Arts programs form College of Fine Arts

World-class art and music are created at Tennessee Tech, and the university has a reputation for inspiring young artists. Now, Tech has established a College of Fine Arts, providing cultural leadership throughout the region, state and nation by highlighting this work.

The new college consists of Tech’s School of Art, Craft and Design, and a newly established School of Music. The School of Art, Craft and Design was previously housed in the university’s College of Education, as was the Department of Music.

The college’s formation was approved by Tech’s Board of Trustee s at its June 2017 meeting and by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission in July 2017.

“I am incredibly excited about the new college and the opportunities it will create for showcasing the rich tradition of fine arts at Tennessee Tech,” said Jennifer Shank, dean of the College of Fine Arts. “This will allow us to focus on the growth of the School of Music, School of Art, Craft and Design, and the Appalachian Center for Craft.”

The Tech Tuba Ensemble recently celebrated its 50th anniversary season.

The college offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in art education, clay, design and digital media, fibers, glass, metals, painting and wood and Bachelor of Music degrees in music education, music performance, jazz studies and composition.

Students at the Appalachian Center
for Craft lead community workshops
and events showcasing the quality
programs offered at Tech’s campus
in Smithville.

“The creation of the College of Fine Arts will galvanize support for the arts in a number of ways,” said Kimberly Winkle, director of the School of Art, Craft and Design. “It will help create a strong unified identity that has the potential to increase visibility, fundraising and recruitment. I think this change is a gesture of the university’s commitment to fine arts on campus and to its bright future.”

Housing these programs in an identifiable college is helping build identity and visibility for fine arts at Tech, strengthening opportunities for recognition of alumni, current students and the strong arts offerings at the university.

“I think students will take pride in being in the newly formed College of Fine Arts, and it is my hope that it will inspire them to become the best artist they are capable of becoming,” Winkle said.

Designating a space for the fine arts to continue to flourish and contribute to the academic and cultural experience at Tech speaks directly to the university’s mission of serving the people of the Upper Cumberland, and others across the state and nation.

“We are thrilled to be named a School of Music and to be a part of the newly formed College of Fine Arts,” said Wendy Mullen, director of the School of Music. “I have often heard the Department of Music described as ‘Tennessee Tech’s hidden gem.’ As a School of Music in a College of Fine Arts, we will be able to more effectively promote the excellence of our students, faculty and curricular offerings, and continue to build upon our existing strong reputation. I look forward to more opportunities for collaboration between the arts, and to continue providing cultural leadership in the region.”

The remaining College of Education with counseling and psychology; curriculum and instruction; and exercise science, physical education and wellness will better align to its accreditation requirements.

Programs in the College of Fine Arts continue to be housed in Tech’s Bryan Fine Arts Building, Foundation Hall and the Appalachian Center for Craft.

For more information about the College of Fine Arts, visit

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