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IDD minor suspended due to lack of resources
Due to lack of classroom space and equipment, the interactive digital design minor will be suspended until further resources can be allocated to the program, according to a school official.
There are more than 130 IDD minors and majors and the IDD facility is limited to one 16-seat classroom, said Pattie Belle Hastings, chairperson of the visual and performing arts department and IDD professor.“The popularity of the IDD minor has been problematic for years,” Hastings said. “We run a pre-professional major out of a single 16-seat lab. And we have generally 80-100 majors. About six years ago, we started limiting minors to about 50-60 students.”
But, not everyone applies for the minor right away. Students who are taking IDD classes but have yet to put in paperwork often cause scheduling problems for Hastings. When she was scheduling classes for this semester, there was a 100-level class that filled up with IDD minors and “curious people” before freshman IDD majors had the opportunity to register. She had to add an additional section of that class to accommodate additional IDD majors.
There are about 20 slots left in the IDD minor program and she has had at least 50 requests.
“The suspension of the IDD minor is to help provide a better program to provide more advanced course opportunities for the IDD majors,” Hastings said.
Students who are current IDD minors will be able to finish, but after those 20 spots are filled, no additional IDD minors will be accepted until further notice.
“Every space on campus is so tight,” Hastings said. “We’re not the only program on campus that suffers from a lack of space. In fact my entire department, music, art, theater, IDD and GDD suffers from a lack of space.”
The university does not have plans to expand the IDD facilities, Hastings said.
“After this semester, that’s it,” Hastings said. “Those 20 spots are going to be filled mainly by students who’ve taken three or more IDD classes at this point but they have just never done the paperwork.”
Students will apply for the minor and students who have taken three or more IDD courses will be accepted into the program first. Students who wish to apply for the remaining spaces of the IDD minor should see an IDD faculty member before spring break.
School of Communication students are required to have a minor outside of communications, and IDD is a popular choice, Dean of the School of Communications Lee Kamlet said. His school also suffers from lack of classroom space.
“This is a school built for 400 students and we now have over 1,100,” Kamlet said, although he was unsure of exact figures. “Our facilities are being in use from 9 a.m. to midnight almost every day.”
The School of Communications cannot expand at this time, Kamlet said, so it is making the best use of what resources it has.
“Where would we go?” Kamlet said. “There is no place to go. It’s just a simple matter of geography. There is no place to go.”
Kamlet is in the process of planning a redesign of some classrooms to allow for a new workspace that should be completed in the fall.
In the future, there is more opportunity for the school to expand, Kamlet said. There are plans for the law school to move to the North Haven campus. The School of Business will move to the law school building, and then the School of Communications plans to expand into the space currently used by business faculty members.
The IDD program teaches design for the web, print, motion graphics and mobile devices.