develop creative campuses nationwide. The goals of the Creative Campus Initiative are to establish educational settings that infuse the academy with the arts, foster creativity in all disciplines, promote interdisciplinary projects and encourage new ways of solving problems and expressing ideas. The arts stand squarely in the center of these efforts. As Dana Gioia, former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, said in his 2007 Commencement speech at Stanford University, The real purpose of arts education is to create complete human beings capable of leading successful and productive lives.... The College of Fine Arts and its Center for the Arts and Public Policy help to position UF as a national leader in this Creative Campus Initiative.

On a creative campus, creativity, innovation, collaboration and empathy permeate academic life. In such a place, creativity and innovation are encouraged and fostered, and bold new undertakings and transdisciplinary programs flourish.

A creative campus is about diversity of thought and innovative approaches. A creative campus is a place where students right-brained endeavors complement traditional left brain education providing a blend of skills considered vital to their future success as citizens in the new marketplace of ideas.

Developing creativity has become increasingly more vital as our economic system moves from manufacturing to the so-called knowledge-based fields such as medicine, mathematics, engineering and business. Today, as more and more American jobs are outsourced, including those in the high-tech industries, the skills in which Americans excel in the global market are creativity, ingenuity and vision.

Alan Greenspan, the former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman, has said, The arts develop skills and habits of mind that are important for workers in the new economy of ideas. As a leader of the old economy, Greenspan was speaking of an economic revolution that would create a demand for a new type of worker an employee who holds a MFA instead of a MBA and who is equipped with the creative skills necessary to forge ahead in a technology-driven, extremely interconnected and highly dynamic economic future.

Education has always responded to economic shifts. As a university, we are tasked with educating the leaders of tomorrow. Increasingly, they will require a creative skill set to prepare them for careers that have yet to be invented. Creativity along with diversity and sustainability, two other UF initiatives, combine to provide a foundation for the new educational experience.

Creative resources abound at the University of Florida. Artists, scholars and researchers invest in interdisciplinary learning, inventiveness and synergistic thinking. UFs arts leaders recognize that the campus is overflowing with creative assets, and many inspiring and innovative programs, people and events are available to further leverage for creative use.

While creativity is often associated with the arts, it is not synonymous with the fine and performing arts. Creativity is without boundaries; however, the College of Fine Arts is central to promoting and fostering creativity at UF. The Colleges faculty and administration continue to devote attention to integration of the arts into the campus and the larger community, and to endeavor to broaden conditions for stimulating creativity across the curriculum in multiple disciplines to produce graduates who will thrive in the ever-changing marketplace.

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