News Release

REF NO.: 66

SUBJECT: Name change for Memorial University's Faculty of Arts

DATE: March 21, 2016

As a result of recent approval from Memorial University’s Board of Regents, the Faculty of Arts will immediately be known as the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. The names of the MA (master of arts) and BA (bachelor of arts) degrees will not change.

Foremost among the several reasons for this shift is that the new name better describes the education students receive while studying for a BA or MA degree. It is also more reflective of the way faculty members think of their work.

“The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences really is who we are and what we do,” said Dr. Lynne Phillips, dean of the faculty. “This initiative is definitely not about creating a divide between the two disciplines, but about bringing them together. Our faculty members are already working in both the humanities and social sciences with an interdisciplinary lens.”

According to Dr. Phillips, there can also be considerable confusion among incoming students about what is meant by the “liberal arts” (social sciences and humanities) and how it differs from the performing arts and/or visual/fine arts.

The motion for a name change was passed at a faculty council meeting on Jan. 6 after several months of consultation with both faculty members and student groups. The motion was then approved at a meeting of Memorial University’s Senate on Feb. 16 before the board made the motion official on March 17.

Changes reflecting the name change will be made to the University Calendar for the academic year 2016-17. The faculty website, Facebook, Twitter and various associated materials will be updated gradually during the coming months. The name change also reflects other renovations planned for the faculty throughout 2016.

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